Four candidates will battle for University Councillor with all other positions uncontested Candidates/Louis Ashworth/Johannes Hjorth/Sid Neelson

While all eyes will be on the presidential vote, there are six other sabbatical officer positions and one part-time role also up for grabs in these elections. Varsity looks at what these roles do for students, and who’s in contention to take them.

CUSU Access Officer

Olivia Hylton-Pennant, from NewnhamLouis Ashworth

CUSU was the first students’ union in the UK to create a full-time sabbatical Access Officer. The role is aimed to support and encourage students from under-represented backgrounds by providing myth-busting information, creating campaigns for current students and running schemes supported by JCR Access Officers to advance the diversity of the student body.

The candidate for Access Officer is Olivia Hylton-Pennant, who explained her platform to Varsity: “The Shadowing Scheme and #CambTweet have been huge successes and I have great ideas for how to extend their reach even further.

“I’d like to make access efforts more transparent. It would be great to have a central hub with information about all of them for prospective students. I’d also like to keep current students in the loop about changes to policy by sending out bi-termly bulletins.” 

CUSU/GU Welfare and Rights Officer

Micha Frazer-Carroll, from Corpus Christi

The Welfare and Rights Officer is responsible for the Students’ Unions’ Advice Service, and provides support and guidance for welfare projects and campaigns. The officer is also responsible for providing regular opportunities for training of JCR Welfare Representatives.

The candidate for Welfare and Rights is Micha Frazer-Carroll, who said of her platform: 

“I feel that there are vast discrepancies in attitudes towards and treatment of students with mental health problems, and I’d like to investigate these and encourage greater standardisation across colleges.

“I want to increase access to resources on student rights and services, as well as pushing for recorded lectures across departments, which is still a huge accessibility issue.

“As a queer black woman, intersectionality is core to everything I do. I want to encourage greater collaboration with CUSU’s autonomous campaigns and increase access to liberation groups, which are a key source of support for many marginalised students.”

CUSU Education Officer

Martha Krish, from Robinson

The Education Officer is responsible for supporting the work of Faculty and School representatives, as well as organising campaigns on issues for which the Education Team has a standing mandate, such as the Teaching Excellence Framework. Alongside this, the officer is to maintain networks between the student body and academic representatives.

The candidate for Education, Martha Krish, told Varsity that “education is a welfare issue for all students as well as being important in its own right. That’s why we need to support our Faculty reps so they can effectively represent students, advocate for the specific needs of those disadvantaged in our current system and also keep up the fight against fee rises from TEF and the racist Prevent strategy.”

CUSU Women’s Officer

Lola Olufemi, from SelwynJohannes Hjorth

Takes on role as head of representative and autonomous campaigning body for women and non-binary people in the University. Tasks include working to eliminate discrimination faced by women at an institutional, social and culture level in the University. The Women’s Campaign is facilitated by the sabbatical officer who also holds the Women’s Forum, which is held fortnightly as a space for women and non-binary people to bring their ideas to the campaign.

The candidate for Women's Officer is Lola Olufemi, who in an interview with Varsity this week said: “I want to create a space where people’s politics can grow and learn, because that’s exactly what the women’s campaign for me is and what it was for me in first year.” She intends to prioritise the issues of sexual assault, the gender attainment gap, and the perceived Eurocentricism of curricula.

Disabled Students’ Officer

Florence Ould, from Homerton

The role is head of the CUSU Disabled Students’ Campaign working to create and better an inclusive, and progressive environment for disabled members of the University. The role is also responsible for identifying and investigating equality of opportunity and alleviating any barriers to disabled members.

The candidate for Disabled Students’ Officer is Florence Oulds, who summarised her platform thus: “I’m currently on the Disabled Students’ Committee (organised by the DSO) as the Transgender Rep, so I’m fairly familiar with what Jess does and is doing, which is all really great.

“My main policies are largely to do with awareness, which includes talking to non-disabled students and supervisors etc. about what they can be doing for disabled students, but also providing disabled students with more information about what the University can do for them. I want to try and unify the knowledge and resources available to all disabled students.

“I do also want to take this kind of attitude to services and businesses in Cambridge as well. I don’t mean to suggest that all disabled people require the same service or will want interact in the same way, but it’s not fair that it’s often disabled students who have to fight for change that is often just the basic requirements needed for them to study.”

University Councillor

Khandelwal, Jack, Llavero-Pasquina and JuhaszSid Neelson/Candidates

This is a part-time role held by a current student. The role will serve as the main student voice and perspective in discussions at University Council, the main policy-making body at the University, as well as a Trustee of the University itself.

There are four candidates for University Councillor (UC): incumbent Umang Khandelwal will be challenged for her post by Josh Jackson, Peter Juhasz, and Marcel Llavero-Pasquina.

Speaking to Varsity, Khandelwal stressed her experience, saying: “My experience has shown me that continuity in this role is crucial and I am keen to continue serving on Council.”

Addressing her time spent as UC so far, she said: ‘we have made substantive progress on the sexual assault policy, made student well-being a priority in the sports strategy, advocated for a student centred approach to the development of the north west Cambridge site and have engaged routinely in thorough review of benefactions to the university, among other things.”

Jackson and Pasquina are fighting similar issues-orientated campaigns, with both promising to press the Council to divest from fossil fuels. Jackson told Varsity that he was also focused on “rents, the rights of EU students and mental health rights”, while Pasquina said that besides his central issue of divestment he would prioritise fees, gender equality and “the fight against nationalism and fascism.”

Juhasz has taken a different tack, stressing his independence of CUSU and the GU and calling for student representation on more Council committees.

Graduate Union President

This is the principal representative of graduate students at the University who participates in almost all of the University and college-level committees of student representation. The president is also the nominal head and main financial officer of the Graduate Union as a charitable organisation.

There have been no nominations for the role of Graduate Union President. Graduate Union Vice-President Ellie Chan told Varsity: “It’s not the end of the world. We’d rather have no candidates at this stage than someone we’d had to beg to do it. Recruiting graduate Sabbs is always tricky, and Oxford University Student Union didn’t manage it first time this year either. Like them, we’ll re-open nominations and I’m confident we’ll elect a new President when we do.”

Elections 2017

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