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NUS National President welcomes delegates to National Conference 2016

Tuesday 19-04-2016 - 12:27

Megan Dunn declares support for the European Union in her opening remarks to delegates at National Conference 2016.

NUS National President Megan Dunn formally opened NUS National Conference by welcoming everyone to the south coast for ‘three amazing days together.’

In her opening remarks, Megan cited that delegates had a choice between “taking our chance to speak up for every single student on our campuses and challenge the big problems we face” or “becoming a messed up movement which slides into irrelevance.”

Choosing the former route, Megan said the first step in becoming powerful campaigners was to “take inspiration from others”, before thanking our opening speakers; Karolina Pietkiewicz and Frances O’Grady from the European Students Union and Trades Union Congress, respectively.

Megan added that: “from the grassroots in our local communities, to the boardrooms at the biggest trade unions – we will stay rooted in our traditions, fighting together for change.”

Turning her attention to the upcoming EU Referendum, Megan cited the significance of hosting this year’s event in a “forward-thinking city that looks out to the continent as we edge ever closer to the Referendum, adding: “The student voice is too powerful to be ignored in this referendum. We travel, work, and study abroad to a greater degree than previous generations while politically we are involved in pushing for innovation in climate change, international development and global justice. The EU advances and protects the values that Britain’s young people believe in and is a force for tolerance and respect.”

Megan’s presidential address, was preceded by a speech from Frances O’Grady, who said: “Britain’s students face huge debts, expensive housing and an uncertain future in our insecure labour market. It’s crucial they make their voices heard during the EU referendum, when jobs, growth and rights at work will be at stake. The latter may not matter much to the likes of Nigel Farage, but if you’re working in a bar or supermarket on low pay while you’re studying, those rights are worth voting for.”

More than 1,000 members of the student movement descended on Brighton today for the beginning of the event, until Thursday 21 April at the Brighton Centre. 

Student leaders from across the UK have made the journey to the south coast to set NUS policy for the year ahead, and elect national student representatives for the 2016-17 academic year.

Not in Brighton for National Conference? Watch our live stream on NUS Connect and follow the action on Twitter using the #NUSconference hashtag.

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