A Massachusetts college student is facing disciplinary action after allegedly violating the school’s residential policies when he listed his dorm room on Airbnb in January.
Jack Worth, a 19-year-old sophomore studying visual and media at Emerson College, told Boston.com he listed his dorm room for two weeks and when the school ordered him to remove the listing he was fined $150 by Airbnb. He said he hosted three guests during those two weeks.
“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.”
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. Worth hoped to offset some of the expenses he had accrued at the school.
He didn’t mention how much he was renting his dorm room for.
Emerson noted in a statement to Boston.com that an attempt to sublet or rent out a dorm room is a strict violation of school policy.
“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.
Worth contends he didn’t read anything “explicitly” stating that his attempt to rent his room out was against school policy.
Emerson is reportedly going forward with disciplinary measures against him, which one student said could result in a heavy penalty. A petition on Change.org said charges are going to be brought up against Worth and that by signing the petition “you are supporting Jack and his honest entrepreneurial endeavor.”
"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,” a statement from Emerson student Ari Howrth,” said on the petition page.
“If the Emerson community is as inclusive as it claims to be, it should act it."
As of early Tuesday, the “Free Jack Worth” petition has garnered over 250 signatures.