What happened in Cambridge this week?Uma Ramachandran/Anya Davidson/Joe Cook Composite: Stephanie Stacey

Key stories from this week

NUS elections get off to a bumpy start

Candidates discuss the problems facing the NUS and students todayMillie Kiel

This year's NUS delegate candidates went head to head in a hustings on Monday. They discussed the problems facing today’s students, such as Brexit and the marketisation of higher education, as well as the problems that lie within the NUS, such as careerism and a lack of student engagement. Voting for the delegates opened on Tuesday, however it had to be paused after CUSU realised an outdated list of students had been used to create the electoral roll, leaving freshers unable to vote. Three candidates have also been issued with warnings, after Keelan Kellegher was found distributing campaign materials for Thais Warren and Khalid Labidi, which violated CUSU’s new campaign rules.


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Cambridge hospitals in dire need of repair

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust faces a £101.5 million backlog of repairs and replacements to their infrastructure. The information was released in an NHS Digital report, which also classified £12.2m of the repairs needed as “high risk”. The data records 49 incidents over the 2017/18 financial year in which patients were either harmed or at greater risk of harm as a result of these infrastructure problems. The University’s School of Clinical Medicine is based at the two sites run by the trust: Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospital for women and maternity services. The head of the school, Professor Patrick Maxwell and the Clinical Dean, Dr Diana Wood, told Varsity that they “believe that the Trust has taken every step to protect patient safety and to enable us to teach effectively” and that “this issue has not been raised by the students as one causing them concern”.

Building work prompts King’s students to take action

Residents of Bodley's Court have raised their concerns to King'sUMA RAMACHANDRAN/ANYA DAVIDSON

Students living in Bodley’s Court at King’s, which is currently undergoing renovation, have met with the college to discuss their problems with the situation. Residents have reported loud drilling throughout the day, plastic sheets replacing windows, which offer little insulation, and large objects obstructing windows. Bodley’s, generally one of the most sought-after King’s accommodation buildings, usually has rooms with the highest rent band. In Easter, the college offered the incoming residents a half-band reduction, however due to the inflation of rent the price of the now band five-and-a-half rooms remains in line with the cost of band six rooms last year. JCR Accommodation Officer, Maddy Bishop, said that the college has been “reasonably accommodating” and has met with students to discuss the matter and the Domus Bursar added that “The King’s College Student Union is working with the College Officers to try to minimise this disturbance and support the students involved”, saying: “We expect to make detailed proposals shortly.”

Candlelit vigil for Pittsburgh victims

The vigil took place at the Cambridge Synagogue and Jewish Student CentreJoe Cook

On Thursday evening, members of Cambridge’s Jewish and non-Jewish communities attended a vigil at the Cambridge Jewish Student Centre in remembrance of the victims of the anti-semitic attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning which killed eleven people, and injured many others. One of the Jewish chaplains for Cambridge and East Anglia universities told Varsity that many Jewish Cambridge students were “shaken up” by the attack. The organisers of the vigil said that they will be remain committed “to the ongoing fight against fascism, anti-semitism, and racism in all its forms”.

Petition for Pembroke crossroads


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Mountain View

The many faces of faith in Cambridge

A second-year Girtonian, Lara Parizotto, has launched a petition calling for the government to make the junction connecting Mill Lane, Pembroke Street and Trumpington Street safer by installing traffic lights. The petition, which is open for signatures until the 25th November, has called for “an investigation to determine the suitability of a new traffic light system on the junction of the three busy Cambridge roads mentioned which currently pose a risk to all road users”. The petition quickly garnered support, causing the county council to take note, and Jocelynne Scott, a member of the Council and the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, said that this showed how strongly people felt about it. Parizotto said that the engagement of the councillors was “hopeful”.

On the lighter side…

Something fishy at the Union

Not all heroes wear capes, some wear lobster outfitsJoe Cook

A student protested Jordan Peterson’s talk at the Union on Friday dressed as a lobster. The student/lobster, who wore a sign stating “MAKE LOBSTERS FEMINIST AGAIN”, referencing Peterson’s most famous theory that the seratonin levels of lobsters explain the existence of human hierarchies and basic rules of nature in his book ‘12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos’. The audience apparently appeared to thoroughly enjoy Peterson’s talk, listening intently and laughing, something that the lobster told Violet they were dismayed at.

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