Students send Principal 450-signature letter demanding cheaper accommodation

They delivered the letter, in person, to Professor Sally Mapstone this afternoon


St Andrews students have submitted a petition and open letter to the Principal of the university demanding more affordable accommodation.

The Campaign for Affordable Student Housing (CASH) submitted their petition to the Professor Sally Mapstone and Mr Ben Stuart, the Director, Residential and Business Services.

They currently have 468 signatures, which they told The St Andrews Tab signifies a strong student demand for their aims.

They submitted this morning and have yet to receive a direct reply from the Principle. Sean Nwachukwu, a member of CASH, told The St Andrews Tab, "The University has a commitment to widening access and providing a top quality student experience. We hope that highlighting some issues in our letter we can work together to find solutions and ensure St Andrews is open to all."

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A member of CASH in front of the now closed Albany Park accommodation

CASH have also presented their questions about affordable housing to the candidates of the Senior Lay Member Election, taking place on the 28th and 29th November.

Catherine Stihler expressed support for "the campaign for more affordable student accommodation."

Likewise, her opponent Adrian Greer stated that if accommodation cost is seen to be a barrier by students then "that's something the university needs to be addressing in every way it can."

A spokesperson for the University of St Andrews said: "We have invited the authors of the petition to meet us to discuss their concerns and claims, all of which are understandable, but several of which are founded on misconceptions.

"We are committed to playing our part in sustaining a balanced and fair community in St Andrews.

"The University already provides more accommodation for students per head than any other UK university, and will continue with work to build another 900 rooms for students as well as developing a 64-bed affordable housing scheme for our early career staff and postgraduate students.

"All of this is underpinned by a bursary scheme, introduced at the specific request of the Students’ Association, which ensures that significant financial support is available for students, whether they choose to live in university accommodation, or the private sector."

You can find more details about C.A.S.H on their Facebook page here, or view the open letter here.

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