The student was left without a shower for two monthsLouis Ashworth for Varsity

A student at Corpus Christi College has been left with discoloured water coming from her room tap since last November, despite multiple requests to fix the issues being made to the college.

The student first contacted the college maintenance team in November, when she was told that the problem owed to sediment from plumbing works.

When no progress was made on the issue, the student contacted the college accommodation manager in February. They were told that the only solution would be to disassemble the room’s entire plumbing system, and potentially the entire staircase. This course of action would not be possible until the summer holiday.

The student told Varsity that the situation was “outrageous,” complaining that she “can’t even have tea in the evenings”.

The unfortunate situation was then exacerbated when the only shower in their staircase broke, remaining out of order for almost all of Lent term. This left them with no access to clean hot water for almost two months.

Rent at Corpus is calculated, in part, by proximity to working amenities. After further contact was made with the college accommodation manager on the facilities problem, partial rent rebates were offered to all the residents on the student’s staircase.


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The shower was finally fixed a few days before Lent term leases ended, when students were required to vacate their rooms for visiting conference attendees and other guests.

Water instability and sanitation are recurring issues in Cambridge. In February 2022, a Guardian report revealed that Cambridge Water, the utility water supplying Cambridge and surrounding areas, had supplied contaminated water to over 1,000 residents without informing them. In November 2023, the Environment Agency suggested that government development plans for the City could “pose a significant risk” because of “water scarcity”.

A spokesperson for Corpus Christi College told Varsity that the college is “addressing any ongoing maintenance issues in as timely a manner as possible”.