This week marks a month since the University of Lincoln installed bunk cabins, dubbed Festival Gardens, for an overspill of up to 200 first-year students who came to study in the city without permanent accommodation arrangements.
Some of the students, who moved into the cabins on September 18, spent just days in the shared twin-bed cabins situated behind the new Engineering Hub off Ropewalk.
They were moved gradually to rooms in student accommodation, shared houses and new developments such as South Park Hall, a new 24-bed hall of residence the university has opened in response to the shortage.
Meanwhile, around 75 students still remain at the cabin site. The university also placed a second site of cabins, Delph Gardens, so that it can accommodate one student per twin cabin, as well as some entertainment options at its buildings nearby.
It is hoped that all students in the bunk cabins will be relocated to permanent accommodation by Christmas.
Life in the bunk cabins
Over the past month, The Lincolnite spoke to students about their experience living in the bunk cabins. “It’s not actually too bad,” said Tilly Nind, an 18-year-old veterinary science student. “I think we have the best social life here, we’re all really close and we sit outside,” she added.
“We’re a lot closer to the uni than some people in other accommodation blocks. My friends in [the university’s own] Courts say they’re not as close as we are,” explained 18-year-old English student Lindsey Kay.
Ryan Jones, also an English student, agreed “it’s a good community and we have a good laugh and it’s been a good time, which sort of made up for the fact that’s its awful.” The university placed a fence around Festival Gardens to improve privacy at the site, situated near popular student club Engine Shed.
“The main problem is not having a lot of private space. Luckily I haven’t had a lot of work to do, but some architecture students I know, who have a lot of work, have struggled since they don’t have their own private space — and had to go to the Architecture Building for it.” Jones moved out of Festival Gardens soon after speaking to The Lincolnite.
Another student, who didn’t wish to be named, struggled to find any positives living in Festival Gardens. He said: “It’s hard to find an upside to be honest. For two weeks we didn’t have any bins and we only got some for the open day to tidy up, and before that, there was rubbish everywhere.”
The students in Festival Gardens have also struggled with cooking arrangements, Tilly Lind explained. “For food I’ve mostly been going to McDonalds and getting pot noodles from Lidl; cooking has been a major problem since we don’t have cookers.”
Lindsey Kay added: “There was only one microwave for 200 students at one point.”