A UCL student living at Campbell House is unable to re-enroll for the coming academic year
A number of months ago, UCL announced that any UCL student participating in the rent strike would not, as threatened before, be barred from re-enrolling.
However, a resident of Campbell House (one of UCL’s official student halls) who took part in the rent strike this year is reported to have been blocked from re-enrolling for the new academic year.
UCL has said previously that it would withdraw its threat of sanctions, which many see as illegal, but this latest case proves otherwise.
David Dahlborn, last year’s Halls of Residence union representative and the unofficial spokesperson for the rent strike, said,
This is a very significant and incredibly alarming development. Based on what we know UCL appear to have broken their word to not apply academic sanctions to rent strikers at Campbell House. This might also constitute a breach of UCL’s own policy (according to Director of Student Welfare, Denise Long, UCL has no policy to sanction students academically over unpaid rent). It is also likely to be a violation of consumer law.
Numerous former residents have been unable to re-enrol on their courses on portico. UCL’s system states that ‘our records indicate that you have an overdue Residences Fee Debt’ meaning that they ‘cannot enrol.’
Not all students currently withholding rent have been sanctioned, which indicates that this is either an admin error or arbitrary punishment. Either way this is a horrendous failure by management to follow college policy and the law. Once again management have shown that they can’t be trusted and I think this reflects a staggering degree of negligence and incompetence.
Former residents at Campbell have been struggling for over three months for justice over the way UCL has treated them and it is a travesty that the bosses are still punishing protesters in this way.
He went on to say that this may not be the only example of someone being barred from re-enrolling because they could not, for any reason, pay their rent this year.
UCLU is appealing for anyone who cannot re-enroll due to debt to contact the union immediately.
The Director of Student Support and Wellbeing, Denise Long, told Pi,
I have been informed that academic sanctions will not be imposed for residential debts. Students participating in the rent strike will not be prevented from re-enrolling. Some changes need to be made on the student information system to facilitate this and when this is implemented these students can complete the process in the required timeframes.
This has not been the sole problem with the university’s re-enrolment process this summer. On 1 August, many students were told they were able to re-enrol and begin choosing courses, but problems with the system of module selection were found, and the re-enrolment section of Portico was shut down until 14 August.
During the few hours that the re-enrolment section of Portico was operating, 91 students were able to select modules. Although this situation has been solved and no further problems have been reported, the system failure resulted in many students being confused and worried that they may not be able to pick modules that had been over-subscribed in previous years.
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Featured image credit: Holly Philipps