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Freshers Annoyed at Lack of Correspondence

Sep 10 2007 15:33
Ashley Brown
Imperial's Freshers for 07-08 have expressed their frustration at College's sluggishness and general lack of communication.
900+ freshers all in one place

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.

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Discussion about “Freshers Annoyed at Lack of Correspondence”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. Alex   
Sep 10 2007 22:58
 

They'll get used to it.

Sep 10 2007 23:16
 

I don't think its particular to Imperial though, I'm about to start a PhD in Durham, and they're the same. Although Imperial Registry is about the most poorly organised and unuseful group of beings to grave the earth

3. Ant   
Sep 11 2007 04:48
 

To be honest its not really any change from how its ever been. Problem is that the boom in internet forums and networking sites over the last 5 years. This in addition to imperial being one of the later unis to start, just means the freshers all get more wound up when in the past they would be unlikely to know any better if some offers had been sent out or not...

4. Raf   
Sep 11 2007 17:03
 

Having read this, I think they should consider to start the admission process earlier..., 2 weeks left and I am here without official offer letter...

Sep 15 2007 09:49
 

yeah, i agree with raf

Sep 16 2007 21:37
 

Considering that there are thousands of accommodation offers to send out, it is no surprise that things take time. However, when anything is tried to be simplified by doing things "electronically", things get complicated. And when things get complicated, things go wrong.

Maybe a letter in the post, and the exact same letter as an email would work better.

Sep 17 2007 11:01
 

What they should really do is set deadlines for correspondence in a both a letter and email. If no correspondence (via email) has been received by the deadline, then that is the point at which students should start phoning up.

As it stands, no-one has a clue what information should arrive when, so people panic about having mistyped their email address or being forgotten about, when they just need to wait another week.

8. hmmm   
Sep 17 2007 11:29
 

Ok so my experience of sending the appilcation form in (back in the day...) a month or so after receiving it, getting my first choice of room (34 week, single, non ensuite, there were about 50) and receiving a reply in good time (I don't remember being worried about being homeless) is not a common one...?

Perhaps they are just taking their time because they don't want to admit that a lot of freshers will be calling Clayponds home for the next year... oops!

Anyways according to the Union's website accomodation shouldn't be a big problem as Linstead is still listed as existing... no wonder Freshers aren't exactly happy...

Sep 17 2007 11:43
 

Why would they need to use Clayponds?

Wouldn't the loss of accommodation through Linstead and the intercollegiate halls be covered by Southside?

And what does the accommodation office do for the other 11 months of the year?

Sep 17 2007 11:46
 

Too many have hit their offers so they are struggling to find places in the UG halls for everyone, hence a risk of using Clayponds. It might not come to that though...

Sep 17 2007 13:11
 

well if there aren't enough rooms me and andy have a very nice sofa bed in our kensigton penthouse, don't we? ;)

college had a whole year to get ready for this (well 11 months like andy said) I'm sure no one will be left homeless, though I doubt everyone will get their ensuite singles in the Royal Borough.

Is Clayponds really an option? Has it been done before?

As I recall all my corresponce with college was slow and very abstract. The trick is to keep calling them and pestering them, then things get done.

Sep 17 2007 14:22
 

Other universities manage to get things like timetables, reading lists, accommodation etc sent within a week of results. Why can we not do that?

The front page of Imperials homepage has no easily viewable information for freshers, emails get bounced back, phonelines are jammed. I can appreciate that the accommodation office can probably do without scores of panicy freshers calling them, but is it too much to hire a few temps to man computers and phones to give out information? Maybe something to investigate for next year....

Although I do not think any fresher would be desperate enough for our sofa bed!

Sep 18 2007 10:53
 

that's wt all i hv experienced...accomodation offer being withdrawed...visa come late...now i am reli frustrated coz i dont hv anywhere to live when i get there

14. wais   
Sep 18 2007 13:37
 

Hi. I got a offer for a single en suite at Picadilly court, but its way too expensive. If anyone has a twin or even triple room and doesnt want it, could you please contact me so we could swap rooms ASAP. Thanks

You can msn me on .com

Sep 18 2007 14:43
 

Did you put single ensuite/picadilly court as your choice? As it seems that there are people who are offered that who cannot afford it, and people who are given twin rooms who are begging for single ones.

16. wais   
Sep 18 2007 15:30
 

No I certainly did not. All the ones I chose were below the ?100 price bracket, somewhere close by to imperial. Instead I got the complete opposite.

I cant believe accomodation is so bad at matching people to places. As you've said, ppl are asking for singles but getting twins and I'm asking for a twin but I get a single.

Please contact if you have not yet received an offer from the Accommodation Office as I am currently investigating this on behalf of a few other students.

If you have any other issues regarding accommodation please feel free to email me and I will pass them on. However this does not mean I will be able to change a Twin or Triple room into a Single Ensuite. Unfortunately everyone wanted one.

Sep 18 2007 20:22
 

My first offer (whatever it was) expired while I was on holiday, which could of easily been solved by posting a letter as well as an email. I now have an offer for Piccadilly court which is nowhere near any of my choices. For some reason it's not cheap AND it's not near.

I'm now debating whether to take it, it seems like a nice hall, just in the totally wrong place.

19.  
Sep 19 2007 16:24
 

Wais - it is quite likely that a large number of people asked for rooms for less than ?100 close to Imperial but there are a very limited number of rooms fitting these criteria.

If there aren't enough rooms available to give everyone their first choice, people will get second, third or even lower preferences. If all your preferences were unavailable then it falls back to random allocation as that is the only way to do it.

If you cannot afford the offered room, speak to the Accommodation Office and they will see what they can do, people cannot swap their offers between themselves.

20. Ryan   
Sep 25 2007 21:53
 

The Accommodation Office does employ temps to deal with Hall allocation. I think, as with most Imperial bureaucracy, the system needs an overhaul.

Imperial's accommodation is mental. Some of the prices are ridiculously high and places like Picadilly Court do seem a long way out. The Princes Gardens redevelopment doesn't help things. I feel lucky that I managed to get an ?80pw room down in Evelyn Gardens all those years ago.

Sep 26 2007 00:43
 

yeah the lack of organisation by Imperial in processing the info to the freshers is shocking...you would have thought that a university like imperial would have sorted this stuff out ages ago...its like 4 days to go and i've only got my freshers pack today, my bro and sis both got theirs weeks ago!...not to mention the uni not having my grades until later after the a level results were released!...i heard that the registry people had alot to do, but i would have thought employing extra staff would be in order possibly?

Oct 07 2007 23:04
 

To Shray Amar,

Probably because the admin/registry staffs are considered a "cost centre" to the college. They only create expenses for the college but do not add value to its academic reputation, may it be citations, publications, RAE or rankings. The lines of argument are similar to the motivator-hygiene factor theory.

But being a fresher, I have to agree that the lack of correspondence was down right annoying.

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