A University of Leicester rent protest organised by the Rent Strike team took place on campus on June 1st.
The rent strike aimed to get ‘justice’ for the students on their accommodation this year, which many feel they have not had due to the pandemic.
The University of Leicester announced a 50% rebate to students from 4 January to 16 May for students who did not occupy their accommodation.
Signs including ‘uni rebate worse than Katie Hopkins’ and ‘should have gone DMU’ were marched around the university campus.
Culum Bond, a first-year student who attended the protest, stated: “It was very lively, with a decent turnout. I spoke on the megaphone and gave a speech.
“We spoke about how unfair the rent and other situations were for students this year. We were joined by student socialists, the UCU and some lecturers on campus in solidarity with the movement.
“Everyone was excited and loud, and we stayed for over an hour reiterating our demands and retelling experiences of other students. Overall, it went very well I believe.”
A spokesperson for the UoL rent strike group stated: “I believe this is the first protest of many. We were subtle and majestic in this sense however justice is far from being done.
“I hope the vice-chancellor and the executive, and the accommodation team can now start to read the room because we have been robbed.
“This year’s enrolment of students has proved that we will not be sickened by the establishment. I could not thank the activists more for turning up. I’m so grateful everyone has collectivised to stand up to injustice.”
Martyn Riddleston, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Leicester said:
“We are aware that this has been an extremely challenging time for our students. As a University, we remain committed to providing the best education and experience possible for our students.
“We have worked hard to ensure that accommodation rebates are issued to those who live in the University’s own halls of residence and who have not made use of their accommodation since the start of the Spring term due to COVID-19.
“Eligible students living in private accommodation may also claim one-off financial support to help cover living costs, including rent. Students can also access our COVID hardship fund for additional support.”
Emily Herbert is a first-year student of Journalism at the University of Leicester, with further aspirations of pursuing a career in TV