Murison is a former Male Welfare Officer at Emmanuel CollegeLucas Chebib

Affable, enthusiastic, and well-known for pursuing his commitment to student welfare under a variety of guises, there is ostensibly little to take issue with in the candidacy of Keir Murison. His manifesto is heavily shaped by the same welfare concerns that occupied him as president of Student Minds, and proposes a vision of careful mediation with its three-pronged ‘equalise, engage, encourage’ agenda.

Class Lists are perhaps where Murison is seen at his most controversial. Having campaigned vociferously for the complete abolishment of the lists, only for students to vote to keep them in a referendum last term, he would as CUSU president be in the somewhat awkward position of lobbying the University for a cause which directly contradicts his own opinion. However, here again the message is one of reconciliation. “Obviously,” he explains, “I respect the vote and I would never go into CUSU and say we need either another referendum.” Moreover, he is keen to stress that his opposition was founded not on concerns about the lists themselves per se, but rather the “underlying” issues: “things like the Cambridge imposter syndrome, people who feel they don’t belong here. Why aren’t we dealing with that?”

Stressed repeatedly in the interview is the importance of communication, whether that be for struggling male students who “do not feel able to talk about mental health,” or between the student body and their elected representatives. Communication is at the basis of the ‘Engage’ section of his three-pronged manifesto, facilitated by a more effective use of CUSU’s social media presence. Murison also envisions a new feedback system for Council decisions: “before major decisions are taken, there will be meetings and surveys pushed out to the student population, that gives you more than just a yes or no. And that allows you to explain your reasoning, because I think that’s really helpful.”

Between his campaigning and previous place as Emmanuel’s Male Welfare Officer, Murison's has fostered good working relationships with current Sabbatical Officers. It comes as no surprise then that his presidential vision for CUSU could broadly be described as more of the same, with its stress on the importance of the provision of sexual health supplies. Murison’s personal influence would, perhaps inevitably, manifest itself in an increased focus on student welfare. He proposes to introduce a new programme by which “the more accepted issues within Cambridge,” which become “just part of Cambridge life,” can be interrogated and overturned.

It is evident that Murison's presidency of Student Minds has been formative not only in policy decisions such as these, but also in Murison’s attitudes towards leadership and accountability. CUSU should “bring societies and bring different people together to talk a bit more about how they can work together, how we can move forward, and how we can change the university experience for the better.” But he says it is his work at Student Minds which shows the importance of “making sure that it’s all done properly, and done in the best interests of the students.”

Quickfire questions

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
PhD, probably, because I’m still very interested in science. Hopefully in some sort of long-term relationship, potentially with kids, depends on other things. And probably either in Cambridge, London or Edinburgh. With a cat. No, two cats.

What is your biggest regret at Cambridge?
Probably fancying my college mum, and not realising she was going out with my college dad. I got over it!

Describe yourself in three words.
Enthusiastic, cheerful, loving.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Probably Honest Trailers on YouTube where they take the piss out of movies.

When did you last cry and why?
Probably the last time I cried was saying goodbye to my best friend who lives in Australia, and he came back with his girlfriend for Christmas with us. It was very emotional to say goodbye to him.

What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
Probably my Interrailing ticket

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