Evie Aspinall, striking staff, and Queens', King's and Peterhouse all made headlines this weekComposite: Louis Ashworth

The final week of Lent Term saw the CUSU elections decided, increasing pressure from striking staff, and chaotic incidents at King’s and Queens’.

Sign up here to get Varsity’s Brunch Briefing delivered to your inbox every Sunday morning (we don’t spam!).

Make sure you also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Key stories from this week

Pembroke HSPS student, Evie Aspinall, will be CUSU's next leaderLouis Ashworth

Aspinall takes CUSU crown
In a tightly-fought race for CUSU president, Evie Aspinall, a Pembroke HSPS third year, has come out on top. While Siyang Wei won a plurality of first-round votes, Aspinall took the lion’s share of Connor MacDonald’s second preference votes, edging out Wei by 2,024 votes to 1,804. Shadab Ahmed won the tight and controversial race for access and funding officer, Christine Pungong was elected to role of welfare and rights officer, and divestment campaigner Marcel Llavero Pasquina won the student spot on the University Council. Other positions were uncontested, aside from Graduate Union president which is still to be announced. See the full breakdown on CUSU’s website.

Some students tried to storm Old SchoolsMATHIAS GJESDAL HAMMER

Protesters take on Old Schools
Pressure on the University to back striking staff has escalated this week, as the vice-chancellor has made moves to cede to some pensions demands. Around 200 students and staff occupied Senate House lawn and called on vice-chancellor Stephen Toope to answer their complaints. Some students banged on the doors to Old Schools, the offices of the central University administration, and briefly attempted to storm the building.

Cambridge celebrates the world’s women
International Women’s Day, officially on Thursday, was marked across the city this week, including at a symposium run by CUSU women’s campaign. Several colleges also ran their own events, including formal dinners at Jesus, Christ’s and Pembroke. Forums were also held at Robinson and Churchill to reflect on struggles for gender equality across the globe.

Peterhouse pulls fossil fuel investments
Peterhouse has become the first college to announce it has removed investments in fossil fuels. While it has not yet committed to an official policy of divestment, it came under pressure following a JCR motion in favour of divestment which was backed unanimously. JCR votes at Selwyn, Magdalene, Christ’s, Newnham and Sidney Sussex have also called on their colleges to divest.

Last year's King's Affair headliner was Eurovision winner Conchita WurstJOHANNES HJORTH

A chaotic affair
The edgiest party in Cambridge came under fire this week after its ticketing system crashed due to unprecedented demand. In the first few minutes of tickets going on sale for King’s Affair, 3,000 requests were made, followed by another 25,000 in the subsequent 20 minutes. Anger was expressed on the event’s Facebook page in posts which were later deleted. One student has also been blacklisted after infiltrating the ticketing system using multiple fraudulent accounts.

Queens’ in quagmire over ballot
Anarchy erupted at Queens’ College this week after almost 300 undergraduates signed an open letter refusing the ultimatum set by the College dean over the room balloting system. A new system was implemented last year to prevent students from being able to apply for the ballot in groups, making it much more difficult for friends to live near each other. A ‘shadow ballot’ has been run to overcome this, but students are refusing to back down to the dean’s demands to end it.

Dame Barbara Stocking will be taking six weeks of unpaid leaveWEF

Stocking steps down for inquiry
Dame Barbara Stocking, president of Murray Edwards, has taken six weeks of unpaid leave while she prepares to answer to The Charity Commission’s inquiry into the Haiti sexual abuse scandal at Oxfam, where she was CEO at the time. College vice-president, Dr Ruchi Sinnatamby, has taken Stocking’s place until an acting president is appointed.


On the lighter side...

Soon to become University storage spaceMathias Gjesdal Hammer

The University’s nuclear bunker
An abandoned Cold War nuclear bunker is due to be converted into storage space for the University, after years of neglect. Cambridge acquired the building, at the end of the residential Gilpin Road, in the 1990s, but is only now planning to renovate it. We sent one of our reporters, Molly Montgomery, to check it out – read what she discovered.

Dabbing for their dosh
Striking academics launched an unusual strategy to draw attention to their cause this week, filming themselves dancing around Cambridge, including the funky chicken, cartwheels and, of course, dabbing.

Busting moves for their financial securityYoutube/Cambridge UCU

Have you got a brain for balls?
Calling all cricket-mad engineers! Cambridge is advertising for a PhD studentship in the aerodynamics of cricket ball swing. The position is funded by the England Cricket Board, which is evidently looking for any way it can to hit for six. According to the University website, the student “can expect to spend time using the lab’s wind tunnel facilities to undertake aerodynamic measurements of cricket balls” and will be supervised by Girton fellow Dr Sam Grimshaw, “an experimental aerodynamicist and self-confessed cricket nut”.

Sponsored links