Good morning lovely Edge Hillians!
I’m gracing you all with 2 blogs this week as I just can’t not tell you all about NUS National Conference!
So, your 4 elected NUS Delegates (Alex Prestage, Kayley Wilson, Makaz Ahmed and me) and your SU President (Gareth Dowling) went off to NUS National Conference 2014 in Liverpool on Tuesday till Thursday of this week (8th-10th April).
For me, it was an amazing experience – we voted on a number of policies, heard some pretty intense debate speeches on topics such as: free education, ‘Cops Off Campus’, fair representation, fighting against racism and many more from zones such as: Welfare, Union Development, Societies and Citizenship and the NUS Annual General Meeting report.
Now, to some of you, that might seem incredibly boring – it did involve a lot of sitting around, but it was really quite empowering to be able to sit with sabb officers and delegates from all over Britain, with the officers who work for the union that specifically represents you on a national scale and have our opinions be heard. Lots of people from lots of different universities got up to speak for and against the motions (I didn’t as I was too nervous!) and it was great to be a part of the support teams that everyone had when they delivered their speeches.
In between all the voting on motions and policies, we also voted for the new NUS officers. To put it into perspective, the NUS elections are like the Edge Hill SU elections, but on a scale about a thousand times bigger than ours! People from any university in Britain can run for an NUS position and (if I’ve been correctly informed) the candidates get £400 to spend on their campaigns (which is an incredible difference from the £50 I got to spend on mine!)
There were lots of great candidates in the elections this year – some are first time candidates and others are returning officers. Your NUS Team this year consists of: Vice President of Higher Education – Megan Dunn (first time candidate), Vice President of Further Education – Joe Vinson (returning officer), Vice President of Welfare – Colum McGuire (returning officer), Vice President of Union Development – Raechel Mattey (returning officer), Vice President of Societies and Citizenship – Piers Telemacque (first time candidate) and President – Toni Pearce (returning officer).
There are 2 lots of elections for which the results haven’t yet been announced – these are: Block of 15 and NUS trustee. The NUS trustee position works exactly like the trustee position here at Edge Hill. The elected delegates will sit on the trustee board and discuss policies, finances and what direction NUS should move in next. Block of 15 consists of 15 delegates who are elected to keep an eye on the elected Vice Presidents, hold them to account for their actions, make sure they are doing what they’re supposed to and are making the right decisions for students like you! these results are announced on Monday and your very own SU President Gareth has run for the position of trustee, so all the best of luck to him!
I was absolutely over the moon when Toni Pearce was re-elected as President – although I’ve been aware of who she is for a while now, we actually only first met back in August when, along with the other sabbs, I went to my first ever NUS Conference, Lead and Change. This was an incredibly profound couple of days for me, as I’d kind of lost my way a bit. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself as a sabb – whilst it was the best feeling ever that I’d won VP FAS, now that the time had come to actually do the job, I didn’t think I was good enough. I had a lot of chats with SU staff and they encouraged me to go to Lead and Change and talk to the NUS officers, which I did. I spoke to Toni about my anxieties and she smashed every single one of them. I wouldn’t say that I was thinking of quitting the VP position, but I was thinking I would shift responsibilities onto others as I didn’t think I could do a good enough job. After talking to Toni (along with other NUS officers) I can honestly say that she was (and still is) one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. She’s gone up against some incredibly tough issues and fought to support students and Students’ Unions throughout Britain. Toni is the reason that I want to work for NUS one day and if I end up being half as inspiring as she is, then I’ll consider myself to be a great success.
That’s all for me this week – I’m off to catch up on e-mails, work with the other sabbs on the April in-take Freshers’ Events and try to readjust to not being on the conference floor!
Bye for now!
Vice President of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
SU President (Gareth) – email@example.com
Vice President of Education (Kayley) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Gareth – https://twitter.com/EHSUpresident
Christian – https://twitter.com/EHSUvphealth
Kayley – https://twitter.com/EHSUvpeducation