Pratap has promised to “focus on regaining my health and refrain from restarting my fast,” in his agreement with the UniversityFELIX ARMSTRONG with permission for Varsity

Cambridge Students’ Union’s postgraduate president has ended his hunger strike, launched to highlight alleged nepotism in the SU, after 45 days.

In a LinkedIn post on Friday (28/06), Vareesh Pratap announced that he had ended his strike after reaching an agreement with the University to address the concerns listed in his “Stop Killing Democracy” open letter.

In the letter, published last month, Pratap accused the SU of being a nepotistic “quasi-family business,” and raised concerns over the alleged harassment of sabbatical officers.

The letter also raised apprehensions over the SU’s health as a democracy, following the resignation of four of the organisation’s eight sabbatical officers.

Following this, students started a petition over the institution’s alleged inability to act as an effective representative body, which triggered an emergency SU meeting. However, none of Pratap’s concerns listed in the open letter were addressed at this meeting, and he was not in attendance.

In a social media post, the postgrad president said: “At the heartfelt request of the Mayor of Cambridge […] and in the esteemed presence of senior officials from the Lucy Cavendish College and University of Cambridge including pro-vice chancellor prof Bhaskar Vira, I have ceased my ongoing dry fast today”.

University officials have assured Pratap that all of the concerns in his letter will be addressed and presented to University Council by 4th of July, Varsity understands.

Among these concerns included “direct intervention” from the vice-chancellor to investigate declining student representation, potential targeting of minority representatives, and financial transparency.

Pratap also promised to “focus on regaining my health and refrain from restarting my fast,” in his agreement with the University. This comes after he was reportedly hospitalised last month after collapsing on King’s Parade while fasting.

This agreement came following discussions with pro-vice chancellor Vira, the mayor of Cambridge, and senior officials from Pratap’s College, Lucy Cavendish.

Last month, a Varsity investigation found that insiders within the SU had alleged that the institution’s senior management team fosters a “toxic environment of bullying, unfair treatment and discrimination,” as well as “institutional racism and misogyny” towards sabbatical officers and SU staff.

Vareesh Pratap told Varsity: “​One of the main concerns has been the University’s delay in collecting and sharing necessary information. On Friday, the University committed to receiving and sharing Cambridge SU’s response to supplementary questions raised in the open letter by 4 July 2024.”


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“Further proceedings will follow, with the findings being submitted to appropriate committees, including CCSSU and the university council. Despite incidents that have significantly undermined the credibility of some senior university officials, yesterday’s commitment was made in the presence of senior officials from the civic body and a college,” he continued.

“After stepping down on 12 July and maintaining my student membership, I will continue praying that Cambridge SU adheres to its charitable objectives and the University fulfil its duties to students. I’ll monitor progress on concerns as a student. Having witnessed the University’s operations, if they continue to ignore their obligatory duties on students’ welfare, I may choose to disaffiliate from the University in coming months,” he said.