Socialist Students Northampton
Students at the University of Northampton are coming out in protest against appalling conditions and extortionate rent. As part of our campaign led by Socialist Students, we are preparing to protest to voice our anger and disgust at the housing crisis.
St John’s Halls is a university-owned block of flats, many of which are in dire condition. Students have to pay £153 a week to live in unsafe, unsanitary flats. The campaign’s key demand is that the university takes immediate action to improve living conditions at St John’s Halls and across all student accommodation.
Already, this campaign has been successful in winning one of its demands. At the start of the academic year, the University of Northampton charged an extra week’s rent to students living in St John’s Halls. There was no prior notification and it was not mentioned in the contracts. But a groundswell of student anger forced the university to reverse their decision and repay all St John’s residents in full. It’s obvious that university management is afraid of this campaign and it shows what we can do when we organise.
Where does the rent go?
Although we won the rent refund, we will continue to fight for better living conditions. Many flats have no running water, hobs and ovens don’t work (which the bosses fail to fix) and there are wide gaps underneath doors – a major issue for fire safety and privacy. Students complain of showers not working, poor heating and broken plug sockets. You have to question where the extortionate rent we pay actually goes?
At the last meeting of Socialist Students, campaigners came together in preparation for a protest, making placards, writing speeches and coming up with chants for the big day. The university has already been forced to roll back one of its greedy attacks on student living conditions. With mass coordinated action, just think what could be achieved. Join us in the fight for decent living conditions. Protest on Wednesday 8 November 4pm, University of Northampton Waterside Campus outside the Engine Shed.
- The campaign demands that the University of Northampton:
- Take immediate action to improve living conditions
- Introduce rent controls in all student accommodation
- Launch a mass building programme with the local council of good-quality, affordable housing for students and local people
- No evictions for students who can’t afford rent
- Emergency cost-of-living grants for all
- Ban agency and contract fees