16th June 2024

Leaked email reveals Cambridge’s advice for Lent lockdown


The Porter’s Log has obtained an exclusive copy of Graham Virgo’s latest virtual missive in advance of its distribution.

Read below for an insight into how Cambridge will handle the new Lent lockdown – just as well as it handled the previous ones.

Dear Students, 

We are aware that you will be looking to plan your return to Cambridge in the near future and, having consulted the Department of Education, we are now in a position to advise you on this matter. We ask you to read the following guidance carefully.

We are now in a very grave situation. As such, we suggest you consider carefully whether certain activities are truly necessary. Do you really need to brush your teeth? Is it essential to use the bathroom, or can you hold it in? Can you survive without food or water, or could you eat a single crisp a day in order to keep your friends safe? 

Students that do return to college premises must adhere to the restrictions in place. These include limiting the time you spend as a physical form and minimising your interaction with all types of molecules, including O2. Students may or may not be required to submit themselves to enhanced interrogation if accused of breaking the rules, including but not limited to a college-wide game of Cluedo to determine the rule-breakers’ identities. At this stage it is unclear if the University will be allocated its own Big Brother.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. In the event of immediate closure or a tie break, the university may be forced to enact a public vote to decide who will be evicted from each college (standard charges may still apply, you must be over 18 and have the bill payer’s permission). 

We are aware that travel is extremely difficult and uncertain at this time. As such, we have implemented a number of simple guidelines to ease your journey back to the university. 

  • If you hit a snake you must slide down, but on encountering a ladder you may progress. 
  • If you are an international student and are stuck mid-journey, please contact another student who may crawl underneath your legs or tap your arm to free you.  
  • Finally, if you do not pass go, you may not collect £200 pounds.

As this is a changing situation, we recommend consulting Buzzfeed quizzes or an online tarot site for more precise, up-to-date advice. If you are concerned and require an immediate answer, we suggest investing in a Magic 8 ball or folding your own paper fortune teller. 

For this plan to succeed, we will require multi-agency cooperation and collaborative action across the whole student body. Together, together, together everyone. Together, together, come on, let’s have some fun. Together, we’re there for each other every time. Together, together, come on, let’s do this right.

We hope you had a safe and restful holiday and are looking forward to your return. With a vaccination program now finally in sight, it is important to remember that the real pandemic was the friends we made along the way.

With best wishes,

Graham Virgo

Senior pro-vice-deputy co-chancellor for the office of the students of the constituent colleges of the Democratic Republic of the University of Cambridge