Who are the students running for DSU President, and what do they want?

Two thirds of them are called Josh


If you've been out and about in Durham during the past few days, you won't have escaped them: the candidates for DSU President are everywhere, and they want you to read their leaflets.

But who are they, and why are they running for the role? The Tab sat all three of them down together around a table at The Cellar Door for a chat.

George Walker, 3rd Year, Van Mildert

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Choice of drink: Without a moment's hesitation, George plumped for a small pot of English breakfast tea (milk, no sugar).

Campaign summary: "Too often students feel the SU isn't addressing the issues they face. My manifesto addresses these issues, and I believe I have the ideas and experience to improve it."

The deep dive: Walker wants to lobby for student support in the face of declining university funding, and opposes the uni's Estates Masterplan, which he sees as impacting local people "even more than it will students".

He has been part of campaigns such as the #RippedOff protest against rising housing prices, and others targeting sexual harassment, and would like to further this work.

George wants the university to promise it won't increase international students' fees after Brexit, and promises a "student opportunities fund" to help those from less affluent backgrounds.

George Walker is from Leeds, studies Politics, and is a member of the Labour Party. He plays the drums, represents Van Mildert in darts, and likes to listen to the Arctic Monkeys or watch football.

Josh Cavendish, 3rd Year, Collingwood

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Choice of drink: Josh requested a drinks menu, and scanned it for a while before deciding on a Japanese green tea.

Campaign summary: "I think my platform speaks for itself. Students are disenfranchised with the SU, and if they are, they can vote for me."

The deep dive: Cavendish thinks the SU should have nothing to do with "mass student protests" such as the #RippedOff campaign, or with "politics of words" in general.

He's made a meme-heavy video in which he promises to give hummus to every society, and argues that "lack of cohesion between colleges and the SU has led students to feel alienated. It's a shitshow."

He says nightclub safety is "obviously a problem" and would also like to introduce inter-religious events and drop-in hours for local people.

Josh Cavendish is from London, studies Liberal Arts, and is a member of Durham University Conservative Association. He plays the tuba, represents Durham Uni in water polo, and has played both chess and bridge for England.

Josh Butterworth, 4th Year, Cuth's

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Choice of drink: This Josh arrived early and ordered an americano (black, no sugar).

Campaign summary: "The University Estates Masterplan is unsustainable. I'm the candidate best placed to challenge it."

The deep dive: Butterworth has a campaign team of just five members, including himself. He does not see the need for public endorsements from "cronies", and instead likes to make spontaneous Facebook Live videos.

He thinks that "the SU isn't the biggest issue at this election. The main issue is holding the university accountable for its estates masterplan, which is fuelling overcrowding".

Josh also claims he is "the only candidate who's mentioned international students. The university doesn't even know how many internationals it has, their statistics are conflicting." He plans to centralise events for international students before and during freshers' week.

Josh Butterworth is from Bolton, studies Maths, and is a member of the Labour Party. He plays piano, represents Cuth's in pool, and enjoys ballroom dancing.

Voting closes at 17.00 this Thursday, 22nd February 2018. You can make your vote here.