Emerson College Student Lists Dorm On AirBnB, School Can’t Respect A Little Entrepreneurship

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It’s kind of a shame that through all of winter break, there are tons of unoccupied dorm rooms right in the middle of Boston, right? Jack Worth, a 19-year-old sophomore at Emerson College, thought so too. So he listed his dorm room on AirBnB to offset the costs of his housing. Has no one thought of this before?

“Emerson is a fantastic location,” Worth told Boston.com. “There’s a high level of interest of travel in this neighborhood because it’s so centrally located. I saw this as a way to make some money, but also help some people out.”

He hosted three people (for an unknown rental amount, but bet it’s way cheaper than a Boston hotel) before the school found out.

As you probably can predict, the college wasn’t thrilled about the listing…and neither was AirBnB. He was fined $150 by the rental website and may face disciplinary actions from the school. Emerson College told Boston.com via email that renting out a dorm is against school policies.

“The Emerson College Residence Hall policy and the housing contract that undergraduate residents sign prohibit students from subleasing or renting College housing units or beds to protect residents and the community from exposure to safety and security risks,” the statement said. (They might have you there, buddy. Always read the fine print.)

According to the college’s website, yearly tuition alone at Emerson for students entering in fall 2015 or later is $40,320 while living in at least a quad with three other roommates costs $14,700 for the school year. That’s no spare change.

Worth’s friends are to the rescue, setting up a Change.org page to “Free Jack Worth.”

“There is nothing criminal with providing cheap housing to travelers. Jack Worth gave travelers from far and wide a taste of boston life and the Emerson experience simply because he wanted to help those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in the downtown area. If the Emerson community is as inclusive as it claims to be, it should act it,” Ari Howorth of Emerson class of 2018 stated on the Change.org petition.

Jack Worth/Boston.com

Just signed the petition because I can appreciate a homemade t-shirt.

Good luck, Jack.

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