Exeter students protest over “unfair” catering charge

College News News

Students at Exeter marched in protest yesterday over the college’s “unfair” catering charge.

The campaign team behind the protest decorated window’s in the college’s Front Quad with signs reading “Most expensive college in Oxford” and “No food without a fight”.

The 40-strong group of campaigners spilled out into Turl Street and Broad Street, chanting slogans and holding signs reading “Less cash for mash” and “We’ve got beef”. JCR members led the march, and were cheered by nearby MCR members afterwards.

The £840 charge is payable by all students, but charges for individual meals are also paid on top of this sum.

Frances Beddow, a second-year History and English student who participated in the protest, described the system as “unfair”.

“It’s about time college started listening. Hopefully they will now take notice,” she said. Protester Nat Levine agreed, and pointed out that Exeter is the “most expensive college in Oxford”.

A second-year student who did not wish to be named expressed her hopes that the college would change course.

“It’s about time change happened. People have been seeking change on this for four or five years now, but the college has not listened.”

“I feel like it’s happening now,” she added.

The protesters held a banner making workshop in the JCR on Tuesday.

The protest was also covered on Twitter with protestors using the hashtag “#CTCC”, standing for “cut the catering charge”. Balliol PPE student Xavier Cohen, part of the Oxford Activist Network, tweeted: “Protest at Exeter College against a mandatory annual catering charge of £840. #CTCC #hallidarity”.

The charge has been widely condemned around Oxford, with OUSU President Tom Rutland citing Exeter as evidence of high living costs in Oxford. Last week, Rector Frances Cairncross said she had offered to discuss the charge with students.



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