News Bulletin, Christmas: White tie violence, CUSU print drama and Varsity head patting

We round up the news

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Christmas Compendium

As much as we looked forward to a brief period of respite after a term of Blowing Things Wide Open, Cambridge post-Bridgemas has been less tranquil than we’d anticipated – so here’s something to keep you entertained back home in London/the Caribbean/Bognor Regis.

Varsity rugby went ahead with mixed results, and CUSU Women’s Officer Charlie Chorley  was asked on BBC radio “who’s making lunch“. Pembroke received what some suggest is the largest donation in the history of Cambridge, and our story about John’s drinking soc lads went national.

Cambridge Tories in white tie brawl (or something like that but who knows they won’t tell us)

After the Cambridge Tories’ annual white-tie dinner on November 28, a member, Jonathan Alexander Zemlik, was “the instigator of several violent acts against fellow members of the Association”.

CUCA initiated a petition to expel Zemlik (who, we should add, has a great name):

The petition to expel JAZ.

25 hours later, the Chairman emailed members again to backflip on the petition: “The graduate named yesterday has decided to resign his life membership, and agreed not to attend any future CUCA events.”

Zemlik, a former Tab columnist and BNOC of the Year in 2012, told us: “The truth is I resigned because I’ve graduated now and I really don’t have time for CUCA politics these days.

“It was never confirmed to me in writing what the allegations were and I heard them third hand – from what I heard very little had merit. However, if someone is that keen to get rid of me there’s not really much point in staying.”

The dinner took place in the Old Music Room at St John’s College.

CUCA, whose alumni include Michael Howard and Nick Clegg, refused to elaborate on the incident and banned its committee members from speaking to us.

The Chairman said: “After discussions, all issues among individuals concerned have been resolved and the matter is closed.”

He specifically instructed us to refer to him only as the Chairman, without using his real name, presumably to protect his Google reputation in the lead up to the 2023 preselection for the seat of Bromley and Chislehurst.

CUCA publishes names of committee members on website

On a completely unrelated note, this is a link to the Who’s Who of CUCA.

CUSU rag turns on aunty

While The Cambridge Student, which is overseen by CUSU, is sometimes unjustly criticised for being the student union’s mouthpiece, we applaud Editor Jack May for making the most of his editorial independence to complain about CUSU’s failure to secure him a new office (as promised some time ago) or make the payments necessary to keep his newspaper running on time.

In the most recent print edition, he updated readers on CUSU’s failure to supply a new office,  pay its delivery man (twice) and printers on time:


Priscilla Mensah, CUSU President, took eight days and several reminders to reply to our requests for comment and answered none of our six questions.

She finally said – somewhat ominously, one might think – that “CUSU’s main priority is maintaining a working relationship with TCS and the necessary conversations have been had”.

She refused to elaborate any further. We note that TCS in its constitution is required to “be transparent in its operational practices”.

Update from CUSU; 21:16, 16/12/15

CUSU has gotten back to us with further comment:

“TCS, alongside CUSU, the GU and the Students’ Unions’ Advice Service have been residing in temporary office space due to an extensive delay in University-managed refurbishment works. The works were scheduled to finish in mid-September, however we have now been informed that the new offices are due for completion in the first week of January. TCS are, no doubt, right to be frustrated; we’ve all been affected by the delay.

“CUSU is not in control of the project: we are only consulted as users on the project’s development.

“The delay in the payment of invoicing occurred primarily due to a resignation of a member of staff who would have otherwise overseen the process. This disrupted normal process. Whilst unfortunate, CUSU would not suggest that a difficult operating condition is equivalent to incompetency. We have since resolved the concerns in conversations with TCS. “

Professional play at the Varsity Match?

Last week’s Varsity Match marked the début of the Women’s teams playing at Twickenham. Cambridge’s Women more than lived up to the occasion and smashed their way into the record books with a 52-0 win over Oxford.

The same can’t be said of the Men’s Match, which was something of a shambles all round, with not a single try scored by either team – the first time in fourteen years, no less. The final score left Cambridge on 6 and Oxford on 12. Cambridge’s particularly dismal play evidently took its toll on number 23 George Williams, who swapped poor play for poor sportsmanship near the end of the match.

After Oxford full-back Matt Geiger spilt the ball just two metres from the try-line (missing out on what would have been the only try of the match), Williams couldn’t resist rubbing the mistake in his opponent’s face – or rather, his head, as Twitter leaped to point out:

It all went to his head

In a bizarre move, Williams patted Geiger on the head:

Right next to the try-line cameras

He couldn’t resist

You can watch the clip on the BBC website.

After all that negativity, we wish you a happy Christmas.