Read an update from your Executive Officer regarding the ongoing rent and accommodation issues experienced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Students’ Union is currently working on several issues on behalf of students. Here’s an update on the work we’ve been doing so far on the rent issues being experienced by many students;
Through meetings with the University we have discussed and agreed a 30% rent reduction for the rest of the term for all undergraduate students in halls to compensate those who have been unable to use their rooms for the entire duration of their tenancy, as well as helping to alleviate some of the financial pressure caused by?this global pandemic. We also raised the importance for an equivalent offer for postgraduates. Those postgraduates who have not been able to use their accommodation will receive a comparable discount on a case by case basis. For those postgraduate students due to join on January start courses they will not be charged until they pick up their keys and use their accommodation. We would have liked postgraduates to have received the same offer as undergraduates, but the University preferred to make the offer case by case as they felt the circumstances of postgraduate students are different.
We are continuing to meet with the University to tackle the other ongoing issues faced by students in halls. This includes those raised by the QMUL Rent Strike Campaign such as the concerning maintenance issues, as well as continuing to lobby? for no penalty early releases due to the exceptional circumstances of this year and the current national lockdown. We are also working to try and ensure students who are striking face no disciplinary action for doing so.?
We have also met with the students involved in the QMUL Rent Strike Campaign who are continuing to strike in order to achieve their demands to compensate for the difficult conditions faced this year. We will continue to support the rent strikers and push for their demands to be addressed by the university. To find out more about the rent strike, check out their Instagram page @rentstrikeqmul where you can read their demands and follow the journey of the campaign. We want to thank all those students who have come together to collectively raise their concerns, issues and feedback.
For students in private accommodation, we recently met with local MP Rushanara Ali to explain to her the issues many students are currently dealing with as well as hear about how she is working to support her constituents. If you live in the Bethnal Green and Bow area and are struggling, please do reach out to her and explain your situation as every story can be used as evidence that this is a real issue! For those not in these areas we still recommend contacting the local MP for your area so these issues are highlighted at a national level - find your MP here.?
These are difficult and challenging times for all students. We understand and share your disappointment, frustration and concerns about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the effect this is having on your university experience in so many different ways. We also know how this is causing great difficulties in your everyday lives. We will continue to listen to your feedback, hear your concerns and do as much as we can to be your voice, lobby and work with the University to deliver changes. Please do continue sharing issues with your school and the University. ?
We will continue to keep all students updated on our discussions regarding rent. We will also be releasing further updates on other concerns relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, assessments and the ongoing student experience. Many of these issues are also featured at our Annual Student Meeting this coming Tuesday at 6pm.You can register to attend and find out more information here.