Editorial: Lent Week One

Welcome back to Cambridge, readers; I hope you're enjoying the pre-term freedom and the new look TCS, and that you're journey wasn't delayed too much by battles with the snow.

But the snow isn't the only thing you have to face with true grit...

Whether it's the heavy-handed reaction of the Queens' College Dean to an unspecified ‘incident' at the end of last term, or snobbish letters written to Cambridge Council by an ageing member of the Union Society's management, everyone in Cambridge seems to be after the little guy. Student life is full of Institutions, with a capital ‘I', and there rarely seems to be much will or appetite for change.

If you ever feel the desire to drop round CUSU Council, you'll find more of the same. The Minutes are generally breathtakingly detailed, referring back to voluminous tomes of past correspondence that explain what CUSU believes, believed, proposes, opposed, rejected and embraced.

Everything that gets done is sent through endless meetings and committees, but in this whirling storm of paper the students themselves often get lost.

It seems to this writer that Cambridge often ends up being too much about bits of paper and too little about fun; perhaps this is what leads to the kind of distant, ivory towers thinking that left Col. Bailey criticising ‘winos' for distracting his Union celebrities.

The fact is that Cambridge institutions are impenetrable and boring at the best of times, and in the bleak mid-winter, coupled with the snow and ice, the place can seem more like Hull than Hogwarts.

However, there is a bright spot: the pubs are good, the college bars are open (with, on an ents night, the exception of Queens'), and the place will soon be alive with the buzz of a thousand students.

And, if there is any more snow, the old buildings will be beautiful. Cambridge is a vibrant place in term, from the dubstep nights to plays at the ADC, the art classes to the rugby pitches. Forget about the weekly meetings for now.

Enjoy the freedom. As for the Institutions and the Minutes, don't give them the time of day.

James Burton

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories

In this section

Across the site

Best of the Rest