Issue No 2 Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
The Independent Trinity Newspaper since 2007
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Trinity: Capital at what Cost? Joseph Belsham-Harris & Fan Yang
May Week 2007 descended upon Cambridge with its usual festivities: balls; champagne; garden parties. However, while Trinity was revelling in early June’s decadence, a resident of Bexhill-on-Sea was hoping to exert an altogether more sober influence on its students. Posted in the mailroom, nestled among flyers advertising yet more opportunities to party, was a letter that few of us would have taken to time to read. The letter detailed plans of a development on farmland owned by Trinity in East Sussex, which would entail the loss of four farms to make way for 48,000 square metres of business space and 1,100 new homes. It is clear that such a development could have significant consequences on the community in Bexhill. Although Linsey Parris, the resident behind the letter, asks that the ‘students of Trinity… look at the plight facing Bexhill’, this request is likely to have had little impact given the apathy that dogs the college. Is it the case that we have all grown so comfortable in the many advantages of Trinity’s money that to consider such social concerns seems distinctly unpalatable? Or perhaps, given the many ways in which we all benefit greatly from Trinity’s wealth, we should instead welcome the proceeds which result from the college’s commercial pursuits, whatever the cost to others. It cannot be denied that Trinity’s economic prosperity has profited us all. In a recent Varsity poll which asked
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students which college other than their own they would most like to be at, Trinity came in at fourth place. This high ranking was not a result of the much lauded beauty of the college, but motivated by such factors as ‘having your books paid for’ and good accommodation – privileges undoubtedly derived from the wealth of the college. The generous financial support extends further than academic considerations into personal
The Travisty Team
enjoyment, as facilitated by the Dunlevie Fund amongst many other grants and alongside the heavy subsidy of food and accommodation. Beyond Great Gate, Trinity has been a major contributor towards the University’s development including the Access Scheme. Surely the potential sacrifice of this to save four farms is too much to ask for? Cont’d on page 2
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2 IN BRief Continued from Front Page
But this is not the first time that the way in which Trinity acquires its wealth has been the subject of controversy. When, in 2006, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) published its alternative ‘ivy league’ of the biggest investors in the arms trade, Trinity topped the list of all the Oxbridge colleges, with a total of 804,009 shares in various UK-based arms companies. Of this total, 796,738 of the shares were in BAE Systems, which has sold Hawk jets to Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and Indonesia, where they were put to use in the 2003 invasion of Aceh in which at least 2000 (mainly civilian) people died. Although Trinity has since slashed its shares in BAE Systems to 140,000, the issue remains if, as ‘members’ of the college, our consciences should lead us to question investments which, according to CAAT, ‘proliferate misery around the globe.’
This is not a question of denouncing the way in which Trinity raises its ample funds: the selling of the farmland in Sussex and the arms trade contribute only a small portion to Trinity’s annual financial report. Indeed, the benefits of the college’s money have been keenly felt, especially for students in economic hardship. This is not a case of all or nothing; it is not a choice of living like a king or living as though we’re at King’s. Rather, as members of the college, we should perhaps be more aware of how our privileges arise. We should not allow our own enjoyment of Trinity’s wealth to blind us to its influences outside the Cambridge bubble.
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
Editor’s Letter Dear all, Welcome to the new year and our first issue of Travisty for Michaelmas Term. Michaelmas always brings with it a few goodies – new people with the accompanying awkwardness and drunkenness, a fresh start with new supervisors if you happen to have left last years’ befuddled and disillusioned, Matric Dinner for the Freshers and Christmas Formals for everyone else. This year we can add something extra to the list – a fortnightly edition of Travisty. If it doesn’t kill us by Lent Term we will be bringing Travisty to a mailroom near you four times this term, each issue hopefully more stimulating and informative than the last. Our aim by the time we finish our terms as editors is to have reinstated Travisty as the college institution that it once was. It’s a travesty (sorry) that a college as big and bright as Trinity hasn’t had its own publication for so long – we hope you also feel the shame and will join us in our efforts by contributing in any way, shape or form (we’re always looking for people to help). We kick off this issue with a cover story about Trinity’s social responsibility. It’s a fairly contentious issue, but one that not a whole lot of people are aware of. We know Trinity is of course incredibly wealthy but we are less aware of where that wealth comes from and what the college does with it. Bear in mind that as a charitable institution Trinity has a legal obligation to maximise the value of its investments in order to achieve its charitable objective (i.e. educating you) – and of course I don’t think any of us would wish Trinity were any poorer, but it is an issue I wish Trinity students knew more about. Maybe that infamous college apathy needs to be stirred a little. On that note, enjoy the read, see you in a fortnight.
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In Brief 3
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
Trinity Truths Valerie Nunis Mythbuster
In a College as venerable as ours, one is bound to find myths, legends, and traditions with sources of varying repute. Only in Trinity can one find bears, chairs, Masters and ducks, all tangled up in a big giant ball of Rumour. No more, I say, no more! It’s time we got down and dirty with actuality, and sorted myth and legend from pure, pristine fact.
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What, though, should one tackle first? In this first column, it’s going to have to be Byron’s bear. Because Byron is amazing. And because I quite like bears. So here’s the truth. Yes, Byron DID keep a bear in Trinity. During his time of residency (1805 – 07) wild dogs roamed the Colleges, and a rule was made against keeping them as pets. Byron, avid animal lover that he was (he had, in his lifetime, horses, dogs, monkeys, cats, an eagle, a crow, a falcon, peacocks, guinea hens, an Egyptian crane, a fox, the famed bear and three geese he had saved from being a Christmas dinner), exploited the loophole in the rule stating merely that no dogs may be kept as pets, and acquired a tame bear, naming it Bruin. ‘I have got a new friend, the finest in the world, a tame Bear, when I bought him here, they asked me what I meant to do with him, and my reply was “he should sit for a fellowship.”’ So wrote Byron in a letter to a friend, and the rest, as they say, is history. The bear probably didn’t live in his rooms though, and the legend that it lived in the tower in the South-East corner of Great Court is more likely to be true. “But we knew this!” I hear you cry. “That’s not a proper legend at all!” Well then, if you have better mysteries for the next issue of Travisty, I’ll be glad to be your sleuth. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and prepare for the truth!
Identify what the employer is looking for and develop examples to demonstrate your transferable skills Employer websites are a good starting point, some listing desired competencies, but speaking to staff from the company to gives firsthand details
4 Use examples from academia, work & extra-curricular activities 5 Answer all the questions 6 Tailor answers to the specific job and orgnaisation 7 Check your form for spelling mistakes (or typos)
8 Keep it simple and specific 9 Keep a copy of your form 10 Never Lie! There are often word limits!
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What’s Hot » ENGLAND!!! It is a little off topic for this column but dead on for this week at least and, let’s face it, England’s good streak cannot last forever. So, since the rugby World Cup final is next Saturday I am celebrating my nation’s prowess as much as I can this week before I return to only being patriotic in a historical sense, and I invite everyone to join me! » Chunky Heels It is all about heels this season; as big, bold and brash as you like! A turn away from the teetering sophistication of sexy stilettos – because a broken ankle is always sexy – is a huge relief. Not only will we be able to buy more shoes with the money normally spent on re-heeling, but we can exit formal and stride confidently over those tricky cobbles! » Being Back on Black It’s not original but as the days darken so do our wardrobes and, yes, the fashionista’s favourite ‘colour’ is back with a vengeance. From dusky charcoal to mysterious onyx in inky velvet or raven silk – it is best in different textures; shiny vs. matt and with statement accessories. » Skirt the Issue Choose the skirt suit this season because the nipped waist, a very 40’s look, shows off a proper womanly figure and a more grown-up silhouette is what it’s all about this autumn, in contrast to the soft flowing lines of summer. A-lines are back along with the ultra-sexy pencil skirt, and hems are on or very close to the knee – these are easy to wear and work fabulously with heels!
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
Miss Advise... Travisty’s resident agony aunt
Dear Miss Advise, Having always found that my intelligence was a source of intimidation for many of the boys at school, I was greatly looking forward to beginning a new, and hopefully more stimulating, phase of my life as a fresher at Trinity. This, I thought, would be a place where female brains would be a turnon as opposed to a distinctly unwelcome cold shower for men. Since arriving however, any dreams I was entertaining have been dashed. Despite their obvious brainpower, it seems that Trinitarian boys are just as inclined as all the rest of the male population to devolve into primitive cavemen should the faintest whiff of opportunity present itself. I am rapidly losing faith that the saving grace of the opposite sex is to be found within these hallowed grounds. Please help!!! Yours,
Desperately Seeking Byron
Dear Desperately Seeking Byron, Do not fear; there is hope yet. Not all boys are destined to be eternally incompetent with the fairer sex. Your dazzling presence may currently be too much for the inept boys to handle, but as they become accustomed to the concept of looking a girl in the eye and maintaining a conversation, you will find that they start to evolve. Alternatively, you could always go for the older man; perhaps seduce a supervisor or lecturer. Oh, and one more tip, you would be sensible to stay away from the rowers…they seem to find it harder than most to shake off the inner caveman. The instinct to compare size and speed never seems to lose its appeal. With kindest regards,
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
Topping the Class Fan Yang
If there is one thing most people associate with the University of Cambridge, it is academic excellence. Ask people what the pupils of this prestigious institution wear, and the stereotype of boys in tweed blazers with leather elbow patches and girls in woollen sweaters and full circle skirts à la Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Sylvia’ is a hard one to dispel. For too long, at least in the minds of those who have yet to see denimclad Trinity students pottering across Great Court, the intelligence of Cambridge students has been coupled with their inability to drag their dress sense out of the Edwardian era and into the 21st century. However, change is afoot. It’s time to prep it up. First things first: this is not geek chic. The catwalk this season was not seeking to emulate the awkward, gawky nerd who hides at the back of the classroom, shuffling surreptitiously out of every lesson when it ends. Instead, designers were aspiring to embody the public face of academia. Fashion shows had probably never seen so many Head Girls and School Prefects parading down the runway. This was about power dressing – clothes that said ‘I’m smart, and I know it.’ What else would we expect from an industry so famed for its flamboyance, decadence and opulence? From the typical graduate in black, tailored blazers and navy blue wool trousers at 3.1 Phillip Lim, to the Green Prefect advocating environmental issues in boho scarves and black and red striped jackets at Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere, whatever your School Council preference, there’s a position for you. Don those structured peacoats and expert-cut crisp white shirts, and give the tourists the Cambridge vision they’ve been longing to see!
The Travisty Committee Editor ............................................... Joanna Heath Deputy Editor .......................... Adam Blacklay Features Editor ..................................... Fan Yang
This Issue’s Contributors Joseph Belsham-Harris Georgia Hart Derek Chan Valerie Nunis To apply, send an e-mail to ajib2 and, of course, Tom Coker His Majesty, “the Bird” Natalie Dixon
What’s Not » Bad Behaviour No-one wants to limit hilarious antics in Freshers’ Week but rudeness is unnecessary and if you have a problem with the Fellows’ grace, can’t you just ignore it?! There have been a few too many visits to the Dean already this term and I for one do not want official limits put on our Formalling style! » Trinity Scarves Before you jump to any conclusions I do like the Trinity scarf: primary colours are never bad. However, the reason I do not have one, and the reason that they are firmly on this side of the page is the sheer discomfort they entail - they are so damn scratchy! I understand that they are 100% wool, which is very nice but you know what’s better CASHMERE! » Clashing A new term rolls on and new freshers tumble out of formal in all their finery. We all love formal...but how on earth are we supposed to impress when our college gowns are intrinsically designed to ruin any outfit, no matter how carefully planned. Note to designer – black and navy never a good combination, EVER! It’s the only reason I’m jealous of other colleges with their neat black ones » Hanging onto Summer Although we didn’t really have a summer this year we pretended it was hot in true British style keeping the fabrics light and the skirts short. Now we can shed that floaty ethereal nonsense and layer up with big knits so we need never feel chilly this term! As with all statement pieces, keep the rest of the outfit sleek and simple!
6 PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
An Ending Fitting for the Start Tom Coker President of Trinity College Students’ Union
Yo ho ho and a bottle of wine! That’s how I feel every October, my excitement growing daily as Halloween approaches; the one day of the year when I can safely throw eggs at all the heathen children who vandalise and steal my bicycles. Guilty until proven innocent, as every good policeman will tell you. I should emphasise that for my present purpose, “heathen children” does not mean “undergraduates”. Indeed, that is the second best thing about this month. Seeing all your happy smiling faces is the finest medicine for the end of summer downer. Like many pleasures, October is great while it lasts, but the following withdrawal can be quite severe. It even has a scientific name: Fifth Week Blues. The phenomenon is relatively new. When I was a fresher, the Fifth Week Blues was a social event organised by the chaplains, with free chocolate and a band playing blues. The modern student, however, has no time for such distractions; he is too busy dribbling incoherently about something called a “doldrum”. In one
“The grapevine is fruiting”
especially severe case, a student was so confused that he abandoned Cambridge in favour of Huddersfield, where he now spends his best days sitting outside the job centre with a pair of bongos. The TCSU welfare team is naturally concerned about you all, and is researching the causes of this condition, and possible remedies. For now I can only describe my own experience. The
garden tools. Lucky that I was born with a spare pancreas. Festivities over, the College has settled down, and the grapevine is fruiting. I heard a particularly interesting rumour that the TCSU President had resigned, following an impromptu vote of no confidence at a meeting of the Magpie & Stump (“This house has had it up to here with Tom Coker”).
“I’ve thought long and hard” crumbling begins when you get up at 6am to find a blanket of fog and cold which obscures any hint of impending daylight. You shovel down a bowl of shreddies with slightly-off milk, and cycle to the river, hands deep in pockets to keep your fingers attached. On arrival you find that the rest of the crew is profoundly hungover, except for one who stayed up all night with a girl he’s still handcuffed to. After the first hour of rowing your brain says “I’m too old for this”. After the second it says “I’m too old for anything, anything at all, even a whist drive”. Your only remaining positive thought is that the bad milk you had for breakfast might bless you with salmonella, and you’ll have an excuse not to socialise with your infinitely tedious friends for a few days. Maybe I should have chosen a different lifestyle. On a more positive note, freshers’ week was awesome. Said one newbie: “The Burrell’s Field party came straight from the top drawer, indeed the top drawer of a chest so high that I suppose the ents committee formed a human pyramid in order to reach it”. The pimps and hoes night was also a treat, but very disappointing for me: I lost a bet that some (non-abelian) group of young mathmos would turn up dressed as
This isn’t true. I’ve thought long and hard, and considered the advice of many more wise than myself. I know that what I did that night was disruptive and inappropriate, and I’m very sorry to those who were upset by my behaviour. Standing down is probably the easiest route for me. Not doing so will lead me down a rocky path. So I watched a film about a guy called Rocky, and I realised this: too many times in my life I’ve given up, too many times I’ve accepted myself as a failure. No more if onlys. No more what ifs. We’ve got a war to fight. Thanks to everyone who’s supported me over the last week. My heart is much warmer that it was. I’ll end with a disclaimer that when I feel like I’m in trouble I tend to spout a lot of pollocks. But the bit about the bloke from Huddersfield is true, and tcsu.net may be endowed with a theme tune in his memory. So check it out.
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
Trinity Politics Society Dr Rod Pullen: ‘How do you solve a problem like Mugabe?’ Monday 22nd October, 18:15
Dr Pullen has enjoyed a distinguished career at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a senior grade diplomat and Ambassador. He has extensive experience of Africa spanning over a decade, having served as the UK’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, High Commissioner to Ghana, and Deputy High Commissioner in Kenya & Nigeria. In 2006 he was appointed the UK’s Special Representative at the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur, held under African Union mediation, to which the UK was a key international partner. Dr Pullen will offer his views of post-colonial Africa.
David Willetts MP TBA [Mid-Oct], 18:15
David Willetts is Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and has been the Member of Parliament for Havant since 1992. He has worked at HM Treasury, the Number 10 Policy Unit, and served as Paymaster General in the last Conservative Government. In the past, Mr Willetts has also served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and for Trade & Industry. His other commitments include being a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a member of the Global Aging Commission, and Economic Adviser to Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.
Alastair King-Smith: ‘Challenges of Active Diplomacy: Achieving Peace in Sudan’ TBA [Nov], 18:15
Alastair King-Smith is a Foreign Office diplomat in the Operational Planning Team of the UK Government Post-Conflict Reconstrution Unit, an organisation which aims to strengthen the UK’s ability to help achieve a stable environment in countries emerging from violent conflict. Mr King-Smith focuses on overcoming challenges facing the Government in applying a comprehensive approach to conflict resolution via military and diplomatic cooperation. Although he had been concerned with Iraqi and Afghan situations, his main focus is Sudan; he has been involved in the negotiations on Darfur over the last few years.
Stephan Shakespeare TBA [Mid-Nov], 18:15
Stephan Shakespeare played the key role in inventing YouGov, the professional market research agency that has pioneered the use of the Internet and IT to collect higher-quality in-depth data for market research and public consultation. He is now responsible for YouGov’s commercial development, strategy research, and creation of new business tools. Mr Shakespeare has written extensively on education policy for the national press. He has had further research published in academic and Think Tank journals, and was a policy director for Jeffrey Archer’s Mayoral bid before founding YouGov in 2000. He has an MA in English Language and Literature from Oxford University.
Oliver Letwin MP
Wednesday 28th November, 18:15 Oliver Letwin is Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Policy Review and of the Conservative Research Department, and was elected a Member of Parliament for West Dorset in 1997. During his political career, Mr Letwin has been appointed Frontbench Spokesman for Constitutional Affairs, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs. In June 2002, he was made a member of the Privy Council and in November 2003, he became Shadow Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. From May to December 2005, he served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Outside politics, he has been a Director of NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd and Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge (1981-1983).
Friday October 19 2007 travisty.co.uk
6 Tom Coker Win an iPod! Let Georgia Hart tell you Presidential Confessions and Opulentia Vera Nobilitas The Travisty Team Joseph Belsham-Ha...