Dear members of the Executive Board,
One more academic year has begun with problems related to housing deeply affecting most of us. Rents in Leiden and the neighbouring areas have been steadily increasing to financially unbearable levels. Those of us that were lucky enough to have found a place to stay are now faced with rent increases and worsening contract terms. The situation has become much more alarming for those of us that even today, in the middle of the academic year, remain without a permanent place to stay and a solution is nowhere to be seen. Many among us are still living in hotels or different short-term lodgings, while others are hosted by fellow students or staying in tents at camping sites. Living in such unstable conditions directly affects one’s ability to meaningfully keep up with their studies as well as one’s overall mental and physical health.
We understand that housing problems have been magnified during the ongoing academic year and have been negatively affected by the global pandemic. Yet, we still think that housing has been a persistent problem for students over time and the overall strategy of the university has failed to effectively deal with the issue. More specifically, the university does not have student dormitories and only offers a limited number of spaces per year that cover the needs of a very small amount of the student population. The largest bulk of students are channeled either to the private rent market, or DUWO’s room.nl, a service that is very often unable to provide adequate solutions due to its lengthy priority lists. The above situation is not communicated explicitly and timely to students, complicating matters even further.
We dream of a university sensitive to our needs, a place where we may discover our qualities, let our interests flourish and develop our thoughts. Unfortunately, none of the above may be realized at Leiden University when students are struggling to cover basic needs like housing.
For the above reasons we ask you to:
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