#RentRant: The Social Media Campaign Aiming to Cut York Rent
If you’re not crying over your degree, you’re probably crying over your bank account.
YUSU Community and Well Being Officer Steph Hayle has recently shared her frustration regarding the cost of York's accommodation, and it is something that every single student can relate to…
The average cost for a single room with shared facilities falls at £153 per week, meaning that not one of York's colleges offers accommodation below the minimum student maintenance loan. Due to harsh confidentiality agreements this issue has been kept quiet for sometime, however after ploughing through many spreadsheets and analysing the cost of the accommodation Steph's team have decided this issue needs to be public knowledge.
Steph has proposed freezing the current accommodation prices and creating a portfolio of affordable accommodation to serve students most in need of financial support. However, the response she has received is that her ideas are too "radical." In a statement for 'ThatsTV York' the university has said that "Rents at the University of York are set by the University Rents Group which includes representation from the two student unions." This has been disputed by Steph who has said there is no student representation on the board.
Steph has decided that enough is enough and has created the genius idea of #RentRants, a social media campaign that will highlight the expense of student accommodation and force the university to tackle this issue. Steph proposes that students should begin to use the hashtag to express their true feelings towards the cost and standards of living on campus and tag University of York alongside their opinions.
I had to work 3 jobs during term time, and full time every holiday to be able to afford my on campus accomodation whilst studying (1/?)
— Steph Hayle SU – #RentRant #BUStice (@yusuwellbeing) April 24, 2019
University of York have noticed the popular campaign and responded in a tweet stating that they "take all student feedback very seriously and will continue to consult and work with students".
Thank you to @yusuwellbeing and all of the students who have commented about the University's accommodation pricing #rentrant We take all student feedback very seriously and we will continue to consult and work with students.
— University of York (@UniOfYork) April 25, 2019
In response to the tweet Steph has commented that "It's right that the university should be listening to their students but we can talk and talk, but the question is now, what action will be taken by the university to ensure our students get affordable, good quality accommodation, that won't leave them in financial turmoil?"
Additionally, Steph and her office are conducting formalised research to prove how York's accommodation is affecting students. This campaign will be launching towards the end of summer term so that current students are able to fully tear apart the standards and cost of their living.
As part of the student outcry of high rent prices a demonstration, organised by "York Cut the Rent", took place on campus yesterday which began at Greg's Place and saw a protest march to the Vice-Chancellor's office.
You can help voice your anger at the price of accommodation by posting your stories and experiences of on campus accommodation with the #RentRant on all social media platforms.