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Zone Conference 2016: Candidates for Welfare Zone Committee

Wednesday 26-10-2016 - 22:00

Nominations have now closed for Welfare Zone Committee. Elections will take place at Zone Conference at 10am on Thursday 27 October.

The deadline to challenge nominations is 9am on Thursday 27 October. Challenges should be sent to governanceteam@nus.org.uk.
 

Welfare Zone Representative on the NEC

As a member of the National Executive Council, the Welfare Zone Representative will have the role of representing and supporting the Zone and reviewing the work of the Vice-president of that zone.

(one position avaliable)
 

Robert Allcock

Wakefield College Students' Union 
Nominated by: Daniel Wood, Dudley College Students Union

I think I should be elected to the Welfare Zone and NEC because I believe that voices from FE are disproportionately represented throughout government and I believe that the welfare for FE needs drastic improvement whether it's help with stress (exams), substance and alcohol misuse, home problems, people in care and care leavers.

Hannah Dualeh

University of Bristol Students' Union
Nominated by: Elenor Graham, Sussex Students' Union

Hello, I'm Hannah Dualeh!

I'm running for Welfare Committee & NEC because I want to see a

strong link between the work NUS does on housing, health, finance and other issues focussed more on how the impacts are felt on students from certain communities.

I'm a member of the NUS Black Students' Campaign, and I want to be a direct link between the Zone and the Liberation campaigns.

In my role at Bristol, I have been involved in:

  • Securing more funding for mental health services
  • Supporting students of faith and inter-faith work
  • Setting up a Cut The Rent group for affordable housing
  • Black Live Matter actions
  • Sisters Uncut nd Shutdown Yarlswood

I want NUS to be better supporting the work of grass-roots action, whilst giving SUs the resources to make students' lives better.

Please consider giving me your 1st preference for Welfare Committee!

 

Hanna Head

Solent Students' Union
Nominated by: Lewis Cleminson, Solent Students' Union

I'm a first year sabb, VP Welfare & Community at Solent Students' Union, ex Women's Officer,  second year NUS delegate and general democracy addict. I'm running for Welfare Zone Committee and NEC Rep. This year, our entire education system, our welfare system, our NHS, is more under attack than ever, and I think the NUS Welfare Zone is crucial to challenging this.

I've spent my first few months working on a manifesto that covers the same as most other welfare officers; mental health, safety, housing, finances, sexual health. And although this still takes up a lot of my time and is very important, now my focus is shifting, and a lot of my time is being eaten up by reading our policies, pushing for a democracy review, working on our first Activist Academy and creating ways for our liberation groups to be properly represented, our officers to be accountable, and for our Union to be truly accessible and not only in the physical sense.

I want to support other unions & their students. Too often Welfare roles are seen to be ‘fluffy' and I want to prove that isn't the case by making sure the NUS Welfare Zone continues to visibly challenge the structures that are currently damaging our unions, universities, communities and students. I want to work to make sure our NUS works for all unions, not just those with the largest block grants or the most students - small and specialist unions need their voices heard too. Coming from a smaller union, I think it's crucial to have this represented on the NEC as well as the committee, because often we're forgotten in decisions where discussion should be had, and action should be taken to ensure all unions feel they can participate.

Kirsty Patterson

University of Sunderland Student Union
Nominated by: Jack Fossey, Swansea University

A vote for me is a vote for you :)

Alexa Webster

FXU

Nominated by: Joshua Harry Gulrajani, UESU

Last year you elected me on to Welfare Committee to represent all welfare officers, on a clear platform of supporting students in the face of the national accommodation crisis, focusing on mental health, as well as promoting self care in welfare officers. I did all of these things and more, always making sure that each of these topics were discussed at all welfare zone committee meetings, and often asking the questions no one else would. Let's face it, I'm from FXU - we aren't known to shy away from "those conversations"!

From always asking "what about FE?!", to not being afraid to ask the difficult questions that are often the elephant in the room, I try to represent all students and officers. Being from FXU in Cornwall I have had the unique experience of representing students from a small and specialist arts university as well as those from a Russell group university. Cornwall itself has given me a unique experience, with it being the most impoverished county in the UK. Yes, I will always stand by the fact that it is the most beautiful place to live, but with a third of the population being malnourished, the average salary being just £17,000 and Cornwall being the suicide capital of the United Kingdom (twice the national average), on a daily basis I fight back against the worst of what a person can go through, and support students who are having to choose between a meal and a bus to class. Hardship and lack of mental health support within the county

I call home is very real, as it is for so many people and their homes in this room too. We cannot just say okay, but instead have to keep fighting back and shout "this isn't good enough!"

This year my focus remains the same as last, but being a second year sabbatical officer it has grown more, my knowledge becoming wider.

Faith is ever becoming a more and more important topic within our society and unions, with freedom of faith being questioned and being taken away from students through the prevent agenda, to open racism and zenophobia focused on those of faith. It isn't just within this country, society, or our campuses that this is happening though. At times it is within NUS itself. Faith and belief have to remain at the forefront of what we do, and it is something I promise that if elected will continue to be a conversation that we have and actions that we do.

Accommodation is forever a top priority for all of us, because the national crisis is a three pronged whip attacking students: rent too high a price to afford; quality appalling and sometimes unlivebale; and often simply not enough beds for everyone. We have to keep talking about this, affecting policy, working together, and fighting on the ground for our students.

Please elect me to keep housing, health, hardship and fighting hate at the forefront of NUS, thank you.

Re open nominations (RON)

 

 

 

Welfare Zone Committee

Zone committee members are responsible for ensuring the development of policy to guide the zone’s priorities for the year ahead, as well as analysing the work of the relevant elected officer (the Vice President), ensuring that the zone delivers on the areas of work that have been highlighted as priorities for the year ahead.

(six positions avaliable)
 

Mehjabin Ahmed

UCL Union
Nominated by: Tara Mariwany, Goldsmiths

My name is Mehjabin Ahmed and I am the Welfare & International Officer at UCLU. Under the Conservative Government NHS, mental health provisions and the Disabled Students' Allowance have been under attack. Students are faced with increasing fees and raised academic stress which only exacerbates the issues they already have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Within UCL, college continues to expand but the welfare of students have been brushed aside, as rents keep climbing and psychological services are severely under serviced and oversubscribed. I have supported UCL Cut the Rent and am now

finally working with UCL to implement the accommodation bursaries that the campaign succeeded in winning. I have been discussing and working towards a common goal of a cap on London student housing with London SU officers regionally. Within the Welfare Zones Committee, I will strive to ensure that this is taken to the national stage so that university halls and private accommodation providers all over the UK are forced to stop their extortionate ways.

I have launched a massive mental health campaign at UCL and have been working with college to revamp the entire welfare system so that three main targets are met. The taboo placed on mental health, especially within liberation groups, is removed. The oversubscription of the university counselling services is mitigated. The root causes of mental health for students at university are prevented before they are allowed to reach a stage of crisis. I will bring forth these targets to the Welfare Zone Committee and ensure that we work hand in hand with the NUS Disabled Students Campaign to prioritise mental health across every HEI in the UK.

 

Robert Allcock

Wakefield College Students' Union 
Nominated by: Daniel Wood, Dudley College Students Union

I think I should be elected to the Welfare Zone and NEC because I believe that voices from FE are disproportionately represented throughout government and I believe that the welfare for FE needs drastic improvement whether it's help with stress (exams), substance and alcohol misuse, home problems, people in care and care leavers.

Matthew Auden

Northumbria Students' Union
Nominated by:
Ryan Bush, University of Newcastle SU

I have been involved in leading welfare campaigns since I came to university, I ran Save DSA the campaign at Northumbria which saved disabled students over £500,000 by lobbying the university to subsidise the governments cuts, ensuring that disabled students university experience was no affected or hindered by the governments draconian austerity measures.

Outside my union I have been working on a renters rights campaign with Acorn, through collaboration with residents and students we took the fight to corrupt

and unethical lettings agent across the city. Staging protests and strikes and demanding these agencies fulfil their duty of care of their tenants and sign the Ethical Lettings Charter.

I’ve been delighted to see drugs be placed on the agenda during this zone, it is an issue that as unions we are often to scared to go about campaigning on. If elected I commit to work with Students for Sensible Drugs Policy to deliver sessions and training to officers and reps to empower them to challenge their university on Zero Tolerance policies and implementing Medical Amnesty policies to ensure that students who are victims of drug overdoses and injuries have the confidence to seek the emergency help they need.

Punitive action and ‘Just Say No’ has failed students who are at risk of losing their professional career prospects as well as limiting their ability to travel the world by virtue of picking up a drugs conviction. Our laws are not based on evidence or fact and allowing the criminal justice system to implement what is globally accepted as a healthcare and cultural issue has resulted in disproportionate amounts of BME students and citizens across the country falling victim to outdated and racist policy. Across the country police forces are coming out in support of decriminalisation on soft drugs and ending the prohibition which has pushed many students wanting to experiment into the realms of NSPs, feeling they are safer and also wanting to stay on the correct side of the law; it is time that politics catches up to public opinion - elect me and I will work to ensure the issue of drugs stays on the agenda and does not lose its

Hannah Dualeh

University of Bristol Students' Union
Nominated by: Elenor Graham, Sussex Students' Union

Hello, I'm Hannah Dualeh!

I'm running for Welfare Committee & NEC because I want to see a

strong link between the work NUS does on housing, health, finance and other issues focussed more on how the impacts are felt on students from certain communities.

I'm a member of the NUS Black Students' Campaign, and I want to be a direct link between the Zone and the Liberation campaigns.

In my role at Bristol, I have been involved in:

  • Securing more funding for mental health services
  • Supporting students of faith and inter-faith work
  • Setting up a Cut The Rent group for affordable housing
  • Black Live Matter actions
  • Sisters Uncut nd Shutdown Yarlswood

I want NUS to be better supporting the work of grass-roots action, whilst giving SUs the resources to make students' lives better.

Please consider giving me your 1st preference for Welfare Committee!

 

Jack Fossey

Swansea University Students' Union
Nominated by: Kirtsy Paterson, University of Sunderland Students' Union

I’m currently the Welfare Officer at the NUS Wales Students’ Union of the Year 2015/16 – Swansea. This means I’m representing not only the 17,000 students at my own university, but all Welsh students as well. One of the biggest focuses for our union this year is mental health and removing the stigma around talking about it and relating to that I’m going to be running a massive campaign called “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” in the new year, where I will be “baring all” on camera and reading out stories from students with regards to their experiences of issues related to mental wellbeing.

 We also ran our first ever own “Pride” event this year during Freshers’ Fortnight due to the official Swansea Pride going into administration and as a gay man myself I felt it only right that our LGBT+ students are equally represented, and it was a resounding success with over 2,500 attendees to our night-time event.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since beginning my time as a sabb is in setting up a university-wide welfare committee, including representation from our advice and support centre; the university support service; the residential network and welfare wardens; and also the liberation part-time officers, to name a few. I noticed other universities/unions seemed to have this and for me it means I have a support network, as well as a platform for efficient communication between the differing organisations and departments. It also means that we can all pool our resources and time together to make our campaigns (which more often than not are along very similar lines) much more effective. We had our first meeting on Monday and it was received extremely positively, hopefully leading to improved welfare provision to the entire student, and even staff, body.

Grainne Gahan

University of Sussex Students' Union
Nominated by: Hannah Dualeh, University of Bristol Students' Union

I am interested in this position because I am committed to accessible and inclusive activism. I think that positive change can happen in loads of different ways, whether that's protesting at demos, sitting in policy making meetings, or just having a cup of tea with a student who needs you. I want to uplift those voices that have traditionally been marginalised by inaccessible forms of activism. 

I really love policy I think it's great! I would love to work with all different groups of students on the issues that affect them. I am particularly interested in tackling the effects of raising tuition fees and the current state of higher education on student mental health, fighting alongside doctors and nurses to save our NHS, making university more accessible for students with disabilities,  and tackling absurd campus rents which push out students that deserve to be in comfortable and safe accommodation as much as anyone else!!

I think I would also bring a positive attitude and loads of enthusiasm to the committee which I hope would make it an encouraging and productive space. 

(I also know loads of good jokes!)

Tasnim Hassan

Lincoln SU
Nominated by: Ilyas Nagdee, Manchester SU

My name is Tasnim (Vice President Welfare & Community at Lincoln Students' Union) and I am running to be a committee member of the Welfare Zone.

I have dedicated myself to various national and local welfare orientated commitments, such as:

  • Elected as Disabled Students Officer at Lincoln Students' Union for two rerms
  • Elected as Vice President Welfare & Community at Lincoln Students' Union
  • Elected as the Black Representative on NUS Disabled Students' Committee for two terms

My extensive experience both in the Welfare sector and NUS will allow me to develop ways at a higher level where we can continue and expand on major key themes such as intersectionality which is mirrored through my work as a Black Representative on the NUS Disabled Committee where I have been pursuing a collaborative initiative to better represent our BME disabled students. Moreover, I aim to take this further to ensure the NUS and its Officers are committed to communicate its work to all Students Unions as well as working towards getting their input and perspective in order to play a role in a greater movement.

I aim to thrive to get these crucial messages out there to our students and given the combination of my experience and creativity, I am certain that if elected we will be able to make a positive change.

Rosie Hayles

Derby Students' Union
Nominated by: Hanna Head, Southampton Solent

Hi I'm Rosie and I'm from the University of Derby Students' Union. This is my second year as a sabb but this is my first year as a welfare officer (welfairy), last year I was the Athletic Union President and I came across so many welfare issues that I felt passionately about. I ran a whole campaign around homophobia and transphobia in sport and where students can go for support and advice.

As Vice President (Welfare) I have already made changes and raised awareness for certain issues within the Students' Union, one of them being raising awareness for Black History Month and putting on events to engage students. I organised a Black Lives Matter discussion panel that sparked really important discussions and issues within society and at Derby.

I believe I can make an influence on the welfare committee with my ideas and supporting campaigns, I like to put my words in to action and in force change and would love to support the rest of the committee and Shelly for the rest of the year.

Thank you

Let's make change

Hanna Head

Solent Students' Union
Nominated by: Lewis Cleminson, Solent Students' Union

I'm a first year sabb, VP Welfare & Community at Solent Students' Union, ex Women's Officer,  second year NUS delegate and general democracy addict. I'm running for Welfare Zone Committee and NEC Rep. This year, our entire education system, our welfare system, our NHS, is more under attack than ever, and I think the NUS Welfare Zone is crucial to challenging this.

I've spent my first few months working on a manifesto that covers the same as most other welfare officers; mental health, safety, housing, finances, sexual health. And although this still takes up a lot of my time and is very important, now my focus is shifting, and a lot of my time is being eaten up by reading our policies, pushing for a democracy review, working on our first Activist Academy and creating ways for our liberation groups to be properly represented, our officers to be accountable, and for our Union to be truly accessible and not only in the physical sense.

I want to support other unions & their students. Too often Welfare roles are seen to be ˜fluffy' and I want to prove that isn't the case by making sure the NUS Welfare Zone continues to visibly challenge the structures that are currently damaging our unions, universities, communities and students. I want to work to make sure our NUS works for all unions, not just those with the largest block grants or the most students - small and specialist unions need their voices heard too. Coming from a smaller union, I think it's crucial to have this represented on the NEC as well as the committee, because often we're forgotten in decisions where discussion should be had, and action should be taken to ensure all unions feel they can participate.

Jenny Killin

University of Aberdeen Students' Association
Nominated by: Hanna Head, Solent Students' Union

Hi, I'm Jenny and I am the Welfare Officer at Aberdeen University Students' Association!

I was elected to my local union as an activist who fights free education, fair housing, feminism and accessibility on our campus. In the first three months of my term I have worked to rebuild our union, placing collectivism and inclusion at the core of everything we do. From working with trade unions on job cuts, to mobilising for rent cuts and organising students to campaign against sexual harassment. I have seen the power we have when we work together for our collective aims.

I'll work to make sure that the welfare campaigns are run collectively from the grass roots up.  This is when we are at our strongest.

 

Simba Lkaderi

Middlesex University Students' Union
Nominated by: Saffa Iqbal, University of Manchester

Passed prevent policy on my campus.

led campaign that resulted in the university placing welfare officers in all our university halls.

currently leading a campaign at my university to have student well-being at the heart of the universities academic structure.

For a Liberated Education that is rooted in student welfare vote Simba #1 for Welfare committee

Saffa Mir

University of Manchester Students' Union
Nominated by: Tamara O'Neill, University of Manchester Students' Union

No statement submitted


 

Safaa Nait-Charif

Aston SU
Nominated by: Ross Strong, University of Birmingham Guild

Hi everyone, I'm Safaa and I'm the Aston Students Union VP Welfare and Communications. I'm running for Welfare Zones position because I believe that student Welfare needs to be taken much more seriously especially within disadvantaged/liberation groups.

Student mental health is my biggest priority this year and I want to make sure that the NUS and Srudent Unions across the board have long term action plans for tackling student mental health and are ready to make institutional commitments into doing so. within my union I have recently managed to get the Union and University to agree to sign the Time To Change Pledge Which signals our commitment to do just that. I am also currently working very closely with the the University Disability Team on training materials on empowering staff within educational institutions to feel confident working with vulnerable students and signposting when need be. I've also launched a "Let's Talk" Campaign which encourages staff and students to talk about mental health in hopes of eradicating the stigma attached to it.

As the NUS we need to coordinate Union efforts by building strong networks for a strong united front to tackle student mental health. A vote for me is a vote for a unity.

Please vote Safaa for Welfare Zones!

Kirsty Patterson

University of Sunderland Student Union
Nominated by: Jack Fossey, Swansea University

A vote for me is a vote for you :)

Luke Pilot

Warwick SU
Nominated by: Kathryn Younger, Anglia Ruskin University SU

Hi! I'm Luke Pilot and I'm running for NUS Welfare Zone Committee! As the Welfare Officer at Warwick SU last year, and now as President, my passion for mental health awareness led me to continuously raise student mental wellbeing up the agenda. I am committed to continuing to challenge the attack on our NHS which cuts out young people and students from mental health support and fighting the Government's racist Prevent duty imposed on Universities and helping students at Unions across the country resist it. As a movement, we cannot fight for change if our movement isn't inclusive and I am dedicated to working with under-served communities to challenge the structural oppression they endure and practice zero tolerance to all forms of discrimination. Finally , I want to always find ways to collaborate with grassroots student activists to challenge the attack on HE which is actively pricing out students through greedy landlords and destructive Government policy. I will strive for an accessible movement against this attack on our right to an education to keep education open for all.

Jessica Rich

University of Essex Students Union
Nominated by: Alexa Webster, FXU

I'm Jess, a second-year Welfare Officer from Essex SU.

As a disabled student, I have experienced the need for welfare support in education first-hand. Without the welfare support my Union offered me and the Disabled Students Allowance I would not have made it to Higher Education, let alone graduated.

I'm running for Welfare Zone because we've seen the impact of government attacks on students' wellbeing - particularly the impact of cutting NHS bursaries on nursing students and the longterm impact this will have on our health service.

We need a Welfare Zone that fights for these students, that unites Unions in campaigning on issues affecting their education: improving policies on hate crime, increasing mental health support, running anti-harassment campaigns, and bringing back NHS support for students.

Vote for me for a Welfare Zone that is inclusive, diverse and relevant for students, and bring Students' Unions back to the heart of NUS.

Jo Swo
UEASU
Nominated by: Jenny Killin, Aberdeen University Students' Association

Last year I was voted onto Welfare Committee and this year I'm asking you to do the same.

Last year I stood up and spoke about how my Student Union had worked with the NUS in saving our local bus from being scrapped at night, and this year they supported us in our fight against Article 4 that threatens every student city, and we won both times. I want every Student Union to have the same access and support from their NUS as mine did. Over the last year I have continued to fight against sexual harassment on campus, working closely with our Vice Chancellor who sat on the UUK task force that recently released their recommendations to University nationwide.

Our anti-sexual harassment campaign 'Never OK' won “Best Campaign of the Year' by NUS Women's Conference and after working hard to expand gender neutral toilets in our University and writing the first 'guide' for Trans and Non-binary students, I was elected onto LGBT+ Committee.

If you elect me onto your Welfare Committee, I will make sure our two committees are communicating to each other and that every policy's direction is focused on student input and outcome.

Alexa Webster

FXU

Nominated by: Joshua Harry Gulrajani, UESU

Last year you elected me on to Welfare Committee to represent all welfare officers, on a clear platform of supporting students in the face of the national accommodation crisis, focusing on mental health, as well as promoting self care in welfare officers. I did all of these things and more, always making sure that each of these topics were discussed at all welfare zone committee meetings, and often asking the questions no one else would. Let's face it, I'm from FXU - we aren't known to shy away from "those conversations"!

From always asking "what about FE?!", to not being afraid to ask the difficult questions that are often the elephant in the room, I try to represent all students and officers. Being from FXU in Cornwall I have had the unique experience of representing students from a small and specialist arts university as well as those from a Russell group university. Cornwall itself has given me a unique experience, with it being the most impoverished county in the UK. Yes, I will always stand by the fact that it is the most beautiful place to live, but with a third of the population being malnourished, the average salary being just £17,000 and Cornwall being the suicide capital of the United Kingdom (twice the national average), on a daily basis I fight back against the worst of what a person can go through, and support students who are having to choose between a meal and a bus to class. Hardship and lack of mental health support within the county

I call home is very real, as it is for so many people and their homes in this room too. We cannot just say okay, but instead have to keep fighting back and shout "this isn't good enough!"

This year my focus remains the same as last, but being a second year sabbatical officer it has grown more, my knowledge becoming wider.

Faith is ever becoming a more and more important topic within our society and unions, with freedom of faith being questioned and being taken away from students through the prevent agenda, to open racism and zenophobia focused on those of faith. It isn't just within this country, society, or our campuses that this is happening though. At times it is within NUS itself. Faith and belief have to remain at the forefront of what we do, and it is something I promise that if elected will continue to be a conversation that we have and actions that we do.

Accommodation is forever a top priority for all of us, because the national crisis is a three pronged whip attacking students: rent too high a price to afford; quality appalling and sometimes unlivebale; and often simply not enough beds for everyone. We have to keep talking about this, affecting policy, working together, and fighting on the ground for our students.

Please elect me to keep housing, health, hardship and fighting hate at the forefront of NUS, thank you.

Kathryn Younger

Anglia Ruskin Students Union
Nominated by: L Pilot, University of Warwick SU

As the first ever Welfare Officer elected at my SU, I am dedicated to building a strong voice within our student community and push welfare and liberation up the agenda.

I have campaigned tirelessly and developed policy at my union as LGBT+ society president to ensure autonomy and safe spaces for our liberation groups on campus. I pushed for the creation of a Welfare Officer at my union to ensure marginalised voices have a place at the table and continue that work every day.

My priorities for the year ahead are pushing my university to properly fund our mental health services, to provide consistent and robust systems and support for victims of sexual violence, provide a medical centre that actually works and fight for our top class nursing students to remain in study and out of debt by fighting NHS cuts.

Re open nominations (RON)

 

 

 

 

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