Newnham student Olivia Hylton-Pennant is running for the uncontested position of Access and Funding Officer in the upcoming CUSU/GU Election. The Cambridge Student asked each candidate why there were running, and for a comment on their manifesto's key policies.
"I ran for the role of CUSU Access & Funding as I'm passionate about access. I came to Cambridge on an Access scheme in 2012 and knew from that day that I wanted to go to university and my university of choice was Cambridge. Since coming to Cambridge I've been heavily involved with access mainly at a college level, although last year I extended that to university level by working with CUSU to set up Cambridge ACS Student Sessions. I know that access doesn't just stop when students get to Cambridge so I'm keen to support students from under-represented backgrounds once they also get here.
"My plans are threefold: to build on the great work of previous sabbatical officers, support more intersectional access initiatives and provide greater transparency around access. Of the three policies, supporting more intersectional access initiatives is that which I consider to be of most importance. Students from under-represented groups need to feel as though Cambridge is open to them and once they're here, they need to feel like there are spaces and support systems in place for them. I recognise that getting support from the university is not easy and have experience of working against strong opposition to make things happen – namely Cambridge ACS Student Sessions, which wouldn't have been possible without immense support for CUSU. I want to continue to be able to provide support for students who are keen to set up there own access initiatives but may lack the resources to do so."
Voting for the election opens at 9am on Tuesday 7 March and closes on Friday 10 March at 5pm.