St. Hugh’s u-turns on prelims accommodation blunder

First year undergraduates were informed earlier today by the College's Accommodation Manager that they would have to move out of their Kenyon Building rooms during the prelims exam period

The college said that the work "should not have been scheduled to coincide with exams."

St. Hugh’s College have u-turned on plans to move students during the prelims exam period for refurbishment works at the College.

A spokesperson for the College confirmed to Cherwell that the refurbishment works have now been rescheduled for August.

Earlier today, first year undergraduates were informed by the College’s Accommodation Manager that they would not be able to stay in their Kenyon Building rooms during 9th week.

In an email seen by Cherwell, the College’s Accommodation Manager said: “College has deemed it necessary to start refurbishment works in Kenyon Building.

“We are hoping to be able to commence the refurbishment program from Monday 18th June 2018 and complete it by Friday 29th June 2018.

“As you have applied for vacation residence during this period, you will be affected by the works and will need to move room.”

“I will email you your new room allocation as soon as possible.I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding in this matter.”

After being contacted by Cherwell, a spokesperson for the College said: “The College is working on a long-term project to improve residential accommodation for our students. This has included significant refurbishment to houses along Canterbury Road.

“The work on the Kenyon building is just the latest phase of this project, but it should not have been scheduled to coincide with exams.

“The work has now been re-scheduled for August, and all students will be receiving an email shortly to this effect.”

The email from the College Bursar, seen by Cherwell, read: “I would like to extend my profound apologies for this error.

“I have now rescheduled the work so that the contractor will come in August to complete the work. The rooms will, therefore, be freshly decorated for your return in Michaelmas Term.

“You will not be asked to move during your exam period, and I do hope that your exams can now proceed with the minimum of difficulty and stress. ”

Several students expressed anger and concerns at the proposals, which were communicated to students the morning after the deadline for applying for vacation residence. All students at the College taking exams in 9th week have to apply for this extended time in accommodation.

One first-year undergraduate told Cherwell earlier: “I’m actually shocked that the college would think this is acceptable. I can’t be moving all my stuff between building the day before my first exam starts.

“It’s ridiculous, it just shows they haven’t prioritised students’ studies beyond term time. I know it doesn’t effect everyone with exams but surely this should be what the College should think about first.

Another student told Cherwell: “It’s a little distressing to be told you’re going to be uprooted the day before your first exams in Oxford, which is quite a nerve wracking process in itself.

“We’ve heard nothing about this before, and all of a sudden it’s sprung upon us the day after the deadline for applying for vacation residence passed.

“I don’t understand how the College can say we already knew about this, it’s the first I heard.”

A third-year undergraduate who previously lived in Kenyon told Cherwell: “They’ve got three and a half months between term time and yet they choose to start works whilst so many students have prelims.

“Are they putting the need for updated conference accommodation above students actually studying at the college?”