Brunel Student Justice has been launched at Brunel university to fight the way management has handled the pandemic.
They have launched a petition, which has already achieved hundreds of signatures. The petition and demands can be read below:
Rent Strike At Brunel
Students are currently paying Brunel £9,000 in fees for this year’s education, the cost is up to double that for international students. This is despite the fact that our experience has been completely disrupted by Coronavirus – something the university has been planning for since summer. Online classes cannot provide the same quality education, and in person teaching has been extremely limited. Many International Students were accepted late onto their courses, spent money and time getting to the UK only to be told they were too late for blended learning.
Now, it has been announced that from January there will be a huge disruption to the availability of in-person teaching, which was already extremely limited. Despite this predictable line of events, we were asked to come back on the promise of quality and accessible blended learning.
We are spending thousands paying for accommodation that serves most of us no purpose. The blame for this lies with university management.
- REFUND: A full refund for term 1, including rent and tuition fees.
- OPEN THE BOOKS: Access to the university’s finances. We should get a precise breakdown of how much is being spent on what. How much of our rent money is re-invested in maintenance of the halls? If not, where does the money go?
- STUDENT DEMOCRACY: There should be students involved in the management of the university’s finances. Students should play an active role in the decision making process. This is the only way we can hope to prevent similar situations in the future.
On top of this, Brunel Student Justice social media is filled with complaints from students concerning their accommodation.
The campaign at Brunel joins nearly 20 other universities currently on strike. Students all over the country are angry, and the strikes have shown that this anger can be channelled into a movement that wins real concessions if we organise.
For example, students at the University of Manchester (UoM) recently scored a victory in their rent strike, receiving a 30% reduction in rent for this term, and a 10% reduction for the rest of the year.
This has given confidence to students elsewhere to follow suit. It is now time for all the rent strikes to coordinate with each other nationally, to build a powerful movement that stands up to profiteering landlords and universities.
If you are at Brunel, sign the petition and get involved! If you are elsewhere, contact the MSF to see if we can organise a similar campaign at your university.