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Please send the bee removal team – freshers week requests – 25 September 2014

11 November 2016

“The guardian of my clothes has died,” and “Kindly take a look at my bed frame… it’s so creepy” are two of the many strange requests made to the UK’s biggest university accommodation provider during this year’s Freshers’ Week.

Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, has noted some of this year’s less usual demands made to maintenance staff by students via its MyUnite mobile app.

All of Unite’s 43,000 UK students, homed in 130 properties, can use the app to register maintenance requests as well as receive parcel notifications and other helpful information. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are some ‘lost in translation’ moments as students get to grips with living away from home. 

In Liverpool a worried female student wrote: “There is a bee in my room. Please get the Bee Removal Team here.”

A Chinese student, also in Liverpool, reported: “The guardian of my clothes has died.” Unite staff understand language issues can be difficult, particularly in the first year abroad. On examination, the student’s wardrobe door was damaged.

A Glasgow-based student wrote: “The shower telephone holder needs to be fixed,” perhaps referring to the shower head bracket.

And a Londoner asked for her “creepy” bed frame to be replaced.

Big task

Freshers’ Week is a busy time for students making new friends and getting used to their new surroundings.

Meanwhile, the job of checking in 43,000 students means Unite staff working around the clock to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Having the MyUnite app means maintenance staff can keep track of individual requests and get them resolved in the shortest possible time.

Most are easily fixed, but other less common requests this year have included:

  • “Your country is too cold.”
  • “Please remove my mattress and replace it with wood.”
  • “Please replace the shower with a bath.”
  • “Please set up a table outside, with a packet of cigarettes.”

Unite managing director Richard Smith said:

“We have the best maintenance teams in the business, but I must admit even we haven’t developed a ‘Bee Removal Team’ – yet.

“We take our responsibility to students very seriously, and making sure their requests are backed up by prompt action is vital.

“Even so, I can’t blame the teams for not knowing how to make Britain a bit warmer. I think we all wonder about that from time to time.”

In April 2014, Unite Students announced it will be reinvesting its profits over the next two years – £40 million – into a series of initiatives to provide a home for success for students.

These include Wayne Hemingway-designed interiors and instillation of LED lighting across the entire range of properties.