Robin Webber

By Laura Kenworthy 2min read
Robin Webber

Having already been here two years longer than the average undergraduate, owing to a year abroad and a year intermitting for health reasons, you might think Robin Webber would be ready to say goodbye to Homerton. But instead, the MML graduate and newly elected HUS President will be sticking around to take responsibility for Bops, Formals, and student/staff liaison.

“I’ve really enjoyed my previous HUS roles – I was Welfare rep this year and was previously on the committee – and I wanted to be able to dedicate more time to it rather than combining it with academic work. I know a lot of the staff now because I’ve been here for so long, and because I remember how things were before Covid I know which traditions I’d like to bring back. I think I’ll be a good intermediary between the staff and the students.”

When initially applying to Cambridge, Homerton appealed because of its drama traditions, its reputation for good pastoral support, and the amount of green space. Perhaps counter-intuitively, Robin was also attracted to the College’s distance from the centre of town.

“I know the distance is usually seen as a deterrent. But I knew that if I was at a central College, I’d never get out of bed! Being that little bit further from the Faculty meant that exercise was built into my day, and that there’s more of a gap between academic life and coming ‘home’ to College.”

The supportive reputation has proved well-founded too. Robin has particular praise for Senior Tutor Dr Penny Barton, who “took my parents aside on my first day to make sure they knew I would be looked after.” When medical issues forced him to take some time out, Penny told him to treat his upcoming exams as a mock, and to take the time he needed. His tutor, Dr David Clifford, continued to take responsibility for Robin’s welfare across international borders, regularly checking in on him during his year abroad.

“The German university I was meant to be attending had switched to remote teaching, so that didn’t happen, but I was still able to go to Austria to teach in a school. I arrived just as West House went into lockdown (in October 2020), and although there were some restrictions in Austria, restaurants and bars were still open. So that was good, but perhaps inevitably as we were both teaching in two separate schools, my flatmate and I both caught Covid and ended up having to isolate in Austria together over Christmas.”

On his return to Homerton, Robin had to once again get to know a new cohort of students, as time out and travel had separated him from his original year group.

“Getting involved in the HUS was a great way to get back into College life. And I’m really looking forward to having this next year to enjoy Cambridge – without work getting in the way!”