The Cambridge Student

The Cambridge Student is a free weekly newspaper distributed to the staff and students of the University of Cambridge. It is written and edited entirely by a team of volunteers.

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Charlie Clissitt

Hi, I'm a Yorkshire-born English Literature graduate with a love of travel, music, literature, food and animals. I'm ...

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˗ˏˋMicha Frazer-Carroll

Micha Frazer-Carroll is a London-born writer, and Psychology and Sociology student at the University of Cambridge. Editor in ...

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Skills: Proofreader, Editor
Specialisms: Social Media, Science, Politics, Journalism, Film, Features, Entertainment, Culture

Latest Articles

Respect, rote learning and ragout rôti: the reality of French education

Over the course of the past few months, I have made the most of being potentially one of the last British students eligible for Erasmus funding to study abroad in Paris. In the Ecole Normale Supérieure, no less, France's grandiloquently named answer to Oxbridge. Over the years, this venerable establishment — elitist haven of degenerate debauchery, for our Mail readers — has churned out such bastions of supervision essay fodder as Sartre, Foucault and Césaire, and it is not alone in France.
By Tom Higgins Toon
The Cambridge Student

Column: Paperwork and prolixity, or why France just loves its bureaucracy

In France, it is fair to say that civil servants enjoy a greater level of prestige than is generally afforded to their British counterparts. Over here, grey suits and faceless cinder-block buildings tend to dominate public imagination, with pen-pushing in general seldom deemed a glamorous occupation. Yet as I open my tenth letter from the bank in what seems like as many days, it becomes clear that across the channel, excessive administration is very much de rigueur.
By Tom Higgins Toon
The Cambridge Student

French supermarkets: a microcosm of national stereotypes

What links blue tac, bacon and baked beans, aside from a speculative attempt at alliteration on the part of the writer? Traipse around a French supermarket and you may just hit upon the answer. Or not, since it is their very absence that forms the basis for this particularly petulant diatribe. For across the Channel, these inherently practical items are, well, practically impossible to commandeer. As the old saying goes, one man's cultural nuance is another man's bloody nuisance.
By Tom Higgins Toon
The Cambridge Student

Review: Selwyn May Ball

Coming up with a good theme for a May Ball is often a thankless task, with only the finest of margins separating originality from pretentiousness. Fortunately, however, the Selwyn committee were right on the money with their seaside theme, transporting the college back fifty-odd years to a time when Margate trumped Marbella in the battle for middle-class money.

How's that?! Cambridge women record first Varsity win at Fenner's

Cambridge eased to victory in under twelve overs after a ruthless bowling display saw Oxford reduced to just 74 runs. Losing the toss on a flat track in perfect batting conditions, the chances of Cambridge picking up their first win since the competition began in 2011 certainly appeared slim.

May Bumps round-up: Day one

An eventful opening day to Easter Bumps 2017 saw plenty of action all across the divisions as over 150 crews battled it out on a congested River Cam. First contested in the 1820s, the bumps format lends itself particularly well to the narrow nature of the River Cam as it flows through Cambridge, passing the Plough on its way to the start line at the First Post Reach.

Why Scottish football needs Celtic to stay

Here's one for the pub-quizzers amongst you: amongst the main football leagues in Europe, which country has the highest attendance rates? England, the home of football? Or perhaps Spain, where you're hard-pressed to find a taxi driver who doesn't have something to say about his local equipo? Neither, in fact. According to research by Sporting Intelligence, it is the Scots who are the most dedicated fans in Europe, with 3% of the population regularly turning up to cheer on their side.

Cambridge whitewashed in 143rd Athletics Varsity at Wilberforce Road

Despite some very tight scores and excellent performances across the board, Cambridge found themselves on the receiving end of a 4-0 loss to their Oxford counterparts. It was the first time in over 10 years that none of the four teams that make up the general classification failed to record a single victory in their category. Nevertheless, this method of scoring suggested a dominance that perhaps slightly flattered the athletes in dark blue.

"It's like you're involved in something bigger — a team spirit I haven't experienced before"

With his powerful arms, strong jaw and dislocated shoulder, Elliot Teboth has much in common with the conventional boxer. However, his nickname is anything but conventional. Departing from the long-held tradition of intimidating one's opponent by choosing a fearsome moniker like 'Hurricane' or 'Bonecrusher', Teboth opts for the slightly more prosaic 'Pudding'. Pudding?! I can hardly hide my disbelief, but he assures me it's all genuine:

Selwyn edge out Hughes Hall in thrilling rugby Plate final

A last-gasp conversion from fly-half Craig Peter Winfield was enough to secure the silverware for Selwyn, running out 30-28 victors in a highly entertaining encounter at Barton Road. Full-back Jack Fernon thought he had won it for Hughes Hall, running through under the posts to take the score to 28-27 with just five minutes left on the clock, yet Selwyn had other ideas. A probing restart and determined scrummaging forced a defensive error, resulting in a penalty just outside the 22.

Exhilarating snooker final

Snooker. For a sport that identifies itself in such innocent terms — think tight waistcoats, polite applause and John Virgo getting excited whenever the cue ball goes within six inches of a pocket — it is perhaps surprising that there should be such a fractured relationship between certain players and its organising body, WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association).

Cambridge take cycling Varsity, securing one-two finish in BUCS time trial

John Mulvey and BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) 10-mile champion Seb Dickson took gold and silver respectively as Cambridge riders swept the field away at last Saturday's race, held in the Cambridgeshire countryside. However, it could have been an entirely different story for Mulvey, who had to forgo the warm-up following two punctures to his rear wheel.

2017 Cancer Research Boat Races: All you need to know

This Sunday 2nd April, Cambridge and Oxford are set to battle it out on the Thames in the annual Boat Race, last year watched by some 250,000 spectators lining the 4.25 mile course from Putney to Mortlake. The 72nd meeting between the two women's crews will see Cambridge trying to seek revenge following the disappointment of last year, slipping to a 24 length defeat after nearly sinking under Barnes Bridge.

That's not cricket: Why elite-level sports need to embrace innovation

For a second year in a row, Italy did not muster a single point from any of their Six Nations fixtures. However, they could not have come much closer than with their performance against England, during which they wreaked havoc for the first 70 minutes by exploiting a particular loophole in the scrummaging rules.

Anglish: A Brexiteer's lingua franca?

"Unlike most nations, we no longer "own" our language. The Anglish/New English project is intended as a means of recovering the Englishness of English and of restoring ownership of the language to the English people" Whilst you would be forgiven for thinking this statement comes straight from the latest UKIP manifesto, it is in fact a quotation from The Anglish Moot, a fan-page promoting the use of the 'Anglish' language — that is, English with all foreign borrowings stripped away.

What happiness means to me today

A couple of weeks ago, I went home for my older sister’s birthday meal. It was nice, low key, just her and my little sister and our parents, and we ended up talking about my nana — dad’s mum, who died just as I was starting secondary school. She comes up in conversation quite a bit because she was one of those people that stories congregate around. No one in my family talks about nana without launching into a retelling of some specific, silly, remarkable thing that she did.
By Celia Morris
The Cambridge Student

Selwyn XI edge out Jesus in five-goal thriller

Selwyn dug deep late on to clinch a 3-2 victory against title challengers Jesus in a delayed Saturday afternoon kick-off. Playing in front of their own fans, Jesus continued their impressive form of late with a strong start against a Selwyn team for whom defeat would plunge them into a late relegation battle.
By Tom Higgins Toon
The Cambridge Student

Review: Improv Actually

Many of those who entered the Playroom last night to catch the Impronauts’ Valentine’s production, Improv Actually, may have done so hesitantly. Improv, seemingly by its very nature, is hit and miss. People struggle with the genre due to its sometimes self-parodying focus around energy, spontaneity and chaos. This is valid – in this production expect people to trip up, draw a blank, and impulsively word vomit without really thinking about the sounds, syllables and ideas that are coming out of th

“Sin-bins”: Should football follow rugby’s example?

Earlier this month, it was revealed that rugby style “sinbins” could come into the eleven-a-side game as soon as 3 March, when IFAB, the FA’s law-making body, next hold their AGM at Wembley. Presented as a measure looking to encourage fair play, there are doubts as to the effectiveness of pilfering rules from rugby, a sport whose culture of respect sets it far apart from football, the world’s most popular, and most illdisciplined, sport.
By Tom Higgins Toon
The Cambridge Student

Review: Right Place Wrong Time

As we draw towards the end of term in a place that often feels steeped in misogyny, if you need somewhere to channel your feminist rage, Right Place Wrong Time is a viable outlet. Following the memory of journalist Claire Hollingworth, who witnessed the outbreak of World War Two but had her credit snatched by male counterpart Robin Hankey, Una McAllister’s original piece bears emotional and sociological depth that you won’t quite believe was crafted by a student. As we watch Hollingworth’s succe

In defence of comfort foods

Since being set my first essay of the year, the foods I turn to for comfort have become painstakingly apparent. From where I currently sit – in the middle of my bed, immovable for all intents and purposes – I can see two half-eaten packets of chocolate biscuits and three empty packets of Pom-Bears. Poking out of my bin is the box my McNuggets came in the other night. A bottle of squash sits on my shelf, begging to be taken to the kitchen so I can boil the kettle and transport myself to sweet squashy paradise. Hidden in my desk drawer are bags of fruit: oranges, apples, and nectarines. My mum bought them for me when she came to visit about a week ago, and I try not to think about them too much.
By Celia Morris
The Cambridge Student

Review: Clybourne Park

First taking to the stage in 2009, the themes of race relations, ‘political correctness’ and gentrification in Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park seem as relevant as ever in 2016. Cambridge Arts’ Theatre’s current production stylishly serves its audience food for thought, however it seems as if more creativity, thought and character development could have gone into the piece. Opening in a 1950’s middle-class Chicago neighbourhood called Clybourne Park, the play propels us into the lives of a couple,

Review: Lemonade

Widely considered to be one of the most influential artists of the millennium thus far, Beyoncé is no stranger to surprising fans. But Lemonade’s release provided a double blow of shock value - not only was it surprise album, breaking a media silence that lasted almost three years, but it also revealed a more personal, vulnerable Beyoncé, that fans had never been exposed to with such rawness, and so unapologetically. In Lemonade, Beyoncé pulls no punches, she is genre-less, timeless, and doesn’t

On the media fascination with student politics

There’s no doubt that the media are somewhat obsessed with student activism, with Oxford and Cambridge stealing a lot of headlines. The most recent events gaining attention from the press include Jesus College’s decision to remove a Benin bronze of a Cockerel that was looted under colonial occupation, and Pembroke’s choice to change the theme of its potentially disastrous ‘around the world in 80 days’ bop garnering headlines from the Guardian, the Mail, The Telegraph, BBC News, The Times, and Th

Why gender neutral college marriage matters

Last week, news broke that Emmanuel’s Student Union is currently re-writing college marriage guidelines to ensure that they are gender-neutral. This is undoubtedly an overdue victory, but whydid it take so long, and where should we go from here? College marriage systems that specify applicants for college children should be two people “of the opposite sex” (as Emma’s did) are damaging on a structural level. Whilst the idea that college marriages are a bit of fun isn’t entirely false, the mess

Mental health is not just a Week Five issue

It’s Week Five. Most of you will have a host of existing connotations attached to this phrase. Much student speculation, debate, and campaigning has surrounded the notion that the infamous ‘Week Five Blues’ is a damaging, institutionalised euphemism that acknowledges and condones the pervasiveness of mental health problems at Cambridge. The dressing up and playing down of systematically exacerbated symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety is undoubtedly purported by the myth of ‘Week Five’.

The Oscars boycott: Not just a temper tantrum

Next month, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee, and other black actors and filmmakers will boycott the Oscars in protest of this year’s startling all-white acting nominees list. Among support for a brave act of rebellion that flies in the face of one of the most prestigious institutions in the business, came cries that those involved needed to check their privilege and consider themselves lucky to be in such a fortunate situation as to be making movies in the first place. Interestingly,

Plant based eating: Not just for January

Veganuary may be coming to an end, but this doesn’t mean plant-based eating has to. Even if you don’t want to go all out and become a vegetarian or vegan, you could still decide to eat less meat by making plant-based meals that are filling, protein-packed and super satisfying. Even though I’m not fully vegetarian or vegan, I regularly enjoy eating this way because it's healthier, cheaper and usually much quicker and easier to make - time is often of the essence at Cambridge! It’s also, you know,
By Rhian Williams
The Cambridge Student

Review: Killer Joe

Tracy Letts’ 1993 blood-spattered extravaganza, Killer Joe is a play that knows exactly how to make your heart race and your skin crawl. Upon taking the dark comedy to the screen in 2012, when Letts first approached Matthew McConaughey with the script and an offer to audition for Joe, McConaughey rejected flat out, remarking that he felt ‘dirty’ just from skimming it. In this week’s production at the Corpus Playroom there are definitely moments that make the viewer uncomfortable; but much like i

Review: The Master and Margarita

The Marlowe Society’s Master and Margarita is largely a triumph; an excellent performance combining both dark and comic elements that builds up an enthralling energy, only to plod to a rather anticlimactic halt. Mikhail Bulgakov’s zany and multilayered political novel, completed in 1940 but unpublished until 1967, concerns the struggles of The Master, a playwright suffering under the censorship of the atheistic Soviet Union. His subsequent visit from the Devil instigates a bizarre series of eve
By Charlie Clissitt
The Cambridge Student