UoM students occupying adminstration tower block. Photo: Sally Rogers / cropped original image UoM students occupying adminstration tower block. Photo: Sally Rogers / cropped original image

The University of Manchester’s offer for a 5% rent reduction is an insult and students will continue their occupation and renew the rent strike for the January term, writes Lucy Nichols

The University of Manchester today announced that it would reduce their rent by two weeks’ worth of rent – more or less 5% overall, or 20% of one term. 

The Students Union has signed off on this ‘deal’ without consulting the Tower Occupiers, or anyone from UoM Rent Strike. The University of Manchester also failed to approach Tower Occupiers with these new conditions.

The University is lauding this as a huge victory and has been promoting this across their social media almost as a concession to the demands of the strikers and occupiers, and unfortunately, it seems some students are viewing it as a win. This is false; the original demand of the rent strike and of the occupation has always been a 40% reduction in overall rent.

It is also important to clarify that after five days of occupation, we have still not had any official communication from university management at all, and it looks unlikely that we will. At the moment it seems the university’s tactic is to slowly concede to more of our demands without actually meeting with us, or at least pretending to concede.

As Tower Occupiers, we are massively disappointed in the University for its treatment of all students since September, and also massively disappointed in the Student’s Union for making a deal without consulting us.

The University of Manchester has repeatedly let students down, whether with fences, riot vans or racist security guards. It is a shame that the Students Union appears to be equally unconcerned with the safety of students on campus.

The organisations involved in the occupation 9k 4 WhatUoM Rent Strike and Students B4 Profit will continue to fight for the wellbeing of students on campus.

We will not be leaving this tower until our demands are met, and another rent strike will be taking place when the second round of rent is due to go out in January.

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