A student was left ‘disgusted’ after her university halls threw away ‘everything she owns’ when she wasn’t allowed to return to her accomodation because of Covid-19.
Hannah Mullins, from London, who studies graphic design at the University of Brighton, had made an appointment to collect her belongings after she was forced to leave the accommodation at the start of the pandemic in March.
However she returned to find her room had been completely cleared out, with ‘irreplaceable’ childhood items, cameras, clothes, medication, prescriptions and personal documents all thrown away.
Posting on Facebook, Hannah’s sister Holly revealed that two other students had also had their rooms cleared out and thousands of pounds worth of items including TVs and laptops chucked.
‘My sister had to come home from her BRIGHTON UNIVERSITY halls ‘KAPLAN LIVING’ in March and was not allowed to return due to coronavirus’, wrote Holly. ‘We were told her belongings would be safe in her room until we came to collect them.’
She went on to emphasise that Hannah received no information from the accommodation about clearing her room, and says her ‘privacy had been completely invaded’.
‘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,’ Holly went on.
‘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.’
Hannah’s twin sister Holly went on to claim that there were ‘hundreds’ of rubbish bags full of personal belongings by the bins, including clothes, shoes, passports and medication.
She added: ‘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 peoples personal belongings. Clothes, shoes, passports, medication.
‘We have NO answers and sadly we don’t have her things. Brighton University & Kaplan Living Brighton 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.’
A spokesperson from Kaplan Living Brighton told Femail: ‘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 provided assistance for students to have their belongings collected and put into storage. However, some students who were not planning to return to Brighton, have instead asked for us to dispose of their belongings for them.
‘Last week we became aware that a number of rooms had been cleared in error. We initially believed it to be 3 rooms and immediately began an investigation of the status of all 450 rooms in the building. We now know that 9 rooms in total have been cleared in error.
‘We are continuing our investigation into how this could have happened. This should not have occurred and we offer our sincere apologies to the students affected.
‘The onsite team have spoken to most of the students affected to apologise. We are still trying to reach several who we have not yet been able to establish contact with. We will of course compensate the students for the loss of 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 again, we offer our sincere apologies to the students affected.’