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With the commencement of the Summer term, students of Lancaster are knuckling down to begin revision for exams. In order to minimise disturbances, the University has announced, as it does each year, that there will be an enforced Quiet Period across campus.
The Quiet Period aims to “ensure that all students have opportunities to meet coursework deadlines and study for their examinations.” Emails sent out to students from their college administrators state that there are to be absolutely no parties in residences in accommodation during this period, nor will any be sanctioned. Further to this, “should unauthorised parties occur and disturbances reported, porters will take the names of all guests and all will be sanctioned accordingly.” Students are encouraged to report any incidents to their porters if they feel that another student is making unnecessary amounts of noise, in order to be dealt with appropriately.
A porter working for the University spoke to SCAN, stating that Quiet Period often leads to a lot of extra paperwork, as every disturbance must be accurately recorded and sent to the Dean of the college. Whilst he admitted that during Quiet Period he could be walking around all day investigating minor disturbances, our source said that “whilst sometimes it can seem petty, each person is different and what might seem quiet to one can really disturb another’s sleep and study habits; it is important during this time that students respect each other.” He also emphasised that the University does take a “zero-tolerance approach” to reports of noise complaints during this period, and occasionally “students feel as though they have been unfairly punished.”
One student commented that, whilst she understood the need for quiet during this time, and that “there is nothing more annoying than people partying whilst you’re trying hard to concentrate on revision”, sometimes the University could be overly vigilant. “I’ve seen people getting into trouble just for having music on whilst they worked,” our source said.
“[The] Quiet Period tends to make other people over-sensitive about noise, and having other students report you to the porters rather than coming to discuss the issue with you face-to-face feels sneaky and immature; after all, we’re all adults and we’re all in the same boat with exams.”
The Quiet Period notification email warns that the usual noise complaint fines are doubled during this period, thus students caught making too much noise could be fined up to £40. Furthermore, to ensure students comply with fines and sanctions, the email warns that final year students who have “outstanding debt […] will not be able to receive their degrees until these matters are resolved.”