Students at Queen’s College continue to express concern over the suspected arson attempt that occurred during the latter half of 3rd week.
Emails were sent to all undergraduates by Dr Linda Irving-Bell, the College’s Home Bursar, detailing changes to security that have now been implemented. Residents are banned from inviting guests into St Aldate’s House, the 90-bedroom complex on Speedwell Street, and all the cookers have been removed. Irving-Bell adds that police have been involved, as well as the University’s security service. The College promised to install code and card locks on the entrance to the building, and to place CCTV cameras next to all entrances and exists.
Students are now under constant surveillance, as Dean Chris O’Callaghan noted: “The images from the CCTV will now be visible to the Lodge and will allow us to see if anyone is bringing other people into the building. They will operate 24 hours a day.”
An urgent email on 5th February told the chilling details of how meat had been left in the bottom of ovens, apparently stolen from various freezers in the building, which was then drenched in oil and left at full-heat. Queen’s student Sarah Davies noted the strange lack of developments following such an incident: “It was a bit scary to hear about it at first, but a lot of people seem to think it could have been an accident.”
Other students have taken a more light-hearted approach to the event. Many saw the concerns over the bike store being left open as irrelevant, saying that this was a perennial issue that the College simply had not noticed before now. Davies added that: “A lot of students have been joking about it,” and others have attributed the incident the name the “Bike-gate-gate” scandal,” and to Dr. Irving-Bell “Linda Irving Bicycle-Bell.”
Another student added that “we all reacted by using puns to cover up our worry and shock about what is obviously a really serious situation”.
Neither Queen’s College nor Queen’s JCR have responded to our request for comment.