Coventry University students branded ‘filthy’

July 14th, 2014 Category: Colleges and Higher Education

Coventry University students living in privately rented accommodation have been branded as “filthy” by a councillor representing St Michael’s Ward. Jim O’Boyle has called for punishments to be handed out by the university if students consistently fail to keep the streets clean, according to the Coventry Telegraph.

Students typically spend their first year of university in student accommodation, which can be owned by the education establishment or privately. It is common for contract cleaners to be hired to take care of communal areas, such as living rooms and gardens, so the flats and grounds are kept tidy.

However, during their second year, students often seek privately-rented housing in or around the city. The cleaning then becomes the responsibility of the occupants, which can mean the house, and surrounding land, can fall into a state of disarray.

Cllr O’Boyle made his remarks after visiting Monks Road, Stoke, and seeing for himself the negative impact students had made on the street. The councillor – once voted Coventry City Council’s ‘youth champion’ – has urged the university to punish students if they cannot or will not look after the streets they inhabit.

According to the newspaper, he said: “I call on the university to crack down on these rogue and irresponsible students and take action to curb their filthy behaviour. I demand they hold their students to account for the sake of residents but also for the sake of the good name of the city and of the university.

“The filth I have witnessed in the past has always shocked me. But these pictures graphically demonstrate a new low. It is the sort of anti-social behaviour which should be condemned.”

He said Coventry University has shown a nonchalant attitude towards the behavior of students living in the city – an approach that has presided over the “proliferation” of such conduct. However, the university states it was not made aware of the issue until the councillor had contacted members of the press.

A spokesperson for the education establishment told the newspaper although they fully acknowledge Cllr O’Boyle’s concerns regarding the unkempt properties on Monks Road, his censure of the university is “unreasonable”. The university fully understands its social representatives and will carry on working with Coventry City Council and local community groups, continued the representative.

The university feels that the responsibility for the mess left by students living in privately rented accommodation lies at the feet of landlords, letting agencies and those occupying the properties. However, it still expects students to act appropriately when living off-campus and when such issues arise the university invites involved individuals to disciplinary hearings to ensure and mandate future conduct.

The spokesperson said that, as of yet, the university had received no complaints from Coventry City Council or from other residents regarding the waste left by students living in St Michael’s Ward.

“Coventry University take complaints of this nature very seriously and has procedures in place with regards to the conduct of our students in university-owned accommodation and we endeavour to follow up on any complaints received,” the representative added.