40 members of the College community have signed up to strikeLouis Ashworth/VARSITY

In an email sent to Clare College students today (07/05), the College informed students that those who do not pay their rent will not be able to return to College accommodation for the 2021-22 academic year, and those due to graduate this year will not be permitted an in-person ceremony.

The email, responding to an open letter sent by the Clare College rent strike campaign, addressed several of the demands that the letter raised.

The email stated that the 30% rent reduction which the campaign called for was equal to the waiving of rent for students not in residence for Easter term.

The original open letter, released in March this year, called for the College to commit to charging disabled students rent of no more than the cost of a “standard” room if they require a more expensive room for disability-related reasons. In the email, the College responded that “the College has always borne the full cost of any reasonable adjustments to a room.”


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Addressing staffing and preventing redundancies, the College stated that “all staff...were paid 100% of their salaries whilst on furlough,” and that staff had access to the Development Office’s emergency fund.

The email follows discussion of the open letter by the College Council at a meeting on May 4th, and attached a copy of an NUS document which stated that, during previous rent strikes, the reasons why students were not evicted had “little to do with law [but] everything to do with the political strength of the campaign.”

Clare College’s rent strike campaign reached their threshold to continue with the campaign earlier this week, with social media posts stating that 40 members of the College community would be participating in the strike.

In the campaign’s response, the strikers stated that they were “appalled at [the] threat to evict rent strikers,” noting that this will remove approximately 15% of the 2021-22 second and third-year students.

The campaign reassured students that “these empty threats are nothing more than scare tactics, aiming to derail our campaign before negotiations have begun. It is simply not realistic for the College to refuse accommodation to 40 of its students.”

The campaign added that they “look forward to constructive discussions with other members of College.”

Clare College has been contacted for comment. This article was updated to include comments from the Clare College Rent Strike campaign.