Three students have had their belongings dumped by the management of their halls of residence, it emerged today (Friday 21 August).
One of them, Brighton University graphic design student Hannah Mullins, returned to her Circus Street halls of residence collect her possessions yesterday only to find that they had gone.
Her sister Holly posted about her plight on Facebook and said that other students’ rooms had also been cleared.
But Kaplan Living Brighton, which runs the halls, said that some students had asked for their things to be placed in storage or disposed of.
The belongings in three rooms, though, had been dumped when they should not have been, Kaplan said today.
It follows the coronavirus lockdown which started in March and brough an end to face-to-face teaching in schools, colleges and universities.
Kaplan said: “Since mid-June when lockdown was eased, Kaplan Living Brighton have been working closely with the many students who returned home early before the end of term due to the covid-19 pandemic in order to arrange for them to come back and collect their belongings.
“We also offer to put students’ belongings into storage. However, some students have instead asked for us to dispose of their belongings for them.
“We became aware yesterday that three rooms had been cleared in error and we are currently investigating how that could have happened.
“This should not have occurred and we offer our sincere apologies to the students affected.
“Yesterday, the onsite team spoke to the students to apologise and ask for a list of the items that had been removed.
“We will of course compensate the students for the loss of any items that have been cleared.
“As part of the preparations for students arriving for the new term, rooms are cleared and deep cleaned.
“We do not dispose of students’ belongings without their permission, so clearly there has been an error and we are urgently investigating.
“Again, we offer our sincere apologies to the students affected.”
Holly Anne Mulllins said: “My sister had to come home from her Brighton University halls – Kaplan Living – in March and was not allowed to return due to coronavirus.
“We were told her belongings would be safe in her room until we came to collect them.
“We booked a slot for today 20.08.20.
“Her key wasn’t working firstly.
“When we finally got access to the room it was completely empty of EVERYTHING she owns – cameras, clothes, trainers, personal sentimental items, photos, hundreds of pounds of skincare and make up. All her uni work thrown away.
“She had childhood items in that room which now cannot be replaced. Most importantly her privacy completely invaded as someone has gone through her things without consent.
“Her medication, prescriptions, personal details, bank statements have also been thrown god knows where! Which is a breach of GDPR.
“We then went to reception to ask if it had been stored elsewhere and they couldn’t tell us. They then said, ‘you can look in the bins if you want.’
“So we did. We saw hundreds of black bags full of people’s personal belongings. Clothes, shoes, passports, medication.
“We have NO answers and sadly we don’t have her things. Brighton University CANNOT get away with this. Other girls also had their stuff taken including TVs, laptops.
“The kitchens were also completely clear of all belongings. So sad and so disgusted at the lack of care considering she has paid 8 GRAND for somewhere she couldn’t stay for 6 months.”
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