He claims that the “issues unequivocally reveal the university’s inability to fulfil the mandated duties”CHRISTOPHER LORDE for Varsity

Cambridge SU post-grad President Vareesh Pratap announced a hunger strike starting yesterday (16/05) until the demands listed in his open letter to vice-chancellor Deborah Prentice are met.

The letter, titled “Stop killing Democracy within the University of Cambridge” was published on change.org on Tuesday (14/05). It accused the Cambridge SU of having become a “quasi-family business” characterised by nepotism and arbitrary appointments by top administrative staff.

Pratap also raised serious concerns regarding incidents of targeted harassment against sabbatical officers.

The letter highlights concerns over declining democracy integrity, low voter turnout, candidate withdrawals, and sabbatical officers resigning.

He claims that the “issues unequivocally reveal the university’s inability to fulfil the mandated duties”.

This comes as Harvey Brown, the SU’s Welfare and Community Officer, resigned on the same day, attacking the SU’s stance on the Israel-Gaza war. Brown was the fourth SU sabbatical officer to resign this year.

The letter strongly urges immediate action to restore students’ trust in democracy and ensure their adequate representation within Cambridge SU.

It specifically calls for the vice-chancellor’s “direct intervention” and requests an investigation into declining student representation, potential targeting of minority representatives and financial transparency issues.


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The President put forward a series of demands to the vice-chancellor. The proposed actions include declaring the recent Student Trustees’ election null and void, conducting by-elections to fill vacant positions and securing necessary funds for incoming Sabbatical officers.

It also called for trustees to be granted access to financial systems for monitoring expenses, immediate annulment of improperly appointed staff members, and the establishment of clear disciplinary procedures for sabbatical officers.

Cambridge SU said that their “primary concern is for Vareesh’s welfare. We are working in close coordination with the University to offer support”.

The University of Cambridge was also contacted for comment.