Two banners were successfully dropped at Robinson on ThursdayMathias Gjesdal Hammer

The Robinson College Cut the Rent campaign held a stunt on Thursday in the latest development of its fight against high room rents. Shortly after midday, campaigners dropped three banners in prominent places.

The campaigners’ main banner, which would have been visible from the road in front of the college, could not be hung and was immediately wrapped because of the wind. However, the other two banners were successfully dropped, one above the Red-Brick Café and the other hung out of the JCR windows. The banners read “Cut the Rent” and “Rip-off Robinson”.

The college reaction was strict and swift: the attempt to hang the vertical banner outside the college entrance was immediately shut down by porters, reeled up instantly. They allegedly confiscated another of the banners. Speaking to Varsity, campaigners Matt Kite and Stella Swain insisted that the banners had garnered “attention from students, staff and visitors at the college during the lunchtime rush for the buttery.”

The action follows discussions between the college and campaigners about their petition calling for a 20% rent cut and changes to room banding, which garnered 199 signatures. The college committed to increase the number of the lowest-priced ‘Value’ rooms, though it refused to make concessions on campaigners’ central demand – the price of accommodation.

At present, Robinson students pay a residence charge, fixed for three years. As it stands, all but three of the 2017-entry year group pay in excess of £1600 for a lease restricted to ten weeks only.


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The Robinson Cut the Rent campaign was initiated in Michaelmas 2017 by a group of Robinson undergraduates, supported by the Robinson College Student Association (RCSA). The campaign is affiliated to Cambridge Cut the Rent, which provides support and coordinates between the rent campaigns university-wide.

Kite told Varsity that the banner drops were in response to what he described as the “college’s intransigence in rent negotiations and refusal to listen to students about the unaffordable cost of living in Robinson College.”

Swain said: “Robinson students face unfairly high rents that are an access problem for the college and a welfare issue for its students. College authorities must take students’ actions today as evidence that students are angry at their intransigence, and will keep pushing for more affordable rents for all. Cambridge Cut the Rent supports Robinson students in their fight against the extortionate cost of living at Robinson.”

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