Guys, Derwent might actually have asbestos

Two freshers were immediately moved out of ‘A block’ but the university say it had nothing to do with the asbestos


We all know the infamous bus chant shouted by revellers on a night out, “Derwent’s got asbestos, Derwent’s got asbestos, nah nah nah…”

Unfortunately for the residents of A block in Derwent, this frequently heard joke may have turned into reality.

In week six, two freshers were forced to leave their room after noticing something was amiss with the ceiling, and were allocated en-suite rooms in Alcuin College. Life was made worse for these two unlucky freshers as they still had to receive their catered meals in Derwent, resulting in a rather long walk to breakfast and dinner everyday.

Angus and James realised something was slightly wrong with a tile in their room when filling out a mandatory inventory checklist during freshers’ week. They reported this as neither wanted to be held accountable at the end of the year for the damaged tile and was later investigated at the beginning of week six. What happened next was something neither could have ever expected.

After a quick inspection of the tile in question, the pair were told that they had to leave their room instantly and have their bags packed up within the hour. They were even monitored by a custodial officer as they hastily packed up their belongings and set off on their voyage to Alcuin, a college with no connection to Derwent and no explanation was given for this seemingly arbitrary swap.

What has made the whole ordeal even more infuriating for the pair is that they were never told specifically what was wrong with their room or the severity of the situation.

Angus mentioned how the move has been “really frustrating” in terms of uni life because it has “changed our daily dynamic during the middle of term”. He did cite that their new accommodation does have en-suites, which has softened the blow.

It was unclear whether their room does in fact have asbestos or just a case of a partially collapsed ceiling.

The University told The Tab, “Repair work has been scheduled to take place over the Christmas vacation period to limit the disruption to students.”

When pressed on the involvement of asbestos in the episode, the University said:

“The students were not moved from Derwent to Alcuin because of the presence of asbestos. The students were moved out of their rooms temporarily because a ceiling tile was not secure and repair work is required over the Christmas period.

“Derwent A Block does contain asbestos within the fabric of the building, which was a common building material used in the UK from the 1950s up to 1999. It is not the presence, however, but the management of asbestos, that is key to health and safety.

“Given the past use of asbestos in building materials across the UK, it is now standard procedure to implement the asbestos safety protocol when inspecting the fabric of a building of a certain age.”

Alcuin College, a place with more rabbits than people

The pair hope to move back into their room in the near future, however when we spoke to them last week no work has started on repairing the ceiling. So for now, the pair must sadly remain in Alcuin College.

However, the University assured us that the students, “will be able to return to their rooms when they arrive back on campus following the Christmas break.”

Our thoughts are with them at this time, and we hope for their sake that they can move back into Derwent as soon as possible.