A STUDENT at one of Scotland’s leading universities was hit with a £1,000 fine after threatening another person on social media.
The fine, thought to be one of the highest to a single student in Scotland, was handed down by Glasgow University to an undergraduate who made a “direct, serious and credible threat against another person”.
Basically, they’ve learned how to lynch us and they’re rolling with it.Archie Winnington-Ingram
The charge emerged after a freedom of information request, which also detailed residential and library fines handed out by the establishment.
The university has refused to provide any further information except to say the incident happened in the past three years.
As well as the one-off fine for social media abuse, the university has quadrupled the amount of residential fines it collects from students over the past three years.
Since 2012, it has collected thousands of pounds from undergraduates for damage to their accommodation. In the academic year 2012/2013, 38 students were fined a total of £1,100 for causing damage to their halls of residence.
However, halfway through the current academic year, 80 undergraduates have already been fined a total of £4,688.
The university has said that the increase in fines is due to a more robust approach to students setting off fire alarms.
Undergraduates can also be fined for leaving stains on carpets or irresponsibly using fire extinguishers.
The figures further show that in 2013, the average fine faced by students was £29.
But by the beginning of 2015, this had risen to £59.
Students at the university have called the charges “daylight robbery” and dubbed the university “con artists”.
Archie Winnington-Ingram, who attends the university, wrote an article for the student newspaper slamming the costly fines.
He said: “Basically, they’ve learned how to lynch us and they’re rolling with it.
“One student was fined £1,000 . . . and I thought my £80 for irresponsible cigarette disposal was tragic. Con artists.” Students at the university have come under fire in the past. It was revealed that between 2008 and 2012, they racked up £496,000 in library fines by failing to return books on time.
One of the oddest fines this year was handed to residents at Edinburgh University’s Chancellor’s Court, who were told that they had to pay £168 because of a banana smear.
Neil Campbell, director of residential services at the University of Glasgow, said: “The increase in fines is mainly the result of a more robust approach we are taking to discouraging behaviour and actions which might compromise fire safety or set off false alarms – for example smoking indoors or repeatedly setting off fire alarms when cooking.
“The resultant sustained reductions in unwanted fire alarm activations been welcomed by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Glasgow council.
“The funds raised are put back into extraordinary enhancements to student residences – such as further upgrades to common areas and shared facilities.”