It’s one thing if a student is struggling to pay rent right now, but encouraging a rent strike helps no one. Things like this will create more problems.

Campus Reform reports:

UF students receive email encouraging them NOT to pay rent

University of Florida student and 3-year apartment resident Victoria Someillan was intrigued when the words “COVID-19 RENT STRIKE NOW” appeared in her email inbox on Monday morning.

“This is something that’s been talked a lot between my friends and I…seeing someone take the initiative to contact students is very thoughtful,” Someillan told Campus Reform.

Someillan was pleasantly surprised when University of Florida Student Government Senator Zachariah Chou sent out an email Monday morning discussing the topic of rent relief for UF students. The email encouraged students to send emails to Gov. Ron DeSantis and proposed a rent strike in the local community of Gainesville, Florida. Additionally, the email emphasized how many college students are being forced to pay their rent on off-campus housing during the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused many students to return home for the semester.

On March 11, the University of Florida sent out an email encouraging students to “return home until March 30” as all classes moved online. Many students living in off-campus housing were faced with the decision of staying in Gainesville or going back home to live with their parents.

Some students who chose to return home due to COVID-19 were frustrated, however, when their landlords refused to offer any rent relief or changes to leasing contracts. One student, Sarah Lobo, took the initiative to create her own petition and share her story. The petition has amassed more than 11,500 signatures so far.


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