Daisy Eyre is former President of the Jesus College Student UnionLucas Chebib

At first glance, Daisy Eyre may seem to be the ‘continuity candidate’ in this year’s election – a former JCR president, and CUSU insider. She’s even the college daughter of one Amatey Doku. But Eyre is keen to suggest otherwise: “Me and Amatey, our personalities are very different, our politics are pretty different, and in that sense there’s a lot of clear blue water between us”. That said, Eyre is keen to emphasise her impressive credentials, including a term as Jesus College Student Union president, and her work on the Union Development Team.

Most recently, Eyre has been involved with reforming CUSU’s outdated constitution and standing orders. As such, it is probable that she knows CUSU about as well as anybody could. The reforms, aimed at streamlining CUSU’s regulations and making them easier to amend, will be put to a referendum at the same time as the Sabbatical elections take place. “I almost can’t see a disadvantage”, Eyre says, “because there’s nothing in the new constitution which upsets the balance of power.” There is concern, however, that the vote may not make quoracy, which demands that 10 per cent of the electorate vote in favour of the new constitution, an eventuality that Eyre confesses that there is little she can do to prevent.

Eyre argues that now is the time for CUSU to increase its profile following a turbulent few years. “I think there is slightly more faith in CUSU than there has been in previous years”, she says, “but I think you have to walk before you run, and at the moment it’s setting the groundwork, but I would want to run with that.” Within this, Eyre includes student campaigning, telling Varsity: “I would want to be a campaigning president. I would actually try and harness student power, rather than continue with this feeling of ‘who are CUSU?’, ‘what do they do for us?’.”

Professing her commitment to “stand up for Cambridge’s interests in every possible way”, Eyre says that she does see a role for the CUSU president on the national stage, alluding to the recent CUSU boycott of the National Student Survey: “I think the NSS boycott is quite clever, because actually, as President you do have clout, and a statement, all these kinds of things make a lot of difference.”

Much of Eyre’s platform revolves around “opening conversations”. In particular, access is an issue close to Eyre’s heart. “I think we need to question whether what the university is doing in terms of access”, she says, “some serious thinking needs to be done, because since the 1990s there has not been a change in the proportion of people from free school meals backgrounds that actually get to Cambridge.” Similarly, provision for intermitting students is a policy priority for Eyre, and, as a former welfare officer, it is an area in which she has pedigree. A short-term objective, Eyre reveals, is the formation of a network for intermitting students, aimed at alleviating the “confusing, lonely, and detrimental” intermission process.

A regular attendee of CUSU Council as JCSU president, Eyre laments that representatives from the autonomous campaigns often do not report to the Council. Although she emphasises her belief that autonomous campaigns are functioning well, she suggests there might be a place for mandating representatives of the autonomous campaigns to attend CUSU Council “to act as a check and balance on Council, to make sure that their policies are fitting with the rights of students from minority or less advantaged backgrounds”.

Quickfire questions

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
“I’d like to be a social worker, or maybe I’ll be travelling across the world.”

What’s your biggest regret in Cambridge? 
“Right now? Not having typed up all my interviews for dissertation, when it’s due on 5th May.”

Describe yourself in three words. 
“Short, blonde, and smiley.”

What is your guilty pleasure?
“Reading Game of Thrones. I read it all the time.”

When did you last cry and why? 
“On New Year’s Eve, because I’m a drunk crier.”

What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought? 
“May Ball tickets.”

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