79 students signed the Rent Strike Campaign’s open letterLouis Ashworth/VARSITY

Rent Strike Robinson announced yesterday afternoon (12/05) that it has called off its campaign after six months.

In a statement uploaded to its Facebook page the group stated that the decision was taken due to participants being “worried about loss of access to bursaries and paying interest” and “punishment from a college that refuses to listen.”

This came a day before the deadline for payment of rent at the College.

79 students signed Rent Strike Robinson’s open letter, which demanded a 30% rent reduction for the 2020/21 academic year and a permanent 10% rent reduction henceforth.

The letter described rates of rent at Robinson as “exorbitant”, before touching on a number of other grievances centred on remote learning, job security and welfare. The college’s “treatment of staff” is singled out and the letter alleges that “the Christmas bonus given to staff each year… has not been given out”. The letter also highlights “a stark disparity in the way it has treated low vs high paid staff”.

The announcement has come less than a week after Clare College threatened to revoke the accommodation of rent-striking students and prevent graduating students from attending in-person ceremonies.


Mountain View

Clare College threaten to revoke accommodation for rent striking students

The group is an affiliate of Rent Strike Cambridge which announced last month (26/04) that students of at least ten Cambridge colleges were planning to withhold rent during Easter Term. The planned strikes involve students at Sidney Sussex, Newnham, Lucy Cavendish, Clare, Girton, Peterhouse, Murray Edwards, Kings and Jesus.

Rent Strike Cambridge has produced a variety of resources for students considering participating in the strikes, such as guidance on ‘how to NOT pay your rent’ which provides instructions on how to withhold manual rent payments or cancel automatic bank transfer payments to colleges.

In its statement, Rent Strike Robinson confirmed that “Rent strikes at other colleges are going ahead” before insisting that the group remains “very much alive” and that its “demands still stand”, concluding: “Brick by brick, we can make Robinson a better place.”

Varsity has contacted Robinson College for comment.