Hello and hi. If you read my blog on the daily (and I am guessing you do…am really hoping you do. Say you do) you know that I have mad respect (read: nothing but amazement) for Oxford and Cambridge Universities. I would have liked to have attended either Oxford or Cambridge, but I know my limits, and did not apply. Anyway, that being said. This is what happened this week at Cambridge. I hope after reading this, you are as shocked and visibly shaken as I was. For real. So, this happened….
As reported in the BBC, Cambridge University Conservatives have expelled their communications officer, Ronald Coyne, of Pembroke College. Expelled. Yes. Wow. Of course you have to do something pretty bad to be expelled. Yes. Yes you do.
Coyne was filmed on 2 February taunting a homeless man by burning a £20 note right in front of him. Uggh. What a bastard. Oh, I have other words to describe Coyne but my parents read this blog so I will keep it clean. Yup. Images from a video were sent to the student newspaper, The Tab, who reported that images showed a student, in white tie, trying to set fire to cash, before the camera panned to a homeless man. The homeless man asked for spare change and could not believe his luck when Coyne pulled a £20 from his pocket-followed by Coyne setting it alight and allegedly saying, “Here’s some change, I’ve turned it into flames.” Coyne is first year student from West Lothian. The formal evening dress, as seen in the video, is no longer commonly worn-but maybe he was coming from a fancy dress party and was subsequently blind drunk. Not that that is an excuse. I mean, come. on.
Currently, the allegations are being investigated by university officials. Well, I certainly hope so. In a statement, a spokeswoman said the university was “aware of an incident” but could not comment further while the disciplinary process was under way.
Further, a statement posted on the Cambridge University Conservative Association’s (CUCA) website said the “committee was made aware of the private behaviour of an individual member (of the club) which we considered to be abhorrent and repugnant.” Indeed. CUCA also added, “we took immediate action to revoke his membership and expelled him from the association.” As his actions were not representative of the group, they later added.
Now that the incident has been widely publicised, Pembroke College has restricted comments on its official Facebook page. Restricted, you say? Hmm…I say, let the people speak. Let the people say exactly what kind of dastardly person, Coyne really is. But Pembroke College has indcated that the move (to restrict comments) was done so, in order “to allow a period of calm reflection about an incident by a student which has caused distress and outrage to many people.” Indeed it has. They also added, that “social media is not the most suitable media for every type of discussion.” Well, of course they are entitled to their opinion and they control their own Facebook page-so they can restrict comments, if they feel it is best to do so.
In closing, Cambridgeshire Police have said it had not received any reports or complaints about the incident and also added that it was not a crime to burn a banknote. Not sure what the outcome will be for Coyne but the University will decide in time. So, watch this space. That is all.