As CUSU President, my day can be filled with a huge range of different activities, meetings and other things to do. My calendar can vary quite a lot from day to day, but hopefully this will give you a flavour of what a typical day looks like for me!
9am - Arrive at CUSU
I’m lucky enough to still live quite close to the centre of town, so I have a short 10-minute walk from my house to CUSU and arrive in the office at 9am. Sometimes I will get in slightly earlier if I have an early morning committee meeting or stay a bit later for evening events like CUSU Council, but most days I work a regular 9 to 5.
I have always been terrible at having breakfast (sorry Mum) so I normally have a Nutri-Grain bar or two at my desk while I catch up on any unanswered emails and check through my CUSU Facebook account.
9:30am - Bulletin Writing
Wednesday is CUSU Bulletin Day – that’s the email that pops up in your inbox each week from me with all of the latest important CUSU news (if you don’t read it, you’re missing out!) I need to work out what we want to go in the bulletin this week and then write the text for the email. Today it’s focused on getting nominations for the Student-Led Teaching Awards and keeping students up to date about Brexit, with the UK due to leave the European Union on Friday.
10:00am - Elections Meeting
This morning I have a quick catch up meeting with the rest of the Sabbatical Team and the CUSU Membership Team. The Membership Team are part of the full-time staff team at CUSU who support us in our campaigning work and help run some of CUSU’s core activities, such as CUSU Council and the Shadowing Scheme. This morning’s meeting is all about preparing for the upcoming Sabb Elections and making sure we get as many candidates running as possible!
11:00am - Student Loneliness Survey
With a spare hour between meetings, I have some time to carry on working on my Student Loneliness report. I carried out a big Student Loneliness Survey last term and I’m currently going through the data and using it to write a report on student loneliness in Cambridge. I’ll be presenting the report to a number of different University committees later this term and will be using it to develop a new Student Loneliness Strategy for the University.
12:00pm - Alice Benton
At 12, we have our weekly meeting with Alice Benton – the Head of Education Services. The sabbs have regular informal meetings with a few different key figures from the University and they’re a great opportunity for sounding out ideas, asking quick questions and working out how to navigate the sprawling and complicated structure of the University.
12:30pm - Lunch
If I’m organised, I’ll bring my own lunch into work and save some money, but today I need to buy it in town. On my way back from my meeting with Alice Benton, I grab a baguette (goat’s cheese and roasted vegetables – yum!) from Espresso Lane, which is just over the road from CUSU. I’ll normally have my lunch in the CUSU Lounge and catch up with everyone else in the office while we’re eating.
1:30pm - Meeting with Sabbs
After lunch, I have a meeting with the rest of the Sabb Team to coordinate the different surveys we have planned for the term. We have regular Sabb Meetings on Tuesday mornings, but we sometimes have meetings about specific issues if they need to be discussed in a bit more detail.
2:00pm - Catch Up with CEO
Part of my job as CUSU President involves being Chair of the CUSU Trustee Board, so I have regular catch-ups with our CEO, Rich, to discuss some of the big issues facing CUSU as an organisation. The main thing on the agenda at the moment is preparing for the creation of Cambridge SU and making sure everything will be ready for July!
3:00pm - 1:1 with Christy
Each sabbatical officer has regular 1:1s with someone from the Membership Team to help support us in our roles. My 1:1 support is Christy, who some of you may know from CUSU Council, and we chat through my plans for the week ahead and discuss the work I’m currently doing on the Student Loneliness Report.
4:00pm - Reading Committee Papers
As I’ve got a University committee meeting the next day, I spend some time reading through the agenda and committee papers to make sure I’m all up to speed and see if there’s anything in particular I want to raise. As CUSU President, I sit on quite a few different University committees, so need to make sure that I keep on top of all of the different papers that get sent over to me!
5pm - Home Time
Tomorrow I have College Forum, a big meeting with all of the different JCR/MCR Presidents to discuss the issues they’re facing, but tonight I don’t have anything on after work so I leave CUSU just after 5. I head to The Bath House (aka ‘the CUSU pub’) for a quick drink with friends from work before heading home for the day!