The motion had provoked debate among SU members with amendments being proposedLucas Maddalena with permission for Varsity

The SU failed to vote on a divisive motion to campaign against the ban on undergraduate part-time work at this week’s Student Council (20/11), due to not enough postgraduate students being present.

Caredig ap Tomos, the SU’s Access, Education & Participation Officer, had proposed the motion at the previous SU council, where he claimed that the ban is “hypocritical” and “restricts the freedom of students unnecessarily.”

Speaking to Varsity, ap Tomos refuted the idea that the inquorate meeting spoke of a wider apathy regarding the motion, saying: “the meeting was well attended by undergraduate members, to whom the student work motion is most relevant.”

“There is no apathy among students about this issue. Students have engaged with all parts of the consultation process, and many of the students who have talked to me have been supportive of the idea,” he added.

There was frustration expressed about the low attendance on Camfess, the University’s anonymous Facebook page.

The motion has also been met with mixed reactions from voting members of the SU, with Hughes Hall MCR saying: “Those from a tougher financial background should not be disadvantaged by the requirement to get a job.”

These concerns were also echoed by Martha Rand, External Vice President for Newnham JCR, who proposed amendments to the motion, arguing for a focus on “ending structural financial inequality” rather than the ban on part-time jobs.

The amendments proposed included the following: “The university’s stance on part-time work through the university or colleges allows students to earn money in a way that is more flexible and sympathetic to their situation as a student.”


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The motion to campaign against lifting the ban was replaced with a motion to “campaign for better financial support for students who do not qualify for as much assistance through Student Finance or the Cambridge Bursary but are nevertheless in financial difficulty.”

In an email to Newnham JCR members, Rand explained their amendments saying: “The expectation that students don’t work in term time is helpful in incentivising the university and colleges to support students financially.”

“Students forced to work part-time in addition to the Cambridge workload would have less chance of a social life, extra-curricular opportunities and even good physical and mental health,” Rand added

The motion will now be voted on at the first council of Lent term, assuming that voting membership attendance is high enough.