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NUS Wales Conference 2017 roundup

Wednesday 15-03-2017 - 13:59

Students from across Wales gathered in Llandudno on 14 and 15 March for NUS Wales’ annual conference to elect their leaders and set our direction for the year ahead.

Tuesday at Conference

On Tuesday, delegates learned about developments in the world of Welsh education since they last met, including work on student finance, the curriculum, and how the post-16 sector is organised. They also heard about NUS Wales’ work on reversing the cut of My Travel Pass and campaigning for the release of Bangor student Shiromini Satkunarajah.

They also heard from Tom Godwin, from Hope Not Hate Wales, who delivered a session on how to have difficult conversations about migration, and how to change people’s hearts and minds.

In elections, current Women’s Officer Ellen Jones was elected the next President of NUS Wales. She succeeds current President Fflur Elin, and takes office on 1 July. Current Deputy President Carmen Smith was re-elected for another year in office.

Kehkashan Ansari was elected to NUS Wales’ second place on NUS UK National Executive Council, while Jonathan Jones and Sian Jones were elected to NUS Wales Democratic Procedures Committee.

In the evening, we honoured Wales’ students’ unions at the annual NUS Wales Awards. We enjoyed entertainment from Undeb Bangor’s Ukulele Society, BU Dance, PoleFit, and SODA. Thank you and congratulations to all who were nominated, shortlisted, and who won!

Wednesday at Conference

After opening remarks from newly-re-elected NUS Wales Deputy President Carmen Smith, delegates took part in motions debates. The results of the votes will be made available online shortly.

The motions they passed now become official NUS Wales policy and will remain in force (we call this being ‘on the policy book’) for three years. In three years’ time, delegates at NUS Wales Conference 2020 will have the opportunity to renew the policies for a further three years (we call this ‘saving a policy’).

After lunch, we hosted Union Ignite – an opportunity for delegates to get up and talk about any issue of their choosing…

We also welcome NUS UK LGBT+ Officer (Women’s Place), Melantha Chittenden, to discuss liberation and to create privilege bracelets. The delegates made bracelets by adding beads to a string for things like ‘being from the UK’ or ‘coming from a supportive home’, and removing beads for things like ‘having a disability’ or ‘being raised in an urban setting’. We also had interesting discussions with some of NUS Wales’ liberation officers about important issues in their campaigns.

In elections, Charlotte Rose Billinghurst, Ryan George, Liam Powell, and Robert Simkins were elected to NUS Wales National Executive Committee, and take office immediately.

We also opened nominations for the full-time, paid role of NUS Wales Women’s Officer. This role will be elected by self-defining women students at NUS Wales Women’s Conference in May. We also opened motions submission for all liberation campaigns.

And that concludes a busy two days for us all at NUS Wales Conference 2017. Thank you to all delegates who came and took part, and to everyone who worked hard to make the event a success. Thank you also to Venue Cymru for hosting us, and to the town of Llandudno for being such a lovely Conference venue!

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