Covid-19 at University of York: student speaks out

A STUDENT self-isolating at a York university has hit out at the institution over the way it is handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 23-year-old first year student, who is awaiting the result of a Covid-19 test and does not want to be named, is in Halifax College, which, with about 1,000 students, is one of the larger colleges at the University of York.

She said: “My main issue now being that coronavirus and isolation has seemed to spread massively throughout campus accommodation and it’s is how they’re handling that. It seems as though they were unprepared.

“For the first two weeks I was here there were large gatherings outside all colleges, with well over 80 students outside my door on at least four or five nights. We called security and they said all they can do is tell them to stand apart.

“I do believe some blame is on the students, don’t get me wrong, but I believe the university have been a little naive in thinking a bunch of mainly 18-year-olds were going to comply when drunk.

She went on to say: “I know of houses that haven’t received toilet paper for days. I know the students aren’t getting any sort of food provided by the university and any packages they have ordered have to be collected by a friend. The university have a food system in place charging £170 for three meals provided for two weeks. I’ve never heard of a student who would spend £85 a week on a food shop. I spend £15 on average.”

A University of York spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear that one of our students is struggling and we urge them to get in touch with us via our Student Hub so that we can offer them further support. We understand that self-isolation can be challenging and is a community-spirited act intended to safeguard others.

“We are committed to taking a supportive and compassionate approach when dealing with our students in self-isolation and have a number of support measures in place to help.”

He said there are a broad range of options to suit different needs, preferences and budgets for food.

The campus meal delivery packages are among those options at £170 for 14 days. They are prepared fresh every day and are all offered at cost, covering the costs of food and staffing only. The university has also partnered with the supermarket chain Morrisons on a 24-hour hotline for food deliveries to students who are self-isolating. In addition, students can order from other supermarkets, local takeaways, and a Nisa campus online store.

He said all houses and flats where students are currently self isolating have now been supplied with a stock of toilet rolls, black bin liners, clear bin liners for recycling and hand soap.

The university says it has also put on extra high visibility security patrols and students can report incidents at any time of the day or night.

Students should go for further help and advice to https://coronavirus.york.ac.uk/for-students/self-isolation-guidance

York Press | News