Historical CUSU, Part 2 – King’s Special

ELOISE DAVIES and DMITRY KIRPICHENKO continue their exploration of historical University societies, and find everyone’s favourite radical college more active than ever.

CUSU environment fascists King's Peterhouse radicals societies

Popping historical myths is always fun. 

Students of King’s have long been viewed as radicals. The environment, social justice, international aid… If the hippies worried about it, so does King’s, the college which never realised the 60s were over.

And yet it does not take long to find a shocking revelation. The first King’s student to appear in the political pages of CUSU’s 1992-3 handbook is President of the CU Conservative Association. DUN DUN DUN.

Has the time for a revisionist interpretation of King’s arrived? Is all this radicalism merely a front to hide a secret pro-absolutism cult? Are King’s student’s actually reincarnations of Margaret Thatcher?

This calls for closer investigation.

Secretly a hotbed of fascists?

The following societies were fiefdoms of King’s students:

Gong Appreciation Society (GAS)

“GAS is an anarcho-disorganisation dedicated to the exploration of the deep recesses of the mind and getting in touch with unreality.

Meetings are held as and when anyone gets it together and usually take the form of psychedelic discos.”

The Anti-consumerism Society

“Last year the anti-consumerism campaign produced 20,000 recycled stickers which now adorn the lamp-posts and loo-walls of Cambridge.

Reject Image: Choose Reality, Give me convenience or give me death.”

Prime advertising spot

The Green Student Network

“Meeting groovy people,… doing some direct action, going for moonlit walks, etc…” at the biannual gathering at Sunderland Polytechnic.

One World Coalition

“The One World Coalition aims to build bridges between organisations whose general vision is of a future world based on universal human rights, social justice and conservation of natural resources.”

Arjuna Appreciation Society

“The Arjuna Wholefood Co-operative is the best food shop in the western world… Spreading the word via an annual series of Arjuna lectures.”

Pagan Society

“Answer the call of the Old Ones. Feel the rhythms of life and nature.”

Left Network

“Bringing together socialists, greens, feminists, radical liberals, anti-racists, anarchists and LesBiGay campaigners.”

CU Anti-Nazi League

“Cambridge is not immune from this threat… Stop the Nazis gaining a toehold.”

Anti-fascism and recycling – how much more King’s can you get?

Nocturnal Promotions

“Skinny Puppy Velvet Underground Huesker Due Babes In Toyland Godflesh Sonic Youth Sisters Revolting Cocks Nirvana Alien Sex Fiend Pixies World Domination Enterprises PWEI Gallon Drunk Dinosaur Jr Lydia Lunch Nephilim Fugazi Carter Hole Leatherface Nine Inch Nails Smashing Pumpkins Teenage Fan Club Sex Pistols Daisy Chainsaw Sugarcubes New Model Army Stereolab Loop Iggy Pop Moonshake Mary Chain Levellers Bauhaus Stones Janes Addiction Ministry Cure P J Harvey No Means No Big Black Red Hot Chilly Peppers Spiritualized The Fall Cud Silverfish Mission L7 Dead Kennedys Pere Ubu Mudhoney Creaming Jesus RDF Ozric Tentacles My Bloody Valentine Violent Femmes plus support.”

Earth First!

“We are putting ourselves in front of the bulldozers, in front of the whole modern capitalist, industrial behemoth.”

Cambridge Rhythm Collective

“Imagine a totally non-hierarchical, improvised music form. No one will tell you what to play, just feel the groove and do it.”

Socialist Worker Students’ Society

“The only radical left group on campus.”

For those whose do-gooder urges were still not catered for, there were a few more options:

 Scientists for Global Responsibility, the Norman Moore Centre (Britain’s first University environmental information centre), Third World First, CU Film-makers, One World Library, Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Socialist Environmental and Resources Association.

On the other end of the spectrum, Peterhouse students were also making worthwhile contributions to University life, albeit with a slightly different emphasis…

A radical communist HQ?

CU Motorcycle Club

“Need a reason to wear leather? You can: bugger the environment. Hack, thrash, harass old ladies, frighten kids, pose horribly, smell, live on the edge, ride easy, get oil under your nails, use our tool(s).

Vroom Vroom Vroom Vroom Vroom Vroom Vroom.”

CU Diplomacy Society

“How good are you at telling a convincing lie? Come and find out.”

CU Students Against a Federal Europe 

“Join us, the worms that have turned!” 

A fellow turned worm

Hmm… perhaps stereotypes aren’t completely useless after all.