Queens’ DOS email to NatSci freshers highlights mental health crisis

Catherine Lally 3 November 2017

A Director of Studies in Physical Sciences has circulated an email to all Queens’ NatSci freshers, warning them about going through their first few weeks in Cambridge without being “completely focused.” It states that if they “enjoy their social life,” instead of using their “FULL brain capacity,” they will not “easily survive” the course.

The email was highlighted by Memebridge and Student Minds Cambridge, as it serves as a telling example of a dangerous and unhealthy culture in Cambridge of encouraging students to prioritise work over mental well-being. While the email begins by warning students against ‘pennying' and drinking games, it tells them that Cambridge is “NOT” like “any other uni,” where students  are allowed to have “what they regard as ‘a good time.’” It even goes on to tell students that “ALL of [their] attention” to the subject may not be enough for some.

Queens' JCR President, Hope Whitehead, commented on behalf of the JCR: "While the JCR certainly doesn't endorse irresponsible drinking, we are deeply disappointed with the comments made by this fellow. Queens' as a college has made a strong commitment to student welfare and we as a committee work hard to do so as well."

TCS has reached out to the professor for comment.