It’s hard to deny that the campus has become a bit of a building site of late. While the front of Fulton House is almost finished, work outside James Callaghan and Keir Hardie is ongoing, providing extensive disruption to lectures held there. As Keir Hardie is home to both the English and German department, Elena Cresci has heard the sound of drilling so much this week, she thinks she might be immune to it soon…

Whichever end of the University you enter, there seems to be some sort of building work going on. Pretty much all of my lectures and seminars take place in Keir Hardie, almost every single session is punctuated at one point or another with the drone of drilling. In fact, it’s happened so often in the first week of lectures, I’m pretty much used to it.

Some lecturers have had to be moved from their usual office while work continues, and many classes have had to be relocated. My first German lecture saw my lecturer struggle to make herself heard above the sound of the building work, which was frustrating for both her and the class. The work was scheduled to have finished before the exam period, but unfortunately the snow caused massive setbacks to the plans, which has left the students in Keir Hardie no option but to just put up with the distraction. Keir Hardie was in dire need of some renovation, but while the building work may be welcomed, it has proven to cause significant disruption.

From trying to find my dissertation supervisor to constantly checking if my lecture rooms have changed, the first week back at lectures has been a bit of a pain, and I’m not the only one who feels that way. Bethan Rowe, who studies French and German told me: “All of my lecture rooms bar two have changed, one was moved to a lecture room in Fulton House, but it’s been changed again now, and that one’s not permanent either. All of my lecturers’ offices have changed too, so it’s hard to keep track of them, and on top of that, some of the windows still haven’t been put in, so it’s been really cold!”

Thomas Williams, a final year History and German student shares Bethan’s frustrations, but his concerns lie mainly in the University’s choice of investment. “Basically, I feel the money being spent on the windows could have been spent on improving teaching resources to improve our study experience rather than to cause unnecessary interruption. As a final year student I don’t feel I should be spending over £3000 a year in fees to be passed from pillar to post due to building work.”

Unfortunately, the disruption to lectures is an extension to that which was experienced throughout the exam period, when several exams were held in Keir Hardie despite the extensive building work, as Ben Coates experienced in his exam for the French module ‘Love, Lust and the Meaning of Life’, held in Keir Hardie 431. Unluckily for Ben, the disturbance during the exam was not just limited to drilling, as he related in his Special Circumstances form, which he kindly shared with The Siren.

For approximately the first 30 minutes of the exam the workmen were shouting, throwing scaffolding and hammering. This was then followed by an insight into the everyday social dynamics of one worker’s relationship with his boss after an argument regarding the time the van should have been arriving, and could conclude his boss is a “f***ing w***er”. The disruption was rippling through the exam room, so not only was the noise a distraction, but so were everyone’s reactions. You could sense the environment was causing poor concentration issues throughout. This was then followed by constant drilling from inside the building, causing an irritating vibration noise for most of the remainder of the exam.

I’m sure that Ben’s story is one of many tales regarding the downsides of drilling – have your exams or lectures been interrupted by the building work? Do tell us your stories, either comment on this post, shoot an email our way thesirenswansea@hotmail.co.uk, Tweet us @thesirenswansea or post on the wall of our brand spanking new Facebook page!

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