Trinity College has announced that a referendum will be held in June to decide whether the college will become independent of the University.
Marcus Atherton, the leader of the ‘Better Off Out’ campaign, gave an impassioned speech at the Union last night. “We at Trinity have our own culture, our own way of life and our own proud history of achievement,” he told students.
“For seven years running, we have been at the top of the Tompkins Table. Independence is the only way to ensure that we, as an educational superpower, are no longer dragged down by the rest of the University. We should also have complete control over who is admitted to Trinity and that means no longer accepting academic migrants from the winter pool.”
JCR President Emily Milton also voiced her support, saying: “We’re tired of free movement between colleges. Students come under the premise of a supervision, but then stay to use our buttery and bar. This kind of benefit tourism must be stopped. At our May Ball last year there was a swarm of students attempting to sail across to Trinity by punt. It was horrifying and it’s time we kept our borders secure.”
The Senior Tutor Cecil Jones said Trinity would benefit economically by severing ties with the University.
“We are fed up of having to bail out other colleges just because we have made better economic choices over the centuries. Just this term a bank at Queens’ collapsed and guess who’s being forced to pay for it?
“Trinity College needs to put its resources into its own industry, which is the mass-production of mathmos,” he said.
However, there have been fears from University leaders that an ‘out’ result in the referendum could cause a University-wide economic shock.
Cambridge Vice-chancellor, Leszek Borysiewicz, said in a statement: “We have to think seriously about how the University could survive without Trinity’s wealth. If the ‘out’ campaign is successful, we will be forced to convert the African nation of Gambia, whose GDP matches Trinity’s endowment, into our newest college.
“It may be a bit of a commute to the Sidgwick site for some students, but it’ll do wonders for our diversity problem.”