The first time the pride flag was flown in 2016TOBY ASHWORTH, GCSU LGBT REP

Gonville and Caius College Council has decided that only the College flag will be flown from the flagpole (02/02). This brings an end to the six year tradition of flying the pride flag and more recently the progress flag that was flown during LGBT history month last year.

The majority of fellows at the College’s General Meeting voted in favour of flying only the College flag. This decision was ratified by the College Council, despite opposition from JCR and MCR presidents.

The College has released a statement saying “The College flag is a symbol which unites all in the Caius community. Choosing to fly only the College flag avoids concerns regarding political neutrality, and the difficulty of choosing between the plurality of good causes for which a flag could be flown.”

“Flags flown to express opinions about causes and issues, have the potential to divide us. All of us are Caians, so the College flag speaks for all of us. No other flag does.”

The Master Pippa Rogerson reaffirmed her commitment to “making College a place where everyone feels welcome, and where everyone can thrive” and said “it is incumbent on us all to make changes to improve diversity and eradicate discrimination”.

The College claims individuals have “considerable freedom” to “publically express their own support for causes”, citing a recent amendment to its regulations that allows for “the display of any legal flag, poster, or similar by students in their rooms, including outward-facing ones”.


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It argues this strikes “a fair balance between the freedom of individual students to express their political views and the need for Caius itself, as an educational charity, to remain politically neutral.”

However, both the JCR and MCR President have said that they are “strongly against the decision” in the knowledge that it will disappoint many students at Caius and are opening discussions on how best to support the LGBT community.

The College Council conceded its explanation “may not be sufficient to reassure junior members” and has proposed that some fellows attend a meeting with the College’s Student Union to tackle any concerns. A proviso was also added that the decision be reviewed in January 2024.