Michaelmas 2019 by elections candidates and manifestos
Dear Clare MCR,
I am delighted to share with you the candidates for the by elections in Michaelmas Term. See below for the manifestos of the green officers. The uncontested non-executive positions did not require a manifesto.
Accommodation officer: Kira Williams (and RON)
First year officer: Kevin Bendesky (and RON)
Green officer: Georgia Fulton, Mark Schoene (and RON)
Swirles officer: Mark Rowe (and RON)
Voting will open at 12 noon on the 28th October, a link to voting is here and I will send a reminder when voting opens (the link won’t work until voting opens). You can either vote for a candidate or to re-open nominations (RON).
Georgia Fulton manifesto
Summary for those who don’t want to wade through my mini-essay:
Q: Who am I?
A: Georgia, MPhil student, lil bit hippy because #EnglishLIT🔥
Q: What does the role involve for me?
A: — Practical tips to enable individual green lifestyle choices, without the preachiness and judgment that usually accompanies zero-waste activists, bc we are students, after all; eg. fixing your own bike workshop (idea creds to current Green Rep Dan!)
— Promote structural sustainability (let’s keep that Platinum ppl)
— Link up our own fabulous Clare-sighted greenness with other colleges so that wider change is established and continued beyond my tenure
–Attending MCR committee meetings and environmental committee meetings
Q: Why am I suitable to offer you my humble services?
A: — Environmental officer at my previous uni, which was also collegiate, so should hopefully be able to navigate the system a little more easily
— I love how many eco options are here in Cambridge, especially for postgrads cooking for themselves, and want to share them all with youuu
— I have been told I am ‘aggressively friendly’ 👀 which hopefully means that I am an approachable person who can usually be found if you want to chat, curled up in the corner of the MCR reading / thinking about the environment 🌲❤🌳
Hi all, my name’s Georgia and I’m taking an MPhil in Renaissance Literature, and you will have seen me in the MCR hogging the front seat by the bake-off TV, and sneaking off early from Friday bar night because despite the baby-face, I am in fact a granny at heart. I would absolutely relish the chance to be your representative in College as Green Officer; I am a bit of an eco-nerd, and attempt to live zero-waste/sustainably. This means minimising your impact on the environment in differing areas of life — most obviously food, but also considering secondary emissions, waste in all its forms (from household to organic). This sounds a little offputting to some, no doubt, but this kind of conscious living is SO much easier than you’d think, and as Green rep, I’d equip you with everything you need to know to be sustainable hassle-free.
I aim to compile a guide which lists places to shop ethically and cheaply all over Cambridge. For example, in North Cambridge, visit Radmore Farm Shop, the fish market every Thursday by Spar, the Stir bakery etc. And if you’re closer to central/South Cambridge, obviously the farmers’ market, but also the bulk store (fullcircleshopuk), arjuna wholefoods on Mill Road, and bulk store Daily Bread Co. Also check out: https://scuseme.co.uk/2018/05/reduce-plastic-waste-cambridge/ . A recycling guide is something else I’d arrange to have in all the accommodation blocks/houses, as if you’re international or not used to the council system, it’s all to easy to give up, but so easy to learn.
Ed Miliband came to Cambridge Festival of Ideas last week to discuss climate justice, and his admiration for Cambridge’s green efforts got me inspired about student-wide initiatives, and the power of leading by everyday example. You’ll have noticed already that meat-free Monday is a thing, but you will probably not have noticed the nudge technique by which
the Buttery enourage you to eat veggie – they always put the veggie option first. This is great, but it’s not the entire solution. As a veggie myself, I am no stranger to a bit of tofu, but the number of times it appears, more and more creatively (tofu arancini, anyone?) is something that makes me miss meat even as a hardened herbivore. Not only does the menu need to be more appealing for low-impact food options, but general awareness about how your individual lifestyle choices can reduce waste are something I would have found SO helpful in Freshers’ week. In my three weeks at Cambridge I have managed to get lost a fair few times, resulting in a rather comprehensive list of these places (see above).
Even little changes, such as a ‘Green initiatives’ section in the Fresher’s pack, could help us all in an eco mindset. I would also be interested in making a collection of easy low waste recipes, if people were looking for some inspiration – I like to procrastibake so have a lot of experimental cooking to share!!
In terms of what I would do specifically on a college level — besides boycott tofu arancini — I would like to collaborate with both the college environmental committee and the Clare Sustainable Investment Society to speed up unethical divestment so we can catch up with those colleges who are completely divested. My role as Amnesty International rep
would help in this as the two issues (ethical/human rights considerations and climate concerns) tie together (sorry not sorry for the fb spam :))) ). I would also like to host a practical session on reducing your emissions; the college is already pretty good in terms of subsidising bike gear, but we could do more. For example, at Churchill they have a recycle-your-bike scheme where when you leave you donate your bike to new students. This could work wonders for anyone who can’t afford £50-100 for a second hand one — I am a firm believer that environmentalism shouldn’t be confined to those who can afford it. It also prevents the classic rusted bike at the bottom of the garden scenario. Dan (previous Green rep and esteemed VP) was in the process of organising a ‘fix-your-bike’ workshop, which would also save everyone time, money, and waste…it’s very easy to think everyone in Cambridge is a bike professional, but some practical tips would help everyone stay safe and continue to avoid those Uber emissions (of which I am all toooooo guilty)!!
I hope you can see that I would make the most of this role, and that everything I’m hoping to do would benefit the MCR in terms of making college life greener, and individual eco-living simpler! Let me know if you have any questions about this manifesto or have any additional ideas (firstname.lastname@example.org ) Also congrats if you managed to get through this – thank you for reading!!
Mark Schoene manifesto
Dear Clare MCR Community,
Our college has an outstanding record at the Cambridge Green Challenge over the past years. As your Green Officer, I will commit myself to maintaining and improving Clare’s reputation as the greenest college in Cambridge. Not only for the sake of adding just another award to some shelf, but to meet our responsibility as a leading institution of this great university.
As I am new to Clare, my work as your Green Officer would start out by connecting with everybody involved in environmental issues at Clare. This way we can learn about what has been done in the past, what is left to do, and how we will proceed during the upcoming year. To mention a few possible starting points, there is most prominently our ongoing construction works. The global building sector is often times underestimated in public affairs despite contributing about 8% of the annual global greenhouse gas emissions. And of course biodiversity suffers significant losses depending on the building project. Another big driver of environmental issues is waste of food. A study by the charity organisation WRAP estimates that food worth about 20 billion pounds is wasted annually, and that this figure relates to about 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing food waste in our dining facilities, as well as in our private life as a student, can thus have a significant impact on our sustainability mission.
One thing that probably won’t help Clare receiving another award, but contributes to the footprint of the whole university is to proactively approach other colleges and departments. The resulting transfer of knowledge will help other institutions to profit from Clare’s pioneering work. At the same time, we can adapt projects that other institutions successfully implemented in the past. And eventually, joint projects may be the most effective approach to increase Cambridge’s sustainability as a whole.
Explaining the environmental impact of our daily life, including for example heating or food, and sharing best-practices how to be more sustainable is the most important driver towards global sustainability besides institutional actions. Therefore, I want to join forces with other Clare communities, such as the JCR, to commit Clare to educational work on the matter of sustainability. This may include inviting speakers from inside and outside of Cambridge, as well as hosting platforms where students can exchange knowledge and best-practices.
Least importantly, a brief introduction of myself. My name is Mark, and I am a first year master student of physics and mathematics, fresh to Clare, Cambridge, and the UK. For the past three years, I became more and more aware of the environmental issues that our consumerism society causes, especially concerning the climate crisis and the pollution of the sea. About one and a half years ago, I committed myself to reducing my personal footprint for example by becoming vegan, abandoning unnecessary plastic packaging, and not flying for private purposes at all. My approach is to convince the people in my peer-group by being a role model and by having solid arguments. Now, this approach is very limited in its reach. This is why I want to become more institutional in my work towards a more sustainable society. I am glad that Clare offers us a platform for environmental actions, and that the MCR introduced the position of the Green Officer.
Happy race for this important position!