Rogerson told students she was boycotting the talkOEAC UC NEWS

The master and senior tutor of Gonville & Caius College blocked Arif Ahmed, a Caius fellow and philosophy professor, from using the College intranet to publicise an interview with controversial gender critical feminist Helen Joyce, leaked a email shows.

The message was sent from Ahmed to colleagues who he believed might support the Joyce event, encouraging them to pass on the details of the talk to any of their students who might be interested.

In it, he explains that he is making that request because the master and senior tutor barred him from putting the details on the Venn (the College intranet system) because “further publicity will only inflame already heightened tensions in College”.

Ahmed also said: “They have told me that they do not support the event. (It will go ahead anyway.)

“A number of colleagues have told me privately that they support the event but are afraid to say so.


Mountain View

Students protest controversial Helen Joyce talk

“A number of students, all women, have told me that they are afraid to be seen coming to this event, which they support, for fear of harassment from which they do not trust the College or University authorities to protect them.”

Ahmed concludes by noting that “in the circumstances I’d completely understand if you felt unable to” publicise the event.

However, the master and senior tutor used a College mailing list to publicise their own personal opinions about the event, saying publicly that they would not be attending, and calling Joyce’s views “offensive, insulting, and hateful to members of our community.”

The news comes as donors threatened to pull funding for the College over the handling of the Helen Joyce event. Rogerson refused to apologise but acknowledged there were “difficult and complex discussions” around trans matters.

A Gonville & Caius spokesperson said: “Strongly opposed views are held and encouraged within academic institutions. The event with Helen Joyce took place. Cancellation was never considered.

“Prior to the event, some students and Fellows questioned the College’s commitment to diversity. These concerns led the Master and Senior Tutor to reaffirm that Caius is a welcoming and supportive place. They were also very clear about the fundamental importance of the freedom of expression.

“The Master and Senior Tutor are grateful for messages in support of their right to express their informed personal opinions.