Exeter hall boycott receives cross-college support

Common rooms across the University have pledged their support for the Exeter hall boycott this week.

At the time of writing, eight JCRs and St Cross SRC (Student Representative Committee) had passed motions in solidarity with Exeter.

The motions come after a request for support was issued on the Exeter Hallternatives Facebook page. A suggested JCR motion, posted on the page, states that the JCR in question will “call on Exeter College to shoulder more of the burden for hall running costs”.

It adds that the JCR will “express support of Exeter JCR and MCR in their struggles”.

Jesus and Balliol have expressed their support by donating money and food to the CTCC campaign.

A motion passed at a GM at Balliol on Sunday means that the JCR will donate £50. Xavier Cohen, first year PPE student and proposer of the motion, commented: “The motion was there to not only declare Balliol’s support, but also to provide real material solidarity with the financially-struggling CTCC.

“This should allow activists in Exeter JCR to buy kitchen equipment and food for the hungry revolutionaries.  Even though there’s reason to support the motion out of self-interest, as the outcome of the battels in Exeter College will set a precedent that could affect all other JCRs directly, altruism was in the air at Sunday’s GM.”

A motion of solidarity was also passed unanimously by Jesus, despite the traditional rivalry between the Turl Street colleges. The JCR will be donating the equivalent of one week’s welfare budget to Exeter, in the form of food. Suggestions were made at the GM that this be in the form of fish and loaves of bread.

Jesus JCR President, Leo Gebbie, said it is “fantastic to see Jesus students putting aside our differences with Exeter in order to support their hall boycott”.

He added: “Whilst we’ve done this formally in terms of stating our support for the Exeter cause, we also hope that donating a welfare hamper should help to raise the morale of Exonians and provide them with the energy to continue their lobbying”.

Richard Collett-White, Exeter JCR president, expressed his gratitude for the University-wide support. He commented: “The JCR is delighted that students from across the university are standing by us in our struggle for a more affordable catering system at Exeter.”

“This strengthens the campaign by drawing ever more attention to our undesirable situation – and student living costs more broadly,” he added.

Navjeev Singh, JCR President at St Peter’s, said: “We support Exeter JCR’s movement and believe that they are doing the right thing by acting towards the improvement of the standard of living of the JCR members. We also believe in JCRs supporting each other, especially in cases where certain JCRs are subject to what seems like really unfair catering charges.

“I will liaise with the Exeter JCR President to see if we could assist them in any way. Personally, I applaud the initiative of communal cooking that is taking place within Exeter JCR and think it is an amazing way to boost JCR spirit.”

The Exeter boycott has now entered its third week. An open meeting between students, the Rector and Deputy Bursar took place on Tuesday afternoon.