New NUS delegates already in row

Catherine Lally 8 November 2017

This year's Cambridge NUS delegates were announced on Monday, after a hotly-contested race for 5 places. By Tuesday afternoon, the delegates already appeared to have descended into factionalism and discordance. In a Facebook post, successful candidate Angus Satow made a thinly-veiled attack on the other delegates. He wrote that, “when people criticise student politics for not focusing on the ‘ordinary student’, most often than not that’s code for ’not focusing on me.’"

His post was mainly directed at Connor MacDonald and Carine Valarché. He criticised MacDonald for "[attacking] NUS/CUSU as ‘out of touch’ or ‘ineffective’” while remaining opposed to fossil fuel divestment, and supporting £9,250 tuition fees.

Satow appeared to brand Valarché a "faux-progressive", insinuating that she wants to be seen as "anti-establishment", yet “mocks" the work of queer, disabled, women activists, and people of colour. Valarché ran as "not a CUSU fuckboi", and Satow took this as an attack on CUSU activists. During the campaign, Valarché complained of the treatment she received at the Elections Hustings, telling TCS, "It was a surprise to me how personally I was targeted at the hustings tonight. It made clear to me why so many young women feel reluctant to put themselves forward in politics.

"I was repeatedly singled out throughout the event for things that were barely related to my campaign until I felt I could no longer stay. I was made to feel unwelcome.

"This isn’t the student politics i knew existed and it doesn’t represent me and i don’t believe it represents the views of most students here at Cambridge.”

Satow ended by calling on the student movement to be “radical, inclusive, and connected to other struggles.” When approached by TCS for comment, he responded with, "I'm looking forward to contributing to a radical National Union which stands for free education, decolonisation and equality for international students, and links up with other struggles. I will work with anyone and everyone to push this agenda at NUS conference.”