Cambridge University’s Student Union (CUSU) have passed a controversial motion to ban the display of firearms at their annual Fresher’s Fair, due to concerns that their presence would upset some students.
In a student council meeting on February 3, CUSU Welfare & Rights officer Stella Swain tabled a motion that would prevent firearms from being displayed by societies at the Fresher’s Fair. The motion also aimed to prevent the presence of “external military organisations” from attending the fair, although this part of the motion was removed by an amendment.
Swain’s motion states that Fresher’s Fair should be an opportunity to learn and explore student societies, and not an opportunity for military organisations to recruit. CUSU has, also, stated that it believes the presence of firearms can be detrimental to students mental health – particularly for some international students, who may have grown up in war-zones.
The controversial motion passed by 75% to 25%
The controversial motion passed by 75% to 25%, despite outcry from the Cambridge University Rifle Association. One committee member argued that a rifle “is no different from any other piece of sporting equipment”, especially since they are chained up and deactivated at the fair. She also criticised the student’s union for not informing societies of the motion before it was passed, meaning they could not voice their opinions on the matter before the motion was implemented.
A platoon commander of the Cambridge University Officers Training Corps described the ban on firearms as “sensible”, although criticised the student union for trying to use the ban to force through anti-military legislation, that would “restrict the way in which students enjoy their spare time”.
Last modified: 27th February 2020