Rent Strike Cambridge drop demand for permanent 10% rent reduction

Louis Mian 11 January 2021
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Rent Strike Cambridge have announced changed demands following an open meeting held by the group on 6th January. Notably, they have scrapped their call for a permanent 10% decrease in rent fees and have increased the demand for a rent reduction this academic year from 30% to 50%.

The rent strikers stated that ‘it should not be the case that the most vulnerable students are financially disadvantaged because they cannot stay at home’ and that ‘all those who have pledged to strike but who won’t be here this term should carry their support through to Easter term.’

The group have also introduced a new demand, that ‘the university implements no detriment policies and allows all non-finalists to proceed to their next year of study’ and called upon the university to work ‘with students to develop these policies.’

‘It’s absolutely essential that the University offer students no detriment policies this year. Students should not be expected to produce the same quality of work they would under normal circumstances.’

‘Failure to implement this policy would be a significant oversight with regards to students’ mental health.’

This follows a statement by the Russell Group, which includes Cambridge, on Thursday (7th January) that they ‘do not consider that using the same algorithmic approach to provide individual “no detriment” or “safety net” policies, which were introduced by some institutions as an emergency measure at the end of the last academic year, is necessary or appropriate this year.’

The Russell Group said they made this decision because ‘universities are confident that the steps taken this year will ensure all students are given a fair trade.’

The Tab reported yesterday that Cambridge University have confirmed its agreement with Russell Group’s decision, with a university spokesperson stating, ‘Cambridge will not be adopting a “no detriment”, or safety net, policy in assessing students’ work this year.’

‘More details on a package of measures will be released later this Term, following consultation with Faculties, Departments and student representatives, to safeguard student achievements from the impacts of the pandemic and the quality and integrity of a Cambridge degree,’ the spokesperson continued.

Rent Strike Cambridge restated their demand for the university to give all students ‘permission to carry out their studies remotely should they wish to for the remainder of this academic year.’

The demands that the university and colleges ‘commit to no Covid-19 job losses’ and ‘take no disciplinary action against rent strikers’ have also been maintained by the group.

This comes after an announcement, last month, that over 500 Cambridge students have decided to go on rent strike.