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NUS-USI Conference - what happened on day one?

Tuesday 26-04-2016 - 20:02

NUS-USI President, Fergal McFerran welcomed delegates to the NUS-USI Conference with a speech celebrating strong traditions and recognising faces across the room that give him hope for the future. 

Whilst all-but-one of the constitutional amendments were passed, CA13 was unanimously welcomed: The creation of a Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Student Officer.  This position will be instrumental in maintaining an open and inclusive culture for students across Northern Ireland.

Two landmark motions passed were the creation of an All Party Group for Students who will provide a strategic and sustainable channel within current political structures to lobby and influence on behalf of students, and an agreement that all delegations to NUS-USI Conference must be made up of at least 50 per cent self-defining women.  

After the morning’s discussions, NUS Campaigns Manager, Hannah Charnock ran a ‘Get out the vote’ interactive session. Sharing tried and tested methods, this session was developed to equip delegates with the know-how to plan a successful ‘Get out the vote’ campaign. 

Delegates later had the option to attend one of two sessions facilitated by Bethan Dudas, NUS policy engagement manager and Ben Kinross, NUS apprentices engagement officer (FE Unit).  

Ben hosted the Further Education Conference where elections took place for the NUS-USI FE officer role and four FE campaigning committee members, whilst Bethan facilitated an open discussion on the key issues affecting studying in higher education across Northern Ireland, such as quality of provision, course representation, complaints processes or access to education.

Hustings then gave delegates the opportunity to ask standing candidates questions about their policies and plans.

The final agenda item was the Disabled Students’ Conference where delegates voted Stephen McCrystall as their next NUS-USI Disabled Students’ Officer for 2016/17 before delegates joined for dinner at the Armagh City Hotel.

Follow the news tomorrow #NUSUSI16

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