Tuesday 21-04-2015 - 20:58
NUS National Conference 2015 kicked off today with over 1,000 delegates descending on Liverpool for three days of debates, elections and fringes.
The annual gathering, returning to the city for the second year running, got underway with a warm welcome from local trade union activist Jay McKenna, who highlighted the city’s political roots, and underlined the importance of students organising to campaign.
Delegates heard from TV presenter Rick Edwards, who explained the motivations behind writing his new book ‘None of the Above’ and his take on the importance of voting. Edwards reflected on why so many people feel disconnected from politics, and outlined the risks associated with a system that lets many people’s voices go unheard. We caught up with Rick after his speech and you can watch the interview here.
NUS President Toni Pearce then formally addressed conference with her opening remarks. In what will be her final conference as NUS President, Pearce thanked delegates for their hard work in ensuring hundreds of thousands of students registered to vote. Pearce also outlined the achievements of the student movement during the time she has been involved with NUS, including securing support for student parents, forming the National Society of Apprenticeships, saving student governors, and banning payday lenders from campuses.
Following Toni’s speech, conference got well and truly underway with a discussion on the priority motion, which passed with a number of amendments. You can see what passed in the Priority, FE, HE and Welfare zones in more detail as they happened on our Twitter feed here.
Towards the end of the day, conference heard from NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet who addressed delegates on the importance of unions and building collective strength.
You can see photos from day one at National Conference on our Facebook page here.
Day two of conference will see the discussion of more policy within the Welfare, Union Development and Society & Citizenship zones, and will also feature the elections for the positions of President and five Vice President roles. It will also feature a keynote speech from Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trades Union Confederation.
Not in Liverpool for National Conference? Watch our live stream here and follow the action on social media using the hashtag #NUSconference.