Edinburgh University fresher claims international students are being forced to fend for themselves

A fresher at Edinburgh University hit the headlines yesterday after claiming international students were being left to fend for themselves.

By Sophie Parson
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 7:00 am
Student Reese Chamberlain
Student Reese Chamberlain

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Reese Chamberlain from New York said that self-isolating students in Pollock Halls were left with no choice but to phone security and beg for food.

And speaking later to the Edinburgh Evening News, the International Relations student said: “All three meals are typically delivered at once, but the timing varies drastically by day.

“On a 'normal' day, I'll receive all three meals at around 14:00 to 15:00 in the afternoon. Food typically consists of a croissant with a piece of fruit and a drink for breakfast, and a cold sandwich with crisps and a Mars bar for lunch and dinner.

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“Yesterday saw the elimination of the morning croissant for day-old rolls of bread for those lucky enough to receive food.”

When he tried to phone student welfare about the situation, no one responded: “I've made over a dozen combined emails and phones calls in relation to food. Most go unanswered.”

Meanwhile, the University said that it was providing support to all students who were self-isolating, providing food and laundry facilities as well as support.

Discussing the support measures introduced by Glasgow University for all students in their halls of residence, Reese said “I'm certainly jealous of Glasgow University students, as it seems that they're receiving proper support and care.

“I whole-heartedly support similar measures here in Edinburgh.”

When asked what he thought the University of Edinburgh could be doing differently, he responded: “The university administration can begin to do things differently by acknowledging their wrongdoing.

“Despite subjecting students to terrible conditions that have now been exposed publicly, the administration has refused to apologize for their actions.”

Reese told BBC Scotland that he had to comfort other international students who were “in tears” due to lack of support.

The 18-year-old is “heavily considering” returning home to America, where he can continue his studies with the University online.

“The way that we are being treated is unacceptable, and the University seems to show no care in rectifying the situation.”

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