Wednesday 13-04-2016 - 14:12
National Conference is our flagship change-making event. It provides a space for students to discuss, debate, learn and challenge; challenge institutions, challenge government, challenge each other and challenge ourselves.
We want our conference to be positive, accessible and inclusive, and we ask that you play an active role in this too. We pride ourselves as a movement on our determination to be mindful of the needs of all of our members, whether that is through respecting another delegate’s access needs, helping people to find their feet, or engaging in debate in a constructive way.
Most of all, we want National Conference to be enjoyable, exciting and inspiring. Students’ unions have a history of being at the forefront of social change, and by taking part in this conference, you are becoming a part of that history.
As history will tell you, healthy debate and disagreement is what drives the student movement forward, but this only works if it is coupled with a culture of mutual respect, regardless of our differences, whether that is in a 90 second speech on conference floor, or in 140 characters online. NUS Conference is for everybody, and we want all delegates to feel that they can contribute and engage actively and in a safe environment, and that their voice is being heard.
To achieve the kind of culture and environment that we all want, here are a few ways that you can contribute:
- Diversity and difference of opinion is crucial and makes our movement interesting. Respect and cherish that different people will have different values, beliefs and views – and that’s healthy.
- If you disagree with someone’s views or politics, challenge their views and argument through active purposeful debate – don’t attack the individual.
- Remember that social media is an active part of the conference environment. If you wouldn’t say something on conference floor don’t say it on Twitter.
- Take responsibility for your wellbeing and putting the decisions of conference into a balanced perspective – take breaks and time out from conference floor when you can but remember to make a note of when the votes/elections are being taken.
- Use this opportunity to hold your elected leaders to account but also be positive about and take time to celebrate some of the incredible work that our student movement does to make education, society and our world better.
Thank you for doing all that you can to ensure that National Conference 2016 is a positive and inclusive event for everyone.