Solent Students' Union
Nominated by: Hanna Head, Solent Students' Union
Hey all, I'm Lewis the VP employability & engagement at Solent SU. Part of the reason I have nominated myself for Union Development Zone Committee, and if you speak to anyone at my Union they would prob agree, that I have a love for policies, procedures and democracy.
Being a first year Sabb I have had a steep learning curve since coming into office, challenging processes and way things are done around my Union to ensure everything is being carried out as it should.
As a zone committee member I feel that I would be able to apply this on a more national level to ensure / question the ways things are being done.
I am also from a smaller Union and feel that we need to help ensure that smaller unions are considered when decision making takes place.
Northumbria Students' Union
Nominator: Matthew Auden, Northumbria Students' Union
I'm Adam Crawley, the President of Northumbria Students' Union. I would like to be elected to Union Development zone committee as I believe that the work it does has the most potential to impact students across the country. Over my time as an officer, I've seen how politics affect students and the benefits that the opportunities Students' Unions provide can change students' lives.
If I get elected to UD Committee, I will focus on the importance of political engagement by students and push to support Unions that struggle with this. I will find ways to communicate what NUS does in a language that's accessible and relevant. I will celebrate and share the opportunities that Unions provide, regardless of region or size, I will make sure that NUS does too.
Being in the student movement has helped me develop and I believe that my experience puts me in a strong position to progress the movement, challenge the officers and help Unions grow and support students. This is why I would be an ideal member of UD Zone Committee.
Bristol Students' Union
Nominated by: Safaa S. Nait-Charif, Aston SU
Hi everyone, I'm Jamie Cross and I'm the Union Affairs Officer at Bristol Students' Union.
I arrived this morning and found out at 1:15pm that I had to film a video by 7pm, yet others seem to have known for days. With a busy set agenda for the first day I guess my main question is when were we meant to have the time?
Democracy and elections need to be both accessible to all and engaging, and we can get this right!
Although this is not a one off negative experience, it could be the last. I was asked to come to London for an NUS consultation on the democracy review with five days notice. I know that you all know that officers diaries get booked up months in advance. With more organisation that could have been a great event. I could have attended, engaged with it and brought students along too.
Lincoln Students' Union
Nominated by: Ben Conway, Portsmouth SU
I'm Will Fry for ULSU (Lincoln not Leicester) and I am putting myself forward for UD Zone committee.
Some of you may have heard of Lincoln, it seems like we have been referendum central this year. In my short time as an officer I have seen both sides of the in/out argument and it is the backing of my students that have given me the drive to step up and lead on change within the movement.
I know, from experience, how frustrating the movement can be! I am of the opinion that we should spend more time shouting about and supporting the good work that our Students' Unions are doing and less time worrying about party politics.
I believe that as a movement, amongst Union Development, we should be focusing on working together collectively so that we can deliver the best possible experience for our members all across the countries (because lets remember that there is amazing work being done in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well that often slips through the net at national events) because I think it often gets forgotten that in all the campaigning that we do that ultimately Students look to their Union's for their experience whilst at University.
At present I sit on the advisory group for people & talent, which I was elected to at SU16 in Liverpool (thank you), which has opened my eyes to the opportunities that we have to capitalise on our successes as individual unions and showcase them on a national level. Wouldn't it be great to see SU's reported positively in the media for once?
We as a movement have a responsibility to make sure that our members feel that their voices are not only heard, but also acted upon â€“ and that people do not feel barriers to getting involved. We need to drop the pettiness, the infighting and to some degree the politics and work together on our goals. The call during referenda season was together we are stronger, lets act on that.
Leicester Students' Union
Nominated by: Amy Rust UEA
Hi, I’m Rachel and I’m the President of Leicester Students’ Union. This time last week, there was a chance that my Union wasn’t going to be part of NUS by Zones. But in the end, Leicester students said YES to NUS in good faith that NUS would start working for Students’ Unions and working for students, which is why I’m running to be on Union Development Zone today.
To me, strong Students’ Unions are the core of a strong, fighting NUS. From the student groups campaigning for reduced carbon emissions, to the sports teams saying loud and clear that sexual harassment is not tolerated in their clubs, Union Development Zone is key to ensuring we actually apply our values to our Unions and turn our students into better citizens.
At Leicester, I’ve been ensuring that our Students’ Union remains strong, active, and membership-led despite a series of challenges we’ve faced – from developing a new strategy led entirely with student input to recognising alternative forms of democratic engagement, whether that’s shaking up the way we do our Annual Members Meeting to make them directly relevant to students or through physically adapting our spaces and events to promote participation. I’ve also been working with local private HE providers to ensure that they have representative structures in place, have the chance to join student groups at Leicester as associate members, and have the same access to facilities as any other student studying in the city.
With increasing external pressures on Unions to comply with oppressive government policies, we need a strong Union Development Zone to empower Unions to challenge their institutions and protect the groups who’ll be most impacted by these – faith groups, political groups, and campaigning groups who simply want to make change for the better. A threat to one group of students is a threat to us all and if we want to be a powerful collective force, we need NUS to work with us, as well as on our behalf In a movement of 7 million students, this isn’t always easy; but in 21st century Students’ Unions we need a 21st century NUS to support us, and I want to be part of a Union Development Zone that delivers that. If you agree and want to see a Zone that’s relevant to your campus, whether that’s in your Societies Conference or National Conference, vote Rachel Holland for Union Development Zone
Huddersfield Students' Union
Nominated by: Momin Saqib, KCLSU
Hi! I'm Sabrina.
I'm President at Huddersfield Students' Union.
I love coming to conferences like these, I love being a student officer representing students, and I love workings with our student reps so they can ensure the quality of their education is the best it can be.
But I don't love the fact that I often feel frustrated. Frustrated because I don't see NUS championing the work we do enough.
For a strong NUS, we need strong Students' Unions. Strong local voices that play a key part in the work we do.
We need our unions to be dynamic, reacting to the needs and trends that our student care about.
We need our unions to be accessible to everyone, from the rugby captain to the nursing student. We must create broad unions which fulfil needs of all who enter. And this is why I'm running to be your UD NEC Place.
From introducing of peer mentoring across campus to fighting unfair discrimination sign-in policies for international students: I always put my students and union first.
I'm working towards making my Union a Quality SU.
But there is so quality in our movement that cannot be measured through audits and surveys.
I have a record of developing my SU and the student experience on my campus.
For a Quality candidate, elect me as your UD NEC place.
University of Bath Students' Union
Nominated by: Tamara O'Neil, Manchester SU
Hi! I'm Katherine from the University of Bath Students' Union!
Like many students,when I turned up at University I had no concept of what a Students' Union was for, let alone thought that after graduating I myself would become a part of the student movement as an SU Officer.
It wasn't until I sat on my first committee that I actually grasped the difference between the Students' Union and the University - and that realistically a huge amount of the opportunities that were being offered to me came from the SU and the SU alone.
I joined Trampolining on a whim in my first year of University and from there got more and more involved in my SU and, without realising it, more and more passionate about Student Opportunities. Still, it wasn't until Lead and Change that I fully realised the true potential of Student Ops and how they are the main route of entry for so many people, like myself, into the student movement.
This is why I am so passionate about communicating the power and influence of Student Opportunities back to students, and about focusing the work of the NUS on Students' Unions and the opportunities that they can provide.
Vote for me, and I will help to ensure that Union Development centres its focus on the needs and opportunities of your Students' Union.
Leeds Beckett Students' Union
Nominated by: Harry Walters, Leeds Beckett Students' Union
Hi fellow Officers, I'm JOE MURRAY (President of Leeds Beckett Students' Union) and I am standing to be your Union Development Zone Committee Representative. Prior to this I was a Course Representative, a Student Ambassador, an International Ambassador, a Faculty Representative and a NUS Conference Delegate.
These roles have allowed me to take responsibility and interact with a variety of people, whether they are students, lecturers, Councillors, MPs, University Senior Management or the Vice Chancellors themselves.
I am a committed and dedicated individual, representing 28,000 students, holding the necessary experience and knowledge to make a valuable contribution to this important and challenging role. Utilising my experiences of team work, organisational skills and connections with colleagues demonstrates that I can support students to deliver meaningful change on issues locally and nationally.
Some of my achievements this year have been organising free transport to the NUS National Demonstration, the negotiation of the Â£1 bus fare service for Leeds Beckett students and pushing back the exam start time so no student has to sit an exam at 9am, in addition to working on keeping Wednesday afternoons free on student timetables, enabling students to participate in extra-curricular activities, sports clubs or societies. My highlight so far has been seeing so many students at our Freshers and Varsity events.
My experiences of attending other Students' Union support panels, being a Governor and a Trustee have been valuable to me. They have given me the opportunity to look at things from different angles and different perspectives, and authorised me to support and scrutinise the organisation, alongside setting the direction and vision of the future of the Students' Union. These experiences equip me adequately to be your elected Union Development Zone Committee Representative as I will fully understand the importance of the role and I am committed to ensuring that student voices are heard and fed into the development of policy to guide the zone's priorities for the year ahead.
The importance of accountability is crucial, therefore I want to ensure that the work of the VP Union Development is enacted with students' best interests at heart.
If you elect me I will be an active, enthusiastic and determined member of the committee, ensuring student views and opinions are heard and considered. I will work closely in the development of NUS policy and ensure Students' Unions nationally are receiving all the help and support on offer. I will hold the Vice President of the zone to account, by challenging and scrutinising their work alongside supporting it.
I want to make a difference, for my students, for your students and for every single student nationally.
This role will enable me to have a real impact on improving the lives of students and making NUS work for all students. We need to understand the ins and outs of why Students' Unions have disaffiliated from the NUS, and we need to listen, improve and learn.
We need to act, not react. VOTE JOE.
Sheffield Hallam Students' Union
Nominated by: Davey Silver, Sheffield Hallam Students' Union
Hi I'm Peter - Activities Officer at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union. This is my second year as Activities Officer and through my experience in the role I've realised how important getting NUS to look into the impact and importance of student activities has been.
Across the UK many students don't recognise how getting involved really makes a difference to both our society, their personal development, and their wellbeing whilst at university.
It would be a great opportunity to be able to shape student opportunities and development of Unions in this turbulent time to ensure that our students remain engaged and get value for money through their extra curricular activities!
Vote Me for a fun, dynamic, and progressive student opportunities with NUS!
Nominator: Richard Brookes, NUS
Many of you know me as Ceewhy, what you might not know is that through my position I've achieved a number of things.
- First Black president
- Highest election turn out
- Highest mandate for any USSU president on record
- Improved engagement across different student groups and individual students
And now, I want to win to for U as #1 NEC place.
Let's be honest, NUS is going through a bit of turmoil. We're moving away from the core focus which is U, Ur Union, Ur Development. We're supposed to be representing students, fighting for them and winning for them.
It's time to refocus on who we're here for. U. U as students, U as a Union and Ur Development.
I want to continue the excellent work started by Richard around #LoveSUs to put some pride back into all of our SU's
I also want to enable SUs to reach out to a wider range of students. Not everyone is 18-21 some are under, some are over so we need to be sensitive because one size definitely doesn't always fit all.
I want work WITH SU's to develop toolkits and resources to help officer/staff relationships as well as sabb team dynamics because as we all know, these can be challenging sometimes and this is another great way of engaging our membership.
Now you see why you should vote Ceewhy #1 for NEC place. Because U Definitely matter!
University of West London Students' Union
Nominated by: Joshua Harry Gulrajani, University of Essex Students' Union
I'm Helen from West London Students Union and I am running for NEC place for Union Development Zone. I'm from the proper north (Liverpool, #YNWA) and I believe that students' unions are the one place where people like me can truly change their lives.
I want this position because I want to build the partnerships between NUS and students' unions to make sure we are all always working in tune. I've often found that things that are affecting students I represent - particularly working class and BME students - are not represented by what NUS does or says.
Everything NUS does should be in the best interest of all students' unions, and that means speaking and listening to them.
I studied Acting, a course not typically seen to have academic value and, like other arts courses, bearing the brunt of government cuts. But students' unions changed my life, and that's what we're all about. Ultimately, we all have the same end goal; to make education fair and accessible for all.
Education is a right, not a privilege, we just need to find the best action for everyone. If you elect me as your representative on Union Development Zone, I will always listen, represent and defend students' unions.
Westminster University Students' Union
Nominated by: Daniel Punch, University of Sunderland SU
My name is Bekeowei Okoro, I am the current part time Black Asian Minority Ethnic Liberation Officer for Westminster University and I believe that Union Development is not only an issue for full time sabbatical officers, but that part-time officers and other students need to have a voice too.
I was the only part-time officer from my union who attended Union Development Zone today, and this is a worrying trend across student unions, where the majority send no part-time officers at all!
I’m one of the few part time officers that made it to UD Zone, but it doesn’t need to be like this. Elect me and I will strive to make the UD Zone more inclusive of part-time and liberation officers, and work hard to make more students aware of the importance and relevance of the UD Zone.
Please vote Bekeowei Okoro #1 for Union Development Zone Committee!
University of Manchester Students Union
Nominated by: Naa Achquah, University of Manchester Students Union
My name is Tamara and I am the Activities and Development Officer from the University of Manchester, keen on student-led events, social enterprise and empowering students to get involved in activities outside the lecture hall. Coming to University unaware of Students' Union's and the amazing impact they have on everyone's university experience, I understand it is vital to promote them to students and ensure their services are of a high quality. Without even knowing I was developing key skills through participating in societies and representing students on committees, I have Students' Unions a lot to thank. In response to this I think there is more the NUS can do to teach students the impact their activities have, for example using their report with CBI on graduate employers to create a scheme that helps drive self-reflection to comprehend the priceless skills learnt that will prepare them for employment. The Student Skills Award NUS piloted in 2011 demonstrated the true impact of student activities and something we could reconsider. One way could be by adapting this to a quality standard against all Universities award schemes, creating a framework that ensures Universities listen and work closely with their Students' Unions to accurately measure the effort students put into volunteering, student media, societies and more. This would provide graduate recruiters with a greater understanding of what each University specific award entails which in turn would incentivise more students to put themselves forward for an award that would make them more employable, which is the majority of reasons why students progress onto Higher Education.
Students donate hours of their time to activities that help local communities and beyond which isn't always recognised on a national level to counteract the negative student stigma. A main priority for NUS I believe is to help its brand awareness in celebrating its successes more, why are we not shouting about how much nationally all the RAG's have raised? Doing this could positively shape the student movement for years to come. Moreover the induction of NUS student ambassadors who would work with SU's to enable a great dialogue of the wider benefits NUS have with students, including advertising the card and maximising sales to raise large sums of money for HE and FE.
A final priority is in recognition of the growing demand from students in enterprise. This is somewhere I believe NUS can expand on to support students who may be developing a start up or trying to earn some extra income. From someone who has had to work part-time throughout University to fund my University experience, it is paramount we offer more support in this flexible working life for students. For instance creating more external partners for example with UnLtd, a leading provider in partnership with HEFCE who financially support social enterprises across Universities. This would ensure support for students exploring social enterprise is delivered nationally to every University big or small.
University of Sunderland Students' Union
Nominated by: Harrison Chirnside, University Of Sunderland Students Union
The reason why I am standing is because I am passionate about students not only in Sunderland but students all over the country. I believe in collaboration of all students is vital for the positive change in this country, I am not afraid to promote my opinion which helps benefit others especially when I get the backing of the students I will stand up to anyone and make sure I give 110 percent in everything I do.
Haven been involved in activism from such a young age fighting against the government is a task that doesn't seem a challenge to me. I have been involved in rallies, peaceful and dangerous demonstrations which all resulted in the third runway at Heathrow airport to be pushed back by 15 years.
I have seen what happens when people come together to fight for what is right in this country, and I want to reflect this and encourage others to join and contribute to a positive change across the UK.
Manifesto priority 1: Equality and Diversity.
With the rise of Brexit across the country hate crime has increased by 40 percent this is a disturbing figure that needs to be addressed throughout the nation. People need to be educated properly instead of using the result of the EU referendum to bring hate crime to our nation.
Manifesto priority 2: Representation of northern universities
I see that a lot of northern universities are neglected when being represented by NUS; especially for the amount of money we pay to be part of the NUS is nowhere near the amount of work we receive back. BUCS is also involved; I have never seen BUCS get involved with any of the universities that are above the midlands each time you see BUCS is at Cambridge or oxford sporting events. We all pay to be part of it and we are entitled to same representation which doesn't happen
Manifesto priority 3: Professionalism of NUS leaders
One thing that alarmed me was the professionalism of NUS leaders at lead and change Keele, as leaders of the NUS i understand that arguments will happen its politics. But to not jeopardise reputation of the NUS keep all the arguments behind closed doors and sort out between each other. Arguments on social media platforms for everyone to see is not the right way to go about it either is the clear divide that we can see in the NUS leadership.
As previously stated the only way we can tackle problems in this country is if we unite as one big movement, power to the people is a phase I commonly use because i have witnessed it happen and i believe in it. I will make sure that all areas are explored and drive for the improvement of union development in the UK
Vote Daniel punch
Kings College London Students Union
Nominated by: Mohammed Ubaid Tokaria, Leicester College Students Union
Just take a “MOMIN” to vote
My name is Momin Saqib and I am the first international overseas sabbatical officer in Kings College London (Vice President for Activities and Development).In a nutshell, I would want you all to elect me because I am passionate about serving and doing something productive for the student movement in UK. I am willing to go the extra mile to make a difference and do something for the bigger good. I mean it!
Now, how would I add value to the NUS being part of the Union development committee, I would link it with something that I am doing in my University this year which is engaging more and more students, having honest and transparent conversations with them. How am I doing it? Each month the officer team spends some time approaches students and talks to them about what they feel about the union and tell them about what the union is and promote any existing campaigns that we are working on.
We also have activities forum where a member from every society comes to discuss any problems that they have or if they have any good suggestions or ideas with me.
The point being that I tend to make sure that students are being heard, there are represented in a way in which they feel comfortable in coming forward to voice their opinions and work towards bringing about any change they think is required and fight for it not just for themselves but for others!!
I would want to relate this to the NUS and work towards making sure that NUS has more honest and transparent conversations with the Unions across the country. In a Working towards enhancing the way NUS communicates with these unions.
Also, I believe together with all the other passionate members that I would be working with, we will make sure that we mobilise activity groups in the campaigns that we are working on because that is where the bigger engagement is with the union. As we all know, activities and sports is what enhances student experience!!
This also means I have the strength and vision to make believe that union members, activity groups and sports teams could be major facilitators to the campaigns as NUS can’t reach everywhere at the same time but this is what we WILL work towards.
Not just this, It would be an invaluable experience for me to take back to Pakistan and work there towards raising awareness about the importance of students being involved in politics and campaigns where it needs massive improvement and awareness.
Activities and sports with campaigning and representation together in unity makes us a stronger movement for students
University of Westminster Students' Union
Northumbria Students' Union
Union Development is at the centre of the work I do as a Sabbatical Officer and in supporting people in wider society, making sure everyone can aspire to get ahead is an important part of what I stand for.
Removing the barriers to access student opportunities, democracy and development is at the heart of what I do. I recognise that we must do more to help minority groups to access the work that we do because being able to be involved in my students union and my LGBT+ society as a part of that, really helped me to find myself and get me to where I am today.
Understanding, developing and building on helping minority groups, such as BAME, International, Postgraduates, Part Time and Mature students, means that our movement and Students' Unions will only begin to grow stronger.
Democracy is central to NUS' success which is why it is so important for us to get it right. I want to be an active voice in Union Development Committee or on the NEC, holding the Officer to account and ensuring we create new democracy that works for all NUS' membership.
Student opportunities are also key to what I strive to do for student's, making sure that prospect is not just for the privileged few. I want to work with VP UD to ensure that we continue to offer progressive policy changes that allow sports, societies and student media to flourish as well as find out and break the barriers to entry.
As a member of the UD Zone Committee or NEC I would make sure that the policy, mandated by the student movement, is implemented in the way that works best for our members. It is important that the changes we make represent the best interests of our students and Union's.
Minority student groups still face massive barriers to participant in student opportunities and our democratic processes. It's important that the changes and policies we implement are done at pace, with consultation to Union's as well as with scrutiny to the UD Officer. This is the voice and the motivation to which I would serve as a UD Member.
FOR A UD ZONE THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE, VOTE DAN SEAMARKS #1
University for the Creative Arts Students' Union
Nominated by: Lilian Oliveira, University of West London Students' Union
Hi I'm Ellie, I am a second year campus president at the University For the Creative Arts Students' Union.
You might be wondering where I am this week and why I cannot be with you at UD Zone conference. Well quite simply, we can't afford it. We can't afford to send delegates to zones and this is the case for a large number of member unions within NUS. There are so many students' unions, like my own, that have very little financial support. There are sabbatical officers with no staff teams and unions that can't afford to focus on what NUS are working on, because of their limited resources. NUS does amazing work across the sector with a large number of unions. Unfortunately, there are still so many unions that are barely even aware of what an NUS extra card is, let alone all of the excellent campaign work that NUS is undertaking across the country.
I am running for UD zones to be a voice for small and specialist unions across HE and FE. In my own institution, I have met FE students who are so eager to engage in our democratic structures and the work of the NUS, but feel alienated. I will ensure that NUS takes notice of unions like UCASU, and I will advocate for small and specialist students' unions who struggle to access support from our national union, and who are unable to run key projects for their students because of this dire lack of resources. If you elect me, I will ensure that NUS starts paying attention to students' unions such as ours, and encourages larger unions to provide support and wider collaboration opportunities for small and specialist unions to become involved in. Small and specialist unions tend to have smaller union teams and smaller block grants. Despite this, we still work on the same projects as larger institutions, though we are unable to influence national policy as much as larger students' unions. If elected, I will work within the committee to ensure that there is a dedicated forum within NUS to provide the opportunity for small and specialist unions to directly influence NUS policy. It is past time for small and specialist voices to be listened to, and for our work to be recognised.
As one of the larger small and specialist unions, my students' union feels a responsibility to champion the small and specialist cause for all of those unions who can't. Earlier this year, we won small and specialist students' union of the year at the SU Awards and we are now pushing for NUS to take more notice of all small and specialist unions. If you elect me, I will continue this work and ensure that small and specialist unions become the heart of the decision making power within NUS.
Dudley College Students' Union
Nominated by: Emily Chapman, Leeds City College
My name is Dan Wood, and I have been president now for a few months, my passion, enthusiasm, and my will to do good, has lead me to come this far. However, I feel ready to do more and to provide my progressive visionary thoughts within the Zone Committee, to give students more opportunities, to develop students and to improve the student's lives.
My vision is simple, it aims to set unions working at a more national level with other unions, I believe it doesn't have to just be about campaigning but giving students a greater social life, so I aim to help provide those opportunities for you, the students.
I will ensure that the students are at the heart of every decision made, so they truly benefit students & unions alike. I will be working to make them the most accessible, where anyone, no matter what disability, no matter what race or religion can participate in, because that is what I am all about, bringing people together, locally & nationally, to provide a sense of greater cohesion between unions, and a greater sense of community.
FE makes up 72% of NUS membership, yet we are time & time again falling off the agenda, we are, in sense, we are the poor relative of HE, not in our passion, enthusiasm, ideas & creativity or entrepreneurship, but simply in the fact we do not have enough recognition, or money!
Unions that are so desperately in need of support need a stronger voice within the NUS as they are lacking the proper guidance to gain greater finances, to provide those extra curricular activities, and to have a stronger, effective, learner voice! I want to ensure those issues are listened to, are addressed, let me be your voice to address those issues!
My passion for helping to develop the FE unions, will help demonstrate that we truly need the extra support, the extra guidance, to truly achieve a greater impact, as we should not be ignored, we are an important step in students lives, and we can help them to achieve that greatness.
If elected into the UD committee, I would work to strengthen the relationship between FE & HE neighbouring unions. After all if it wasn't for FE where would HE unions be?!
Moving forward under the current government regime, we should be united in our efforts, sharing resources, money student opportunities and the LOVE!
In the position on the UD committee, i will aim to support FE unions to to organise towards community volunteering frameworks which will give our members the opportunity to engage with their local unions, in hope it will engage the membership that feels left out, or maybe not even even engaged at all. FE has so much to give, and always gives time & time again.
And that is why I deserve a place on the UD committee.
Re open nominations (RON)