T C mesS: Union Paper Pulled After CUSU Cock-up

Amid accusations of censorship, illegality and CUSU meddling the union-run newspaper TCS was unable to be printed on time this week.

Chigbo CUSU TCS The Cambridge student

Union-run newspaper The Cambridge Student (TCS) was prevented from appearing on time this week due to attempts by CUSU to censor its content.

The delay came because the edition, which featured CUSU candidates’ manifestos for the upcoming elections, was stopped at print after Chris Lillycrop’s manifesto for Co-ordination Officer caused a stir amongst CUSU Trustees for “legal reasons”.

Lillycrop’s manifesto included plans to sack an existing CUSU Officer, stating  “The Internal Development Officer costs 10% of the CUSU budget: we should stop spending money on a position we do not need, and cannot afford”.

The Officer referred to is currently employed by CUSU to the tune of £39,250 each year.

TCS censorshop: Lillycrop gets the chop in this week's TCS

Lillycrop, an undergrad at St.Catz, wanted to remove this role in response to CUSU’s “imminent budget crisis of £80k a year, particularly since the role was created at a time when it seemed CUSU was about to be transformed by vastly increased University funding”.

However, the Sabbatical Officers, including Chigbo, were unhappy with the pledge and in a weekly meeting voted that the statement was not suitable for print.

In response, the TCS editors “chose to delay printing and asked the trustees to seek professional legal advice, rather than relying on the opinions of those without the necessary qualifications to provide a clear view”.

Today it emerged that CUSU were in the wrong and had acted illegally by redacting Lillycrop’s manifesto and an associated comment piece.

In an exclusive interview for The Tab, Lillycrop explained that “there were no sufficient legal grounds to redact my manifesto without permission… especially since when writing my manifesto I took pains to stick by the Staff-Student guidelines that had been drafted by the Development Manager himself”.

Lillycrop said that CUSU have handled the matter “pretty poorly” and even the TCS editors admitted in a statement that “The situation was poorly handled by the trustees. Whilst CUSU, as TCS’ publisher, does of course have a responsibility to make sure the content we print is legal, they also have a responsibility to seek thorough professional advice before removing articles from the paper”.

The debacle follows a bad week for CUSU President Chigbo who was forced to appeal to the CUSU Council on Monday against rulings criticising his conduct during the NUS affiliation campaign and comes amongst rumours of growing frustration between the two parties.

The paper, which will still black out parts of Lillycrop’s manifesto, will now be distributed on Saturday morning – 48 hours later than their normal Thursday distribution day.