Presidential Pledges

The three presidential candidates in the upcoming CUSU elections, George Bangham, Greg Hill and Flick Osborn, outline why they deserve your votes.

Cambridge CUSU elections Exclusive Flick Osborn George Bangham Greg Hill Manifesto's President's Tab

With CUSU elections looming, the three presidential candidates took a moment to explain to Tab readers why they deserve your vote next week. 

Online voting starts on Monday, ahead of paper voting in colleges on 6th March.

George Bangham, Emmanuel

Student politics is at a critical stage. Our current government is hardly bringing a better future for our generation. Cambridge also has a way to go, on issues like the Living Wage, the gender attainment gap, and graduate College fees.

But whereʼs CUSU in all of this? These challenges are too important not to be tackled by a united student body. Iʼm running for President because we need a CUSU for every student, thatʼs not seen as hostile to those who donʼt share its political opinions. When I’ve called forʻdepoliticisationʼ, I mean that we need unity and consensus. Of course we need politics, but we’ll achieve so much more with campaigns supported by a majority of students.

So what needs to change? I’m suggesting we reform CUSU with two main aims: genuinely listening to the opinions of every student, and promoting a culture of equality and community responsibility.

Every candidate promises better communication, but I come with new ideas for reform. I know that its bureaucracy must change to be relevant, and Iʼm strong and experienced enough to do this. I’ll work closely with student media to publish regular updates (we all know which newspaper everyone reads). We’ll have no more publicity by stealth, but instead strength in common purpose. CUSU Council will also open up. I’ll move meetings between Colleges and hold some of them on individual issues like Access, so we all know what’s actually going on.

A Cambridge education comes with great responsibility. I’ll seize the initiative through CUSU to finish the Living Wage project in Colleges and Faculties, using my think-tank experience to strengthen the cause. This must be free from political ideology; we all agree the Living Wage is necessary and achievable. I’ll lobby Colleges to better fund Access and Schools Liaison Officers – and help students take the initiative if they want. Finally, I’ll raise the profile of volunteering groups like SCA and the Hub. The more of this the better.

This election is a choice between the usual evolution, and a strong and well-run transformation. Please do check my manifesto on Facebook, and vote George Bangham for CUSU President next week.

Greg Hill, Homerton

My name is Greg Hill and I’m running to be CUSU President. I read history and I’m currently the Homerton JCR President.

Having been a Sabbatical this year, I’m aware of how much an opportunity it gives you to make changes. My proudest achievement has been winning the Living Wage at Homerton, previously one of the worst colleges for paying it. I’ve also established a new common room and a college gym.

I think that CUSU needs to improve student involvement to bolster its effectiveness as a campaigning organisation. It should do this by appointing more CUSU reps in colleges and ensure all colleges have reps for the autonomous campaigns. CUSU also needs to be far more directly accountable to JCRs and MCRs and offer them the opportunity to set motions for CUSU to campaign on.

CUSU also needs diversify its activities to better relate to the student body. I propose a CUSU Ents programme including a Freshers’ Week and cheap weekly CUSU club nights. CUSU also needs its own building, both to make it more physically accessible and as a possible social venue.

I also think CUSU needs to cater better for its graduate students. I would campaign against the increases to college fees and work hard alongside the Graduate Union to make sure CUSU services are available outside of term.

Finally I will strongly support all of the autonomous campaigns. I will reinvigorate the Hidden Costs campaign to provide a list of fees at all colleges. I will aid the Access Campaign by providing a full list of bursaries available at each college for prospective applicants. I will support a fully autonomous women’s campaign and all of the fantastic work it does, especially the ‘Right to Light’ campaign and I will run an enthusiastic Living Wage campaign.

Flick Osborn, St John’s

Hi! I’m Flick, third year Theologian from John’s, and I’d love to be your next CUSU President. It’s difficult to sum up my campaign briefly, so for more detail find my full manifesto on the CUSU website! Here’s the whistle stop tour…

I want to unite students across college divides. I’ll build strong links with JCRs and MCRs, especially by gathering info on disparate Hidden Costs so these committees negotiate on your behalf more effectively. I’ll advance the fantastic Living Wage Campaign and bring CUSU Open Meetings to your college. I’ll set up some decent joint college Ents! I’ll speak up for you strongly and assertively to the University and the media on national student issues.

I want to expand CUSU. I’ll campaign for a block grant so we can give you bigger and better services. I’ll bring CUSU team training direct to your college, equipping students to volunteer particularly with Access schemes and I’ll improve our support of Cambridge’s brilliant autonomous campaigns.

I want to reshape CUSU. I’ll make sure CUSU Council reforms are properly implemented so it’s more accessible (and less boring/bureaucratic!) for its members. I’ll review the ethical sustainability of our processes and make them greener.

Besides individual policy and action, you should vote for me because I’m approachable, communicative and in touch with real student life. I’m innovative and know how to implement my ideas efficiently. Consultation and honest representation are central to my campaign. I care about people and I want CUSU to meet its responsibility to give Cambridge students the best possible university experience. Plus I love a good night out, so next time you have a complaint about CUSU you can find me in Cindies rather than trekking to the CUSU Office!

On Saturday, The Tab’s very own veteran student politico Francesca Hill will be interviewing the candidates, and we want you to suggest questions in the comment section below.