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Corpus Christi rent to rise by 9%

first_imgCorpus Christi students are facing the prospect of having their rent fees increased by 9%, which would be applied as early as the upcoming academic year.Suggestions for the increase were announced by Ben Ruck Keene, Estates Bursar for Corpus Christi, at a meeting with the college JCR last Wednesday, June 9th.“On the one hand, the college and the University in general are trying to encourage those from all backgrounds to apply to Oxford. On the other hand, they make it increasingly difficult for those who are less well off to feasibly see this through” says Corpus Christi JCR Equal Opportunities Rep Jahan Meeran.“There seems to be an element of hypocrisy in all of this,” Meeran added. ” We won’t take this lying down.”A petition has been put forward by the JCR, which has been signed by over 76 students, including the OUSU Rent Officer. 78 people have emailed complaints to the Corpus Christi JCR President.A further discussion between the Domestic Bursar and the student body is scheduled for this upcoming Monday. The meeting will take place just two days before the college governing body is expected decide at a fees review whether to approve the suggestion for a rent increase.Seb Baird, Corpus Christi JCR President, described the 9% increase as “unfair” and said “the fact that the bursar waited until seventh week to tell us this figure is worrying.”“In real terms, it represents £300 per year or 10 days part time work in the vacation. Students should pay for somewhere to live, not to protect college from running a deficit.”This proposed increase would result in accommodation fees being higher than the current student maintenance loan threshold for some students.However, Baird feels that students should “shoulder some of the burden.” He thinks the JCR and MCR have proposed a 5% rent increase instead. This suggestion would amount to £56,500 less than a 9% increase.One of the reasons stated for the call for higher rent fees is that the Corpus Christi income streams have been reduced. The college has also increased its expenditure on building repairs and on giving the non-academic staff a raise. The rent rise has been suggested in order to avoid decreasing the College’s endowment, which is currently estimated at £58 million.Corpus Christi OUSU Representative Sarah Santhosham commented “While I fully support proposals to increase the wages of non-academic staff, I think it is unfair to pass on the cost of this to students, particularly when student loans have been frozen for the academic year 2010-2011.”OUSU Rent Officer, Charlotte Carnegie, also expressed concern about “the impact this will have on the welfare and financial security” of students.Carnegie said, “Student loans are frozen, the college is also freezing its bursary system, and a rent rise of this magnitude will affect the budgets and financial stability of members of college at a time when they will find it difficult to receive support.“In my opinion the college should look to its endowment first, and be reluctant to pass on deficit costs to students.”David and Ed Miliband have commented on the rent negotiations, see the video below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQy3ChICeYM&feature=player_embeddedlast_img read more