The University has been forced to put some new students in postgraduate housing because of a shortage of accommodation.
More than 60 undergraduate students have unexpectedly been told they will now live in Gannochy House this year alongside the usual postgraduate tenants. One, Mauro Parada, said he “didn’t know Gannochy House existed” until he received his offer.
Concerns have previously been raised about a lack of accommodation. Last year the University had to place new students in the postgraduate residence Eden Court, and in April it took the unusual step of offering to release returning students from their accommodation contracts to free up space. In addition, Fife Park is undergoing redevelopment at a temporary cost of 162 beds.
This year the University has created three- and four-person bedrooms to handle the demand, while students within commuting distance have not been allocated places.
Some of the incoming freshers have expressed concern over living in Gannochy alongside older students.
Devyn Powell said: “This is just my opinion, but I can’t say I’m all that happy about it. I was really excited while I was waiting for accommodation to be released, but once I was put into Gannochy I felt a little slighted. I called up accommodation services and they assured me that 62 other undergraduates would be in the same situation as me, but the fact remains that it’s still meant to be postgraduate housing.
“I was hoping for a larger group of undergraduates to interact with in my housing, and it’s not all that heartening to find out that we have to represent St Salvator’s in Freshers’ Week events like Clan Warfare. Our lack of hall spirit is only going to lead to less unity between Gannochy students in comparison to other undergraduate halls.
“I’m trying not to be too negative about it – I’m still excited – but it seems like a poorly planned way to make sure everyone gets accommodation. I almost feel like an afterthought.”
Some students are happier, however. Jonah Levy, another fresher who will be moving into Gannochy, said: “I couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s worked out; I was initially unnerved because I assumed Gannochy was a postgraduate accommodation, but after finding out the situation, I am very glad.”
Ellen Gilbert, who is in the same situation, said: “Beforehand I hadn’t really read much or heard very much about Gannochy, but I’m quite happy to be placed there. I’m only in accommodation like that for a year, and as long as there are other undergraduates there and a good friendly feel then I’m happy to stay. It might not be the prettiest building, but all that matters is that to me is that I got into the University!”
Gannochy House is located next to and managed by St Salvator’s Hall. Its undergraduate residents will be provided with catered meals in St Salvator’s, and will be included in St Salvator’s events.
A spokesperson for the University said: “The decision to place undergraduate students in Gannochy House was considered essential in order to cover the increased demand for accommodation for undergraduate students, as work to replace Fife Park accommodation is ongoing.
“There is no question of students staying in Gannochy House having an inferior hall experience. Gannochy House has always been managed as part of St Salvator’s Hall. It is 20 yards from the main building with access to the same facilities and a shared community.”