15 applicants are running for the opportunity to represent UWE at the annual NUS conference which is held on 21st-23rd April 2015 in Liverpool. You can vote now to decide which 7 of them will go!
What is the main purpose of this nationwide debate? It is a conference that gathers university students from all over the UK to tackle current key issues they encounter on a daily basis. The SU needs you to decide which 7 out of the 15 applicants will attend the most significant student meeting of the year.
The voting closes at 5 pm on Thursday 19th November. You can elect your favourite candidates online.
Who will represent the University of the West of England at the meeting is completely up to you. Only one rule applies – at least 50 per cent of the delegates must be women. All candidates have significantly contributed to UWE’s development and each one of them deserves to attend the conference.
We interviewed some of the candidates so it would be easier for you to decide who to vote for.
Amelia Campbell – “I have a vast array of experience of representing people from being form rep throughout secondary school to my current role as Education Officer. I will also be supporting campaigns run by the NUS which are very important to me, such as Women in Leadership and the possibility of funding for post graduates and finally I am really enthusiastic and am not afraid to speak up against things I do not agree with, a trait which could come in handy if elected.”
Christopher Waller – “You will be electing somebody who knows how to scrutinise a motion or policy proposal. I believe that the NUS needs to be internationalist in outlook – not just in regards to supporting international students when their institutions and the government fail them; but also in regard to developing, in collaboration with like-minded researchers and groups, alternatives to current education policy. That might involve abolishing the £9,000 fees that cost the taxpayer almost the same, or developing alternative models for student housing that reduce the impact on local housing markets and are financially attractive to students, not just investors.”
JJ Clark – “Students should elect me to provide a strong and assured voice to the delegation. I am a bit of a policy geek, so this would come in handy as all delegates must vote in line with SU Policy.”
Jude Nassar – “I have always been passionate about politics, about trying to make a change in one way or another. That is why I think the NUS conference is a perfect opportunity to try and make a change by voting on hundreds of policies and motions that will change and improve universities all across the UK.”
Rory MacLean – “The changes that I want to make at the NUS conference will help students gain meaningful employment with their degree by using our combined union power to push for better job opportunities, while also looking to move the Union towards taking a more pro-Palestinian stance to help build the international pressure on Israel to end their occupation and repression of Palestine.”
Siân Hampson – “National conference is where the most important decisions for the NUS are made, so I want to ensure the voices of UWE students are heard and that students are kept up to date with happenings in a clear and transparent way.”
Will Anderson – “I am a student who firmly believes in an NUS which fights against cuts to support for students on a national level and an NUS which works against the rise in tuition fees and fights to lower the cost of education. I was heavily involved with UWESU and NUS actions to lobby the Government not to cut Disabled Students Allowance which were postponed. For the last two years I was involved in founding the Mental Health Campaign and have been its President.”
And here are some parts of what the others said in their manifestos. You can find all manifestos here.
Samuel Harrison – “In my pre-student life, I worked for an education trade union, working with secondary school teachers, and as part of that job, I spent a lot of my time building campaigns to try and ensure that as many secondary school pupils as possible were able to access higher education. I successfully built links between Secondary School Pupils, Teachers, UCU (the lecturers union) branches and Student Unions in the east of England, so that all were working together, and if you elect me to be a delegate, I will try and build on this work, ensuring that the NUS works with external groups because there is more strength in numbers.”
Jason Hurley – “I am a believer in that I see higher education as a bastion at the forefront of society, and that without quality levels of it we sacrifice progression. Over the last 5 years in particular we’ve seen that change quite dramatically. Here’s hoping you will vote for me so that I may attempt to curb any unwarranted change.
Always arguing my points valiantly and seeking to try bring about only positive change based upon the wants and needs of those around me, I am transparent and focused and will not let my charges down.”
Jamie Jordon – “I’ve been heavily involved in the Students’ Union throughout my time at UWE. I’ve been president of a society for two years, as well as holding a place on the Societies Executive for two years, first year as Media & Communications Officer, second as Academic & Enterprise Officer.
Through my involvement, I have worked with numerous students coming from different backgrounds and courses. I seek to represent the diverse student body of UWE at a national level.”
Hannah Khan – “My Big Four
Arts and Humanities Courses
As an English student heavily involved in drama, I understand the value of the arts and humanities and the skills they develop. Yet these students are considered less employable, with less opportunity available for graduates and often under-resourced at university. I want NUS to challenge views on our courses, fight for their development and for better graduate prospects.
Employment affects all students. UWE is top ten in the country for employability- I want to ensure this is high on the NUS agenda as well by increasing support and resources for student sports, networks and societies. I will push NUS to do more help SU’s to support student enterprise. I also want to ensure NUS is supporting students in part-time and full-time employment alongside their studies.
At UWE our Green Leaders programme is becoming nationally renowned for engaging and empowering students on green issues. Environment, ethics, and sustainable development are already key in many courses studied at UWE. I want green values to be upheld in the policies formed at the conference and that NUS continues to develop an effective green agenda.”
NUS have given me some amazing opportunities to develop as a woman in leadership and overcome barriers and stereotyping. It provides resources to women who want to challenge violence, lad culture, safety issues, inequality in employment and workplaces and more. Ensuring this is a growing priority for NUS is very important to me.
Daisie Louise Lyons – “The main reason I put myself forward to be a student representative was because I wanted to make the education life of myself and fellow students as easy as possible to study at the best of our abilities, this is something I would like to do for all students on a national level. The best way for me to attempt to achieve this is by attending The Students’ Union NUS Conference. As a student representative I am aware of existing academic issues and how to address them together with the understanding of the importance in a fair democratic vote which passes motions that benefit all students from all backgrounds as physically possible. I marched peacefully with good intentions in London at the National Demo in 2010and again in 2012. I did this to remind the government and the citizens of the UK that everyone has the right to education and employment. Regardless of the outcomes that occurred from this event, this should never be forgotten. The only way for this to be improved upon is by ensuring the correct motions are passed.”
Callan Powers – “I am a mature student and a non-traditional entrant into Higher Education. I’m currently in my third of four years of Urban Planning study, and previously also completed the Built and Natural Environment Foundation at UWE. At UWE I have sat on Student Rep Committee, Socs and Comms Committee and Student Council – I am a believer in student democracy and the student movement, and have experience in representation.
Louie Roberts – “I feel that without someone who identifies as LGBT and engages with the LGBT community on campus our views will not be heard. because i feel passionately about equal rights I want everyone’s voices to be heard and allow our right to speak about our beliefs as well as our rights to challenge those beliefs. id also like to be your delegate to bring NUS to account regarding the debates at NUS LGBT in April, which otherwise would not be heard.
I know i am confident enough to bring change to NUS through submitted motions to conference, with it working similar to our SU’s AGM i know what i can do to make change at unions across the country. Bringing equal rights and pacts against discrimination (like our unions “Safer Space” policy) to the forefront of conference.”
Kevin Wilsonon – “I’m currently reading a Sociology degree at this university, and I’m in my second year of the programme. My educational journey did not start in this field, but suffice to say it will end there. My reason for wanting to attend the National NUS conference apart from seeing the friends that I have met at other conferences, I would like to take an active role in the discussions of student lives, student politics. Representing students being a vehicle through which the student voice can be heard whether this be at the conference or here at the university. As a BME student I would like to see and hear what the NUS has planned for the future of this group of students.”
Don’t forget to elect your favourite representatives. You have a right to vote. Use it.
By Auguste Chocianaite