Cambridge University Student Union: Military Personnel 'Alarming And Off-Putting' To Students

A motion put forward suggested the "presence of firearms and military personnel at Freshers’ Fair is alarming and off-putting" for some.

Firearms have been banned from events run or supported by Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU), including the Freshers' Fair.

The motion, proposed by the CUSU Welfare and Rights Officer, Stella Swain, said having weapons at Freshers' Fair is "unnecessary" and in direct contrast with "CUSU's charitable aims, mission statement, and values", and suggested banning "all societies and external organisations" from bringing firearms of "any sort" to CUSU events.

It also claimed the "presence of firearms and military personnel at Freshers’ Fair is alarming and off-putting for some students", and could "detrimentally affect students' mental welfare".

"The CUSU Freshers' Fair should be an opportunity for students to find out about societies and campaigns at Cambridge, not for military organisations to recruit," the motion went on to say.

The original motion put forward that the CUSU should:

  • "ban all societies and external organisations from bringing firearms" to CUSU events
  • "not to allow military organisations to attend the CUSU Freshers’ Fair"
  • and ensure "external military organisations do not attend CUSU Freshers’ Fair by using a society as a front".

Only the point about banning firearms passed a vote.

A CUSU spokesperson told Forces News: "A motion was brought to CUSU Council proposing to restrict stallholders from bringing firearms to the annual Freshers’ Fair.

"The motion originally proposed that external staff from national organisations should not attend the Freshers’ Fair with student societies, as it is a student-focused event.

"This part of the motion was removed before it was passed.

"The final motion only proposed to restrict firearms at the Freshers’ Fair event and did not constitute any sort of ban on military personnel, military organisations or military student societies.

"All registered student societies are welcome at the CUSU Freshers’ Fair, including student military societies, and this will continue to be the case."