Isolating students let down by Leicester University

Written by Rhiannon Jenkins

Leicester Student Magazine spoke to eight isolating households (comprising over 25 students) during October, and discovered that only half of them had received the free food package.

Support for isolating students was announced by the University of Leicester in the first week of October, whether in privately owned or university-run accommodation. The service includes free care packages of food and games, a COVID-19 dedicated phoneline, free delivery of medication and laundry services.

Of that half, none of them received the food package on time and only two households were asked about their dietary requirements. Only one household received any hygiene equipment (already in place when they arrived at the Oadby Student Village) and, on October 14th, one household was told by the University that there were no hygiene packages available because they had yet to arrive from their distributor.

“Why was it not there from the start?” asked Maya*, a first year student in Nixon who was told to isolate after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive. “So probably 4 days before the end of our 12 [that] was when the uni sent out the email to everyone […] but we didn’t get any of that throughout the whole time.”

“We get a lot of support already. You don’t even have to pay for [it],” said Penny*, another first-year student isolating in Oadby Student Village, who was happy with the service. She thinks the university “are doing a very good job of taking care of the students.”

Geoff Green, Registrar and Secretary, spoke on behalf of the University:

“Overall we’ve responded well as a University and we’ve got plans in place that we can scale up. […]. We are dealing with very challenging logistical situations and we’re doing our absolute best to get support to students as quickly as we can […] clearly you’ve identified some examples where that hasn’t happened in a timely way when clearly it should’ve […] and I apologise to those students and will undertake to look again at our procedures in relation to that.”

Rhiannon Jenkins is a final year English student passionate about activism, film & literature and travel. She also acts as Arts & Culture Chief Editor. You can find her on Instagram here: @rrhiannonj.

Featured image from University of Leicester SU.

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