News Column: Weeks Four, Five, and Six

The Tab sums up all the news that you might have missed because of exams

It turns out that not even Tab writers are immune to Easter Term’s Week Five blues and deadline struggles. We have selected the best stories of Weeks Four, Five, and Six for your pleasure (and exam procrastination).

Cambridge SU demands that the University give £2.1 million funding extensions to postgraduates. The Cambridge Student Union has demanded that the University provide £2.1 million in funding extensions to postgraduates students whose work has been disrupted by COVID. Anyone who started their course before Michaelmas 2020 will be eligible and priority will be given to those who are ineligible for any other extension funding. The Student Union has said that negotiations with the University are ongoing and that they will update students on any progress made. 

St John’s College announces free university places to the UK’s most disadvantaged students. The scheme will annually support up to 40 students, each of whom will receive £17,000 per academic year to cover both academic and maintenance fees. St John’s claimed that it is “the most generous student finance support in the country”. The programme will begin in October 2023, and will be available to students currently in Year 11 or below whose households earn less than £16,200 per year. The scheme has been launched in response to a £14 million donation from an anonymous foundation.

St John’s will be providing free places to up to 40 students a year from 2023. (Image: Jess Marais)

Body found at Grantchester. A woman’s body was found in the River Cam at Grantchester on 9th June. The emergency services have been treating it as unsuspicious, and the case will be further investigated by the coroner.

Woo Wednesdays. MASH club (the business taking over the old Fez venue) is establishing a new “inclusive” club night on Wednesdays. The music will be “diverse” with artists from Earth, Wind and Fire, and Doja Cat (more details of music can be found on their Spotify playlist) The event will also include free pizza, appearances and free entry, shots and pizza for birthdays! The event starts on 23 June (and double vodkas will be £3!).

Students accuse Peterhouse Master of breaking the College’s COVID rules. Bridget Kendall, Master of Peterhouse, has been criticised for hosting renowned pianist Angela Hewitt at the Master’s Lodge. A Tweet in which Kendall publicised the visit sparked indignation among Peterhouse students for whom the hosting of external visitors indoors was forbidden. In a message to students on 19 May, Kendall and Peterhouse fellow Graham Christie, wrote that “in the face of significant uncertainty associated with the emerging Indian variant […] and in order to fulfil our duty of care to all members of the College community, the CRG [Covid Recovery Planning Group] have decided to exercise caution and restrict external visitors to meetings in outdoor members of the college”.

However, on 23 May, Kendall wrote in a Tweet, “Such a delight to have @HewittJSB [Angela Hewitt] to stay with us and to hear her play […] here @Peterhouse_Cam Master’s Lodge […].” Following accusations of hypocrisy from Peterhouse students, the College wrote in an email to students, “Angela Hewitt is an Honorary Fellow of the College and visitors on College or educational business are permitted.” The policy was changed to allow students to host external visitors inside on 28 May.

Students at Peterhouse accused the Master of breaking the College’s COVID rules. (Image: Sophie Carlin)

Cambridge placed 2nd in 2022 national university league tables. Cambridge was beaten in the UK only by Oxford, which pushed the University from their previous first-place spot. Cambridge scored 99 per cent overall on the Complete University Guide’s assessment. The University continued to rank first for a number of subjects, including Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, History, Engineering, and Education.

University of Cambridge establishes a working group to look at the introduction of a reading week– The Cambridge SU announced on 10 June that the University was looking into the “practicalities” of a reading week in Michaelmas and Lent terms. This follows a vote in the SU which passed with a large majority in favour of implementing a reading week.

Cover image: Bilyana Tomova