Great Britain

Cambridge University Students' Union says military personnel at fresher's fair could harm mental health

Military personnel should not be permitted to attend fresher’s fairs because their presence could “detrimentally affect” the mental health of students, says Cambridge University‘s Students’ Union (CUSU).

Stella Swain, welfare and rights officer at CUSU, proposed a motion to ban societies from bringing firearms to the fair.

The motion, which was passed, stated that the presence of firearms and military personnel at the event illustrates “implicit approval of their use, despite the links between military and firearms and violence on an international scale”.

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Ms Swain added that the fair should not be seen as a recruitment opportunity for military organisations.

“The presence of firearms and military personnel at [a] fresher’s fair is alarming and off-putting for some students, and has the potential to detrimentally affect students’ mental welfare,” the motion continued.

However, some people have disagreed with CUSU’s stance, including Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, who described the motion as “pathetic”.

“I would suggest this is nothing to do with the military as such. It is just yet another effort, as we have seen in so many of these student motions at various universities, to undermine British society,” Kemp tole The Telegraph.

“Without the Armed Forces these students wouldn’t be able to study, they are only able to because the country has been protected and defended by the British Army," he continued.  

“Many students from Cambridge University fought and died in the Armed Forces and for our country.

"Students should have more respect for those who went before them, who made the ultimate sacrifice to allow them to study in freedom.”

The Independent has contacted CUSU for comment.

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