NUS Delegate Elections: Carine Valarché

Beatrice McCartney 30 October 2017

In the run up to the elections for the new Cambridge NUS delegates, TCS is speaking to all candidates about their manifestos, what they would accomplish, and why they are best suited to carry out their roles. Voting opens at 00:00 on the 31st of October, and closes on the 3rd of November. The following is a transcript from an interview with Carine:


How will you carry out the key points in your manifesto?

I will maintain an online presence through social media to ensure I am both accessible and accountable to students throughout my time as delegate.

I will submit motions for Conference to ensure the policies we want to talk about are heard.

I will maintain my independence as a voter at Conference and not vote as part of a faction.

I believe in this way, Carine Can Change the Consensus.


Why would you be a better NUS representative than the other candidates?

I am keen to engage traditionally disengaged students from the NUS and have shown this repeatedly with my publicity campaign for the role. I have spoken to many students who have not had the faintest idea what the NUS is, how CUSU is related to it, what I would be able to achieve as delegate and so on. It is scary that students don’t know how they’re being represented nationally but I want to change this. This begins with maintaining an online presence that is both accessible and engaging.

I am also importantly independent of CUSU which means I will hold both CUSU and the NUS to account. CUSU is currently paying the NUS £10.5k from £250 last year and this is an issue because it forms part of a projected loss of £75,000 for this coming year for CUSU. CUSU insiders are not prepared to challenge this so we need an NUS Delegate who is not tied to the institution but also represents the student base with policies we care about, such as divestment, from the use of non-renewable energies; further increased efforts to improve the accessibility of Higher Education to under-represented groups; and ensuring zero tolerance to sexual harassment and assault on student campuses.


What would you like to achieve in the position?

I would like to use my platform as NUS Delegate to highlight the importance of access, sustainable environmental policies, and zero tolerance to sexual assault and harassment on campuses at a national scale in front of other universities. I am also really keen to be a part of the conversation between different universities to see what others are doing in these policy areas and to see what we could be doing back home. At the end of the next academic year, I would like to be able to say that having been NUS Delegate, I have supported a dialogue in these areas which has led to the further development of policies that affect the lived experiences of students everyday.


What do you think are the biggest issues facing Cambridge students today?

My top 3 would be: the risk of rising tuition fees, the scrapping of maintenance grants, and insufficient funding in mental health services.


 If you could only make one change in Cambridge, what would it be?

That is a really tough question but I think one of the relatively easiest changes Cambridge could make that would affect the rest of all of our lives and set the precedent for other major institutions would be to divest from fossil fuels. As a leader in several fields around the world, we should be promoting sustainable environmental practices rather than backtracking progress at the cost of our futures.