Candidate for the position of Accommodation Officer



Tom and Caitlin's Manifesto


Who are we?

·         Between us we have a lot of experience of politics and campaigning, both within SOAS and outside.

·         Caitlin was the 2nd year Politics Rep last year and has worked with numerous societies at SOAS. Didn’t get into Dinwiddy in first year, as such experienced the difficulties of trying to find somewhere to live with little support

·         Tom has campaigned with groups such as the Radical Housing Network and Brick Lane Debates, as well as issues around student debt and course cuts. Tom lived in Dinwiddy in 1st Year

·         We have both lived in the private rented sector and both have first-hand experiences of the exploitation and grievances many come across in both living situations.

Why are we running?

·         Both of us feel that housing is a stressful and often exploitative experience for many students at SOAS, especially for international students, and one that students don’t receive enough support in dealing with.

·         As Accommodation Officers we want to be approachable, visible and to play an active role in supporting the SOAS community

Our Policies

·         Campaigning SOAS to act as a Guarantor: We want to continue and redouble the campaign to get SOAS to act as a guarantor for students who don’t have one, many universities in London do provide this service- SOAS as an institution needs to do more to support students in difficult circumstances beyond their personal control.

·         SOAS Housing Network: To help avoid exploitation by dodgy landlords and estate agencies for students finding a new house we have already started to set up the SOAS Housing Network. This will be a way that current students could pass the details of their house onto new SOAS students looking to move in.

·         SOAS Couch Surfing: We want to expand SOAS sofas so students who need a bed for a few nights whilst finding permanent accommodation can stay with other students

·         Information sessions in Term 2 for first years: Sessions to for students who are beginning to think about renting for the first time- information on all the practicalities of house hunting

·         Supporting students living in Dinwiddy and protecting their interests: We will campaign for SOAS to keep Dinwiddy as SOAS only halls, and work with students and the resident councils to aid and support any struggles they may face while living there

·         London Student Housing Network: We plan to hold talks with as many other London university housing officers as we can to try to set up a London Student Housing Network that will aim to provide intercollegiate support as well as campaign with other groups to provide students good quality, fair priced housing.

·         More readily accessible information with ALL housing options: We want to increase the amount of information available to students looking for housing, with information about all housing options- including private rental, guardian properties, squatting, house boats etc. This information will be put in one easily accessible place as well as being distributed physically. 

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