518 total views
At the £87 per week offer, LUSU Living remains as one of the more popular options amongst students. No doubt that their offer of all-inclusive bills, free Wi-fi and the cleaners (who are nothing more than God sends) are attractive selling points. But is this price worthwhile when the services provided, sometimes, can be nothing short of piss poor? Bad publicity is almost certainly the last thing LUSU Living has to deal with but with the housing talks currently underway, first year students should be aware of what they are buying into. There are plenty of options for second year accommodation, whether on campus, with LUSU Living or in town with private letting agents, so there are plenty of options to go for with all budget types.
No student, however, should be subject to the turmoil I faced after the boiler broke down during the cold snap earlier on this year. With frequent calls to LUSU Living, who later failed to declare it as an emergency, my housemates and myself were left to fix the boiler ourselves. Due to our lack of boiler knowledge though, this was limited to switching it on every 10 minutes and heating buckets of water before having a shower. Yet this turned out to be a minor issue when gas started seeping into my room whenever we kick-started the boiler. Drearily waking up to the smell of gas had alerted LUSU Living to take action but by this time, my mum had already called British Gas to inspect the boiler.
Having heard other boiler-related stories from students, it is truly a sad state of affairs but it is reassuring to discover that LUSU Living has posted a number for emergency boiler cover in each of the houses they let. A broken boiler emitting gas should not go duly unnoticed; LUSU Living has a responsibility of care to the students and their pleas should not be ignored. Though the boiler emitting gas incident was a one off situation, THANK GOD this problem has been acknowledged.
I now look back on my first year on campus with nostalgia. This probably has a lot to do with being a fresher back then, but I must iterate that this has not clouded my judgement. My awkward encounter with the cleaners was coupled with the joy of having a tidy kitchen and my flatmates would readily offer me food. The comforts of living on campus are obvious: great amenities, being at the heart of the university, and not having to wake up at least an hour before your lecture starts. Even better, I only clocked up three issues that needed to be repaired. Back then, I saw it as a testimony of why Lancaster retained the title of Best University Halls two years running. If you’re a first year who is desperate to live on campus again next year, don’t be hassled into thinking that there is no room for second years – the University currently has around 700 second year students on campus.
This is not to say that I would opt to live on campus again; living on campus again is nothing more than a fantasy. Plus, I refuse to pay £112 pounds to live in a room that I paid £97 for previously. In fact, I have found myself to be more independent living off campus and being in constant contact with LUSU Living has, for the most part, benefited me and my housemates greatly. Our new hoover, despite looking like a derelict Dalek, works efficiently and having spent two minutes on the phone to LUSU Living, pestering about the boiler, they managed to get someone to fix it (AT LAST).
LUSU Living is correct in its assertion that living off campus should be an amazing experience. The current price offered is unrivalled but the customer service is in need of a shakeup. Building a rapport with them ensures that you’re getting the best out of your money, even at the expense of becoming an annoyance. Don’t be frightened of making sure that you get your money’s worth no matter where you are living next year.