By Oliver Price – News Manager
The President of Hertfordshire Students’ Union, Grainne O’Monghain, has revealed that she has put arguments forward to the University of Hertfordshire, stating that the range between the least and most expensive halls available to students is ‘disgusting’ and ‘one of the worst in the country.’
O’Monghain has also said she doesn’t agree with a proposed 2.3% increase in accommodation rents, and has brought this up at ‘every committee [O’Monghain] sits on’.
The Hertfordshire SU President went on to state that she has managed to get the University of Hertfordshire to agree that the rent should only go up by a ‘maximum of 1.9%’.
She also said she had ‘pushback’ when trying to decrease the lower range, but she has asked to ‘freeze [the rent of] Telford,’ because it was ‘the right thing to do.’
The cost of a room at Telford Court in 2000-01 was £59.00 per week, which, if risen with inflation, would be £92.36 now, compared the £120.33 a week it currently costs. This means a difference of nearly £28 a week, or approximately 30%.
When asked if she believed her proposed rent freeze was ‘too little, too late’, O’Monghain answered:
“Yes… if I did have the power to go back and start the arguments then and start the fighting then, I would do what I’m doing now, a maximum of inflation. I find that when I bang on about something enough and enough and enough, I usually then eventually start to get my way.
“It’s a sad fact that all we can do at the Union is influence decisions.
“I don’t think it’s too little too late… if I could go back, I would try stop it from getting to where it is.
“I won’t give up the fight.”
In an interview with Quintin McKellar, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, he said: “We will try and ensure that the rental increases are not above inflation, to make sure that students here are getting a good deal relative to students at other universities.”