Northumbria students were unable to access the basic necessities on the night of Wednesday 10 February as temperatures plummeted to -5 degrees. Faced with one of the coldest nights in 60 years, as reported by the Met Office, students were left to fend for themselves as they awaited support from the accommodation team.
Trinity Square is University-owned and managed by Sodexo Student Living. Home to approximately 1000 students, the accommodation has come under fire in recent weeks over student welfare concerns.
Students told of how they had been forced to sleep in multiple layers, boil water to wash and borrow blankets from other students as they waited for engineers to arrive on site last week.
First year student Harry Story, a resident in Trinity Square told The Courier, "It was unbearably cold, considering this is one of the most expensive university accommodations, it is a mockery", with the accommodation located in Gateshead charging a weekly fee of £121, amounting to over £5200 a year.
However, this isn’t an isolated incident in Trinity Square. In the last few weeks, students have reported disconnected Wi-Fi which left them unable to connect to the internet for over 16 hours, causing many to miss vital online lectures, whilst others have described leaks and insect infestations within the property.
Whilst many took to Facebook to express their distress, students were disappointed to discover that the accommodation providers had prohibited users from commenting upon the issue in the official residents' Facebook group.
One furious parent tweeted "Please stop ignoring Facebook posts from students…what are they paying rent for?’’. The altercation was later updated the following day with an apology issued alongside reinstated comments.
A Northumbria University spokesperson stated, "After being made aware of the heating outrages we took immediate steps to rectify the issue, however we are sorry for any discomfort some students felt at this time".