Will-ett’s Quite a Punishment for Student Activism!
Cambridge Defend Education members Jessica O’Driscoll-Breen and Conrad Landin fined £20 each by the Cambridge Union Society
Now, the pair have been penalised by Cambridge’s debating society, as confirmed in a press release issued to The Tab on April 7.
The Union’s statement added that “Protests of the kind displayed by Mr Landin and Ms O’Driscoll-Breen are disruptive for the vast majority of Union members, and only necessitate costly security presences at future events.
“They thus must be discouraged in the strongest sense.”
An investigation against the CDE members was formally opened by Lent 2014 Union president Imogen Schön, following the incident where a banner bearing the cheeky message was unfurled within the first five minutes of Willetts’ speech.
Although the two were ejected from the Union building and CDE members did not disturb the event in the main chamber any further, it is expected that harsh measures will deter future protestors.
Most Union members have probably never bothered reading its constitution, so it may come as a surprise to learn that O’Driscoll-Breen and Landin apparently contravened Chapter L, Paragraph 1 (a) of the Union’s Laws, which states that disruption of events is an offence against the society.
Neither O’Driscoll-Breen nor Landin appealed against the decision, which was passed down by incoming president Michael Dunn-Goekjian.
The Cambridge Union has faced no shortage of controversy in recent terms, with student demonstrations against speakers such as sex-scandal hit ex IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and far-right French politician Marine Le Pen.
This is also not the first time that Willetts himself has experienced a lukewarm reception from Cantabs.
In 2012, Catz PhD student Owen Holland was rusticated for 7 terms by the university for interrupting a lecture that Willetts was delivering, with a poetry recital, although this was reduced following backlash from students and academics.