Editorial Lent 2012 Issue Seven

Over twenty people took part in last term's protest against David Willetts and the subsequent occupation of Lady Mitchell Hall. One is being disciplined. This one student will be hauled before the Court of Discipline which will hold a secret trial which could result in the student being sent down. We will not know why.

For a start, it is unclear why one individual should bear responsibility for a collective protest. Either the University is too lazy to find all the protesters, or it wishes to make an example of this one. Either way, this is an arbitrary decision and thus inherently unjust.

Then there is the form of the disciplinary hearings. These are held in secret and, while the University claims that there is free legal advice available, there is no way for us to examine how fair proceedings are and thus we can have no guarantee that they are fair.

This is the sort of clandestine affair that went out of fashion in this country centuries ago. Cambridge, however, appears to be living up to its name as an ‘Ancient' University by carrying on as if this were still the thirteenth century. Then, when The Cambridge Student tried to find out exactly what is going on, we were casually brushed off.

When it comes to relations between the University and its more junior members, there is a tendency to obfuscation which is frankly patronising and it absolutely has to end. TCS did not support the occupation and we have not changed from that position but the days when the University could act as a law unto itself are long gone. We wholeheartedly oppose the arbitrary and unjust treatment of this one student and urge the University authorities to reconsider. We would argue that Cambridge must be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century, but it appears that we must first drag it into the nineteenth.

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