Cambridge Rent Strike postpone strike until next term

The decision was made to ensure that the ‘strike is able to include as many students as possible’

Rent Strike Cambridge have postponed the rent strike planned for Lent term, following a recent open meeting.

This follows the national lockdown, which has prevented many students from returning to Cambridge, and the university’s decision to waive rent for students not returning to Cambridge.

The campaign told the Tab Cambridge the decision has been made to ensure that the “strike is able to include as many students as possible” and reduce the risk of disciplinary action for participating students.

A poster for the rent strike campaign (Photo credit: @RentStrikeCam via Twitter)

This comes amidst fears that there would not be sufficient numbers of rent strikers eligible to pay rent to ensure a safe strike.

Over 500 students had already pledged to “withhold rent” in Lent term.

Previously, the campaign stressed that rent strikes would not go ahead unless significant numbers of students in each college had signed up, which equates to 30-50 students per college. They argued this would reduce the risk of colleges taking disciplinary action.

Rent Strike Cambridge told the Tab they want to ensure that “the responsibility of the collective action of withholding rent isn’t put on the shoulders of a minority of students who have returned for Lent term.”

The campaign said: “We welcome the progress made in the university’s decision to waive rent for those not coming back, however this decision has created more issues than it has solved.

“The most vulnerable students (whether financially, physically or for mental health reasons) have been disproportionately affected by this announcement.

“As stated by the government’s, and the university’s own, guidance those who have returned have done so for exceptional reasons”, such as a lack of appropriate workspace at home, homelessness, or instances of abuse.”

Hence, Rent Strike Cambridge told the Tab: “It is grossly unfair that it is these students who are forced, due to circumstances outside of their control, to pay rent.”

Students at the banner drop at Garrett Hostel Lane Bridge Photo credit: Rent Strike Cambridge

They point to the university’s and college’s response to the lockdown as further reasons to rent strike in the future.

The campaign told the Tab Cambridge: “We hope students are able to see the university’s lack of regard for our mental health and well-being in their appallingly uneven approach to allowing students to return this term, as well as their refusal to implement a no-detriment policy – something we are demanding as part of our strike.

“We urge anyone feeling frustrated or disappointed with the university’s failure to address student concerns to make a difference and get their voice heard by joining next term’s rent strike!”

Cambridge students can find out more about joining the rent strike here

All image credits, including Feature image, to Rent Strike Cambridge

The University Press Office has been contacted for comment. 

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