CUSU Election Live Blog: AMATEY WINS CRUSHING VICTORY

We’re bringing you all the gossip, drama, and scintillating action LIVE.

Voting opens 00:00 on March 1. Candidates, Campaigners and Voters, message our page with updates, things you’re doing, things you’re seeing, things you’re saying, things you’re thinking. Or send in an anonymous tip here. Positions being contested:


19.07 AMATEY DOKU WINS CUSU PRESIDENCY WITH 1671 VOTES

In a dramatic conclusion to the mother-of-all CUSU elections, Amatey Doku has beaten opponents Angus Satow, John Sime and Cornelius Roemer to secure a crushing victory. Doku won with a MASSIVE 1671 votes, compared to Satow’s 615 , with Roemer and Sime trailing in third and fourth place. As the results rolled in, the other victors of what were often bitter and contentious campaigns began to emerge:

Welfare and Rights Officer: Sophie Buck ousted Poppy Ellis Logan with 1364 votes to 769

Women’s Officer: Audrey Sebatindira beat Connie Muttock with 805 votes

Access & Funding Officer: Eireann Attridge won uncontested

Education Officer & Deputy President: Roberta Huldisch won uncontested

GU President: Chad Allen

17.25 Some delightful bitchiness coming through on Tab Tips.

Sample 1: “Ironically, Angus has a bigger carbon footprint than Cornelius. Angus has printed lits of flyers, but Cornelius hasn’t.”

Sample 2: “Apparently Josh Jackson’s campaign has a website and it’s better than Umang’s because it hasn’t got a tacky picture of him outside John’s. Have a look: joshjackson4universitycouncillor.wordpress.com.”

Are we calling pictures tacky now?

16.40 There are the remnants of a highly entertaining situation going down on Facebook as Cornelius “pleads” with his friends not to campaign for him. (This was during the period under which he was still operating under a campaigning ban.)

#civildisobedience

#civildisobedience

Corn makes a valiant attempt to stop it.

Lol.

Lol.

Thursday 03/03 16.13 ONLY THREE HOURS LEFT. Vote, vote, vote. You can’t complain for the next year about CUSU unless you made the effort.

23.24 This wonderful platitude popped up. Can someone explain exactly what Amatey means? If CUSU funds these campaigns, as Cornelius pointed out, then it would surely be foolish to let them run wild (e.g. prescription drugs scandal)? “Legally, because the autonomous campaigns are funded through CUSU, the sabbatical officers, those who are charity trustees, have some responsibility. . . . If you wanted to make them independent, you would have to set them up as separate charities. Political independence is an ideal otherwise, but one sabs as charity trustees can certainly respect.”

Autonomous campaigns should have autonomy, just like Christmas must have Santa Claus

Autonomous campaigns should have autonomy, just like Christmas must have Santa Claus

23.18 Your correspondent is thoroughly fed-up now. Being spammed by Union Presidential candidates and CUSU ones can tire out even a hack. And then the Oxford Union popped up on Facebook too. Turns out they’re having elections – who would have guessed? The only difference being their candidates can put things like “Secured SIR ELTON JOHN as Speakers’ Officer” and “my debate speech gained 300,000 views and international coverage”. Rather be at Oxford than St John’s, eh?

She looks great fun...

She looks great fun…

21.22 Spotted this from Poppy Ellis-Logan:

Impressive numerical confidence.

Impressive numerical confidence.

Someone wrote in to Tab tips: “It would be great if the other 903 reasons to vote Poppy could be clarified – were these mentioned at hustings? A clarification of policies – perhaps on a flyer – would be good too.”

19.30 Cornelius has released his campaign video. Not as interesting as his RIDICULOUS blog – “Am I CUSU’s Trump? It depends…” – but still has a few gems in it. If his opening sentence – “You probably know a lot about me now” – and his posing in a volleyball shirt in the University Sports Centre are signs of someone who takes himself a little bit too seriously, then the clip’s ending, in Trinity Bar, is just plain odd: “Hesham please don’t film him calling your mum a milf”, one of Cornelius’ pals is caught saying.

Such commitment, such Cornelius

Cornelius is increasingly turning into the Milo Edwards of this campaign. And, speaking of joke candidates turned serious, here’s how he compared himself to Trump on his website:

#Cornelius4Change #MakeCambridgeGreatAgain

#Cornelius4Change #MakeCambridgeGreatAgain

He added: “People were not convinced Trump could win, can I?”

#Trump4Cambridge #Cornelius4Change # Milo4Jam

In the end, the “safe” candidate, Priscilla Mensah, won – and CUSU has been much safer for it… (Or has it..?)

Wednesday 02/03 11.39 Day whatever of this exhausting process is upon is.

Poppy, running for Welfare, has asked us to include her campaign video. You can the video of Sophie, who is also running, further down in the thread.

Will she ever leave?

21.05 We have statement 5 (?) in the increasingly complex and exciting showdown between Welfare candidates Sophie Buck and incumbent Poppy Ellis-Logan, who clashed at hustings on Monday night.

Here’s what Sophie has to say:

“I’d like to clarify that I’m not criticising what my opponent, the current Welfare and Rights Officer, has achieved over the past year: she’s done fantastically in increasing DRC funding, helping appoint a Disabled Students’ Officer, and working to train welfare officers much more thoroughly, among other things.

This is not to say I’m not allowed to suggest areas I would add to, and indeed there are many … it is somewhat unsurprising that I must refer to what is currently being done in the role. What’s most important though is not what has been done already, but what *will* be done in the coming year. Throughout my campaign, I’ve focused on policies I’d like to implement, coupled with a demonstration of the experience and passion I have to make these a reality. I understand that the current officer may have begun steps to address a few of these, but it should not be denied that there is much more to be done.

If you vote for me, I will continue to work on and uphold existing projects, as well as bringing new ideas to the table.”

18.06 John assures us that he didn’t mean it.

“Yeah, it was a forfeit as part of a drinking game. I’m glad my friends found it amusing!”

17.42 Just another reason to vote John Sime. This just in from Tab Tips:

“Presidential candidate John Sime gave an enthralling 20-second speech during a BCD-alternative party last Saturday, promising to “build a wall between Cambridge and Girton, and make Girton pay for it” and “make CUSU great again!”

14.55 ANOTHER SPOOF OF ANGUS’ CAMPAIGN VIDEO HAS EMERGED. This one is even better. It has Angus rapping away with Kanye to 2007’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” – an attitude which may or may not be suited to CUSU. (Though the Women’s Campaign, given their no-engagement policy with The Tab, would surely not dissent.)

Credit: Louis Ashworth, correspondent at Varsity, Cambridge’s only independent newspaper.

The lyrics reflect Kanye’s increasing difficulties with fame, as he struggles to keep himself together in the public eye: “I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny / And what do I do? Act more stupidly.” Don’t worry Angus, it’s only CUSU. What could go wrong? Just a few pesky newspapers to ignore like The Tab and The Telegraph.

Just more unnecessary public scrutiny

Just more unnecessary public scrutiny

14.38  In addition to the lovely open letter defending Cornelius we received earlier, we can inform you more Trinity students have defended him. The letter slammed accusations that he was misogynistic when in charge of TCSU, highlighting that his campaign to keep streetlights on (when CUSU did nothing) was “hugely successful and directly benefited women.” But it seems Trinity students can’t get enough of the sudden pro-Cornelius bandwagon and this year’s TCSU committee passed a motion on Sunday “to express its thanks for former TCSU President Cornelius’ Roemer’s advice and work on vacation storage as an issue within the college.” They also appear to  claim there is an “ad hominem media campaign” against him.

The bigger picture

The bigger picture, sourced from Cornelius’ website

12.34 Cryptic and possibly wildly inappropriate Tweet from Jack May, former TCS editor. Sorry for all the attention you’re getting, Angus. Embrace it.

Why is Jack May so fascinated by these screenshots?

Why is Jack May so fascinated by these screenshots?

12.28  WELFARE TENSIONS: Poppy (Welfare candidate) has hit back at Sophie Buck with the following statement: “I’m a little taken aback that an opponent would raise doubt about what I’ve achieved this year. Implying that I’m just lying is an odd tactic (especially given the evidence in my regular welfare bulletins, which are sent out for circulation to all welfare officers), and isn’t really in the spirit of the Welfare & Rights Officer election.

“Some of the changes I’ve accomplished this year will take time: for example, I’ve resourced more funding for the Disability Resource Centre already, but hiring someone qualified to fill the new role of Mental Health Advisor will take time. The Lecture Recording agreement, and compulsory training for supervisors and DoSs on reasonable adjustments will be enforced from the start of next academic year. The reason they take a few months to be implemented is that these are big changes that will make a big difference.”

On another note, really appreciating how quickly and enthusiastically all the candidates are getting in touch with us.

(I hope this continues just as much after the election as before.)

11.03 Here at The Tab we love nothing more than crowd sourcing from our cherished, funny readers. Case in point here. Kudos to Fosca Majnoni d’Intignano, who has sent in the following video in response to our request for a video of Angus rapping. Better or worse than the original? Let us know in the comments.

 

10.54  The contest for Welfare Officer is turning out to be – surprisingly – one of the most hotly contested.

The Tab received an anonymous tip about how Sophie Buck, opposed to Poppy Logan, “claims to have been “following the Welfare Officers group closely” but clearly hasn’t been doing it closely enough, since several of her manifesto points – notably the creation of a Welfare Officers’ Handbook – are things that Poppy has actually already done”.

Poppy at CUSU hustings.

Poppy at CUSU hustings.

But Sophie told us she wanted to “flesh out the existing handbook”, to quote her manifesto. She said: “It is currently too abstract and would benefit from concrete (hypothetical) examples of situations and appropriate responses for college welfare officers. Among other things, it also needs clear tables (and statistics) detailing what is provided at each college (e.g. gender-neutral college parents).”

She continued: “Though Poppy is claiming to have already done a large number of things on my manifesto (e.g. arrange DoS training, implement trigger warnings for lectures where necessary, organise welfare discussion groups open to the whole university, run student art exhibitions, and provide UMS delivery of condoms), no one is actually aware of any of these things happening … This raises doubts over whether they’ve actually been achieved yet, and also highlights a huge issue in lack of publicising them if so. How can anyone use them if they don’t know they exist?”

09.46 Submission from Tab tips: “Angus video muted plus any rap track”. If anyone with a spare minute and technical skills can make this a reality, please do. Send to [email protected] .

09.33 Angus has sent in his campaign video. Highlights include t-shirt and gentle swaying motions.

 

02.10 One of the themes that came up repeatedly in hustings was the question of representation – how much CUSU is currently representing or should represent the political viewpoints of students. John maintained that CUSU is out of touch, such as on banning the Tompkins Table, while Angus and Amatey argued it was more a matter of miscommunication. Cornelius seemed to think CUSU shouldn’t take a stance on controversial issues.

As always, we defer to you, dear readers:

 

And just for women and non-binary people (no menz pls, seriously):

 

02.00 Our interview with the candidates for Women’s Officer is up.

01.21 CUSU’s Returning Officer has issued the following statement to the press:

“I would like to make you aware of an error on the ballot for the Main Elections of the CUSU/GU Lent Elections 2016, with the incorrect listing of candidates for the role of Education Officer. This was due to an error in drafting by the Returning Officer. The only candidates standing in this election are Roberta Huldisch and Re-Open Nominations. Unfortunately, due to the set-up of the system, we are unable to alter ballots once they have gone live. This will not affect the results of the election, as the count will be checked (as is standard procedure) through ballot checking software which will enable us to strike the name of the incorrectly listed candidate and reallocate any second or third preference votes for the affected students.”

This is just really, really awkward.

00.50 Continuing his bold campaign strategy, Cornelius has posted a link to his trailblazing website on rival Angus Satow’s campaign FB page. Only time will tell if this gamble pays off.

Expect the unexpected.

Expect the unexpected.

00.34 Ooops. Appears that the candidates for Education Officer are wrong. The only candidate is meant to be Roberta – Cashman is the incumbent. Will the election be invalid? Has CUSU realised?  Will they check the email I so kindly sent to them alerting them to the situation?

He's not running.

He’s not running.

00.26 RESULTS OF OUR STRAW POLL.

The Tab’s straw poll results are in. 646 of you voted, compared to around 4000 in last year’s CUSU election. Results are:

John Sime: 88 votes (15.2%)
Amatey Doku: 282 votes (49.0%)
Angus Satow: 78 votes (13.5%)
Cornelius Roemer: 97 votes (16.8%)
Robert Corbyn-Smith (now withdrawn): 31 votes (4.8%)
RON: 70 votes (13.0%)

Orange = Amatey.

Orange = Amatey.

Just so as not to spoil the fun and ruin the excitement, it’s worth pointing out the preferences could be crucial, especially if Corbyn-Smith’s votes pile up behind Angus’. And ultimately the electorate who give enough of a shit to vote in a CUSU election is not really representative of the (more fun-loving) electorate that likes to read The Tab. On the day, it’ll come down to whether or not you’ve got a campaign team that allows you to get out the vote.

MONDAY 01/03 00.10 VOTING IS NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN. Do that sweet, sweet democracy thing.

Meanwhile, here’s our take on the questions, the fun part of presidential hustings.

Question 1, from Priscilla Mensah, incumbent CUSU President and Number 2 BNOC in Cambridge: How would you be approachable to the student body? Nothing much to get from this one. All variations upon “Yeah, I’m pretty approachable.”

Question 2, from the CUSU President of two years ago: Something about making difficult decisions. Didn’t make much of an impression. I think at this point Shani and I were distracted by the top notch banter on “Hackchat”, a Facebook thread with all the journos in the chamber.

Question 3, from Tab reporter Xavier: How would you be approachable to the student press? Cornelius offered a “weekly press meeting”. The others offered to respond quickly to our enquiries and acknowledged the importance of a working relationship. All the stuff we want to hear. The Tab, of course, is a massive platform that we totally want CUSU to use more than they currently are.

Question 4, from cheeky GU President Chad: Did you consider running for CUSU Coordinator and would you run for it in a by-election if you lose this election? Great question. Best answer from Amatey: “Whether I would run as Coordinator would depend on who was President.” So much to read between the lines.

Question 5, from Tab reporter Shani: What’s the best thing Priscilla’s done and what would you do differently? Good answers from all – gave a fairly accurate rundown of the year. Amatey highlighted Priscilla’s excellent paper on racism in Cambridge, while Angus and Cornelius highlighted her work on academic parity and freshers’ talks, respectively. When it came to an improvement, John correctly drew attention to CUSU’s response to the illegal and dangerous sharing of prescription drugs on a CUSU group. CUSU’s response, which only gave a lukewarm condemnation of a practice that kills hundreds of Britons every year, stood in stark contrast to the strong disapproval voiced by the Royal College of GPs. Not a good look.

Question 6, the best, from Varsity reporter and serial CUSU reporter Louis Ashworth: If you weren’t standing, which candidate would you vote for and which would you least like to vote for? Nice shit stirring. John most preferred Cornelius and least preferred Angus, at which point Angus punched the air. Amatey most preferred John (possibly sarcastically) and least preferred Cornelius. Angus cheekily avoided the question by nominating as his favourite Robert Corbyn-Smith, who has dropped out. This was mostly enjoyable because the audience got a nice schaudenfraudian high out of seeing them all look so uncomfortable.

Winners: Amatey, John. Came off well, with clearest and most direct answers. Latter, however, lacks the confidence of the former. Other candidates more likely to avoid questons or give a canned answer.

Favourite quote from the night: Angus Satow, to John Sime: “You’re just saying words.”

Post debate, we spoke to all four to ask whether they thought they had won.. Angus: “Yes.” John: “Obviously.” Cornelius and Amatey proved they had something in common with their declaration that it’s up for the electorate to decide.

23.59 AMATEY

Amatey somewhat ironically opened his speech by spending the first twenty seconds reassuring the audience that he will “try to keep this as brief as possible and get straight to the point” rather than actually getting to the point.

He wanted to support JCRs with “online databases”, set up a JCR Vice President’s Council and reach out to disaffiliated colleges. He promised to be “be a president that’s very pragmatic, who listens to students and who is taken seriously by this institution”.

Amatey was very passionate about increased student representation on University Councils to reduce the power of a “a committee, a cabal of bursars” who, when they meet, mark their minutes “To Be Destroyed”.  Amatey said today that he’d only heard about them this morning but he mentioned the Bursars’ meetings and the destroyed minutes to The Tab during his interview. Last Thursday. Very odd.

23:47 JOHN

John opened his speech by criticising the “Serious indifference among the student body towards its Student Union.” Considering the President’s Debate was watched by a grand total of 12 people (at least two of whom were The Tab), I agree that engagement is clearly a massive issue.

John has some potentially controversial policies. He wants the campaigns to choose either to be an affiliated part of CUSU and be held to the same standards as the sabbs or be fully autonomous.

He also proposed that if a particular speaker is successfully no-platformed by a student society, CUSU will hold an alternative event so the student body isn’t prevented from hearing alternative perspectives. Some fairly courageous policies there that would quite radically reshape CUSU’s direction.

23:29 ANGUS

Angus spoke fast enough to fit eight minutes of speech into his four allocated minutes. This makes more sense with the exclusive CUSU goss (revealed below) that they cut the speech time down at the last minute. He promised “policy not personality” and asked for people to vote for him as “a loud statement to the University for increased provisions”.

Angus “will support and platform every single liberation campaign at this university” and make “academic less male, pale and stale”. I’ve lost count of the amount of times Angus has said that phrase. To be fair, it does rhyme nicely. Angus wants to “win this election with a sizable mandate for my policies”.

He also attacked Amatey “His manifesto is most definitely about engagement but I think we should lead from the front and put forward policies”. Is this an indication that Amatey is the candidate Cornelius and Angus are most worried about?

23:15 Now for the one everyone has been waiting for – the Presidential Speeches. I’m going to go in chronological order here so nobody can accuse us of favouring one candidate. Not that we would do that. Ever.

CORNELIUS

Spoke of his track record of “innovative change in areas no-one thought possible” and committed to looking at “bread and butter issues that no-one agrees on”. One of the best parts of his speech was the particularly sassy manner in which he was leaning on the lectern.

#feelthecorn

#feelthecorn

Other highlights were “How often have you heard Priscilla speak to the public?” and “I can’t remember Amatey attending a single council despite being a full voting member of CUSU for over a year”. #shotsfired

22.40 Right, so, hustings. It was pretty intense. Like as intense as CUSU elections get.

GU PRESIDENT

Winners: Chad (re-running for GU President). Come on. You gotta love Chad. He came across as funny and has a massive amount of personality for someone involved in student politics. He won us over with the admission that “[email protected]” still redirects mail to him, as the founding father of the King’s Student Union. He’s really turned around the GU over the past year and deserves to have more time. Look, I know we’re not supposed to endorse candidates, but screw the rules. Vote Chad. #saynotoRON

Losers: RON.

WELFARE

This was surprisingly hotly contested. Poppy is the incumbent but seems to face a big challenge in the form of the up and coming Sophie Buck from the Emma JCR. Sophie claimed to have a “greater interest in mental health issues”, but Poppy hammered home that she had more experience. There was an audible gasp when Poppy had the temerity to ask Sophie: “Do you think you’ve got more experience than I’ve got?” Ooooooooooh.

EDUCATION

Candidate Roberta Huldisch is facing it off against RON. We’re not quite sure about her. She said she wanted to make the role “much more political” and “challenge the one size fits all approach”. But mostly she seemed to want to merge the goals of the liberation campaigns and that of the Education Officer, without spelling it out concretely how she would do it. On decolonising the curriculum, for example, this is something people talk about a lot – and in many instances it’s a really important thing to pursue – but no one really seems to be sure of how to go about changing that. Some clarity would have been better.

21.30 Bit of CUSU goss (ooh) for you. Apparently, the elections committee reduced the speech time for Presidential candidates from 5 to 4 minutes, but only told the candidates this morning, causing a bit of friction. We feel for you, presidential candidates – we all love the sound of your voices, we truly do.

This was the original briefing for today's hustings last Wednesday

This was the original briefing for today’s hustings last Wednesday

20.33 Obligatory photo.

Riveting.

Riveting.

 

20.30 Shani and Xavier taking over. We’re now at hustings, having arrived appallingly late. Sorry.

17.26 Anyway, as you can see Cornelius is positively flirting with the public eye, writing on his blog that CUSU’s election rules are “anything but open to interpretation and were definitely not written by lawyers. . . . What are the certain contexts in which referring to opponents is allowed? What are the forums in which EC thinks that candidates have a fair opportunity to respond directly? They could have commented on my website. Is that not enough?”

He's our Donald Trump

He’s our Donald Trump

16.50 Cornelius has broke the election rules. Naughty Cornelius! Very naughty what he did, too; he listed the number of times we’ve mentioned each candidate on our live blog so far. Serves him right, then.

Apparently, the rules state: “Referring to your opponents/other candidates  is also banned except in certain contexts. You cannot make allegations about your opponents or other candidates in the elections in any of your published material, whether physical or online. You can, however, refer to them in forums where the Elections Committee thinks they have a fair opportunity to respond directly.”

You can tell he's good with stats

You can tell he’s good with stats

Monday 29/02 00.03 Audrey Sebatindira – candidate for Women’s Officer – has a website. Seriously, check it out. Possibly the most swanky yet.

23.19 Full videos are out now. Ta, CUSU.

Also, it’s one of the candidate’s birthdays. Happy birthday, Angus.

I can literally think of no worse way to spend an occasion like this campaigning to win the most thankless job in Cambridge.

16.49 Who won the debate? If you were one of the 10 non-Tab people watching, let us know in the comments.

Our take:

John and Amatey gave a clear picture of what their candidacy is about in terms of their vision for CUSU. Amatey and Angus gave a fairly unconvincing explanation, though, of why no-platforming is irrelevant to CUSU. (Anyone who’s followed Cambridge politics over the past few years knows that most attempts at no platforming in Cambridge come from CUSU acolytes.)

Amatey, in particular, came off as level-headed and presidential, which is important in dealing with a large organisation that often deals with hotly contested issues. There is, though, the question of his policies. Angus insists that Amatey “hasn’t released any policies”. (We’re not entirely sure whether this is fair – we can list at least his proposal for a JCR Presidents’ sub-committee.)

If there’s anything to be said against Amatey’s performance, it’s that it was just a bit vanilla. His uninspiring claim that the CUSU President can’t really do much on the issue of no-platforming was rightly called out by Cornelius, who noted that “CUSU can still speak out”, even if he would probably remain “neutral” in the event. Despite claiming not to be “CUSU’s establishment candidate”, Cornelius’ experience of the ins and outs of University governance and the efficacy of the Students’ Union did shine through stronger than the other candidates.

After all, as Priscilla told The Tab last term, leading CUSU is all about steering through Cambridge’s maddening bureaucratic structures.

16.40 Angus has just given us a quick statement explaining why he told John to “check his privilege”:

“I of course acknowledge my privilege, and it’s my drive for a more equal, liberated world that lies behind my campaign. I intend to support and platform the liberation campaigns, not dictate to them or, even worse, go after them, as some seem to be trying to do.”

16.12 Meanwhile, we can update you on the riveting highlights thus far. (N.B. These are from our notes – will cross check these against the recording if and when it comes out.)

John Sime: “As a mathmo, I’m a problem solver.”

Cornelius Roemer: “I’ve been right at the forefront of … stopping racial profiling.”

John Sime: “There is a real problem in Cambridge where dissenting groups are quashed … I’m not afraid to represent unpopular opinions.”

Angus Satow: “I find it quite worrying Amatey you haven’t got any policies out by the end of tonight. Students should know who they’re going to vote for. The voting opens tomorrow. So I just want to register concern on that point.”

And my personal favourite: “I would ask you here right now to please check your privilege.” The culprit, of course, being Angus Satow, directed at fellow candidate John Sime.  The irony of all this, of course, is that both of them are white men, and only the latter, to the best of our knowledge, went to a state school.

15.50 The live stream tried its best, but has now crashed like it did yesterday. All 12 viewers, the 0.01% of the electorate who bothered to tune in, will be sorely disappointed.

A whole twelve people tuned in!

A whole twelve people tuned in!

15.30 Angus attacks John for calling certain groups special interest groups: “I would ask you here right now to please check your privilege.”

15.20 Amatey reuses the phrase “we need to have our ears to ground” for what feels like the millionth time. He’s being particularly platitudinous today, even by his standards.

15.16 Amatey tries to duck the question of whether CUSU presidential candidates should be “political”. Angus slams his response: “I find it quite worrying Amatey you haven’t got any policies out by the end of tonight. Students should know who they’re going to vote for. The voting opens tomorrow. So I just want to register concern on that point. And we are political parties in elections, standing for what we put in our manifestos – people vote for those policies.”

15.10 John makes clear his mathmo credentials: “I went to the second CUSU council meeting. . . . What I saw there really confirmed my suspicions. As a mathmo, I’m a problem solver. . . . That’s how I came up with my three point manifesto.”

15.00 CUSU’s live stream of the presidential candidates’ debate is up and running. Let’s hope there will be no technical problems this time.

The Merry MEN

Four very merry male men

14:00 Cornelius hits back at The Tab for noting he’s German in a post on his website. Just to clarify, we have the highest degree of respect and admiration for Germany.

Cornelius also makes a fairly good point about the lack of international Sabbs in the past, despite the high number of international students in Cambridge.

13.40 Cornelius indicates on his website that he will be releasing a full statement soon. Bout time.

13.32 Stinging comment from someone under Cornelius’ Students of Cambridge post.

Well.

Well.

One wonders what kind of person would leak a highly damaging document but not have the courage to attach their own name to it.

Now might be an opportune time to point out the connection that is shared between Varsity and at least some ex-TCSU members, including Mimi Trevelyan-Davis and Beth Cloughton.

10.47 In other exciting developments, someone on Twitter is disgusted at having matched with one of the presidential candidates. She says: “I’m changing my name and transferring to another uni.”

Not sure why we didn’t pick up on this earlier.

Ouch.

Ouch.

Bit rough. The Tab understands that CUSU President Priscilla Mensah isn’t a massive fan of Cornelius either. There are persistently swirling rumours that the only reason she proposed a motion to ban the Tompkins Table is that Cornelius had made some slightly douchey comment about Trinity coming first. When we got in touch with her regarding this last term, she said:

“Commenting on guesses regarding who, specifically, the students were would be inappropriate. That students have made these comments is the actual concern and I’m glad students (and academics) discussed, if only briefly, the meaning of collegiality at Cambridge as a result of the article. I can confirm a rep did make a comment to that effect. It would of course be the prerogative of the individual to confirm they said it if they so wished to.”

Sunday 28/02: 10.13 It’s understood  that Robert Corbyn-Smith HAS DROPPED OUT OF THE RUNNING, callously discarding the huge advantage afforded by the former part of his double-barrelled surname.

robert

It’s a mystery to us why he did. Eminently likeable chap. If you reckon you know, comment below or contact us here.

The Tab has contacted Robert for comment.

23.30 How exciting… Here’s Sophie’s video, she wants to tackle the “Cambridge mentality” and thinks people at the university struggle with “anxiety, also perfectionism, eating disorders and particularly for men, manning up”, but doesn’t necessarily want to set up a male only self-care tips group.

Taking matters into her own hands

23.16  Due to an unexpected cancellation of the debate between candidates for Welfare and Rights Officer, Sophie Buck and Poppy Ellis Logan, and the apparently rubbish quality of CUSU’s recording equipment, Sophie has released a video answering CUSU’s questions.

unspecified-1

17.24 John has hit back with the following statement:

“I believe in free speech, and fully support Amelia’s right to express her views. I also believe in freedom of opportunity, and do not want any barriers preventing anyone from achieving what they are capable of accomplishing. I am really grateful for the opportunities I have been given in being able to study here at Cambridge and to stand for President of the CUSU. I do know how privileged I am. I went to a State school, and having the chance to learn and expand my horizons at the greatest university in the world is simply awesome. It is important to avoid stereotyping people. My experience is that the vast majority of students here at Cambridge are well grounded, friendly and pleasant people who actually want to make a difference and make the world a better place.”

Apparently liking free speech doesn’t make you a posh fuckboy.

17.04 A former CUSU Sabb has been groaning on Twitter about one of the presidential candidates.

I don't think she likes him.

I don’t think she likes him.

16.08 Ooops. Sorry we can’t tell you who to vote for. I mean don’t vote Chad. Or vote Chad if you want. Or RON. Whoever.

16.07 Ooops, I retract that Chad. Missed your event. Have updated with link above. Accusation of incumbent complacency withdrawn. Sorry Chad. Vote Chad.

13.47 Shots fired from former Trinity JCR President and current presidential candidate Cornelius Roemer. We’re still awaiting a response from him on yesterday’s story about criticisms of his leadership and managerial style.

Shots fired.

Credit: Students of Cambridge.

13.31 Fixed. But I can’t find Chad Allen’s event. Incumbent complacency? Message in if you know where it is.

13.28 Top of the morning to you too. On it like a car bonnet.

x

xxx

13.11 The Tab can exclusively reveal that ONE IN SIX of the electoral roll that voted in the Women’s Officer election last year were men. Appalling. Aren’t men just terrible?

Read about it here.

27/02/2016 11.29 Good morning. Welcome to Day 3 of election season. Today’s big event will be the beginning of live debates. They’ll be live streamed, presumably on CUSU’s website. The positions that will be debated today include:

  • CUSU/GU Welfare and Rights Officer – Saturday 17th, 4pm
  • CUSU Education Officer – Saturday 27th, 5pm
  • CUSU Access Officer – Saturday 27th, 6pm
  • CUSU Women’s Officer – Saturday 27th, 7pm

We don’t imagine Education and Access will be particularly interesting, as both are uncontested. But the debate for Welfare and Women’s could be worth your time.  What we need is some Rubio/Trump style cross-examination:

 

22.48 There’s this incredible Google Doc floating around you can use to submit questions to the candidates for the debates. Suggested questions:

  • Why do you not have a campaign video like Amatey?
  • Is a vote for Cornelius Roemer* a vote for ever closer union?
  • Do you plan to extend CUSU’s brand presence to more Facebook groups?
  • What’s your stance on illegal behaviour that kills hundreds of Britons every year?
  • Did you vote for Milo Edwards last year?
  • Would you order a Domino’s personal pizza when drunk or would that constitute a terrible misjudgement of your student loan?
  • Would you accept the role of Coordinator as a consolation prize?

If we all submit these questions, there may be at least some interesting moments. #nomoreplatitudes

*Cornelius is German.

22.34 Amatey Doku has released a campaign video that is not dissimilar to the videos that play automatically on TVs in hotel rooms. We think it’s the combination of his mature voice, the calming music and the happy people eating and having a nice time.

 

17.05 STRAW POLL TIME

What creates more hype that posters and manifestos? Opinion polls.

Go with your gut instinct, cherished readers. Options also include RON and entering your own candidate.

 

17.00 Brendan Mahon, who is running for NUS Delegate, points out that “in practice, there’s actually only 3 positions available, not 5, because NUS Fair Representation rules mean that half our delegation has to be women”. Because there are four candidates, this means the position is actually properly contested. Great for democracy. Less great for those hoping to be sent to the UK’s most powerful and efficient platform for change.

16.50 WEBSITE NUMBER 2. Umang has jumped on the website bandwagon and has directed us towards “www.umang4uc.com”. Peculiar similarity to “www.cornelius4change.com” we think. Hmmm.

We’re intrigued by one of the endorsements on her website. Unfortunately, CUSU election rules – which God forbid we will never break – prevent us from revealing his surname. Any thoughts on who this guy is?

Sachin who?

Sachin who?

13.59 Amusing tip about one of the five men running: “He blanked me in Cindies last year after he got with me. NOT IMPRESSED”.

12.15 Amatey taking a clear lead in the Facebook attendance stakes.

11.42 Well. Cheeky leak from someone on the TCSU committee to Varsity.

10.16 CUSU Election Committee confirms that candidates are allowed to have websites. “Cornelius4change.com” shall stand. We desperately await “Amatey4afreshstart.com” and “Robert4robuststudentgovernance.com”.

;lkj

Communication levels soaring to new high as CUSU elections committee creates a Tab comment account. xox.

FRIDAY 26/02/16: 00.09 One highlight of Cornelius’ interview is his focus on new media.  He says: “Another issue is the way CUSU uses social media to interact with students.”

The Tab has acquired an example of his fine understanding of the nuances of social media in practice.

12784467_10206992400783255_230962960_n

Social media engagement.

The bar staff replied.

Presented without comment.

Presented without comment.

To be fair, he did apologise later.

20.01 In case you haven’t seen (because you probably haven’t, let’s be honest), our interview with Cornelius is live on the website. He actually says some quite clear-eyed things on the status of the “autonomous campaigns” bearing CUSU’s logo. “Legally, because the autonomous campaigns are funded through CUSU, the sabbatical officers, those who are charity trustees, have some responsibility”, he told us. “There is something of a reputational risk for the CUSU that represents everyone, since autonomous campaigns bear the CUSU brand and name, even though it doesn’t really have any political influence over them. It’s a very difficult problem and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. Removing “CUSU” from the title of the Women’s Campaign is one possibility”.

19:05 Less than 12 hours into the campaigning period, social media sniping between candidates appears to have begun. I’ve noticed the following pointed question on Amatey Doku’s post announcing his candidacy:

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 7.04.53 PM

Meow. Notice the unequal like ratio.

18:48 At Trinity’s Open Meeting about reducing vacation room rents, Cornelius seems to have forgotten that he’s no longer JCR President. He asked the Junior Bursar three of the first four questions and is currently engaged in an increasingly heated discussion with the current President (and seemingly the majority of the room) about the aims of any new scheme. Cornelius really wants an efficient new scheme to “maximise consumer surplus”.

12789912_10208917967450320_1372973190_o

Cornelius talking again

17.31 The real question is: are candidates allowed to spend money on a website? This is a shout out to our friends at the Election Committee. Can you please comment below with a clarification?

17.29 Wow. Roemer has broken ahead of the other candidates with a WEBSITE. Yes, he actually created a website. Way too keen, Corn. He’s also adopted the never fail technique of substituting “for” with a cardinal number. Is this an attempt to appear edgy? Comment with your prac crit in the comment section below.

Cornelius 4 change. Very early 2000s we think.

Cornelius 4 change. Very early 2000s we think.

16.28 After a long period of suspicious silence, Cornelius Roemer has finally created his candidacy event. The Tab intends to release its interview with him soon.

13.01 Amatey Doku has 2500 people invited to his invite – a convincing lead over the other candidates. Second is Angus Satow with a paltry 1200 invited. Do we have an early frontrunner? We may or may not turn this into a more professional graph situation. Watch this space.

12.36 Have an anonymous tip on one of the candidates? Something the public may need to know? Let us know via Tab Tips.

11.40 I’ve been taking a look at Cornelius Roemer’s manifesto. He has this to say about CUSU in general:

“[I want to] Lead a CUSU that represents the interests of all students and not just small minorities while preserving the independence of the autonomous campaigns. Create a CUSU that listens before it acts.”

Meanwhile we have just published our interview with Robert Corbyn-Smith, will the ‘Corbyn’ part of his name help to sweep him to victory?

11.35 

keep those comments coming

keep those comments coming

11.32  It has been correctly pointed out that it is a stretch to describe Josh Jackson as a Union hack. Serial election-runner? Corbynista? No comment.

Yes, we are using Jack May’s twitter feed due to the lack of any public commentary from the rest of the student population.

11.08 I have just delved deep into the CUSU Constitution. It’s quite an experience.

Section J12 says that in the event of no candidates running, as with Coordinator and the Ethical Affairs Officers, the Council is empowered to mandate the Sabbatical Officers to temporarily employ a member of staff to carry out the ‘non-representational elements of the post’.

Also, fun fact, the current Sabb team’s term ends July 14th (Bastille Day, Vive le France, etc) and the new team take office on July 15. Will there be an inauguration party?

10.56 CUSU-Tab relations have taken a turn for the better with the advent of comment section based interaction. We love you too, Elections Committee.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.55.10

When bae comments on your live blog.

I have also just been told that CUSU LGBT have a library themselves.

10.53 We’re having minor technical difficulties with the liveblog, for which I apologise.

Someone has already messaged in asking what the ‘Feminist library’ would actually involve. Probably a dedicated room at the GU, but I’m just making an assumption here.

10.32 

Jemma Stewart has just confirmed that NO CANDIDATES are running for the Coordinator or either of the Ethical Affairs Officer positions.

10.25 Controversy is already developing over the pledge in Connie Muttock’s Women’s Officer manifesto to create a ‘Feminist library and Women and non-binary people only workspace in the SU’.

Former TCS Editor Jack May recently wrote an article in The Spectator explaining how he was a Stepford Student who had ‘seen the light’. Thank. The. Lord.

09.59 In some senses I’m of course very pleased that he (we can do away with the inverted commas now) has dropped out. There would undoubtedly have been uproar across Cambridge and it would have created a lot of anger.

From the perspective of wanting an interesting election campaign to write about, however, I am distraught.

09.49 OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION, the ‘man’ who was running for CUSU Women’s Officer dropped out at the last minute.

We do not believe the CUSU Elections Committee blocked ‘his’ candidature.

09.36: Spence here. I’m back after a slightly longer hiatus than planned.

We haven’t heard or seen much active campaigning, no doubt main campaigns are just shifting into gear.

As one of the commenters has pointed out, yes, Union hack Josh Jackson is running for University Councillor.

08.28: I’m just going for breakfast with eminent BNOC, Tab TV presenter, and unconfirmed man, Finn McRedmond. No doubt this thrilling race will be the only topic of conversation.

08.24: That’s all we have so far, we will get you our interviews with Cornelius Roemer and Robert Corbyn-Smith as soon as they are out.

08.18: Zero Carbon and Magdalene JCR BNOC Angus Satow is also running, is afraid of just being seen as the ‘divestment guy’ and says ‘welfare will come first for me, not work … We shouldn’t be doing all-nighters very often’.

08.14: Amatey Doku, wants a ‘Vice-Presidents’ Council’ and would ‘definitely’ want to ban the Tompkins Table as it is ‘hugely damaging’.

08.12: First up (and these are in no particular order), CUSU Presidential Candidate from Emmanuel John Sime, who says of no-platforming that “I am probably the person who is most against that you will ever meet.”

08.08: We’ll try and get you more information on the behind-the-scenes action regarding that Women’s Officer candidature later in the day.

Just giving a quick glance down the list I can see that Poppy Logan, the current Welfare Officer, is running for re-election. Here at The Tab we will not shy away from examining the record of anyone running for re-election.

Controversial former Trinity JCR President Cornelius Roemer is running for President. We have prepared interviews with all the Presidential Candidates which we are releasing now.

08.05: Returning Officer Jemma Stewart has just emailed out the full and confirmed list of candidates. It appears that the ‘man’ we were reliably informed was running for Women’s Officer has been somehow persuaded to withdraw/removed. Probably a good outcome for democracy and people’s tempers, but nonetheless makes the election slightly less exciting.

The candidates:

CUSU President
  • Amatey Doku
  • Angus Satow
  • Cornelius Roemer
  • John Robert Sime
  • Robert Corbyn-Smith
GU President
  • Chad Allen
CUSU-GU Welfare and Rights Officer
  • Sophie Buck
  • Poppy Ellis Logan
CUSU Access and Funding Officer
  • Eireann Attridge
CUSU Education Officer
  • Roberta Huldisch
CUSU Women’s Officer
  • Audrey Sebatindira
  • Connie Muttock
University Councillor
  • Jon Wall
  • Joshua Jackson
  • Peter Juhasz
  • Umang Khandelwal
NUS Delegate
  • Brendan Mahon
  • Connor MacDonald
  • Joseph Toovey
  • Oliver Hudson

08.03: If you did happen to want to read all the press guidance for the CUSU election, god help you, it is available here.

07.59: Lest we forget. #Milo4Jam

07.57: Some people are big fans of US politics. Personally, the narrow campaigning season (8 days as opposed to 18 months) makes CUSU elections more bearable. You could argue that the CUSU Presidency is irrelevant compared to the leadership of the free world. You would be correct.

07.56: What about this ‘man’ eh? Very cheeky. Give us your thoughts in the comments section below. Not long now until we get official confirmation and a name. Perhaps even now ‘he’ is being persuaded to reconsider what will undoubtedly be a highly controversial move.

07.52: CAMPAIGNS Please message in where you are campaigning/what you’re up to, include interesting anecdotes, please feel free to send pictures. We’re partially relying on you to help us get the campaign news to the average Cantab.

07.51: Good Morning, Joseph Spencer here. It’s the 25th of February and the election period begins in 9 minutes. I’m here and bleary-eyed, ready to give you all the action.

01.20: Election happenings thus far include yesterday’s meeting with CUSU to discuss press coverage of the election. We were impressed by their reasonability. Plans to play Election Rule Bingo have been discarded for now.

01.19: Unconfirmed rumours have reached The Tab that a ‘man’ is running for Women’s Officer. We will have more detail and confirmation as and when it comes.

We’ll be live-blogging from 7.45am, with the full list of candidates expected to be announced by Jemma Stewart, the Returning Officer and current CUSU Coordinator, at 8.00am. This marks the beginning of the campaigning period and The Tab will begin coverage of candidates.

 

The race for the white walled basement offices

The race for the white-walled basement offices.

 

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University of Cambridge Charlotte Chorley CUSU cusu election CUSU Elections cusu president Priscilla Mensah student politics student union election WomCam Women's officer