Refund and ban rent for accommodation students cannot access due to COVID

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Falmouth University’s decision to demand rent money from students for halls of residence which they cannot legally return to is unjust and unethical.

Many students are stuck at home due to the lockdown restrictions or associated personal requirements, where some are paying parents and landlords money to keep a roof over their heads. By the Halls of Residence manager’s own admission, there are only 400 of 1450 rooms currently occupied on campus, and yet students are having to pay full price for facilities that less than a third of students are actually using.

Falmouth University claims it is unable to continue subsidising students rent fees due to lack of funds, without consideration for the students whose personal funds have been dwindling due to Coronavirus. Students are pointed to apply for hardship grants but this doesn’t address the issue that charging money for a service that is not being provided is a breach of students' consumer rights. They have decided instead to invest in half-baked wellbeing schemes which are insufficient in alleviating the stress experienced by many students due to this decision, and the meaningless promise of an extension of access to facilities into the summer as compensation for the extortion of rent. Falmouth students are already paying full price for arts courses that have been mis-sold and almost entirely moved online, and first-years have been neglected. 

Please help us demand action to be taken to refund students and freeze rent payments for students unable to access accommodation in line with the University of Exeter's policy.

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