CUSU passes new motion in support of Owen Holland
On Monday (14th May) CUSU Council – the decision-making body of Cambridge University Students’ Union – passed a motion condemning Owen’s sentencing. Council noted that he was singled out for a collective action that many other students and academics have also taken responsibility for. It was also noted that the verdict would deter future acts of legitimate protest. The motion drew attention to the dubiousness of the legal process; the lack of transparency over appointments for the Court of Discipline and the refusal to allow a student union representative to accompany Owen to the proceedings.
CUSU has therefore resolved not only to campaign for the sentence to be overturned and to support a solidarity demonstration outside Owen’s appeal, but also to push for a change in the University’s disciplinary procedures.
Anger at the University’s actions has not subsided; over the past few weeks, the Cambridge branch of the UCU, the Cambridge Graduate Union, the NUS, and now CUSU have condemned the University’s decision to single out one of its own members, to subject him to an unfair trial, and to punish him with a vindictive seven term suspension. As documents leaked from the court have shown, the process was explicitly intended to deter future protest and to ‘rehabilitate’ the student. This ‘rehabilitation’ (given how doctoral degrees are funded) means effectively ending his career. This cannot stand – join the campaign!