University to run Brexit therapy sessions for students
Turns out triggering Article 50 is triggering
The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) has announced it will be putting on a series of ‘Brexit therapy sessions’ to help students come to terms with Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The sessions, which are free of charge, will take place every term throughout the two-year withdrawal process. They will include activities, events and discussion groups that aim to ‘ foster solidarity and celebrate the strengths and diversity of European culture, including music, art, literature and food.’
As well as panel sessions and discussion groups, where students will be able to share and discuss their experiences of the Brexit process, the programme also includes more light hearted events, including concerts, taster evenings and socials. The first events scheduled for next term include a ‘Tango and Tapas’ night and the annual Eurovision song contest party hosted at the Cambridge Union.
Members of Cambridge’s European community have welcomed the move, a member of the German society noting, ‘I think it’s a great idea. It’s a real opportunity for us all to come together in such a politically toxic time. And the German Society would love to see more people at our Oktoberfest events, who would refuse a night of lederhosen and Bavarian bier?’
The move comes after the Vice Chancellor of the university, Sir Leszeck Borysiewicz, released a statement on Wednesday stressing the ‘concern’ felt for the ‘welfare of its staff and students, both current and prospective’ following the Prime Minister’s official triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal process by which a country leaves the EU.
The Vice Chancellor also reassured that ‘expert analysis on all aspects of the Brexit process” will be available at all times and that the University will provide “regularly updated practical information for students and staff.”
Amatey Doku, CUSU President and Tab #1 BNOC, also noted ‘for many students in Cambridge, the triggering of Article 50 is itself a very triggering experience, throwing many Cantabs into a period of confusion. We hope these sessions and events will allow students to foster solidarity and unity in a very uncertain time.’
This is not the first attempt by an academic institution to provide structured support to students coming to terms with Britain’s divorce with Europe. The Universities of Nottingham and Leeds have put on similar programmes, running half-day ‘wellbeing workshops’ that focus on ‘enhancing skills for resilience in response to the Brexit decision.’
Cambridge voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in the referendum last June by 73.8% to 26.2%, one of the strongest turnouts for Remain in the country.