Magdalen students begin hall strike

Magdalen JCR members opposed to increased catering charges are spending fourth to sixth Week as ‘hall refugees’, after their motion to go on strike from Magdalen Hall has come into effect

.Meg Trainor, President of the striking JCR, stated, “At the General Meeting on Sunday 7 October, Magdalen JCR voted to go on Hall strike from 22 October until 4 November. As College did not change their position on the charge in the interim, the strike began on Monday. All JCR members have been boycotting Hall, and many have volunteered to provide alternative food options during the strike. On Monday 22 October, JCR volunteers served over 80 portions of homemade lunch and dinner to fellow JCR members.”

The college’s bursary justified the proposed catering charge as a deficit reduction method for the catering department. One option for future students included a termly redeemable £150 charge and an additional termly fixed charge of up to £70. The proposals were rejected by 80% of the JCR, which published a detailed document criticising the charges as, “unnecessary and deeply unfair.” 

Third year PPPist Kate Eccles is serving soup and a roll at lunch for £1. Proceeds go towards a local charity. She said, “We thought that what people needed in this time of crisis was a nice bit of soup… We had a good turnout yesterday; we sold about 30 bowls of soup which was great.”

Magdalen’s Grove D Kitchen has been providing meals from  £3 Third year Chemist Elena Harty, one of the volunteers cooking there, said, “Morale is great; everyone’s doing a great job to make this a success, both in and out of the college. So many other colleges have offered their support and we really appreciate it.”

JCR Presidents at the third week Intercollegiate Presidents’ Committee offered their support. Queen’s President Jane Cahill asked her JCR “to invite a Magdalenite to dinner to quell their hunger, and to make sure they are meeting their dietary requirements and they resist the temptation to break the strike.’