CUSU elections – why care?

Flick Osborn 31 January 2014

The CUSU elections are kicking off in a matter of just weeks! Exciting times I’m sure you’ll all agree. But what’s the point of the elections, why should you think about running and why should you vote? The next academic year will be a vital one for Cambridge students, and the university sector more generally, as political parties begin to form their 2015 general election plans. It’s important that these plans are formed with students’ interests at heart; a bold and united student voice is the only way of effecting powerful positive change as these policies are formed. CUSU offers Cambridge students that central voice and, as we’ve seen this year, is capable of attracting national attention when it works with its members in colleges, faculties and autonomous campaigns. These elections give you the opportunity to choose who will speak up in your best interests as the year unfolds.

Why should you think about running? CUSU is in a period of very exciting change! This year alone, for the first time ever, CUSU has run an annual conference for its representative networks, has formed a strategic plan, is launching a building campaign to move into a central space in Cambridge, and has funding from the National Union of Students for a Student Led Teaching Award programme. Running in the elections to be a sabbatical officer means you will have a key part in directing these transformational changes. You’ll have the chance to be a student leader and representative, plus the director of an organisation’s strategy and development. You’ll gain valuable experience working with or on a Trustee Board, with other sabbs, engaging with Collegiate University policy shapers, sitting on committees, leading student services, and empowering student networks. It’s impossible to talk in detail through the vast range of skills and insights sabbatical roles offer; if you want more info, we’ll be running a ‘Shadow a Sabb’ day in the next two weeks.

 And finally, why should you vote? For many reasons: because your voice and your interests matter; because the people elected on 5 March will make significant changes in your interests in the University, and to do this they need a mandate from you; because they will all have different ideas and students need to choose whose ideas they think are best. This year promises an exciting, innovative and fresh CUSU election. Get involved – think about running. And when it comes to 3–5 March, get out there and VOTE.