After two weeks of handover, and having completed my first official week as President, I thought it was time to restart the President’s blog and introduce myself properly!
So first up, I’m Evie! I studied HSPS at Pembroke, and I graduated last month. Back in March, I was elected as the 2018-2019 CUSU President, and last week Daisy officially passed the mantle over to me. It’s been a whirlwind few months since being elected, not least because I had to do those small things called finals, but I’m enjoying finally settling into my new role and looking forward to the year ahead.
I was elected on a manifesto that promised to push for ‘equality, transparency, and support’ and before the stress of term hits, I’m busy planning for the year ahead. Over the summer I will, therefore, be focusing on three main projects. The first is continuing the work Daisy began on Drinking Societies. Although I’m uncomfortable with the methods used by Grudgebridge last term, it has sparked important conversations around misconduct which must be continued. So far twenty drinking societies have signed up to attend Good Lad workshops and to create a code of conduct but more needs to be done. For codes of conduct to be useful, a critical mass of societies (drinking and otherwise) need to sign up, and systems of accountability must be created. It will also require a wider awareness campaign and broader cultural shift around misconduct. I don’t have all the answers on how to do this, but over summer I hope to work alongside interested parties to come up with possible solutions.
The second is to produce ‘The College Review,’ a report into the variety of provisions available across colleges. The aim of this report is to provide a valuable toolkit for J/MCRs to instigate change in their colleges. As students’ experiences can be very college dependent, CUSU must support J/MCRs in enacting change to ensure that all students receive adequate support. By providing cross-college comparisons, the report should act as a powerful lobbying tool for J/MCRs and encourage the spread of best practices. This is just the first step I want to take in helping to tackle college inequality by supporting J/MCRs.
And finally, the whole CUSU team will be spending much of summer working on Freshers’ Week! Looking back to Freshers’, I remember the overwhelming sense of fear, excitement, and slight dread I felt about going to Cambridge. Throughout Freshers’ Week, we’ll be dropping into colleges, talking to students and organising events to try and make the transition process that bit easier for students. And of course, the biggest project of all is organising the Freshers’ Fair! The Freshers’ Fair is an amazing opportunity for students to explore all that Cambridge has to offer (and to bag some cool freebies!). Unsurprisingly though it requires an immense amount of planning, and the CUSU team are working tirelessly to try and make it the best it can be. Clubs and societies, you can learn more about booking a stall here (deadline is August 16th).
It’s going to be a busy summer trying to get all this done, but I’m excited to get stuck in and to be working alongside a fantastic sabbatical team who are all already working hard on their own individual projects too. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic year ahead and hopefully one in which CUSU goes from strength to strength, in both its ability to engage with students and to make change at this University.
I’ll be updating this blog every Monday so check back next week, and as ever if you have any questions or thoughts feel free to message one of the team (and don’t forget to add us on facebook!). Hope you’re having a lovely Summer break!