I’m deeply saddened that in the course of my four years at this university, the issue surrounding HMOs has yet to be resolved.
The decision to maintain a 0 per cent increase on the number of HMOs in this town for the next three years is a significant disappointment, second only to how councillors have characterised the report into “locked rooms” led by the Students’ Association. The “locked room” syndrome in this town is very real and I worry that councillors are being dismissive of the research carried out by the Association.
Evidence to support an issue present in the town of St Andrews has been dismissed as “amateurish” by East Neuk Councillor Linda Holt.
As someone who has worked in PR, I might remind Ms Holt that it was amateurish when she declared that University of St Andrews students were taking part in “social cleansing” and turning the centre of town into “an exclusive student ghetto”.
The students of St Andrews have engaged in this topic with more dignity than this elected councillor could ever hope to achieve.
I highly commend the work of the Students’ Association and the University of St Andrews in their efforts towards producing the report.
Nonetheless, more could be done towards providing students in this town with affordable accommodation.
In an article in the previous edition of The Saint, it was revealed that the University was struggling to meet returning students’ hall preferences. Instead, some returners were being offered places in accommodation which was £1,400 more than their previous halls’ fees per annum. Fife Council and the University must recognise that students are suffering the consequences of the lack of affordable accommodation.
Throughout my time at this university I’ve lived in a room smaller than Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs, a house rampant with seemingly invincible black mould, and student halls with a broken desk and a radiator for a headboard. Not to mention that double glazing is yet to be discovered in St Andrews.
The one thing that unites all of these undesirable living conditions is that I paid too much for them. This is a problem that will not be soon rectified, as it seems to have only worsened with my four years living in this wonderful corner of the world.
Alas, I must now graduate in order to begin paying off the crippling debt I’ve incurred whilst studying here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as Editor-in-Chief, bringing you the stories that matter most to the St Andrews community.