Caesarian Sunday, normally Cambridge’s most riotous day of the year, passed off quietly today as students sought to kill the media hysteria surrounding the event. The usual target of the tabloid press’ long lenses, the annual fight between the Jesus College’s Caesarians and the Girton Green Monsters, was cancelled as students gathered to drink peacefully at Jesus Green and having fun with the national press who were hunting for tales of debauchery.
Amidst warnings of a heavy police presence there was a slightly dampened atmosphere at Jesus Green when compared to last year when students were seen urinating, vomiting and parading a pig’s head on a stick in the public park. However, this year, students turned their ire towards the media, holding them responsible for the police attention andconsequently put in a determined effort to rob them of their story.
The Girton Green Monsters apparently stayed away from the event, with other drinking society members suggesting a deal had been struck to host future Caesarian Sundays on College grounds in exchange for a quiet day this year. The Caesarians were also notable by their apparent absence.
Students began arriving at midday and there were still large numbers there in the late afternoon, but with remarkably little disruption. Drinking society initiations were kept firmly away from Jesus Green this year, with most apparently choosing to keep them in their own grounds and away from prying eyes. Extravagant headdresses and stripping down to boxers were about the limits of this year’s nudity.
Reporters and photographers from The Sun and The Daily Mail were quickly identified and met with cherubic innocence. The ‘Fitzwilliam geographical society’ were apparently on an environmental drive, ostentatiously binning their numerous bottles. The Trinity Cobblers proudly noted they had “nothing to hide”, and called the normal media coverage “totally unfair – looking for the worst stories”.
Sergeant Andrea Gilbert, in charge of the police presence, commented that it was “Going better than last year” and that her team of eight policeman, offering a sharp contrast to the several hundred who were in attendance at the EDL march earlier in the year, made no arrests and received no complaints from the public – although they did remove at least six people from Jesus Green. The Cambridge Student saw at least two of those students removed after they urinated in public but the majority were on their best behaviour for the cameras.
Abuse was reserved for the press who looked steadily more disconsolate throughout the day. The photographer from The Sun refused comment, but Harry Mount, an Oxford graduate reporting for The Daily Mail admitted that: “It looks like a lot of people having a picnic…If people are just having a sandwich and a drink there’s no story here”.
Photographers were challenged strongly by students, with one couple claiming to be local residents on a stroll with remarkably good cameras being quickly confronted. Cameron Fraser, a Loughborough student visiting friends for Caesarian Sunday and one of those who challenged the pair said: “Students should be allowed to cut loose once in a month and the media just tries to demonise them”.
Students and the University will now be awaiting tomorrow’s coverage of the event to see if their efforts to tone down the event have paid off.
Adam Clark – Deputy News Editor