The College has threatened that students involved with the strike will have their accommodation revokedLouis Ashworth/VARSITY

Cambridge Students’ Union (SU) has released a statement condemning Clare College for its response to its rent striking students.

In an email sent out last week the College threatened to revoke the accommodation of students involved in the strike for the 2021-22 academic year. It also stated that striking students graduating this year would not be allowed to attend an in-person ceremony.

40 students at Clare have so far signed up to strike.

The SU’s statement says that the SU Sabbatical Team “stand in complete opposition” to the College’s response to the students on rent strike.

It states that the threats “levelled at students” reflect a “complete refusal on the College’s part to acknowledge the hardship that students and staff have experienced over this academic year.”

It goes on to describe the rent strike as a “symptom of general anger” at the Collegiate University’s response to the pandemic throughout the last academic year, “whether in forcing students to return to accommodation in Michaelmas or in offsetting their income losses by committing to job cuts for low-paid workers.”


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Demands of the Clare rent strike campaign, which were released in an open letter published in March this year, include a 30% reduction in rent for Easter Term, better provisions for vulnerable and estranged students, and for the College to commit to charging disabled students no more in rent than the cost of a “standard” room if they require a more expensive room for disability-related reasons.

The College responded to several of the demands in the email sent out last week, maintaining that, with regards to disabled students, the College has always “borne the full cost” of any reasonable adjustments to rooms. It also stated that the 30% rent reduction demanded by the campaign was equal to the waiving of rent for students not in residence for Easter term.

“Instead of issuing threats”, the SU’s statement concludes, “we urge Clare College to negotiate with their students over their demands, and bring the rent strike to a swift resolution.”

Varsity has contacted Clare College for comment.