Exclusive: Colleges Clamour for CUSU Disaffiliation

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Days after leading a student march against fee rises, CUSU could face cuts of their own as colleges renew the debate over disaffiliation.

Days after leading a student march against fee rises, CUSU could face cuts of their own as colleges reignite the debate over disaffiliation.

Corpus are holding a vote to determine whether they should remain affiliated with CUSU, whilst students at Selwyn and Queens’ are campaigning for a break from the student union.

Corpus’ JCR president Rhys Grant confirmed: “We are having a vote on whether we should disaffiliate from CUSU at some point in the near future, though I have no idea what the result of the vote will be.”

But Corpus is not the only college considering disaffiliation. Rumour has it that the debate at Selwyn is getting quite rowdy, with disaffiliation t-shirts being worn around college.

Second year Selwyn student Rosie Cavill explained that the t-shirts are linked to the JCR presidential elections which just happened.

She told The Tab: “Because the college is so poor at the minute, students are being over-charged a fair amount and the current president doesn’t really fight our corner, so the nominees for next year were pretty eager to bring this up in their campaigns.”

CUSU president Rahul Mansigani argues that CUSU provides value for money to colleges.

Selwyn JCR’s current External Officer Paul Jefferson, however, denies the existence of such t-shirts. “No-one we have spoken to has seen any t-shirts or protests.”

Ben Gliniecki, who will be Selwyn’s JCR president next year, explained that Selwyn had a debate about CUSU affiliation last week. “The debate arose from a discussion about our JCR budget and some people were questioning why we were paying what is almost a third of our budget to CUSU for what are essentially unquantifiable benefits – a perfectly valid question.”

However, 20 Selwyn students who attended the debate voted in favour of remained affiliation, whilst only 12 voted in favour of disaffiliation. Controversially, Ben voted for remained affiliation. “It would be a very selfish act to remove our funding and yet still expect the same services from CUSU as everyone else was given and expect all other JCRs to fund them for us.

“Personally, I’m glad we remained affiliated. Although the cost is significant, it all goes towards what are really important services for Cambridge students: welfare, access, education support and representation to the university council.”

Meanwhile, the Queens’ JCR website is polling students about whether CUSU disaffiliation is “still thought necessary when considering Queens’ already stretched resources?” To date, 56% of votes cast say ‘no’, and 44% say ‘yes’.

Queens’ JCR president Charlie Bell commented: “As a representative body, we should make the time to find out our students’ views on a variety of issues, especially in straightened financial times. Anything springing from this will be fully debated at a later point.”

Every Cambridge undergraduate is automatically charged £6.70 to be a member of CUSU, although students are offered the option of opting out at a later date.

JCR affiliation with CUSU is optional, and any JCR can withdraw at any point, removing all of its students’ contribution to the CUSU budget. Currently, all college JCRs are affiliated with CUSU, but Downing and Magdelene’s MCRs are disaffiliated.

  • http://selwynjcr.org Stephen Tordoff

    There is a lot of nonsense in this post. The debate at Selwyn hasn't been getting rowdy–most people don't seem to care. I have not seen such t-shirts (although I would not go so far as to claim they do not exist).

    Ben's voting for CUSU has not been controversial. If I remember correctly, he suggested that this was his stance during Hustings.

    Your voting figures are also wrong. At the 'debate' (open meeting with CUSU present–very one-sided), less than 35 people were in attendance. If you take take the online voting figures, its 78 for and 32 against.

    Your photo is also outdated. (Rahul was not present at Selwyn)

    • http://cambridgetab.co.uk/ TabEditor

      Where is the claim that Rahul was at Selwyn? That is a photo we took at a hustings before he became president. Hence his tshirt. Obviously.

    • English Student

      "fewer" than 35 people, not "less"; you would've thought being at Cambridge and all…

      • Stephen Tordoff

        Does it really matter? The distinction between less and fewer is technical at best, and the sentence as written is unambiguous. One would hope that clarity is valued above mere technical correctness. [youtube J7E-aoXLZGY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY youtube]

  • Adam

    Regarding the Queens' vote, it should read:

    whether CUSU *affiliation* is “still thought necessary

    rather than disaffiliation. That changes the meaning of the vote entirely!

    • ClarePresident

      This article also neglects to note the fact that several JCRs have a vote every year to renew their membership- just a formality.

  • Corpus

    Corpus votes on Sunday. Just had decided at an open meeting to see whether we wanted to invite CUSU to discuss pros and cons at a debate: For = 2 / Against = 39.

    This is happening.

    • Corpus

      Regardless of the pros and cons of affiliation, this is a pretty poor attitude to free speech…

  • Corpuscle

    Isn't it slightly ironic that Corpus is voting on its affiliation using the voting programme and server that CUSU designed and provides to JCRs?

    • guest

      not really

    • idiot-alert

      CUSU didn't design it. It's open source you retard

  • Corpus #2

    Corpus has disaffiliated. 71% of undergraduates voted for disaffiliation and 86% of postgraduates.

  • Team Selwyn

    Look whoever says that Norman, the one true JCR president of Selwyn, doesn't fight Selwyn's corner is an absolute moron. Rosie Cavill do you even go to Selwyn? Don't soil his name with your slander

    • Chris Davis

      I don't know who you think you are Team Selwyn, but you are wrong. The JCR has been floundering for a number of years now, its undeniable.

  • Team Selwyn 2

    I agree with the person above. Andy B Norman is an excellent President and if Rosie hasn't bothered engaging with a JCR Committee that has really fucking tried to reach out to its politically apathetic undergrads then that's her fault, not the Committee's or the President's. People who don't do anything themselves and then complain when other people try are arseholes.

    • Josh Esam

      I disagree…I feel that ABN has been disappointing!

      • Will Arnold

        So true. Our needs have not been met. The three biggest lads of Selwyn had to move out to get a jacuzzi. On that note, open invite to any biatches reading this, you are more than welcome to come for a dip. Bathing suit not compulsory!!!!

  • Mrs. Norman

    Fuck you Cavill!!!!!

  • abolishcusu

    How does one disaffiliate individually and why is this option not better publicised?

    • jerh2



  • SomeoneWhoCanSpell

    I cant take “journalism” like this seriously when the people who are supposed to be writers cant even spell properly – “Ours our better”…..Seriously? -_-

  • Someone who has banged Hayley!

    They are Hayley Wattam’s tits #TrustMeIKnow 😉

  • lol


  • Ollie Meakin

    These are soooooo unfunny.

  • ClarePresident

    Bullshit. And that's an official statement.

  • Seb Dunnet

    CUSU just needs more big names. I'm a big name.

    ; ) Sx

  • Folly

    I'd disassociate myself from any organisation leading a march with shouts of 'bring an end to capitalism.' The Left showed their true colours down at Millbank yesterday.

  • bn-tac

    are there any other big names?


    If Rahul was chanting "bring an end to capitalism", he sure managed to do it quietly.

  • Chris

    Tit Hall have a vote scheduled too

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