Jesuans duped by concrete court proposal

Ceri Ellen Evans - News Reporter 27 October 2009

Students at Jesus met with worry last week as minutes leaked from the Jesus College Student Union (JCSU) meeting suggested that there were plans to pave over Chapel Court – an area widely considered to be the prettiest part of the College.

Their concerns were quickly put to rest however; it emerged shortly afterwards that the minutes were fake.

They had been put in a letter sent to students’ pigeon holes along with a questionnaire to be filled in. The letter, signed by a Siobhan Hutchins, who claimed to be JCSU College Liaison Officer, which it transpired, did not exist, announced that plans to pave the court were to commence immediately.

The minutes included a Photo Shopped “architect’s image” of what Chapel Court would look like after its transformation, and accurate information about the costs of lawn upkeep.

Relevant meetings were also referenced, and the plans were apparently to include a fountain in the new paved area.

In an e-mail sent to college undergraduates, JCSU President David Lowry applauded the hoaxers for “their accuracy in noting Council minutes and their very plausible use of Photoshop,” although he also branded it “frankly quite sad.”

In a separate e-mail, he told The Cambridge Student (TCS) that “it is important to Jesus College that its students have a say in all its decisions.

“Key committees have student representation and I meet regularly with all senior officers. A decision of this kind could not be taken without the involvement of students, and I would like to reassure Jesuans that this proposal is completely untrue.

“Whilst this was obviously intended as a joke, students should rest assured that the JCSU is representing their interests, and anyone concerned should contact me.”

Work is currently being carried out on Chapel Court but it is only to repair lawns damaged in a sculpture exhibition this summer; despite the insistence of the hoaxer, there has never been a plan to pave Chapel Court, and no such move could be could be authorised by the college without consulting JCSU.

No action is to be taken against the perpetrator of the hoax.

Ceri Ellen Evans – News Reporter