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LSE Students: Rent Strike Update (2)

Clarification (May 26, 2020 @ 11:40 BST): There has been some confusion as to the content of this update. The LSE rent strike has not failed, and LSE students continue to strike as before. The LSE administration has refused to bail out students, but this has nothing to do with Sanctuary Students, nor does it affect the #SanctuaryStrike. Please rest assured that we will continue to strike until we achieve our goals!


#SSRentStrike Update: May 26, 2020


Hey Rent Strikers,


Sorry I’ve been out of touch for a while, I haven’t forgotten about you! I am now finished my summatives, so I will be far more active moving forward. I have a couple updates for you today, as well as a call to action for anyone who is finished their summatives/exams and wants to help advance the cause.


The LSE has ultimately decided that they will not be bailing out LKH students. This is because due to the pandemic, they have lost a ton of money, and are being forced to borrow money to operate. As such, they are cutting any non-essential costs, and unfortunately we fall under that category.

What this means for us is that while we know they tacitly support us, they will not be stepping in with bailout funds. The LSESU and I have therefore decided to move forward with the #PartofLSE? Campaign, which is aiming to raise awareness about our situation amongst important LSE personnel (i.e.: Governons, alumni, etc.), as well as incoming students who may be planning on staying at LKH or privately-owned halls in the future.


In addition to this, we are starting to consider the possibility that taking legal action may be necessary for SS to buckle. We have received advice from an LSE Governor who is a lawyer, and we are weighing our options in terms of how we would approach such an undertaking. Until now, SS has been extraordinarily resistant to our movement, and we think that escalating may be the only way we can hope to receive a different response. I am meeting with the LSESU on Wednesday to discuss this and other issues, and will report back once I know what route we are taking.


On another note, some of you may be looking to have someone take over your room at some point. If you are striking, unfortunately you will have to pay your remaining instalment to be able to do so. I am not going to say whether or not this is worth doing, as I don’t personally have enough information to make that judgment. What I will say, however, is that since we do not know when lockdown restrictions will be easing, it is hard to know when new residents will realistically be able to move in/take over the rooms. I urge everyone to make the choice that they think is right for them, but do keep in mind that you will be on the hook for the final instalment if you decide to try to find a takeover.


Finally, as I mentioned in my May 15 update, I do not want to add any extra stress on top of exams and summatives. However, if - like me - you are now finished with your exams/summatives and find yourself with much more time on your hands, please know that we are escalating the intensity of the campaign starting this week. We will be moving forward with the #PartofLSE? Campaign, and we need as much help as we can get. I will be sharing materials to post/share/comment on social media, please do so if you can. Additionally, we will be starting to reach out to incoming students about the campaign, if you have access to any incoming groups on Facebook/WhatsApp/etc., please either forward them to me, or post our campaign materials in them. I know we are all tired of this and just want it to end, but ironically, very similarly to COVID-19, it’s not just going to go away on it’s own. Both SS and the LSE are hoping that we will just forget about this and buckle, but if we do, we lose. We need to keep putting pressure on people, and we can’t do this without you.

Last but not least, thank you everyone. This campaign has been long and exhausting, and I know that we were all hoping it would be wrapped up by now. I want to assure you that if you are feeling tired, discouraged, or frustrated, you’re not alone. This situation sucks, and it’s terrible that we’re still in it. I have not lost hope, though, and I hope you don’t either. I genuinely believe that SS didn’t expect us to hold out this long, and there is something very satisfying in proving them wrong and showing them that they can’t just walk all over students and get away with it.

I am back to being fully involved in the campaign again, so please feel free to reach out if you are looking for ways to help out. Thank you again for everything, you guys rock.

In solidarity,

Tama

Reminder from the May 15 update:

  1. If you have left LKH permanently but left items behind, please arrange for those items to be moved out and stored. This is direct advice from Andrew Young. If you are worried about the logistics of this, please contact Zulum and David from the LSESU for advice. (su.generalsecretary@lse.ac.uk ; su.communitywelfare@lse.ac.uk)

  2. If you are worried about the cost of moving/storage, the LSESU have hardship funds available to cover this expense. Please visit the LSESU website for more details: https://www.lsesu.com/advice/suhardshipfunds/

  3. If anyone is threatened with any sort of legal action, PLEASE LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY. If possible, obtain written or recorded proof (either by filming the incident, or getting them to confirm what they have said in writing by e-mail). Any evidence to this effect would most likely force the LSE to intervene immediately, which would expedite our desired outcomes immensely.


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