Edinburgh University Pollock Hall students facing 'major fines' and 'on verge of suspension', according to petition

Students at Edinburgh University have launched a petition calling for refunds on their accommodation after claiming the institution has failed to ‘sufficiently coordinate their response to Covid’ and offer the mental health support needed.

By Katharine Hay
Friday, 16th October 2020, 2:10 pm
Pollock Halls, Edinburgh
Pollock Halls, Edinburgh

In a statement on the document, which has been signed by 290 people so far, it says: “Many students in Pollock are facing extremely expensive fines, starting at £50, for minor offences and these punishments are accumulating at speed on people's records.

"As a result, many students are on the verge of suspension within their first month. It seems, due to the sheer volume of students facing serious penalties, these punishments do not reasonably suit their crimes and the institution is, once again, bleeding students dry of whatever money the can get from them.

"We acknowledge that there must be restrictions and do not criticise these but more so the system of punishment that is used following the breaking of them."

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It goes on to say that: “Charging full-price fees this year is grossly unfair and it appears that the University is profiting (from) the Covid-19 pandemic."

Edinburgh University has recently been under fire after it’s student accommodation Pollock Halls was described as ‘prison-like’ due to strict coronavirus measures implemented by the establishment.

First-year students living in the university’s catered accommodation Pollock Halls have endured being surveilled by staff as they eat alone at single desks at the JMCC cafeteria.

When the accommodation opened to welcome students back this year several changes had been made to the dining experience. With the on-site bar closed, students must bring their own cutlery with them while hot food is dispersed by staff and cold food is individually packaged.

Liberty Phelan, a second-year student who lived in the halls last year and editor of the student newspaper which has been covering the issue said: “Before the term began the university announced the changes and how things would be different. Students were told that they would have to sit at tables by themselves but were offered a takeaway option.

“Now they have taken the takeaway option away and I’ve been told that everyone is forced to eat alone and not allowed to get up from their allocated table for more food or water.”