In their own words: Angus Satow
As voting begins in the mother-of-all CUSU elections, The Tab gives presidential candidates one last chance to talk about themselves.
There’s been a lot of hot air in these elections.
From videos of people eating dinner, to leaked letters, to Twitter spats. Throughout all this I’ve focused on one thing and one thing only – practical ways to make Cambridge better for everyone.
My campaign is about policy and policy alone – you vote for me, you vote for what I stand for. We’ll then take that to the university, and demand action. There’ll be no excuses.
My top priority is and always will be students’ welfare – we can all get behind this. At the moment the Counselling Service has waiting times of over 4 weeks, while the Disability Resource Centre has one advisor for every 525 students. People are falling through the net – it’s unacceptable. A vote for me is a vote for increased resources for these services. Let’s end this masochistic model and start putting wellbeing first.
My campaign above all else supports those without political power, disadvantaged by the Cambridge system. That’s why supporting the liberation campaigns is the other key plank of my manifesto. If I am elected President they will remain autonomous from CUSU, but better supported. That means they will use CUSU’s resources more and meet up more regularly, while I will also push for representation on University Committees. These groups represent those marginalised by society and by Cambridge – they should be supported wholeheartedly.
That means practical change too. This will often be intersectional, as we take on entrenched power. Our curricula, to use the Tab’s favourite phrase, need to be less male, pale and stale. The upcoming harassment policy needs to be rolled out far and wide, as we protect victims of racial and sexual harassment among others. We need to close the racial attainment gap, and also the gender attainment gap.
Our university needs to be a welcoming space for everyone – interfaith prayer rooms on faculties, tackling lad culture, offering a new model for those with disabilities. The current system is not neutral – we need political change to make it work for everyone.
That means greater integration with international students. It also means demanding transparency and accountability on their fees, charges and treatment. Likewise, we need to make trans and non-binary students feel at home – I’ll push the University to release an inclusion policy, for students and staff.
I will fight for those who need it most. But my campaign offers something for everyone. JCRs and MCRs need better support – not only will I push for voting rights on college councils, but CUSU will provide practical support in the form of an online database, for the sake of continuity. We can prove CUSU is useful by being useful.
Nationally, I’ll be a loud voice against the privatisation of higher education. Our rights as students are being slowly eroded. Student Unions should be outward-facing as well as facing. As Cambridge students we have a megaphone – I’ll use it to push for a better world.
All of us candidates want to engage, all of us want a CUSU that is relevant. But while others waffle vaguely about engagement, I’ll make CUSU relevant by being proactive, by demanding political change. We’ll get out and about among students, while also seeking positive policy change for them.
My policy platform couldn’t be clearer. Voters are, however, entitled to ask whether I am the person to put these policies into practice. I’ve served on my JCR for two years, first as Green & Ethical Officer, now as Vice-President. People at Magdalene know I work hard and get shit done. Even more importantly, perhaps, is Zero Carbon, where I co-founded the fossil fuel divestment campaign, which I have since co-managed. This is a social justice campaign, fighting for a better world, but with a clear aim and genuine engagement with university structures. You can expect the same from me as CUSU President.
Practical, political change from a passionate, dedicated activist. This is what I offer you – I urge you to look at my manifesto, and vote for me today.