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UoB Students Run in Elections at NUS Annual Conference

Delegates gather for NUS' 2012 National Conference
Delegates gather for NUS' 2012 National Conference • Photograph: Redbrick

The National Union of Students (NUS) conference 2014 began today, with delegates from universities and colleges across the UK gathering to debate its policies. The NUS works to represent students at national level, aiming to promote, defend and extend their rights.

The conference, which is being held in Liverpool between 8th April and 10th April, will include UoB delegates elected in November of last year: Joe Armer, Guild Vice President (Education)-elect; Dave Charles, Guild Vice President (Housing and Community); Deborah Hermanns; George Hughes; Abigail Kaye; Mohammed Mumit; Edward Sainsbury and, Molly Wright, Guild Vice President (Activities and Development). Poppy Wilkinson, in her position as Guild President, will also be attending.

The two-day event, which is the sovereign policy-making body of the organisation, will also give delegates the opportunity to elect students to the NUS leadership and various committees. All winning candidates will serve a term of one year.

The current President, Toni Pearce, is standing for re-election to her second term alongside other candidates: Aaron Kiely, current NUS Black Students’ Officer; Dan Cooper, sabbatical officer at the University of London Union; and Jack Duffin, secretary of UKIP’s youth branch, Young Independence.

Elections will also be held for the positions of Vice Presidents of Higher Education, Further Education, Welfare, Society & Citizenship, and Union Development. University of Birmingham student, Kelly Rogers, is running for the full-time position of Vice President (Welfare) against Colum McGuire (the incumbent) and Charlotte Bennett (MidKent College student).

The conference also elects members to the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The NEC is made of fifteen members with five of these members reserved for students from a FE institution. University of Birmingham students Poppy Wilkinson, Edward Sainsbury, Deborah Hermanns and Zarah Sultana are all confirmed to be competing in this election against 32 other candidates.

Policies to be debated at the conference are divided into five “zones”, each of which are represented by their respective Vice President: Higher Education (HE), Further Education (FE), Welfare, Society and Citizenship and Union Development. All passed policies will be NUS policy for the next three years, unless revoked by another annual conference during that period. The Guild of Students has not submitted any policy to be discussed.

Each zone has seven committee members to support it, elected at the Zone Conferences in October. Poppy Wilkinson is currently an elected member of the HE Zone.

The NUS represents over 600 Students’ Unions from Further Education and Higher Education institutions, with most students represented from a Further Education background. Last year, the union celebrated its 90th anniversary since its formation – the Guild of Students was one of the founding members.

Read more in National Union of Students