UoN calls rent strikers ‘unofficial protest group’ and says it won’t negotiate
‘How can you be an official protest group?’
In response to Notts Uni Rent Strike’s occupation of the Engineering and Science Learning Centre, UoN has said they will not negotiate or consider any of their demands.
A spokesperson for the university described the occupation as an “unofficial protest group” and defended the university’s track record over the last year.
Meanwhile, Notts Uni Rent strike told The Nottingham Tab it was “laughable” that UoN refuses to speak to them given the amount of support students have for their cause and added, “How can you be an official protest group?”
Notts Uni Rent Strike are seeking refunds for all students across the university, for both tuition and rent. They said to The Nottingham Tab: “No one has got their money’s worth this year but they [UoN] are refusing to enter into a discourse with us about giving rebates.
“As Shearer West said herself, you don’t just pay for the teaching. You pay for all the things surrounding the degree experience. Yet, we’ve been inside for a year.”
However, the university has defended its actions over the last year and towards Notts Uni Rent Strike. “We are doing everything we can to support students’ education, welfare and finances during the national lockdowns and restrictions…While we facilitate peaceful and respectful protest, we will not be negotiating or considering any demands from unofficial protest groups,” a spokesperson for UoN said.
Following the release of the statement, Notts Uni Rent Strike told us: “We don’t know how you can be an official protest group because that kind of defeats the point.”
They also refute the suggestion that using ‘official’ channels will result in change. In fact, the group claim they’ve tried it and failed.
“We did try to go through the SU [Students’ Union] for months,” they said. “But nothing happened.” This in spite of having 1200 people willing to rent strike.
“The fact they [UoN] don’t want to talk with us is laughable. Students obviously care. There’s been so much outrage,” the group says.
The occupiers are staying in ESLC regardless. They say they will remain until their demands are met.
Here’s the full statement from UoN: “Staff and students can continue to access the building, and we are monitoring the situation to ensure students protest peacefully and safely. In this most challenging of years for the country, we are doing everything we can to support students’ education, welfare and finances during the national lockdowns and restrictions.
“The University has not charged for unused accommodation since January and has made more than £1.75 million available to support students facing financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic. While we will facilitate peaceful and respectful protest, we will not be negotiating or considering any demands from unofficial protest groups.”