Monday 06-06-2016 - 10:53
We spent most of our bank holiday weekend in Bradford for our summer Black Students’ conference. Delegates from all across the UK came together for 2 days to debate policy and elect the political leadership for the year ahead.
The NUS Black Students’ Conference is the largest gathering of African, Asian, Caribbean and Arab students in Europe and here’s a few interesting bits from the weekend.
1. We heard from some amazing speakers
Gary Younge was our keynote speaker. Gary is an author, broadcaster and editor-at-large for The Guardian. He told conference about his history of campaigning for Black people when he was younger, his support for the #BlackLivesMatter campaign and encouraged us to keep going no matter how small the contribution as the larger picture is something we should never forget.
2. Black students vote Yes to NUS
Conference voted to support the Yes to NUS campaign and recognise the advances made possible for Black students by the Black Students’ Campaign and NUS. The successful amendment 404b ‘Black Students Say Yes to NUS’ highlighted the importance of the Campaign for its members, and how it has it has ‘transformed [Student Unions] and NUS with massive strides in increasing representation and putting the issues that matter to Black students on the agenda’. As student campaigners have often argued, NUS liberation campaigns have been vital for students from liberation backgrounds in the support they provide to the most marginalised in our societies and on our campuses, whilst amplifying the voices of those too often sidelined. As the Black Students’ Conference reaffirmed, it is a strong and united NUS that is best positioned to campaign for all students, and that is why it is important to say Yes to NUS.
3. Some other really important motions were passed too.
Delegates reaffirmed their support for international students and passed Motion 205: ‘Bring Back the One-Year Post-Study visa’. The campaign has had a strong relationship with the International students’ campaign and this motion passing means the Black students campaign will continue to support and stand in full solidarity with them as they fight further government attacks.
The Black Students’ campaign has long campaigned against the PREVENT agenda and over 30 students’ unions now have policy against PREVENT and the duty. Conference this year decided they would expand the campaign to cover PREVENT in Further Education and make sure students in these institutions are also provided with the facts, information and tools they need to tackle the problems.
4. The annual awards were fabulous
Saturday evening was a night for celebration, we hosted the annual awards and gala dinner recognising students across the UK for their hard work, passion and determination improving the lives of Black students. Big congratulations to all the winners!
5. Your new leadership was elected
Last but by no means least, conference elected their next wave of leaders for the 2016/17 term. In a contested election Aadam Muuse saw off competition from Mustie Smith to be elected as the next NUS Black Students’ Officer. While NEC 2nd Place went to Barbara Ntumy.
There were also elections for committee places and Steering committee. The full results of these are available here.