News Column Week 8: Llamas and lots of politics
This has unequivocally been this year’s weirdest week on the Cam
Emma's grass is gone
In what can only be described as a Week 8 Mood, all the grass at Emma has disappeared (albeit for reseeding).
Open meeting held regarding Caius' Hall renovation
Due to renovation of Caius' Hall, a substantial number of rooms are being taken off the ballot for academic year 2019-20: the repercussions of which have precipitated antagonism between the College and its students.
The College plans to split up sets into separate rooms to make up for the spaces being taken off the ballot due to building works. In an open meeting with the College, one student highlighted the fact that the change would increase the College's profit from rent, as well as giving many students no choice but to live in uncomfortably small rooms; another attendee called for a breakdown of what makes up the rent figure – the cost per metre for heating, electricity, water and maintenance.
Underlying students' grievances throughout the open meeting was a perceived lack of transparency from the College regarding the accommodation changes. Whilst the dispute is ongoing, since the meeting the College has met with the JCR President in response to the pressure against its opaque decision-making process.
Students protest Malcolm Turnbull's visit to Queen's
Last Monday, the attendance of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and High Commissioner George Brandis at a Queen's gala dinner triggered a protest outside the College.
Both politicians were intimately involved in the detention of thousands of asylum seekers in camps on Manus Islands, Papau New Guinea and Nauru: the conditions of which were called "cruel, inhuman, and unlawful" by the UN Committee Against Torture.
In protest against the refugee policies pursued by the Australian politicians – condemned by the UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – students gathered to read 'No Friend but the Mountains', written by one of the detainees on Manus Island, Behrouz Boochan on his mobile phone when imprisoned.
In the spirit of the Varsity matches, The Tab Cambridge decided to indulge in a little investigative journalism to try and work out what 'Shoe the Tabs' actually means.
After consulting some Oxons (and a quick Google), we realised that nobody actually knows?!? They literally shout three meaningless words at us during Varsity matches?! This is what being at The Other Place does to you.
In fact, that wasn't the only pickle which Oxford got themselves into whilst visiting Cambridge last week. During their annual sports day with Trinity, Oxford's Christ Church College got into a spot of trouble with the Dean as the College staff were reportedly uncomfortable with the amount the Oxons were drinking. Tbh who can blame them for drinking away their inferiority complexes?
We always knew we were better but, c'mon guys, you're making it too easy.
The Van of Life ran out of chips on Sunday
As shouts of "everything but chicken is gone” emanated from that sacred trailer, the audible crack of drunk hearts breaking filled Market Square. Hope everyone who went to Sunday Life survived okay without their cheesy chips – you're in our thoughts xx
Petting zoo at John's
In a beautiful testament to end of term welfare, John's had a petting zoo last week featuring llamas, hedgehogs, turkeys and goats.
Given the animals were granted the unique privilege allowed on the John's grass, you might even say they became honorary fellows of the College.
For those of use who WOULD rather go to Oxford than John's (although your author is now thoroughly rethinking every time she's declared that statement at a swap), at least the photos allow any and all Cantabs to vicariously relive the wonders of the petting zoo.
Helicopter on the athletics track
There was a helicopter on the athletics track!! Yeah, we've got no idea why either. Here's a photo of it though.
ABACUS Presidential election scandal
The election of the new Association of British and Chinese University Students President caused an internal scandal in the society last week – culminating in the creation of a website dedicated to 'exposing' the actions and attitudes of the Committee leading up to the election, suggesting that it was biased against candidate Sherwood Lam.
Whilst Viola Pu Ruohan has now been returned as the President of ABACUS for the following year, the controversy surrounding the election's proceedings brings to light issues over internal democracy in university societies.
A light from beyond The Bubble…
This light from beyond The Bubble isn't actually from beyond the The Bubble (rules are made to be broken after all!), but it's too special to be missed.
According to the Museum Bums Twitter account, the Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge has the biggest collection of bums in the country. I don't know about you, but I reckon that Museum Bums is probably the most authoritative source on the matter we're likely to get. Thus, you can end Week 8 safe in the knowledge that Cambridge is literally home to the biggest number of bums in the UK.
Take that, Oxford.
Cover image: author's own.