CUSU appoints general manager

Deputy News Editor 27 November 2008

Cambridge University Student’s Union (CUSU) has announced the appointment of a new General

Manager. Mr Paul England will take up the newly created post from December of this year.

Mr England arrives in Cambridge with a wealth of experience in the organisation of Student Unions having previously served as Campus

Manger and Finance VP at the Universities of Hull and Essex respectively. From 2005-2008 he was a Regional Organiser for the National Union of students.

As General Manager, Mr England will be responsible for the bulk of CUSU’s administrative processes, including the management of all the Union’s financial resources – duties that in the past have fallen under the remit of the CUSU’s Services

officer. The relief that he will provide to this most complicated of sabbatical positions was a major incentive for the creation of the role.

Current Services Officer, Adam Colligan, who will assume the title of CUSU Co-ordinator in December, told The Cambridge Student (TCS): “Historically, the role of Services Officer is extraordinarily complex – logistically, structurally and legally.

As things stand, so much of my time is spent on administration

that I can’t be as hands-on as you would expect a sabbatical officer

to be.”

He emphasised that the recent restructuring of the CUSU constitution

has also changed the fundamental nature of the job: “My focus now has to be on moving

campaigns forward, moving policy forward.” Without someone to take on the administrative burden,

he said, “my job is essentially impossible to do.”

CUSU are at pains to point out, however, that the real value of the role lies in the level of continuity that it will lend to an organisation that is by nature inconsistent. The post has been secured for a period of at least two years, meaning that the Union’s financial activities in particular will be lent the kind of focussed and sustained direction

they might previously have lacked.

Given the current financial climate

and CUSU’s widely publicised loss of Ents income this term, questions have been raised over the wisdom of an annual £35,000 expenditure on a post that some see as a convenience rather than an immediate necessity. In response

to this charge, Colligan pointed out that, “at the end of the day, the trading side of the Union should be done by someone with professional experience.”

Far from agreeing that Mr England’s

appointment would put undue

pressure on CUSU finances, he insisted that the money “will not just buy a stabilising influence, but a resource that will become revenue-positive.”

Jess Touschek

Deputy News Editor