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Magdalene submits its ‘Cut the Rent’ petition

Students are demanding affordable living

Students have officially submitted their 'Cut the Rent' petition to Magdalene college. Over 170 students signed, demanding cheaper rooms, and end to exorbitant kitchen fixed charges and fines and improvements to accommodation conditions.

The campaign collected examples of issues with rooms. These include a building without a shower, back doors that don't shut, single glazed windows with no heating, failings in bin changing, substandard heating, holes in floorboards beneath carpet and many more complaints. One student recalled the maintenance department telling them "try not to die in here".

The campaign challenged the college saying 'If college is serious about its commitment to access and students' welfare, it will engage with students who are struggling financially.'

It may look pretty on the outside, but the rooms inside tell a different story…

The petition criticises the repeated rise of rent above inflation over the past five years and highlighted the poor state of rooms. It pointed out that 'For students on the maximum student loan, only band 5 rooms correspond to housing charity Shelter's recommended guidelines for rent costs to be no more than 30% of income.'

Students also demanded a reduced kitchen fixed charge, which is over £190 'one of the highest in Cambridge, despite poor facilities' according to the petition. The petition also raised concerns about fines, with students having 'been fined £150 per wall merely for putting up photos or posters.'

The petition demands a 20% cut in rent, a 25% cut in the kitchen fixed charge and 'an end to an unfair, excessive fine regime.'