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History

Former CUSU Sabbatical Officers

A list of former CUSU Sabbatical Officers is available.

A brief history of CUSU

The history of student representation at the University of Cambridge can be traced back as far as at least 1922, when Cambridge students were involved in the creation of the National Union of Students (NUS) via the Cambridge Union Society, which disaffiliated from the NUS in 1930. By the 1940s, most colleges had a JCR, money for which came from Amalgamated Clubs Committees, upon which sat representatives of all the college societies and, in particular, sports clubs. The NUS, in 1952, formed a body of all NUS members in Cambridge known as the Cambridge University Students' Association (CUSA), however this was not recognised by the University.
In 1964, the Student Representative Council (SRC) was set up, containing one representative for each of the then 24 Colleges, plus six cross-campus representatives. JCRs were by now generally the recipient of college funds rather than the Amal Clubs, who would go on to establish the separate Societies Syndicate.

In 1969 the SRC became the Student Representative Assembly with a far greater number of representatives - around 200. In 1970, its name changed to the Cambridge Student Union (CSU) and downsized its representative structure back to one per College. In 1975, the CSU successfully obtained representation on the University Council. The creation of a 'working relationship' was put to the University's Student Matters Committee in 1979, which was then formally established in 1980. In 1984, the CSU was at last recognised officially by the University, and in 1985 thus became the Cambridge University Students' Union.

Since then, its representation on University Committees, and its range of areas of interest and services provided have steadily increased. CUSU has had a sabbatical President since 1971, shortly followed by the creation of a Deputy President (Services) in 1973. In 1985 a Welfare sabbatical was created, and in 1989, a fourth sabbatical for Communications was added. The Women's Officer sabbatical position was created in 1994.For a few years in the mid-1990s, the Executive (including the Sabbaticals) were elected as a block, although this was reversed in a major constitutional reform of 1998-9 which, among other things, replaced Communications with the post of Academic Affairs Officer.
The creation of an Access Officer sabbatical, to run CUSU's widening participation campaigns, was approved overwhelmingly by referendum in 2000, taking the total number of sabbaticals to six. These are now named President, Education, Coordinator, Women's, Access, and Welfare & Rights. A referendum in 2009 provided for the establishment of an Ethical Affairs Sabbatical Officer, contingent on funding being available in the future.

More Information

The above is a summarised version of the history of student representation outlined in 'From our Cambridge Correspondent', published by Varsity Publications Ltd, ISBN 0-902240-18-8.