Having finished my first official two weeks as CUSU President, I wanted to take some time to introduce myself properly and tell you about my priorities for the year ahead. The last month has been a bit of a whirlwind, with CUSU handover following straight after graduation, so it’s nice to be finally settled in and writing my first blog post!
My role as CUSU President involves a couple of different jobs. The first is representing students at the University level, whether sitting on committees, meeting with University officials or writing reports. On top of that, I help JCRs and MCRs to make changes within their colleges and work closely with students to campaign on important issues within Cambridge. Having been a JCR President at Jesus and involved in campaigns like the Living Wage Campaign, I want to make sure that CUSU gives students the support they need to bring about change at both a University and College level. I also make sure that students are kept up to date about CUSU’s work through social media, visits to colleges and the weekly email bulletin.
I ran to be CUSU President for one main reason – to stand up for students.
Too often in Cambridge students are ignored and our interests get overlooked. Whether its issues of welfare, access or representation, there is so much work to do to tackle the big problems facing students. CUSU plays a vital role in ensuring that student voices are heard and helping make the University work better for all of us.
So what are my plans?
Over the next year, I’m planning to focus on three main issues. The first is supporting colleges – working with JCRs and MCRs to tackle specific problems within their colleges, campaigning for lower rents and a reduced cost of living, and trying to improve the UBus service so that it serves Homerton and Girton directly. Our experiences of Cambridge are heavily influenced by which college we’re at, so it’s vital that CUSU continues working hard to engage with college issues.
I’m also going to continue working hard to improve access and financial support within Cambridge, whether through discounted bursary tickets for May Balls and other big college events, tackling subject-specific financial problems or lobbying for a better system of post-graduate funding.
Finally, I want to make sure student welfare is properly prioritised at Cambridge. Tackling issues such as workload and student loneliness require big structural and cultural changes within the University and I will fight to ensure these problems are given proper attention and practical solutions.
As you can probably tell, there’s a lot for me to be getting on with! I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully being able to deliver some big wins for students along with the rest of the CUSU team. I’ll hopefully see some of you during Freshers’ Week and can’t wait to meet you all soon!