Formal Protest – Caius students boycotting dinner

In protest over exorbitant fees, Caius students are going to give their fellows something to chew over by boycotting formal hall

| UPDATED formal hall Gardies Gonville and Caius rent student accommodation University of Cambridge

Update 20:19

All the students have now dispersed. Some of the fellows have agreed to meet with the students tomorrow to discuss the rent. Looks like it’s all over for now folks. Anything else happens we’ll let you know.

We’ve discovered the two student representatives were originally refused entry. They snuck in the fellows’ entrance. There were 60 fellows in attendance and only about 10 students.

Update 19:47 – A fellow has come outside and told the students that a lot of fellows were sympathetic to their cause.

Update 19:44 – The speeches are being given inside the hall, explaining to the fellows the reason for the protest. They’re sitting, listening silently.

Update 19:35 – The green’s filling up. People in gowns are tucking into their takeaways, someone’s handing out prawn crackers and there’s a guitar being strummed – ‘blowing in the wind’ – and caffetiere coffee being brewed. How civilised.

Update 19:26 – Formal starts in 4 minutes. We’ve got pictures of the Caiustone, the college’s satirical magazine, attacking the rent raise:

Update 19:05 – students are heading to Gardies but it’s not exactly a full on march:

Students at Gonville and Caius are boycotting a special formal hall in honour of a retiring fellow in the next hour. The protest comes in response to a 9.5% rent increase. Despite recent promises to make the College’s finances more transparent, the group  hope to raise the issue with the Master and fellows by leaving them in the lurch.


When they got there, the table was bare…

Led by a 3rd year undergraduate and a PhD student, the protest plan to move from Hall to Gonville Court where they’ll picnic on takeaway. Although Caius is one of the wealthiest colleges, the rent hike pips Caius as one of the priciest colleges to live in.

The protest comes in light of allegations that college fellows are sabotaging student input in decision making by stalling progress and abusing student elections.

“As a student representative you always feel held to ransom by the fellows… if you try to rock the boat too much.” said Tom Scrase, one of the leaders of the protest. He described the rent hike as “poorly justified and communicated.”

Caius students are required to attend the £8.50 a pop formal hall a minimum of 32 times a term. Students’ gyp rooms generally consist of a microwave and a George Foreman Grill, if they’re lucky.

The group plan to send a representative bearing their message to the Master and fellows during Sunday’s formal. In solidarity with the students, Cambridge favourite Gardies are offering a 20% discount to Caians between 11AM and 11PM, hoping to woo them away from the allure of the infamous pangasius fish served at Caius formal.

Got your photo up on the wall yet?


The Tab will keep updating you as Caius students continue their picnic protest on the lawn