Week three news column: Rainbow ravens, silent majorities and disappearing May Weeks

Another May Ball bites the dust…

Week three is complete! Lent Term is well underway and it has been a busy week for us all; Zoom fatigue is starting to set in, essay deadlines are looming and I’m already bored of online Pictionary and virtual pub quizzes.

It’s also been a busy week for news, with Pink Week celebrations and the beginning of LGBTQ+ History Month – both real and virtual Cambridge have been a hub of activity. But as usual, there are always some stories that slip under the radar, so here are all the light shows (there have been a surprising amount this week), flags and rainbow ravens that you may have missed this week…

Trinity and Trinity Hall cancel May week events

It was revealed this week that Trinity College has cancelled its 2021 May Ball citing current uncertainties surrounding the end date of coronavirus restrictions.

In an email sent to students of the college, the May Ball Presidents also state that they feel it would be inappropriate to celebrate with a large group of people whilst guest numbers are restricted across the country at other events such as funerals and weddings.

Trinity Hall also announced the cancellation of their June Event, but their Presidents have not ruled out holding a more scaled down event and have promised to “try [their] best to plan something” that coincides with coronavirus restrictions.

Trinity and Trinity Hall join Queens’ College in announcing the cancellation of their May Week celebrations. I wonder what other May Weeks will be biting the dust in week four…

The ‘wonderful silent majority’ of Trinity

In an email sent out to students of Trinity College this week, the master stated that students should not return to college unless  facing “imminent danger” and instead should join their “wonderful silent majority of students who are resiliently getting on with studies and life at home.”

The email sparked outrage among many students of the college, one student wrote on Camfess: “[Trinity] seem to have no understanding of the variety of issues people may face when being forced to stay at home.”

Many students were angered at the wording of the email sent to Trinity students. (Image Credits: Screenshot from Camfess via Facebook)

A fresher of the college who wished to remain anonymous told the Tab Cambridge: “I was quite shocked when I saw the email. I thought it was rather insensitive and out-of-touch and it really devalued mental health issues.”

The Tab asked Trinity to respond to the controversy around this email, and their comment can be found here.

King’s lights up for Captain Tom and Pink Week

This week King’s College Chapel has been lit up both in order to celebrate the life of Sir Captain Tom Moore and to celebrate Cambridge Pink Week.

The facade of the college along King’s Parade was lit up in red, white and blue on Wednesday as the nation took part in a commemorative clap for NHS fundraising hero Sir Captain Tom Moore who had sadly passed away the day before.

King’s College facade lit up to commemorate Sir Captain Tom Moore. (Image Credits: Screenshot from kings.college on Instagram)

A few days later, the facade was lit up again, this time in pink to celebrate Cambridge Pink Week which aims to raise awareness for breast cancer at UK universities. The King’s porters lodge was also decorated with pink bunting and pink balloons to celebrate the event.

In the following days, the facade was lit in pink to celebrate Pink Week. (Image Credits: Screenshot from kings.college on Instagram)

Judge Business School illuminated in Cancer Research colours

In keeping with Pink Week celebrations, the Cambridge Judge Business School also lit up its facade this week in the colours of Cancer Research UK on World Cancer Day.

The University of Cambridge tweeted that they were “shining a light this World Cancer Day for everyone whose lives have been darkened by the disease.”

Hughes Hall launches languages cafe

Hughes Hall announced plans this week for a new language cafe initiative for students of the college. The scheme aims to help students improve their skills in both foreign languages and in English.

The college tweeted that “The sessions will provide a fun and supportive environment in which to learn or improve a language” adding that “with our diverse community, we should be able to offer a range of languages.”

Homerton open letter calls for more flexibility in the return of students

In response to The Tab Cambridge’s investigation into the amount of Covid-19 related infringements across the Cambridge colleges, an open letter has been sent to the principle and senior tutor of Homerton College demanding that students be shown more compassion and flexibility when requesting to return to college.

The letter calls on the college to “allow students to return to college at their own discretion.”

The letter also cites that “many Homerton College students feel that the college’s policies have been far stricter than those implemented at other colleges, and those permitted by the government’s statements.”

The open letter currently has 58 signatures.

Colleges fly Pride Flag for LGBTQ+ History Month

With February being LGBTQ+ History Month, many colleges flew Pride and Progress Flags on their college masts this week in order to celebrate the beginning of a month of celebrations.

Caius College flying the Progress Flag (Image Credits: Victoria Chapman)

Clare College flying the Pride Flag. (Image Credits: Antonia Harrison)

Jesus College flying the Pride Flag. (Image Credits: Jesuscollegecam on Instagram)

St. John’s College flying the Pride Flag. (Image Credits: Stjohnscam on Instagram)

Although some colleges only flew their flags for one day, others have promised to keep theirs up for the entire month, including Girton, Churchill and Gonville and Caius Colleges.

Rainbow Ravens take over Moodle

Another way that Cambridge has been celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month has been on Moodle. Many eagle-eyed students (get it… because it’s a raven…) spotted on February 1st that the infamous Moodle Raven had had a rainbow makeover. It was then revealed that there are numerous rainbow ravens flying about on the Moodle site… I bet the bio natscis rushed to their computers to try and catch them all.

(Image Credit: Screenshot from Camfess via Facebook)

The new ravens have incorporated the Pride Flag, Progress Flag, Trans Flag, and others in order to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month.

Selwyn swoons for former porter

In December of last year, a fan favourite of Selwyn College, John the porter, left the plodge office of Selwyn for a position at Pembroke Porters lodge instead. Once the news of John’s departure hit Selwyn students, they were visibly devastated and took to their college confession page to bid him farewell:

Seems like John was a serious BNOC at Selwyn (Image Credit: Screenshot from Selfessions via Facebook)

(Image Credit: Screenshot from Selfessions via Facebook)

It looks like we’ve found our winner already. (Image Credit: Screenshot from Selfessions via Facebook)

Perhaps the Tab should cancel this year’s BNOC competition and give the award straight to John? Forget John Travolta, it’s all about John the Porter. Also, if you haven’t nominated a BNOC yet… DO IT.

That’s week three’s news complete! Any predictions for more cancelled May Balls next week? Are any more exotic Moodle birds soaring on the horizon? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Trinity College, Trinity Hall and Homerton College have been contacted for comment. 

Feature Image Credits: Rafa Esteve via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons License