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On abolishing the @CUSUCoordinator

Back in 1989-90, I served as Deputy President (Services) of Cambridge University Student Union. CUSU had only three members of staff, plus a part-time assistant in the shop. My year was the first to have four sabbatical students union officers. At NUS meetings, I marvelled at the resources available to my peers at other institutions. My role combined numerous responsibilities that in most British student unions were assigned to several different full-time staff members (which we did not have). Frankly, I did not enjoy it much.

Things have changed. CUSU now has six sabbatical officers at CUSU, and Cambridge's Graduate Union has a sabbatical president; between them they have more than a dozen employees. My former role was re-christened "CUSU Coordinator" in 2008. Nobody put themselves forward for it in this year's main CUSU elections, held last term. This was not the first time - the current Coordinator was elected in a by-election in Easter Term 2014, after nobody stood in the full elections that year. She was then (narrowly) re-elected in 2015. (In my day, it was unthinkable that anyone would actually want a second year in office, but since the turn of the century it's happened a few times.)

Quite sensibly, CUSU is reconsidering the need for an elected Coordinator role, rather than rushing to fill the vacancy an Easter Term by-election. I wish the current team well in their deliberations. I believe that the current Coordinator is the first holder of the post to have been born after my term of office ended in 1990. It's not such a terrible thing if she turns out also to be the last.

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