This autumn we are offering students’ unions the opportunity to get support to articulate and evidence their own public value, organising at the local level, and with linking up to the national campaigning agenda.
Our national demo will be an incredible springboard to enthuse your student activists and you need to be ready to support them to bring that enthusiasm back to your local community. With the localism agenda taking shape and a general election coming within a few years, we need to ensure we work to build the arguments, the activists and the relationships that will help us to win for students now and in 2015.
We are offering to facilitate a half-day meeting of the SUs in your local area which covers the following:
What is the public value of education in our local area?
How can we use it to develop a campaigning platform?
How can we coordinate to deliver our campaign and get our students to the national demo?
What do we need to be able to deliver our campaign effectively and how can we get it?
We can also work with you to shape content depending on your local context.
Email Rachel Wenstone to express your interest
Assemble your local union contacts and set a date and time and agree what you want the meeting to cover.
Let Rachel know the date you have decided.
Who should attend these meetings?
Ideally you will be able to get participation from a widespread group of unions in your local area. Each union will need to decide who the key people are to send – obviously an officer will need to go, but it might in some cases be helpful to send a staff member as well to help with follow-up.
You may also want to invite potential local allies such as trades union contacts or local councillors – but the more people you invite the harder it will be to make the meeting effective.
One useful approach might be to schedule the facilitated meeting of core people in the morning and then bring other interested people in later once the main objectives have been agreed.
What will actually happen in the meeting?
NUS staff will create exercises designed to help you identify what your understanding of public good is and how it can be used to create campaigns. We won’t tell you what you should campaign on or how you should go about it, but we will offer expert advice and support as best we can on the day.
What kind of follow-up will be available?
What follow-up support you need will depend on your campaign goals and who you have involved, but you might want some support with developing your campaign, or some activist training. You might want to look at how you work with local press and local councils to ensure you have the ear of relevant decision-makers. Or you might need some policy support on understanding a specific education issue.
You might also identify shared concerns that sit in our Welfare, SocCit, or UD Zones, or with one of our Sections or Liberation campaigns, and wish to contact the relevant officer for follow-up discussions on those issues.
What we will not be able to do is help you with the delivery of your campaigns - our intent is to get you to the point where you are ready to take it where you want it to go.
What if we have plans already and don’t need you to facilitate?
That’s great if that is the case – we are not invested in telling you how to run your campaigns. But we would like you to invite us along so we can get a sense of what your local issues are and offer support where it’s needed.
What’s the link up with Demo 2012?
The national demo offers a great opportunity to tie your local agenda to a national campaigning platform. We suggest you use Demo 2012 to enthuse your students, get them angry and ready to campaign for change – but ensure there is somewhere constructive and meaningful for them to direct their desire for change when they get on the bus back home.
Got a question about the Public Good Roadshow? Email Rachel Wenstone for more info.