Newcastle Universities annual housing week commences on the 31st of October with it’s exciting House of horrors Halloween theme. The campaign aims to provide information and advice for students looking to rent in the private sector in the upcoming year.
The week will host events such as ab ‘House of Horrors’ giant inflatable maze on the Monday, a housing stall Q&A session in the Robinson library on Tuesday the 1st of November, along with presentation’s on the ‘trick and treats’ of housing, every hour on the hour from 11 till 3 in the venue at the student union. Drop in sessions for general queries will take place on Wednesday the 2nd in the Student Advice Centre. In participation of many of the events students have the chance to win a Chromecast as prizes.
Students Union and Welfare Equality officer, Racheal Kitching, will be attending and organising many of the activities throughout the week, both answering and posing questions for students.
When asked about the weeks events she told The Courier. “There are a range of activities to get involved with throughout the week, whether it be the maze or the quiz, or participation in the prize draw! If students would like to help out, I have a few volunteers helping me on the housing stall Monday and Tuesday, who will help me to deliver important questions and answers!” She commented that “This week is an opportunity to find out some recommendations and things to avoid when renting in the private sector.”
Housing week falls on Halloween, tying into the idea that there are some horror stories out there, and hopefully students will engage with this theme, and start to think about important considerations.”
The welfare team will be releasing a video on social media in the upcoming week of students explaining some of the horrors they’ve faced in their housing endeavours.
She also explained that the aims Housing week is to prevent students from hastily signing housing contracts and not fall victim to the scaremongering and pressure of local letting agents. The week will encourage students to take more time with decisions about renting and advice about what to look out for in leases and contracts.
Racheal commented that “Every year, students rush into signing leases, often in October/ November, with students they have just met, and they later find themselves in difficult situations, when they either find unjust clauses in the contract or find that they don’t get on with their co-tenants.”
The inspiration behind Housing week came from Racheal’s own experiences: “Throughout my student years, I have heard so many stories about friends and other students being faced with unfair student contracts, and being ripped off at the end of their tenancies.
When I was in my first year, I signed for my second year house in October, only a few weeks after starting university! Thankfully, the culture is gradually shifting, and we have seen students waiting and not rushing into tenancies quite so quickly!”
‘House of Horrors’ is looking to be one of the most informative fun and frightening housing campaigns yet. The event will take place on Monday 31 October, ahead of the official housing campaign week in November.