Photo of Ben Dalitz, the Cambridge SU Welfare & Community Officer.Facebook | Twitter

Describe your role:

As Welfare & Community Officer, my role is to improve welfare support available at Cambridge, tackle structural issues on which student welfare depends, and work with students, staff and the local community to support their campaigns and projects. I also work closely with JCR and MCR Welfare Officers and coordinate welfare training and the Sexual Health Scheme.


Why did you run for the role?

I ran for this role because I believe welfare at Cambridge is in crisis. The past year has exposed the extent of the problem, but the causes predate the pandemic and will outlast it unless change is made. I want to use the role to advocate for structural change and tackle some of the root causes of welfare issues. These include high workloads and isolation, financial and housing precarity, systemic racism, reporting procedures that are not fit for purpose, the casualisation of postgraduates who teach, and surveillance of students, among many other issues.


What are your top priorities for the year?

[CNs: mentions eating disorders, grief, sexual violence, racism, disciplinary procedures, Prevent duty, hostile environment.]

I will lobby for reduced wait times and to complement the University Counselling Service with competent, well-funded specialist services – for example, support for those with eating disorders, for grieving students, and for survivors of sexual violence. I will fight institutional racism at the university by working to reform disciplinary procedures and introduce anti-racism training, remove barriers to accessing welfare support, and resist racist legislation on campus such as the Prevent duty & Hostile Environment monitoring. I will support student movements to cut university ties with the arms trade, border regime and all destructive and polluting industries. I will work closely with college representatives and hope to empower students, staff & community groups to make the changes they want to see within the collegiate university.


What did you study?

I studied Classics at Cambridge both as an undergraduate and MPhil student. In my MPhil I specialised in Classical philosophy, studying the ethics of care and concepts of family and childhood in Ancient Greek texts.


What do you do when you’re not working for the SU?

I love art, especially making collages or taking a sketchbook out and about with me. I’m also a keen video editor and have worked on a few short films. I enjoy cooking but I’m a bit accident-prone in the kitchen, as various melted utensils, broken glasses and burnt microwaves can attest.


Favourite place in Cambridge?

Anywhere on the riverside!





Manifesto - View here