The information given to Nouse about APYork and YRLA is blatently shocking, yet the University’s behaviour in response is even more outrageous.
In the case of the letting agents, acknowledging the preferences of racist and sexist landlords does nothing other than perpetuate behaviour which should have died out long ago. Given that the University can act as guarantors for any international student, there is no legal reason why agencies should be discriminating against students of any ethnicity. The same logic applies to avoiding “all male groups”. The data given to Nouse indicates not, necessarily, racism on the part of the YRLA partners, but rather greed for more properties, regardless of the moral credibility of their landlords. As the key partners from YRLA are bitterly fighting against each other, struggling to persuade landlords to side with them, a certain degree of bad practice was always, perhaps, inevitable. However, this latest information is surely a step too far in what has become nothing more than a personal power struggle. In striving to take on more and more tenants, it seems that York’s key letting agencies will stop at nothing. Ironically, this most recent turn of events could see APYork losing everything. Whilst students are prepared to put up with faulty heating, dodgy plumbing, and maintenance problems of almost every kind, one thing they will almost certainly stand against, is racism.
In failing to recognise this and acting on the information they were given over a month ago, Heslington Hall has yet again showed its failure to understand the rest of the University. Though funding and services cuts are inevitable in the current circumstances, there is patently no excuse for their failure to act at this juncture. Whilst the University claim that they will be pursuing this matter immediately, they should be aware that students and the student media will be following this story closely, and that empty promises will soon be exposed.