Kate Litman secured the role of Women's OfficerJoe Cook

Having beaten Shadab Ahmed to win the role of CUSU President, Edward Parker Humphreys will be joined by Kate Litman, Stella Swain, Lily-Rose Sharry, Jess O’Brien and Ali Hyde in next year's CUSU Sabbatical Team, set to take up their roles this July.

All sabbatical positions were contested this year, with the role of Disabled Students’ Officer contested for the first time since its creation in 2016.

This year’s CUSU elections saw a 22.2% turnout, with 5,120 votes cast – a rise from last year’s turnout of 20.9%, which represented 4,713 voters. Evie Aspinall campaigned last year on a platform of increasing engagement with CUSU and its democracy, and this year’s turnout is the highest in CUSU/GU election history.

Parker Humphreys secured victory by a margin of over 1,000 votes, having run on a manifesto which promised to address student loneliness and to tackle college-specific issues. Ahmed, who received 1,442 votes, has served as CUSU’s Access and Funding officer for the past year.

Kate Litman narrowly won the race for Women’s Officer, beating Finley Kidd. The initial vote difference was not sufficiently large to surpass the quota, and Litman won in the second round, after second preferences votes from Re-Open Nominations (RON) were counted. Litman received 1,439 votes, whilst Kidd received 1,271 votes.

Litman's policies centred on the gender attainment gap, anti-racist work, targeting sexual violence and making Cambridge more inclusive for transgender students. She has also promised to work closely with colleges and with campaigns such as the Living Wage campaign.

Litman was issued an Informal Warning earlier this week by the Elections Committee for breaching official election rules by posting in a pre-existing group chat for Cambridge Defend Education to seek endorsement.

Likewise, the race for Education Officer ended tonight in an extremely tight result – the narrowest of the night – which saw Ali Hyde elected to the role. Neither Hyde nor Chae surpassed the vote threshold in the first round, and the ultimate second-round result saw Hyde win with 1,748 to Chae’s 1,701.

Hyde's campaign focused on improving individual student experiences, particularly in terms of welfare and mental health. He promised to work to assist first-year students in transitioning from school to university through faculty-based study skills sessions, and to work with the Welfare & Rights Officer in order to establish further preventative mental health support.

The Disabled Students’ Officer election also saw a very tight race, in the first year the role has been contested since its creation in 2016. Jess O'Brien was elected in the second round run-off, after RON was eliminated, ultimately beating opponent Beth Walters by 1,213 votes to 1,094.

2,599 students cast votes in the election for Disabled Students’ Officer, representing an extremely high turnout. CUSU asks that only students who identify as disabled cast ballots in this election. There are 3,200 self-identifying disabled students currently studying at Cambridge, according to a recent report.

O’Brien ran on a platform of increasing awareness of the definition of disability, ensuring students are clear about what counts as a disability, and a goal to increasing clarity surrounding support available at the University. She has promised to campaign to make lecture capture available in all faculties.

Alessandro Ceccarelli was elected as Graduate Union president, the role which saw the most competition this year, with three candidates vying for the position. Ceccarelli was elected on the third round run-off, with 473 votes, beating opponent Devarchan Banerjee, who secured 450 votes, after both candidate Jack Chadwick and RON were eliminated.

The race for Graduate Union President has been one of the more controversial elections, with candidate Jake Chadwick having received a Formal Warning from the CUSU/GU Elections Committee.

Alessandro Ceccarelli is a PhD student who, in his eleven years in higher education, has been extensively involved in activism and campaigning, and has previously served as the Graduate Union’s LGBT+ Officer. He told Varsity that his manifesto is “heavily oriented towards minorities”, with multiple pledges to offer greater representation to LGBT+, female and BME students.

Stella Swain secured a comfortable victory as CUSU/GU Welfare and Rights Officer, receiving 2,048 votes to beat Cici Carey-Stuart who received 945 votes.

Swain ran on a platform of targeting “meaningful structural change”, aiming specifically to tackle the underlying causes of the mental health crisis rather than merely its symptoms. This includes access to housing, fair pay, and a plan to engage with the wider Cambridge community. Swain also promised to actively campaign for student rights, for example through establishing comprehensive staff training.

Poppy Cockburn won the part-time position of University Councillor, beating Tamzin Byrne with 1,727 votes to Byrne’s 986. The race was a heated one, with the two candidates clashing over their different approaches to divestment – Cockburn’s less collaborative stance clearly won the favour of voters.

Cockburn, a first-year undergraduate, promised to act as a voice for students on University Council, emphasising her experience of grassroots student campaigning. Cockburn’s victory might be attributed to the strong backing of Cambridge Zero Carbon and Cambridge Defend Education, with both activist groups having formally endorsed her candidacy.


Mountain View

Edward Parker Humphreys elected CUSU President

Lily-Rose Sharry was elected as Access and Funding Officer, securing 2,188 votes to beat opponent Ashley Woodvine, who gained 1,212 votes.

Sharry’s campaign emphasised post-admissions access, with her slogan stating: “Access in not just about getting in, it is about getting on”. She also promised to push for a University-wide Academic Skills Programme and further promote the CUSU Class Act buddy scheme.

Alice Gilderdale and Jake Simms, who ran unopposed, will continue in their roles from last year as Ethical Affairs Officers, both securely beating RON.

The newly elected sabbatical officers will take over from the current team this July.

Elections 2019

All the election news, in one place

Comprehensive news and analysis on the CUSU/GU elections, collected.
Visit Varsity’s Elections 2019 hub.