Sussex’s least expensive on campus accommodation will be replaced by the most expensive – and you should be very, very angry
East Slope will be missed in more ways than one
Many students are emotionally preparing themselves to say goodbye to the iconic Sussex landmark of East Slope halls and bar. The building work is well underway with a showroom prepared to demonstrate what the new halls will look like. Out with the old, in with the new.
However, as wonderful as the new halls look, this begs the question of what will happen to students who simply cannot afford rent of £156.55 per week. East Slope has been yielded as the "fun halls" on a budget – a social environment with your all your basic needs.
Now Park Village is set to be the new cheapest halls at £90 a week; but many of the exisiting residents have complained that the quality of life in Park Village is so poor that East Slope is viewed as a much more favourable alternative. As a Park Village survivor myself, it was a horror that I wouldn't dare subject my worst enemy to – let alone a large number of pure, innocent freshers who will find their hopes and dreams crushed as they realise that there isn't even a communal dining space in their halls.
Park Village resident, Jack, told the Tab Sussex "My sink flooded my room 3 days into my stay at Sussex at Park Village, no joke, had to claim insurance, and the porter that came to check it out broke my towel rail next to my sink just by leaning on it and they only just got around to checking it out again."
Whilst East Slope itself may not be renowned for being the most luxurious of the halls available on campus, the communal area gives residents more of an opportunity to socialise with one another. The lack of this in what is now the university's most affordable accommodation can lead to extremely isolated existences. It still angers me that the university think this an accepatble living standard for anyone, especially people who will be moving away from home for the first time.
Why does creating a new accomodation, which is more expensive than an other alternative, pose as such a problem? Quite simply, becauses it encourages the mindset that those who have more money are entitled to a better quality of living. Given the emphasis of equality and the general left-wing ethos of Sussex, I find myself angered that the new halls are catering to those who have more money than a considerable portion of the student populus.
As opposed to investing in students who can't afford almost £160 a week fees in Swanborough and Northfield and are already struggling financially, the university have decided that building accommodation even more expensive than those pre-exisiting was the best idea. The main benefit of this serves as a revenue generation scheme for the university – as opposed to genuinely thinking about the welfare of future students.
So, I implore that next time further renovations are being considered in regards to the accomodation provided at Sussex – please consider improving the living conditions for those on a budget as opposed to solely focusing on those who can afford the biggest and the best.