Imperial Freshers on Facebook and other discussion boards are expressing considerable annoyance at College's world-renowned bureaucratic incompetence. There is a growing feeling of being left in the dark, with many freshers relying on Facebook to find out what is going on.
Accommodation is causing the most concern, due to offers being sent out in batches. As increasing numbers of students-to-be declare that they have a place in halls, those without are growing increasingly worried that they may have fallen through the net. Residences have not given an end date for the allocation process with under three weeks remaining until freshers move in. An offer appears to be good for just five days, meaning some students are returning from holiday to find their offers have expired before they even know about them. The allocation of places seems to be taking especially long this year due to both the new preference system (where students can select their top requirements) and people panicking on Facebook and harassing the accommodation office. With most students asking for single ensuite rooms the preference system has turned into a bit of a lottery as in previous years, causing a number of complaints from those who really do not want to share.
Other freshers have complained about confusing or missing correspondence making it difficult to work out which forms must be sent where to confirm places. While other universities have sent out letters and emails to let their students know what is happening, Imperial's students will be kept mostly in the dark until the freshers packs arrive this week or next. This in turn is creating a frustrated and panicky group of students wondering why Imperial refuses to tell them anything useful at all.
Other problems exposed include:
- Confusion over the myriad usernames, passwords and ID numbers required to register online for ICT services and with registry
- The accommodation system sometimes not showing active offers until they have expired
- Formal acceptance letters to international students (required for visas) being issued late
Having experienced the inefficient and often useless bureaucracy they will be forced to endure for the next four years, the freshers are dealing with it the same way most Imperial students seem to: going to the pub en-masse to get drunk.