The Summer Holiday News Column

Catching you up on all the antics you missed whilst on holiday attempting to forget the last year.

bake off Cambridge Cambridge University Homerton keith vaz News vice-chancellor

Stuff & Things

Impressionable freshers, bleary-eyed second years, panicking-about-the future third years, welcome (back) to the bubble. The hallowed library halls, Sainsbury’s, and Van of Life all welcome you with open arms. Whilst the rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia are still firmly in place, we’ll give you a rundown on everything that has happened in our beloved Cambridge whilst we’ve been gone. (Surprisingly, the place doesn’t grind to a halt when we’re gone!)

Aka prison watch tower

Aka prison watch tower

The search for the new Vice-Chancellor, set to replace Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, will not be conducted through a rigorous application process and a selection by committee. Supposedly the university has received over 100 applications and nominations to consider for the role. Once the candidates’ have achieved the required A-level results and their personal statements have been thoroughly picked apart, they will be interviewed about books they have only pretended to read, so that it can be decided whether the Vice-Chancellor is likely to thrive in Cambridge’s unique academic system.

In the slow news days of the summer, Cambridge appeared in many a list, to the satisfaction of it’s gloating student body. We discovered that we produce the second most millionaires of any UK university, according to a report commissioned by Spear’s Magazine. Oxford beat us there, but we came out as the best university in the UK according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Now you can tell all your friends back home that you are more likely to become a millionaire than they are thanks to your world class education – they will take it with good humor and not think you’re an insufferable snob.  

How (not) to succeed in business

If the Financial Times is any indication, you shouldn’t get a first from Cambridge. In a personal advice column written to answer the desperate pleas of office managers and execs who are at a loss, the FT soothingly explained that “arrogant graduates” from Cambridge are common, and must be taught to find new skills that aren’t writing essays. Perhaps this manager should have just hired a Mathmo.  

The Coningsby Club's websit said nothing about dress code

Pretentious? Nous?

Homerton’s big plans

Homerton announced their plans to replace their old Great Hall, where students and fellows dined, with a brand new, £7m development. Supposedly the original hall will continue being used for performances and “group activities”, which, as it’s Homerton we’re talking about, is bound to be far less sordid than it sounds. (Maybe college-wide trust falls? Teddy bear sharing circles?) This new development is reportedly being designed to reflect Homerton’s “sociable and friendly atmosphere”, so we can safely assume that there will be plenty of opportunities for Homerton students to get their Bops banned due to an excess of “bodily fluids” once more.

Punting heroes

More commonly berated for their awful tours of Cambridge, punters became the heroes in the tale of the rescue of two men from a fire. A pair of punt workers broke through the windows of the upper floors in a restaurant with their poles, after noticing the flames. The rescue attempt was helped by passers-by who were playing Pokemon Go. Neither of the two men rescued were injured, and both punters and Pokemon Go players got a chance at heroic validation. A happy ending for everyone!

Bridge of Pies

Andrew Smyth, an Engineer who graduated from Sidney Sussex in 2013, was announced to be competing in this summer’s Bake Off. At the time of writing we don’t know how far he got, but he is reported to be the bookies’ favourite, and also reported to have, as one viewer said, “A smug face”. His ambitions, apparently, include baking a bread version of Concorde. We hope Smyth will share some Cantab #banter with Mel&Sue, who probably had some wild nights at Cindies. We’d include tasteless puns in the vein of those Varsity did in their reporting of Smyth’s rise to baking success, but we’re a classier institution, and respect the print medium.  


Swoon worthy quiff volume aside, is that cake batter made of smurfs?



Keith Vaz, the Labour MP for Leicester East, resigned on September 6th after allegations from the Sunday Mirror insinuated that Vaz had engaged in activity with male prostitutes. The paper also accused Vaz of claiming that he would pay for cocaine if they wished to use it. Vaz studied law at Gonville and Caius, and his son graduated from the same college last year. Mr Vaz said in a statement he believed he had been the victim of a sting operation, saying: “It is deeply disturbing that a national newspaper should have paid individuals to act in this way.”

Everyone’s least favourite student union

According to the National Student Survey, only 37% of Cambridge students described themselves as “satisfied” with CUSU, making it the third worst student union in the country. 38% of those surveyed said they were “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied”. Only the Oxford and Durham Student Union came out worse in the survey. Honestly, after the year CUSU had, that should be cause to celebrate.

Everyone's fave union

Everyone’s fave union

That’s everything didn’t need, but wanted to know from over the summer.