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Posted: February 03, 2016

College student lists dorm room on Airbnb, faces consequences from university

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Airbnbs provide comfortable and interesting home away from homes for many people around the world.

For travelers, it's an alternative to pricey and mundane hotels, and for those that offer their spaces for others to rent, it's a good source of income

One college student in New England decided to try his luck at the rental business by posting his college dorm room on the site

Jack Worth, a 19-year-old student at Emerson College, wrote in the listing's description that his dwelling offered “a private, single-bedroom unit with sweeping views of Boston Common, right in the heart of downtown.”

The second-year student was able to rent out his space in a 12-story building of about 750 other students on three separate occasions before the housing department at the college found out about his Airbnb listing. They told the teenager it was against school regulations.

"Really, the idea just came from the combination of understanding where Emerson is located in the city and it being in such a heavily-desired neighborhood," Worth told the Boston Globe. "And the thought of how I could make a little bit of extra money."

Emerson spokesman Andy Tiedemann told Reuters that the residence hall policy prohibits students from renting out their housing units “to protect residents and the community from exposure to safety and security risks.

Worth, who was fined $150 by Airbnb for violating rules and now faces a disciplinary hearing by the educational institution on "several charges of misconduct," has started a petition to support himself and "his honest, entrepreneurial endeavor."

"There is nothing criminal with providing cheap housing to travelers," Worth's colleague, Ari Howorth, wrote on the petition's page." 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." 

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 400 people had signed the petition.

Social media users took to Twitter to express their thoughts about the situation using the hashtag #FreeJackWorth.


Read more here. 

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