Student - January 29, 2009


It’s unusually busy at the exit for so early on a Friday morning. Students who would normally be sleeping off their hangover at this time are getting out of the student residence and heading for the Forum. The higher up the stairs you go, the more deafening the din that is driving them out. There’s work going on at the Bornsesteeg.

Hard at work to renovate the Bornsesteeg student residence.
Two builders are installing a kitchen in corridor 6A. Are they the source of the piercing drilling sound? ‘No, that’s coming from the workers on the balconies.’ At 6B, Prosper shuffles blearily into the corridor. ‘There is too much noise! I can’t get enough sleep because the noise starts at 8 o’clock in the morning. I knew there would be work going on, but not that it would make so much noise.’
On the seventh floor, Nashiru is at the lift, poised to flee to the Forum. ‘I stay out of my room as long as possible because it is not possible to rest or study there.’

The people to ‘blame’ are the men with the job of renovating the floors on the walkways. They attack the old cement, and their colleagues cart away the debris in loaded wheelbarrows. Among them is Adrian, who thinks the amount of noise they’re making is ‘not too bad’. He is not even keeping his ear muffs on all the time he’s drilling.

And some of the residents agree that it’s not too bad. ‘I don’t have a problem with the noise. It doesn’t wake me up, and it doesn’t go on too long, so it’s okay’, says Edson. Someone of the twelfth floor has a suggestion for getting away from the noise and the builders: ‘Escape to the shower if the noise gets too much for you, and make sure you keep the curtains closed’, says Ye. And residents at 9C have found a solution to yet another problem: they have wedged a full pack of kiwi & lemon Dubbelfris between the door and the frame. The juice is slowly seeping out of the pack. ‘But at least it doesn’t slam shut quite so hard every time the builders walk in and out’, says Ma Rema.