The Union Council's Response

Imperial College Union, on behalf of all Imperial College London students, present and future, asks that Imperial College London management:

An Imperial affordable for every capable applicant
Protect Evelyn Gardens
Accommodation designed for education, not the other way round
Good governance means a dialogue with students and academics
Recognise the true value of Wardens, not just the cost


1 An Imperial affordable for every capable applicant

Retain Garden Hall as a Hall of Residence in the College Space Master plan.

As the most oversubscribed Hall the College needs to realise that there is strong demand for this type of accommodation. A range of rooms to suit all budgets and tastes are necessary for a diverse student community – there will always be some students who prefer (or can only afford) triple rooms, and so it is essential that these are retained. Renovations – if absolutely necessary - do not need to be of the highest specification available; students are quite content with basic specifications if it’s all they can afford, and it means they are close to College. 


2 Protect Evelyn Gardens

Continue to seek out alternative, superior solutions to Evelyn Garden’s ending lease than the North Acton project.

The North Acton project is to be viewed as an ‘insurance’ policy should nothing else be possible, but all options of retaining Evelyn Gardens or finding alternative accommodation closer to South Kensington, at an affordable price, must be actively pursued.


3 Accommodation designed for education, not the other way round

Review the whole Accommodation Strategy given the discrepancies between the Accommodation Survey 2011 data, the Strategy’s interpretation of that data and the backlash from students over the results of that Strategy.

Data from the survey (even if correctly used) is insufficient to build a strategy in itself. A wide ranging consultation with students and staff similar to that which is being undertaken for the Education Strategy must be followed. Whilst the current strategy claims to be focused around ‘feedback from students’, this cannot be the case if the Union and students disagree with it. College Management should agree a methodology for this consultation with the Union: asking students if they like double beds and TVs is not evidential.


4 Good governance means a dialogue with students and academics

Hold formal consultation with students and academics on North Acton and on all future projects before committing to a development – whether they be accommodation related or otherwise.

The Union requests that the College Management responsible for this project present to all interested students and staff the North Acton project. All future developments should have a similar level of consultation before they are proceeded with – we should not have a situation where students and staff, the College’s most important communities, are kept in the dark until actions of the College Management are complete.;


5 Recognise the true value of Wardens, not just the cost

Don’t reduce Wardening ratios any further; and retain Wardens as College staff who undertake the role alongside their College careers.

As the backbone of the College’s welfare & social provision in halls, it is imperative that Wardening numbers are maintained. Wardening provision is something that the College has been proud of for many years: this sentiment must be maintained. These people make the student experience in first year – something that is certainly preferable over Campus Services being able to sell a few extra rooms. Financial considerations are only one aspect to be considered when planning changes.