Rent protesters plan to disrupt June open days

Durham Students for University Reform (DSUR) has committed to undertaking direct action during the June open days on the Durham Campus.

DSUR has led a year-long campaign against high college rents at Durham, which have risen to £6,819 for catered accommodation for the 2015/16 academic year.

The Students’ Union Assembly recently endorsed a motion calling for a two year freeze in an attempt to slam the brakes on the upward spiral in college rents, which have risen by 20% in three years, with a clear knock-on effect for the levels of rent charged by landlords in Durham City.

Sofia Hewson, co-chair of DSUR said: “The university has not responded to this important motion adopted by the official representative body of Durham students. In the absence of a clear commitment to freeze college rents we feel obliged to continue our campaign during the June open days.”

DSUR held a meeting this week to discuss its plan of action for the open days, which are on the 22nd and 27th June. The plan adopted by members envisions a greater level of disruption than occurred during similar protests during open days in March on the same issue.

In February, DSUR organised the largest student protest at Durham in 14 years on the issue of high college rents. It since organised follow-up campaigns in March and in April passed a motion in the DSU calling for a freeze on rents and condemning the rent crisis in Durham city.

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