Photo of Zak Coleman, the Undergraduate Cambridge SU President.Facebook | Twitter

Describe your role at Cambridge SU:

I lead the sabb team alongside the postgraduate president, advocating on behalf of undergraduate students and their interests to the University at various different decision-making committees and meetings with senior management. We try to use this access to get better decisions for students and ensure their needs and concerns are always centred in decision-making. I also keep in regular contact with students through JCR/MCR college forums, attending student council and coordinating with SU campaigns. I then run campaigns alongside the other sabbatical officers on issues that we’re hearing students want to see big changes on within the University, as well as working to deliver my main manifesto commitments.


Why did you run for this role?

I ran to be on the SU because there is so much that needs to change within the University to make it work better for students. We have a major student mental health and wellbeing crisis which has only worsened during the pandemic and is made so much worse through unnecessary aspects of the Cambridge term structure. Our curriculums are still too white and too Eurocentric, and our staff and students still do not equally reflect the make-up of our society. And the climate emergency is raging all around us. There is so much that the University can do to tackle these major issues that students care so much about. I wanted to make sure that the SU continued to be a powerful vehicle for making the Cambridge experience better for all students and pushing the University to take bold action on these huge global challenges which affect our generation so profoundly. 


What are your top priorities this year?

I’m really committed to continuing Ben’s fantastic work on introducing a reading week in the middle of term and trying to deliver that for the next cohort of freshers in Michaelmas 2022. I think this would be such a positive step towards disrupting the harmful culture of overwork and burnout that needlessly mars so many of our experiences as students at Cambridge and would enable students to get so much more out of their time here. I also really want to fight for unprecedented action on the climate emergency from the University. The divestment announcement last year proved that Cambridge was serious about taking action on climate breakdown, but we need to do so much more. I want to see the University committing to reaching carbon zero status by 2030 and taking strong stances against the fossil fuel and extractive mining companies which are pushing us further into disaster every day, as well as the financial institutions and governments which support them in doing so. Cambridge will not exist for future students unless we do. I also want to support the work of the other sabbatical officers in pushing for a fairer, more equal, explicitly anti-racist Cambridge that centres students and the issues they care most about in University decision-making. 


What did you study?

Human, Social and Political Sciences (at Jesus College). 


What do you do when you're not at Cambridge SU?

I love cooking and baking, seeing friends, collecting way too many houseplants and, very very occasionally, doing some exercise!


Favourite place in Cambridge?

Ooh probably Grandchester meadows or Gardies (although only between the hours of 2 and 4am of course)



UG President's blog

Read my latest updates on the projects I'm working on and how I'm progressing against my manifesto

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Manifesto - View here