St Catherine’s JCR have called a rent strike in protest at the College raising battels charges without consulting students or the College’s Governing Body.
The JCR rent committee claims that the College failed to inform them that students’ rent would be increased by nearly £175 per year, and that they had repeatedly and deliberately ignored attempts to communicate with members of the JCR.
In an email to members of the JCR sent out last Friday, the rent committee condemned the College’s actions and urged students to withhold part of their rent payment for the coming term.
"We believe that the College has acted in a despicable manner in coming to these charges. The College have ignored our emails, and not even informed us of what the charges were going to be, let alone consulting us over them," it said.
The committee also suggested that this was deliberately intended, saying, "They have admitted that it was their plan to actively withhold information about these charges from us."
The strike was called with the backing of OUSU President Martin McCluskey, who said he supported the JCR "wholeheartedly". He also suggested that it was only the possibility of a rent strike which meant the College re-entered negotiations again this week.
"The threat of the rent strike had made the College come back to the table and engage with them [the JCR]. This is hopefully going to end positively," he said.Earlier this week the College reopened negotiations with the JCR. A spokesman for the rent committee said, "We hope to reach an agreement about a fair level for charges and to ultimately get a fair rent deal for students."