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Complaints College London: ‘Be ready, for change or complaints – it’s your choice’

On April 29, a new Instagram account dubbed Complaints College London was created with a mission statement to “hear every opinion and complaint, take these to the college and bring about real change”. Since then, the account has garnered more than 200 followers and posted over 30 complaints from King’s students of various departments.

The complaints submitted by students range from critiques of college-wide policy during the Covid-19 pandemic to department-specific concerns. According to the group behind Complaints College London (CCL), whose members wished to remain anonymous, the page’s current content only represents the tip of the iceberg: “We’ve received way more complaints in the first 24 hours than you can see; we’re rolling them out slowly so Instagram doesn’t restrict us for too much activity.” The account was temporarily restricted by Instagram on the morning of May 1 for “too much activity”, with CCL’s admins promising to “be back in a couple hours/tomorrow when the restriction has lifted”.

KCL Complaints Responses 1

Several of the student responses posted by Complaints College London.

When asked what motivated them to create the page, CCL’s administrators told Roar: “We are sick of change not happening. Every day we complain about how terrible KCL is but we want to centralise these complaints and do something about it to get the justice that all students deserve.

“In all honesty, we weren’t surprised [by the number of responses we received]. Everyday, when you talk to your friends in seminars, lectures, tutorials, someone has a complaint about something. We wanted to give students a platform to see what the real issues are.”

Complaints College London 2

Further complaints submitted to the Instagram page between April 28 and 30.

On whether the group has plans for taking their fellow students’ complaints to higher-ups at the university, the team told Roar: “There is a detailed plan in place; first, we empower people to bring their issues to us – this helps us compile a list of complaints for each faculty. This is but one of many steps to bring long-lasting, sustainable change to King’s. We’re paying for a world-class education and we should receive a world-class education.”

As for what they would tell King’s administration if they could:

“Be ready, for change or complaints – it’s your choice.”

CCL is the latest newcomer in a wave of King’s-centric Instagram activism accounts brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. KCL Rent Strike, which launched in January 2021, announced on April 28 that they were ending their campaign, telling followers: “We have been meeting with KCL management and they have agreed to all of our demands bar one – the [30%] rent rebate.

“While this is obviously incredibly disappointing, we are working with the university to offer a different solution. At this time, we feel it isn’t sustainable to continue to strike. We are asking all students to pay their rent.”

In an April 29 update, KCL Rent Strike informed students of several agreements made with King’s administration during a meeting between the two groups. These included the assurance that students unable to pay King’s newly-implemented £450 accommodation deposit would not be denied housing, a collective £50,000 rebate for KAAS-eligible residents, and a charter ensuring “they are held accountable if they do not uphold their promises”.

A new account led by a group of students planning to continue the strike was created shortly after KCL Rent Strike’s April 28 announcement. The new group is demanding a zero-punishment policy for students who choose to withhold rent payments, as well as a 75% reduction to Term 3 accommodation fees at King’s Residences.

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