Sophie Buck is the current CUSU Welfare OfficerCUSU

Incumbent Welfare Officer Sophie Buck has been asked to withdraw a intervention in the ongoing CUSU/GU election campaign which criticised candidates for failing to consult existing Sabbatical Officers on policy points before making pledges.

In a first post yesterday evening, Buck put out a Facebook post which suggested that for the candidates “it would have been worth having a conversation with Jessica [Wing, Disabled Students’ Officer] or myself (or reading our updates) to make sure they're proposing to build on, not repeat, work done this year.”

She added later in the post: “It's positive to see candidates passionate about improving intermission, though it's important they inform themselves about groundwork that has already been carried out, rather than assuming they're starting from scratch.”

This morning, Buck added a second and more sharply-worded Facebook post, which began: “Second hint that it would be useful for candidates to check with current sabbs what they’ve worked on or tried before they suggest repeats or the unlikely.”

While it mentioned no candidate by name, this post appeared to be an attack on presidential contender Jack Drury, who on Friday castigated CUSU for having wound up a scheme to provide minibuses for sports team, accusing it of “staggering incompetence.”

In a post on Facebook, Sophie Buck appeared to deliver a veiled attack on one of presidential candidate Jack Drury's statementsScreenshot/Facebook

In her post, Buck addressed at length the issue of minibuses, claiming that she had tried to revive the scheme but been thwarted by lack of funding and changes in regulations, and noting that the University Sports Committee is trying to establish alternative arrangements to provide minibuses, which would render restarting the CUSU scheme “unlikely and perhaps unnecessary.”

She said that the buses had become unfit for purpose over time.

In the conclusion of the post, she stated: “Good to ask people in the know now and then in order to research things properly, rather than just highlighting things to crowdplease!”

However, the post was quickly removed at the request of the CUSU/GU elections committee. The post regarding intermissions has not been taken down. The elections committee told Varsity: “Incumbent Sabbatical Officers may not campaign in this election, but may comment neutrally. In the judgement of the Elections Committee, Sophie Buck’s post concerning intermission was broadly neutral but her post concerning minibuses was not. She took down the latter post on request, and no further action will be taken.”

Buck told Varsity that she had deleted the post because it “implied, unintentionally, a judgment on the policy.” She added: “I want to make it clear I have no opinions either way on the policy; rather, I wanted to add information about things already tried for a fuller and more accurate discussion, as change is not easy else it would have already been made.

“Generally, I want to highlight to candidates that it's good to ask current sabbatical officers about what they've worked on (we do do things) in order to best inform proposed policies. That said, I do acknowledge that, on the other hand, communication of progress made by CUSU also needs to be improved, and council updates need to trickle down to all students.”

Jack Drury told Varsity “We asked Amatey about the minibuses, so it sounds like the CUSU Sabbs aren't talking. What Sophie says is CUSU made a half-hearted effort to provide buses and failed. We also know that wasn't communicated to Uni sports teams. I will work to restore the buses, and find a solution.”

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