Sam Fearnley reports on the Hawkridge House hearing
The rent strike for Hawkridge House was started in April 2015, after students complained about the conditions of the hall, including the presence of mice, and ongoing noisy construction works.
On the 25th of November a hearing saw representatives from both Hawkridge House and UCL discuss the existing situation.
The panel consisted of Dr. Caroline Essex (MAPS Faculty Tutor), Asad Khan (Activities and Events Officer), and Rex Knight (Vice Provost (Operations)), who was the chair of the hearing.
William Wilson and Colin Plank were representing the UCL Student Residences, and Angus O’Brien (Halls Accommodation Representative) was representing the Hawkridge House residents.
The verdict of the hearing has not yet been released, although Hawkridge House residents will surely be hoping to receive a similar compensation to their Campbell House counterparts, as well as, perhaps, an apology.
With regard to the initial problems at Hawkridge House, one resident stated:
“UCL has been very accommodating by stopping construction during the crucial period of exams. However, there are a number of issues that remain unattended. One of the major issues being the living condition which is worsened by the presence of mice. Paying a meagre amount of £132 in apparent “good faith” looks like nothing but a price to shut the residents up without making up for the loss we had to suffer throughout the only year that we will be spending in London.”
So far, the residents of Hawkridge House, who were resident during the 14/15 academic year, have only been compensated for the equivalent of one week’s rent.
A resident at Hawkridge House last year said:
“We are not going to pay until we get proper compensation… What they offered is one week, but we don’t think that’s at all fair because the disruption has been going on more than one week.”
The hearing has received little promotion, either by UCL or the Union.
Featured image credit: University College London Union