The Tab’s Alternative CUSU Manifestos

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CUSU elections are just hours away, but we're sure you already knew that. Here, the candidates answer the questions you want to know the answers to.

The Tab went to hustings at Hughes Hall last night. We were the only ones there.

Today, during the debate between candidates for position of President, third year King’s student Juan Zober de Francisco reported: “11 people in the audience, not counting my Dad and I.” He continued, “I should add that six of those people are candidates or already CUSU officers.”

Clearly people need a bit more incentive to get excited about CUSU, so we asked the candidates running for President the questions that REALLY matter.

While Gerard Tully has been to Cindies “often enough to know all the words to so, so many songs that I shouldn’t,” Adam Booth’s proudest moment from his time at Cambridge is: “only going to Cindies once. Maybe twice.” He adds, ” (I) can’t remember (which I hear is the best way to enjoy Cindies)”.  Sam Wakeford prefers “somewhere (he) can have a conversation,” and recommends The Maypole for a superb local cider.

Here are their alternative manifestos:


Gerard Tully is a Archaeology undergraduate from Tit Hall.

He’s a dab hand at all this CUSU malarkey, having been Secretary and Undergraduate Development Officer in 2009/10. Gerard’s tagline reads: “Right Experience, Bright Ideas,” and he wants to: increase bursaries, fight to save small subjects and papers, and campaign for equality of living standards between colleges.

Can you sum up your manifesto in five words? Reliable, Current, Achievable, Specific, Informed.

Do you know what a Tomahawk is?

Too well. Ask the Union barman.

What is your favourite thing on the Gardi’s menu?

Chilli burger, no question.

Do you play for any college sports teams?

Highest scorer in Tit Hall’s Pool team, in my first year. When we were able to field a team, that is…

What makes you different from the other two candidates?

I’m the only one who has worked long enough in CUSU to know how to do things, but outside it enough to know how to change it for the better.

If elected, what’s the first thing you’ll do?

Get the £5,000 it would take (out of the £10mill+ the uni spends on bursaries and access) to pay the travel expenses of any kid who wanted to come to Cambridge for the Shadowing Scheme

If elected what’s the last thing you’ll do?

If I had the balls, Rick-Roll the entire University on the CUSU bulletin.

What is the one thing you are most proud of during your time at Cambridge?

Honestly, I’m proud of quite a few things – getting more students than ever before to vote in the NUS referendum last year, or bringing so many heads of G8 nations to the Union. More than anything was doing Jailbreak last year and getting to Istanbul, that was incredible and pushed me way out of my comfort zone – something which should be a mandatory experience for any CUSU President!


Adam Booth is a PHD student from the Engineering Department from Robinson.

His tagline reads: “No to cuts: defend education. No to fees: for free education. For a fighting student union.” Booth actively campaigned in Cambridge Defend Education, and claims to know about student life from all angles: “as an undergraduate, a post-graduate, and a supervisor.”

In five words he is “For a fighting student union.”

Do you know what a Tomahawk is?

The engineer in me wants to say: “a fighter plane and a missile,” but it’s also Native American axe and a vodka-based drink.

What is your favourite thing on the Gardi’s menu?

Cheesy chips in pitta (with mayonnaise).

What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

Capital: volumes 1, 2, and 3.

Do you play for any college sports teams?

I play for the Cambridge University Ultimate Frisbee team (it is a sport!).

What makes you different from the other 2 candidates?

I don’t want to be an MP.


Sam Wakeford is an Arch and Anth student was CUSU Education Officer last year.  He is from Trinity Hall.

Sam is running alongside Morgan Wild (who is standing for Education Officer and is uncontested). Their tagline reads: “re-elect experience and ideas.” Wakeford hopes to continue campaigning against the governments “disastrous fees and funding policies.”

His manifesto in five words? Re-elect experience with strong ideas.

What is your favourite thing on the Gardi’s menu?

Just straight chips.

What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

A supply of Amaretto, some sort of solar-powered ice-making device, and a shortwave radio (as I’m guessing there wouldn’t be WIFI).

Do you play for any college sports teams?

Sabbatical life… is pretty much 18-hour days, seven days a week, and therefore pretty antisocial. So my sport dropped last year to what I could do at 4am without waking anyone up – mostly running – and it hasn’t picked up again…

If elected, what’s the first thing you’ll do?

Have my first good night’s sleep for a month.

And the last thing?

Take a holiday and not take my laptop.

What is the one thing you are most proud of during your time at Cambridge?

My overriding passion – the thing that got me into the Students’ Union in the first place, and the thing that would be my priority next year – is access work: making sure that Cambridge draws applicants from the widest range of backgrounds, and that our admissions process is truly need-blind.


View the candidates’ manifestos in full here.

Listen to them discuss their plans on CamFM here.

Voting opens on Monday for 24 hours.

Photographs by Will Seymour.

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