Jack Drury was Housing Officer of the Gonville and Caius Student UnionLucas Chebib

Jack Drury is, by all accounts, an unusual candidate for CUSU President. It is rare for student union presidents not to come from the student left, and rarer still for them to actively associate themselves with the political right. Described in an advert for a CUCA event as a “heavyweight”, Drury is a well-known face in student politics, and composed CUCA’s fresher “Direc-Tory”. Drury himself, however, does not view this as a problem – although he anticipates the likelihood of working with a sabbatical team with fundamentally differing political views as a potential challenge, he calls this “a challenge that’s worth doing, because I fundamentally do believe that Cambridge students deserve better than what they’re getting from CUSU at the moment.” If he doesn’t win, Drury will just go on to his already-planned next step: studying to become a priest at Westcott House.

Drury’s campaign is centred around fixing what he believes to be a dysfunctional CUSU. The problem, in Drury’s own words, is that “CUSU has spent too many years glorifying itself, fretting about national policies, not focusing on the things that matter and pertain to the experiences of Cambridge students.” In order to fix this, Drury says that “I’m not standing on a platform of increasing dialogues or anything ‘fluffy’ like that, I’m standing on a platform of a very small number of achievable, realistic policies.”

Key to Drury’s approach is his commitment to a 45-hour working week, to be fully documented online, a move intended to demonstrate the transparency that many feel is lacking in CUSU. The 45-hour target is close to the legal maximum of a 48-hour working week, and almost double the 25-hour minimum set out in CUSU’s standing orders. However, Drury does not think he is being overly ambitious – “there is an awful amount to be done and I think that it is right that Cambridge students see where their money is going”. Other Sabbatical Officers would not be bound by this policy, but Drury would invite them to document a 40-hour working week.

Much of his time, Drury suggests, would be taken up with advocating the interests of students to individual colleges. Rent negotiations, an area in which Drury has experience following a year as Housing Officer of the Gonville & Caius College Student Union, is singled out by Drury as an area where CUSU could be doing more for students. “That’s where CUSU should be, behind JCRs and MCRs”, Drury says, “supporting them to their own ends”.

Drury is perhaps best known for spearheading the “Save the Class Lists” campaign, which was ultimately victorious in last year’s referendum. Drury derides concerns about the practicality of such a system as “wildly exaggerated and frankly absurd”, and said that it is “pathetic that CUSU has taken to heart so strongly, this objection from the University.” Drury is adamant that the result of the referendum must be upheld, saying that “if it came to the point where I had to receive emails the day before the publication of the lists, and I [had to] spend my days hovering in Senate House with a black marker, then I’d do it like that, but an opt-out will happen.”

Quickfire questions

Where do you see yourself in ten years? 
“I will hopefully be just finishing my curacy.”

What’s your biggest regret in Cambridge? 
“The way I behaved in the first couple of terms of first year – I didn’t want to be engaged in anything in college or the University.”

Describe yourself in three words. 
“Competent, affable, light-hearted.”

What’s your guilty pleasure? 
“There is nothing better than spending a day when you’re meant to be reading watching The Crown.”

When did you last cry and why? 
“At a funeral we had to do here last year. A very old fellow, very learned, very kind.”

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought? 
“I bought a nice suit when I came to Cambridge, and I love it very much.”

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