Trinity College Student Union criticise college’s wording in email sent last night

Louis Mian 5 February 2021
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The Trinity College Student Union has criticised the wording used by Trinity Master and former Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, in an email sent to students last night (4th February).

In this email, Davies told students, ‘if your situation deteriorates and you are in imminent danger, contact us. Otherwise, please all join our wonderful silent majority of students who are resiliently getting on with studies and life at home.’

The President of TCSU sent an email to Trinity students this morning, explaining that ‘“Please all join our wonderful silent majority of students” was not the right choice of words.’

‘Even disregarding its connection to Nixon and counter-protest movements, the term “silent majority” is one with problematic undertones.’

‘They are also the wrong words to describe the students. There is no silent majority; we are all dealing with this situation as best we can, and none of us should feel that we need to remain silent about how difficult things are at the moment. Now more than ever, it’s important that we share and voice our concerns, challenges, and struggles,’ the TCSU President continued.

This follows criticism that the college received from students on the Facebook page Camfess yesterday. One student anonymously wrote, ‘They seem to have no understanding of the variety of issues people may face when being forced to stay at home. Physical violence is not the only circumstance that warrants a need to return to Cambridge!’

The college’s strict requirements for students returning into residence has also been criticised by Cambridge Students Minds, who explained, in an open letter, that the college has ‘set out more extreme requirements than the government, requiring students to provide a recommendation that they should not be at home, preventing them from assessing their own situation and mental health needs.’

Despite the Master’s poor wording, the TCSU President said that ‘after almost twelve months in this role, I know Dame Sally had nothing but good intentions with her email.’

‘Through all my interactions with Dame Sally this year, I’ve found her to be nothing but caring and kind. The same goes for the Dean and the Senior Tutor, and everyone working with and for them.’

‘This has been an incredibly difficult year for us students, but it has not been easy for those working for the College either. The Tutors and the Tutorial Office have worked non-stop this term with our best interest in mind, so the least we can do in return is to communicate with them in a sensible, civil, and understanding manner.’

‘I know they can be slow in getting back to us at times and that the outcome of our communications with them may not always be what we want it to be, but being nasty or uncompromising in return is not fair to those working for the College,’ the President stated.

He further asked students ‘angry with the college’ to contact TCSU ‘and we’d be happy to talk to you about it confidentially.’

TCS has contacted Trinity College for comment.