Students at New College have expressed anger following an MCR decision to swap popular undergraduate housing with less popular MCR housing.

The Weston Building is a highly rated accommodation block, currently housing fourth years, but after the swap fourth years will have to live in the subsidiary Sacher Building.

A second-year student described the accommodation in the Sacher building as distinctly inferior.

He said that the Sacher building has “all separate rooms… they seem quite unfriendly and boxy.”

In contrast, students living in the Weston Building live in, “6 bedroom flats with patios looking over the sportsgrounds”.

Students at New College have claimed that the Governing Body gave the JCR very short notice about the vote.

A second-year student said, ” I think it’s just quite arrogant of college not to really consult the JCR first… it seemed like they were trying to do it so that the JCR didn’t notice it at all.

“I think it’s quite unfair that students applying will think that they’re going to receive good fourth-year accommodation and then not get it.”

Current students were initially angered over the swap because they feared that it would affect them during their time at the college.

At a JCR meeting on Sunday, FHA Rep Stephen McGlynn proposed a motion, seconded by JCR President Matt Ranger, stating the JCR’s opinion that the swap should be postponed until summer 2012, by which time all of the current students will have graduated.

The college’s original goal, according to the meeting minutes, was that “such a move would be completed by three years’ time” from Michaelmas term 2008 and that “college may complete this move before then”.

MCR President Thomas Addock also attended the JCR meeting.
Entz rep Hardeep Rai said of the MCR’s participation, “we’re usually defensive and we don’t like change – but it was almost off-putting how nice they [the MCR] were. There has been dialogue about changes to the deadline… it’s actually nothing of the nightmare that we thought it might be.”

Michael Burden, the Dean, said that he had “nothing particular to say about the switch… it’s a very complex situation”.

The JCR President is scheduled for a meeting with the Dean on Wednesday the 12th.


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