Elections 2017

The deadline for nominations for the CUSU LGBT+ Lent 2017 elections has now passed. The ballot will open on the CUSU voting portal at 6 AM on Thursday 9th March, and close at midnight on Friday. To cast your vote, go to https://www.vote.cusu.cam.ac.uk/lgbt/16-17/lent/. All candidate manifestos may be found below.

Manifestos

Below are manifestos for all the candidates in this term’s election. Unfortunately we’ve had no applications for women’s rep and computing officer, so we’ll have to discuss as a committee and see if anyone is willing to take on the responsibilites of some of those roles, if not we’ll probably hold a bielection at the start of next term.

Chair

Simon P

Hi everyone!

My name is Simon (he/him), and I’m a 2nd year HSPS student at St John’s. I have been the Asexual and Aromanticism rep for the past year, and I wish to run for chair.

I have been taking part in CUSU LGBT+ exec meetings and in the organisation of events for some time now. I’ve enjoyed being part of the community, and as a chair I would like to focus on improving efficiency, communication and transparency within CUSU LGBT+. A lot of the ‘technocratic’ or ‘detached’ reputation that CUSU LGBT+ has comes from its lack of involvement and communication with students, and the Campaign gets bogged down by unnecessary controversies. The committee is doing a great job in organising events for the community, and I feel it’s a shame that people feel apathetic or antagonistic towards the Campaign.

As chair, I would like to organise Open meetings more often, and to involve members in decision-making. In order to improve efficiency and reflect the way current committees run things, I’ve also reworked the CUSU LGBT+ Constitution and submitted it to student vote (the referendum will happen in early Easter Term). I have a good idea of how things are running and should be running, and I happen to actually enjoy doing admin and organising meetings. I would also like to help organise more casual social events, such as uni-wide drinks.

As a whole, I believe I would be useful in making CUSU LGBT+ more efficient and transparent, and thus help and take charge of a significant part of the workload of our current President, Tom.

Campaigns Officer

Saskia Ross

Hi, my name is Saskia Ross (she/her), I’m a second year HSPS student, and I’d like to be your Campaigns Officer!

With regard to experience, I have been involved in a number of initiatives to increase awareness of BME students in the Cambridge community; I participated in a panel on BME creatives in Cambridge; organised a BME-exclusive theatre production; and as part of the BME Campaign committee co-led a workshop for JCR and MCR BME officers on how to approach racism in their colleges.

I strongly believe that encouraging BME and LGBT+ students to access creative outlets and giving them spaces to express themselves is important in tackling the mental health crisis in Cambridge, and also simply provides a more positive, multifaceted experience of university. I would very much like the opportunity to campaign for the LGBT+ community as well, and link this to my efforts to improve the experiences of BME students.

I, and many people I know, have not been as aware of this year’s PLUS campaign, which is a shame because I’m sure there are many students who could have benefitted from it. If made Campaigns Officer, I will work especially with the communications officer to promote them.

Campaign ideas:

– Work with BME societies such as FLY, ACS, and ABACUS to increase awareness of LGBT+ resources in these communities. Also interact with representatives of these societies and discover what they feel they are lacking concerning LGBT+ representation
– Work with the BME Campaign to broaden our sphere of communication and host intersectional events
Work on improving visibility for BME LGBT+ students, as much of the LGBT+ scene here is still not catered towards BME students
– Increase non-political activities outside of clubbing, such as LGBT+ art and theatre workshops

Finance Officer

Adrienn Jenei

Hello everyone! I’m Adrienn a second year HSPSer from Newnham (she/her) and I’m running for Finance Officer this year. Why you should vote for me: I have been in this position for the past year, so I am closely acquainted with all the ups and downs of the role. In the past year, I have: – managed to understand how KiSSFLOW, our online reimbursement system, works (believe me it’s quite a task given that the system wasn’t designed for our purposes) – guided committee members regularly through the process of reimbursement and purchase orders – negotiated with CUSU our budget for this year and kept an eye on our sponsorship deals. If I get elected, I promise to – design a budget plan for Easter term from our remaining budget – present a full budget plan at the start of the next academic year informed by our past spendings – keep in contact with all committee members and make sure that they a) are clear on how they can get reimbursed, b) actually spend their assigned budget. Last, but not least, I will make sure CUSU actually reimburses all expenses with frequent emails and visits if they don’t (they tend to be quite slow unfortunately).

Communications Officer

Jess Sharpe

Hi! I’m Jess (she/her), a first year NatSci at Newnham. After signing up for CUSU LGBT+’s parenting scheme in my first term, I have attended lots of LGBT+ events so understand the importance of the role of Communications Officer in making these welcoming and inclusive- and am keen to get more involved!
As a NatSci I am definitely organised and committed- used to deadlines and having lots to do, so would not be put off by the scale of the role. I have experience on an elected youth council where I took on everything from chairing meetings to taking minutes.
I would send fun, regular emails (expect rainbow colours and cute gifs if you make it to the end), making sure to include all events and information with as much notice as possible. By working together with the Reps Coordinator I would be sure to find out about events in colleges that are open to all (such as film nights) and give these worthy publicity! Maintaining the Twitter account would definitely be an exciting prospect as alongside publicising events, it is a valuable tool for other officers to use and could shine a spotlight on college events- with the possibility of being access focused, allowing LGBT+ applicants to ask any questions and see a little of our community.

The most important role as Communications Officer is ensuring that CUSU LGBT+ is open and accountable, which I would work towards by making the minutes from each meeting promptly available online, alongside a summary of the key points the committee is working on. It is also important for students to be able to give feedback on these- whether good or bad, all opinions matter.

Aidan Thomas

Hey, I’m Aidan (he/him), a first-year Geographer at Homerton and I’m running for the role of Communications Officer. Considering how much time I currently spend procrastinating on social media, I figured this could be better spent improving our online communications rather than scrolling endlessly through memes!

As Communications Officer I will:

– Ensure that all LGBT+ events happening in Cambridge every week are well publicised, with regular reminders via email. Our University has so many amazing events on offer that I want to ensure everybody is able the most of the available opportunities!
– Promote a variety of different events (formals, talks, coffee meets etc.) which are of interest to different people across the broad LGBT+ spectrum.
– Keep the Facebook and Twitter pages more regularly updated, and expand our online presence on social media platforms like Instagram. Greater visibility is incredibly important as LGBT+ people! I believe a strong social media presence will make us more accessible to students as well incoming Freshers’, who will feel encouraged knowing their future university has events catered to them.
– Make sure the contents of committee meetings are easily accessible to improve the transparency of CUSU LGBT+. The committee won’t always get things right, so it is important that we can be held accountable.

This would be my first time on a committee (everyone has to start somewhere, right?) but I am highly organised and more than willing to dedicate time and energy to the position. Most of all I am passionate about making LGBT+ issues and events much more visible in the University community to ensure it is an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. I would be more than happy to answer any questions at ajt99@cam.ac.uk. Thanks!

Asexual and Aromanticism Rep

Aled Powell

Hi y’all!
My name is Aled (they/them), and I’m running for the position of ace/aro rep, with the aim of increasing the availability of ace/aro support in the university.
The community has always faced a chronic lack of visibility, both within the LGBT community and without. If elected, I will work to increase awareness in the university and will organise a variety of ace/aro focused events, including film nights and discussion forums, as well as continuing the traditional coffee meets.
Having worked with LGBT focused charities in the past, I have a familiarity with the essential problems that need to be addressed in the position of ace/aro rep, and will work with the community to confront any issues that might arise in any aspect of university life.
Wishing the best of luck to all applicants!

Magazine Editor

Michael Davin

Hiya, I’m Michael (he/him) and I’m a second year NatSci at Sidney. I am one of the current co-editors of Get Real and I’ll running again for the role. I’d definitely say my time working on the magazine hasn’t gone as I’d have liked, but I’m absolutely committed to making the magazine active, engaging and rewarding for LGBT+ students to read and contribute to. As well as currently being co-editor, I have also been a section editor for Varsity for two terms so I’m very comfortable with the process of commissioning, writing and editing that the role requires.

To make sure Get Real gets to full strength, I have a few plans:

– A revamp of the website to make it simpler and easier to navigate
– Occasional meetups so potential contributors and editors can chat, flesh out ideas and hopefully get each other excited about producing stuff
– A slate of welcoming and informative articles for incoming students at the start of the new academic year

As always, I would remain committed to Get Real being a responsible, safe and accessible platform for all LGBT+ students and members of the university community. Elements like text description for images and comprehensive content warnings are here to stay. Ultimately, both as a creative and a discursive outlet, having a space where people can get their thoughts and ideas articulated with confidence and support is a vital and hugely rewarding project that I’m proud to be a part of.