I usually get to work at about 9 (okay – sometimes it’s more like 9.15 but I cycle into work so have a very good excuse) and start the morning by checking my emails and the office Slack channels. Hopefully there have been no crises since I left the office last night, so I should be able to sort through those quite quickly, answering any students who have emailed me and downloading any papers I’ll have to read for committees.
By this point it’s definitely time for a coffee, so I’ll make my way upstairs, have a nice morning chat with our lovely receptionist, and stick my head in the Graduate Union office to say hello to the other half of my job (my role is currently split across the two unions). I’ll often have a couple of internal meetings in the morning, usually on team projects like the Freshers’ Fair and CUSU Conference, or the weekly Sabb meeting, which gives us all a chance to catch up and make plans for the week ahead.
In between meetings, I’ll be emailing people to arrange events, doing research on the campaigns I’m working on, or creating resources to share with students. The other day I made a zine on supporting student sex workers, but I’ve also spent time reading and reviewing University and national policy on Prevent, producing strike support information for students, and doing research to support college rent campaigns.
Lunch is, in my opinion, the most important point in the working day, and I like bringing in leftovers or home-cooked food to heat up in the microwave. Today I had spiced pumpkin soup, so am thinking it’s time to start a food blog. A few times a term there’ll be a protest that I can attend on my lunch break – my absolute favourite activity! There’s nothing better than spending your lunch marching through Cambridge with a banner.
On some days I’ll have meetings with the University in the afternoon – I sit on a whole range of committees from the Race Equalities Charter Self-Assessment Team to the Mental Health and Wellbeing Project Board – but my favourite meetings are when I get to see local or national charities and campaign groups to discuss our campaigns and plan collaborations. For example, I’ve been meeting up with Jimmy’s homeless shelter and some other groups that campaign specifically around women who are homeless to discuss how students can be more involved in campaigning to reduce homelessness in Cambridge.
If I’m running an event then it’ll probably be in the evening, so I’ll get dinner in town beforehand (don’t worry – I’ll take some time off another day to make up for the extra hours). Earlier in the year I ran a reading group, and had some really great discussions about decolonisation with students. I’ve also run events with national campaigns, socials for students working on rent in their colleges, and panels on Prevent and antiracism.
After all this there’s usually just enough time for a drink in CUSU’s local pub, the Bathhouse, before I head home for a well-needed rest. Time to do it all again tomorrow!