The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) is the student union of all undergraduates at the University. While each college has a JCR that performs most of the functions of a students’ union – particularly virtually all of the social and ents functions – CUSU exists to provide for coordination and interaction between these different student groups, especially on campaigning issues.
Throughout the year, CUSU organises events of all different kinds and provides advice and support services to students all throughout the year. CUSU is headed by a team of six sabbatical officers (students who take a year out of studies OR stay on for a year after graduation to do paid work for CUSU) who are elected every Lent term.
The current CUSU sabbatical officers are:
- Evie Aspinall – President
The President is responsible for both representing the students at the top level of the University and keeping students up-to-date on the goings-on in CUSU. You can contact Evie on email@example.com.
- Matt Kite – Education Officer
Matt, as Education Officer, is elected to spearhead CUSU’s campaigns on education issues both inside the University and in the wider higher education system as a whole. Previous education officers have had big roles in action on fees and university staff strike action. Matt’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Shadab Ahmed – Access & Funding Officer
Access is a huge part of student government and university administration. As well as the system of JCR access officers across the University, CUSU has Shadab (email@example.com) to take the lead on University access, particularly uni-wide open days and the Lent Term shadowing scheme.
- Welfare & Rights Officer – Christine Pungong
Welfare and Rights Officer Christine works to provide university-wide welfare support, through workshops, chill sessions, welfare officer training and more. This role is also the only role split between CUSU and the Graduate Union (GU). Contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Disabled Students’ Officer – Emrys Travis
The DSO, Emrys, heads the Disabled Students’ Campaign – a group within CUSU that campaigns for the rights of students identifying as disabled within the university. One of the many focusses that comes under the DSC is student intermission – taking a break from university, often (but not always) for health reasons. Emrys’s email is email@example.com.
- Women’s Officer – Claire Sosienski Smith
Claire heads the Women’s Campaign, a group set up to promote the rights of women and non-binary students in a university where the last men’s only college opened to women as late as 1988 and where men still constitute greater than a majority in an era where women are a majority of both the world and UK university populations. Claire’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The backbone of CUSU’s work is its campaigns, which you can find at the links below:
- BME Campaign
- DSC (Disabled Students’ Campaign)
- iCUSU (International Students)
- LGBT+ Campaign
- Women’s Campaign
- Ethical Affairs (Environmental and Sustainability Issues)
- Access and Widening Participation
The main link between students and CUSU is CUSU Council. QJCR is represented there by the President, Hope Whitehead, and the Vice-President External, Tom Mayer. They can both vote as well as raise motions to the council that are binding on CUSU and can change its policy direction in the interest of Queens’ and Cambridge students.
At the grassroots, CUSU is running things all year round on all kinds of issues. If there’s something you want to get involved with, look out for it on Facebook or the CUSU website OR start it yourself via the societies system and reach out to like-minded students from across the uni!