Sunday 4th October 2015, 04:15 BST | Cambridge,UK


CUSU in crisis

Cambridge University Students’ Union has been forced to seek a bailout from the university in June 2015 in order to plug a funding black hole, a document released in September reveals.

A lack of funds left CUSU unable to fulfil its commitments to students without accepting “emergency funding” under “exceptional” circumstances from the university. The minutes of a meeting of the Council Committee for the Supervision of the Student Unions, held on 11th May, reveal the full extent of the discrepancy between the forecasted finances and the true state of CUSU’s accounts.

The document quotes CUSU as having requested over[Read full story]


Propaganda lessons from the Westboro Baptist Church

There is no message too hateful to become the centrepiece of a catchy pop parody, the Westboro Baptist Church would have you believe. The infamous evangelical group has created more than 150 pop song parodies, focusing on themes of hell-fire, homophobia and divinely-incurred wrath.

No musical territory is sacred to WBC, whose parodies include hymns, Christmas songs, contemporary chart-toppers and old classics. For a group that abhors so much of popular culture, their attempt to reach out by parodying popular music is one that seems very much at odds with their philosophy and message. In fact, they reserve particular venom[Read full story]


Varsity Introducing: Rrose Sélavy

Can you explain your pseudonym Rrose Sélavy? What does it mean?

When writing my dissertation on Surrealism last year I stumbled across a Robert Desnos poem called ‘Rrose Sélavy etc’. It is a made-up French name which is a pun that can be pronounced in different ways to give different meanings. It sounds like “Eros, c’est la vie” but could also be “Rrose sait la vie”. Though the name is unique, ironically I keep having to type the word ‘cliché’ into Word so I can access the ‘é’ accent.

How would you describe your music?

Poetic-folk, an artistic experiment which[Read full story]


Techwatch: Wearable tech – feelgood or to be feared?

Technology increasingly allows us to narcissistically document every aspect of our lives. Fitness-trackers like FitBit and Basis are taking this to a new extreme. With these devices, we can log how many hours we’ve slept, how many steps we’ve walked, as well as our blood pressure, stress level and skin temperature. It seems we may soon be monitoring our biological clock as obsessively as we check Facebook.

And wearables are only getting weirder. Bondara’s SexFit is the world’s first sexual fitness tracker, measuring the number of calories you burn, as well as thrusts per minute. You can then share this[Read full story]


Album: Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down

With his shoulder-length hair and spaced-out vibes, it is easy to see Kurt Vile as just another stoner guitarist. His music, you might think, merely serves as the soundtrack to American teenagers smoking pot in their basements. But there is much more to him that that. With depth, charm and a healthy dose of existential malaise, b’lieve i’m goin down… is Vile’s most rounded album to date, showcasing the best of his talent and pushing him into new territory.

The former War on Drugs member from Philadelphia sings with a distinctive twangy drawl but the slacker-rock label attached to his[Read full story]


Daniel Zeichner MP: five months on

Nearly five months have passed since Cambridge returned perennial parliamentary candidate Daniel Zeichner as its MP.

Standing for parliament for the fifth time, the former councillor ousted Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert with a majority of just 599 votes.

With his career in the Commons off to a start at last, it would be hard to imagine a more eventful first few months as a Labour MP.

There is, of course, a larger story to tell about the Labour Party’s summer, but it is perhaps not surprising that the newly-elected Zeichner has had more than just a cameo role, given that[Read full story]


Cambridge rears up for Varsity

Anni Bates won’t make it to Freshers’ Cindies. Instead she’ll be getting up at 5am and training as she has all summer (while we’ve been sleeping, travelling, or scrolling Tumblr). All this in preparation for the first Varsity race of the academic year: the horse race.

That race takes place next Saturday, 10th October, at the prestigious Dubai Future Champions Festival. Cambridge hope to win the event again, having won the inaugural race last year, and will take on Oxford at 1.30pm. But that’s just the first of eight races, with the prize money for the two-day event coming in[Read full story]


My Name is Rachel Corrie Director’s Blog: Week 0

In the past, when directing plays, I have kept a journal. Or rather, attempted to keep a journal, as after a few rehearsals this often descends into a list of incomprehensible, hastily-scribbled bullet points that are useful only to myself at the time. Looking back on notes from a few months ago, I see ‘journal entries’ that just say ‘mug, books, sponge’, or ‘Dora move to WB’ (which sounds more like the note of a football manager than a theatre director). This time, however, I intend on keeping an open journal – through this series of blog entries, I will[Read full story]


Cambridge continues to climb THE uni rankings

Cambridge continues to climb THE uni rankings

The university rises to fourth as the Times Higher Education magazine hails “stand-out” performance of British institutions

Building delays cause disruption at Fitz

Building delays cause disruption at Fitz

Second-, third- and fourth-year students asked to share rooms due to building delays at Fitz

Libyan sex-attack soldiers in new asylum row

Libyan sex-attack soldiers in new asylum row

Three soldiers from Libya arrested last October for sex attacks in Cambridge applying for asylum in the UK

Interview: Professor David Runciman

Politics Department head Professor David Runciman chews over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory with Jack Higgins

Wolfson fellow jailed for financial fraud

Dr David Barrowclough faced eight charges of fraud and one of deception after taking almost £240,000


Johannes Hjorth: the man behind the lens

Johannes Hjorth: the man behind the lens

Varsity speaks to the enigmatic presence behind Cambridge’s most well-known photographs

Varsity Introducing: Rrose Sélavy

Varsity Introducing: Rrose Sélavy

The third-year MML student (real name Jade Cuttle) has sung on BBC Radio, drawing inspiration from the modernist French paper she studied last year.

Interview: Rae Morris

Interview: Rae Morris

The singer-songwriter talks to Eddy Wax about signing a record deal at 19, her growing confidence, and refusing to label her sexuality

Petar on Film: The Unconvential Rom-Com Part 1

Weekly columnist Petar takes on Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck in the first of his dissections of the latest films

The tyranny of the iPhone

After her own jarring experience, Lauren Brown asks whether our photographic obsession is a force for good or mindless apathy


Propaganda lessons from the Westboro Baptist Church

Propaganda lessons from the Westboro Baptist Church

Though absurd and hypocritical, the group’s hateful song parodies achieve a calculated effect

Cynicism has no place in radical activism

If you want something done, do it. Don’t sit around complaining, says Chris Waugh

Welfare in Cambridge: a personal account

Speaking from personal experience, Hesham Mashhour says that welfare in Cambridge is not a complete catastophe, but there’s still a way to go

The Secret Diary of Katrina Kettlewell: Week 1

Columnist Ellie Coote shows us an exclusive insight into the world of Chelsea socialite Katrina Kettlewell

Cameron: sex, swine and satire

Columnist Ethan Axelrod reflects on a week of political scandal.


Cambridge rears up for Varsity

Cambridge rears up for Varsity

Angus Satow talks to horce race competitor Annabelle Bates ahead of the first Varsity match of the academic year



Is there a dark explanation behind Djokovic’s crowd troubles? Angus Satow investigates.

Try your hand at the latest sporting craze

Try your hand at the latest sporting craze

Talitha Veith tells us why Cambridge should give up on dreams of rowing success and take up a European craze instead

Ones to watch at the Rugby World Cup

With the Rugby World Cup about to kick off, George Ramsay has a look at the little known players who might just take the tournament by storm

Cambridge graduate called up to England Cricket squad

Former Trinity Hall undergraduate Zafar Ansari has been selected for both the tour to Pakistan and the England Performance Programme


Daniel Zeichner MP: five months on

Daniel Zeichner MP: five months on

New Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner, who unseated incumbent Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert in May, has had far from an uneventful summer.

Doing a one-woman Fringe show and conquering the fear of failure

Doing a one-woman Fringe show and conquering the fear of failure

Isla Cowan on facing the fear of rejection and putting on a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer

How a Year Abroad will be the making of me

How a Year Abroad will be the making of me

On beginning a year abroad and adjusting to life outside of Cambridge

I didn’t meet my offer for Cambridge – am I good enough?

Amy Hull explores the feeling of failure of missing that ellusive A* at A-level

How Cambridge got its name

Genevieve Cox finds out how Cambridge was founded – and which bridge was the original Cam bridge


Sponsored Links