CUSU passes motion to increase accessibility for Cambridge Bursary recipients

Sophie Laura Weymes-McElderry 14 May 2018

CUSU unanimously passed a motion yesterday evening proposing to make social aspects of Cambridge college life more accessible for students in receipt of a Cambridge Bursary, stating that some events prove inaccessible for students on bursaries due to their prohibitive cost.

The motion, submitted by Olivia Hylton-Pennant, the current CUSU Access Officer, stemmed from Hughes Hall’s May Ball initiative in offering a 20% discount on ticket prices at face value to Bursary recipients and the Cambridge Union’s new, heavily-subsidised Access scheme.

The motion calls for aspects of Cambridge life to be more inclusive to students from lower-income backgrounds through progressive pricing.

Hughes Hall’s scheme was an unprecedented move among Cambridge colleges, renowned for their high May Ball ticket prices.

In her speech to Council, Hylton-Pennant argued that Bursary students’ relationships with their peers were negatively affected by the high prices for society or sport events. As the scheme is not currently part of CUSU policy, the emphasis currently lies with individual College bodies to make the decision.

“I don’t see why it can’t be expanded across the university, sports, and societies,” Hylton-Pennant said.

As the motion was adopted, CUSU has resolved to encourage the possibility of subsidised ticket options through emailing all May Ball and June Event presidents at the start of the Michaelmas and Lent terms, as well as society Access Officers to promote the provision of subsidised tickets to events such as formal dinners, balls and galas, and post-Varsity match dinners.