Trinity College, protests, and LGBT+ pride made headlines this weekComposite: Louis Ashworth

This week saw Cambridge go technicolour for LGBT+ History Month, Varsity analysis revealing huge college disparities in wealth, and a pay gap shrinking – slowly.

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Key stories from this week

Trinity to infinity
Cambridge’s wealthiest college saw the value of its assets rise by £158.6 million last year. That’s £2 million more than the entire assets of the four poorest colleges combined. Trinity is now worth a staggering 42 times as much as Clare Hall (£32.7 million), the poorest college in Cambridge. Can the ‘Cambridge experience’ really be provided equally by every college?

The University Library shows off its prideFrancesa Harper

Cambridge gets proud
More colleges than ever before are showing off their pride during LGBT+ History Month by flying the rainbow flag. The University Library has even joined in the display of solidarity. For some colleges, including Fitz and St Edmund’s, this will be the first year the flag is flown.

Dosh for dons
A review by Varsity of salaries across the university shows that the gender pay gap is shrinking slowly, now at an average of 18.3%. While men and women on the same rung of the ladder are paid equally, the number of men in high-paying jobs is still higher than the number of women. The analysis also revealed some interesting disparities between schools.

Protests hit headlines
Last weekend, Cambridge Defend Education gathered in a car park to light a bonfire of the iconic yellow National Student Survey leaflets. Then, on Thursday, students clad in forensic gear cordoned off the ‘crime scene’ University Investment Office to protest fossil fuel links. Incidentally, the University announced this week a $240,000 donation from Shell – whoops!

Shell shelled out on $240,000 for the University, it was announced this weekHenry Aitken

An ever-shaky union
CUSU is set to have its annual vote on NUS membership tomorrow, amid confusion over its affiliation fee, and a bullying row which has forced NUS officers to work from home. Shakira Martin, the president of the NUS who has been at the centre of the row in the “toxic” organisation, hit back this week, claiming she is a victim of racism, classism and shameless electioneering.

An ever-unreliable Union
The Cambridge Union was hit this week when two top headliners, Orlando Bloom (the sexiest man alive) and General Michael Flynn, both dropped out of the line-up for this term (not long after Pelé). While the Union is aiming to reschedule their appearances, let’s hope Flynn doesn’t have to appear via FaceTime from an embassy like his friend did.

On the lighter side...

Lettuce Club wilting?
The future of Cambridge’s oddest society, Lettuce Club, is coming to a head. The ‘annual’ general meetings (which happened only once so far, at Clare) see competitors rival each other to eat a whole lettuce in the shortest time possible. The winner is then crowned the president for the following year. Last year’s meeting took place on 23rd January, but so far, there is no sign of its revival.

Will our challenger ever get another shot at the Lettuce Club presidency?Sam Harrison

Apocalypse averted
Students found themselves at a loss on Monday, as a major Wi-Fi outage for over an hour across the University meant that scrolling through cat pictures on Buzzfeed was no longer an option. One traumatised student told Varsity of his ordeal: “I looked at the Wi-Fi symbol struggling. I looked at the book I have to read by tomorrow. I activated mobile hotspot and went on Facebook.”

Switch up your day
Varsity’s weekly CamFM radio show, Switchboard (formerly Sunday Review), has been rebranded, with a new team and hot new topics. The show promises to “plug you into the heartfelt tales, funny experiences and eccentric encounters” of people in Cambridge. Have a listen to the first episode, featuring a Swedish/Kurdish student from Essex, an academic who took in a Syrian refugee, and an MML student who got married on her year abroad in Russia.

Got a story that could be covered here or reported elsewhere by Varsity? Let us know:

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