Candidates for NUS Services Direction and Oversight Boards

Tuesday 07-07-2015 - 21:22

The candidates are listed below for each Direction and Oversight Board. The candidates were given the opportunity to submit a statement on who they are and why they are standing which is listed alongside their name.

Please take the time to read over the candidates for each Board before submitting your ballot paper. 

Any member of NUS may object to the eligibility of candidates or their nominators. To challenge eligibility you must notify the returning officer via no later than 10:00 on Wednesday 8 July 2015. 

How to vote 

Each member students’ union of a Cooperative Enterprise Unit has 1 vote therefore the ballot paper shall be issued to the President or lead students’ union officer at Students’ Unions 2015 all day on Wednesday 8 July 2015 from the NUS information point (registration desk).
Polling shall open at 12:00 on Wednesday 8 July 2015 at the NUS information point (registration desk) and close at 17:30 on the same day. You can vote at any point during this time. 

Please note we will only give the ballot paper to the President or Lead Officer of that union as each union only get 1 vote per cooperative enterprise unit they are in. It is then up to the officer team of that union to decide how they will vote and submit their ballot. 
Once the ballot paper has been issued we cannot under any circumstance renew this ballot paper so please look after it carefully. 

Election count and results

The election count shall be by single transferable vote. The elections shall be counted immediately after the close of polling at 17:30. Each candidate may send up to one (1) observer to the count but cannot attend the count themselves. The results shall be announced on NUS Connect immediately following the count.

Download here the full list of candidates in PDF


Candidates standing for NUS Digital 

Jay Malpass Clark- Leeds Beckett

Looking back over the last 15 years, education in my eyes has gradually become digitally driven more and more each year. Academic institutions have found promise in strong digital platforms in providing a quality student experience.

Unions recently have been finding this an ever growing way to connect to their membership and things such as Union Cloud are examples of great steps forward by NUS.

This year Leeds Beckett Students' Union made the decision to move to the full Union Cloud site. A move that is financially costly but a move that in our eyes is one that could potentially open so many doors to connect with our members in ways we never could before.

I want every Union to benefit from this experience should they choose to and maximise the digital tools NUS makes available through affiliation to suit their tailor made needs as a Students' Union.

That's why I’m standing to be on the Digital Oversights Board.

John Gaughan - Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Union


Wanting to find useful documents, just try their search function. Of wait you can't find it? Yeah we have had that experience too. Lots of us want to engage but the website is a massive barrier. I want to ensure nus digital is user experience focused.

Aisling Davis

Hi, my name is Aisling and I am a postgraduate student studying MSc Digital Marketing. My course has taught me about engagement online, and how we can use digital platforms to target large demographics. Digital engagement is not only about the end result, it's understanding your audience and the journey they take beforehand. I've learnt how important it is that you engage with your audience through multiple touchpoints online.

NUS Digital should support unions' digital platforms. Online tools such as social networking sites and websites shouldn't work in isolation, but together in harmony. A student's journey online can provide us with a number of insights, allowing us to tailor a digital package which will benefit all unions and allow us to engage with students from all of our segments.

I am not only qualified in this area, but I am passionate about the user journey online and how we can use digital platforms to understand our students further and engage with them in newer, more creative ways.

Voting for me will not only ensure that NUS's digital platforms work together, but that we use them to better understand our students across NUS. We can learn a lot from what students do online, and find more and more ways to take NUS to them.

Aman Saddiqi - Middlesex


Hi, my name's Aman and I am the President of Middlesex University Students' Union. I graduated in BA Business Management studied two modules in Technological Innovation. I was taught ways in which we can make the most of our technology and how to innovate to meet consumer needs. I have noticed that there are an increasing number of Unions using NUS Digital, but there seems to be a lack of clarity as to why NUS Digital still faces so many problems and issues. I will focus on trying to iron these out and figure out new innovative ways to make NUS Digital accessible to and less problematic for all. I will ensure I'm asking the questions that are being talked about in our unions and feeding back those answers, increasing the response rate between NUS and unions. I want to focus on making NUS digital accessible to all staff and officers not just those unions with comms departments; and to be able to deliver slick and concise content easily. I will be really excited to take this on and please do consider me when you're voting. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Millie Tanner –Durham


I’m Millie, I’m the President at Durham Students’ Union and I’m running to sit on the Direction and Oversight Board for NUS Digital.

I want to ensure that NUS Digital continues to build a platform that’s accessible and useful for Students’ Unions, but that is also accessible and useful to the students who use it. At Durham, the majority of our online platform users are members and leaders of our student groups and societies – it’s vital that the platforms we use are designed for, and suited to, their needs.

As an enterprise that helps to fund the work of NUS, it’s important to ensure that the enterprise activity is good quality and beneficial to our members. This means it’s crucial that members of the Board have the confidence to think both strategically and creatively: I have chaired a Board of Trustees through a challenging financial year for my college student body and am keen to apply the skills I learned here to the DOB.

As student president at my college in Durham for the last 12 months, I have had experience of directional oversight and guiding strategy, ensuring that ventures are long-term sustainable and in the interests of our students.

I am keen to challenge myself with new projects and am willing to learn everything I need to know to be an effective and productive member of this Board. Elect me for a student-facing NUS Digital, developed with students and student groups in mind.


Lizzie Kelly -Nottingham Trent


Hi, I'm Lizzy Kelly a second year officer from Nottingham Trent Students' Union (NTSU) in the role of VP Activities.
I am standing for the NUS Digital Direction & Oversight Board (DOB) as a passionate and regular user of the UnionCloud platform, and would like the opportunity to shape the future of the digital engagement tool.

NTSU has used UnionCloud for the past two years and has become the highest performing Union on the platform which puts me in a strong position to be able shape the priorities for the platform moving forward.

From personal experience my five priorities would be to push for development within the following areas:

1 - Ability to fully segment students through both questioning and behaviour
2 - The launch of a full EPOS integrated loyalty system
3 - A clubs/societies organiser app to increase student organised activities on campus
4 - A fundraising platform fit for Union RAG activities
5 - A course rep feedback and communication tool

Activities is the heart of union engagement and needs to be the heart of the platform. As I am now a second year Activities officer I feel I have the knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done to improve usability for our members when engaging with the platform for their student activities.

If elected I promise to:
1. Canvas the community for their opinion on the future of the platform
2. Represent these views to the Board
3. Feedback on progress to the community

Usman Mahmood –Westminster


I have strong experience in marketing and the digital world. I have representing brands while at university. These includes windows and Microsoft. I have a true passion for all things digital. I feel nus digital can work better in supporting SU's. At the moment it does not provide active communication. On various occasions being ignored. The nus digital can provide such benefit and help revamp Su's. Provide better support for whole departments and streamline processes.

Candidates standing for NUS extra

Orla Hillary -Middlesex


Hi I'm Orla! I'm the new Vice President (Health & Education) at Middlesex SU. I'm not your typical sabb, I'm the only officer that's a practicing adult nurse and I'm the Connaught province rugby player in Ireland!

I want to revolutionise nus extra so it's speaks to students like me, who engage in sport but because of job commitments don't have much time to use my nus extra card!

Love to talk more in person about my ideas! If you want something done, Orla is the one!


Toke Dahler-Larsen -Leeds University


Vote Toke for DOB NUS Extra

- Pursue best practice

Let’s look at each other’s efforts and make sure we learn from the SU’s that really get it right. Sharing insights and experiences with NUS Extra can boost the way we use it in the future.

- Strengthen local ties

Our student’s live their lives in different places. Our membership benefits should reflect that. Let’s make sure NUS Extra fits our students’ needs and makes sense wherever they are.

- Value for money

One of the most pressing concerns for students is the cost of living. We should do our best to serve students – and NUS Extra has a much bigger part to play. Let’s make sure we’re at the forefront of securing value for money.

Digitally innovative

We should be looking beyond the card in 2015 and I would work with the committee to promote creative thinking in how we can use other platforms for student offers under the extra banner. Being digitally innovative is crucial to the survival of the progress and will allow NUS card to develop new streams of activity and promotion.

My name is Toke. I am the Union Affairs Officer for Leeds University Union. Before that I studied Political Communication, was a student radio host and a School Rep for my school. Also I love snapchat!

Daisy Lindlar -Birmingham Guild


I'm Daisy Lindlar, Representation & Resources Officer Elect for the University of Birmingham Guild of Students. I'm keen to be a part of this board as it's clear that NUS Extra cards are having a crisis - as more options are becoming available for students to receive discounts without NUS cards, they are becoming redundant. The NUS needs to do more to make the cards relevant to the needs of our students, and offer more support to unions in terms of advertising, as the contribution that their funding makes to our unions is invaluable and they are the backbone of the NUS. Although I'm new to the NUS, I think this could be a valuable asset to the board - I can offer the perspective of the average student who has not been heavily involved and has (prior to my officer election at least!) seen the NUS as having not much more value than the discounts it can bring. I think that, with the right direction, NUS Extra cards could do so much more to connect the NUS to our 7 million students, and I'd love to help achieve this goal.

Candidates standing for NUS Media

Andre Thompson -Middlesex University


Hi I'm Andre Thompson Vice President for art and design media and performing arts at Middlesex university students' union. I was an art a design students with a keen interest and have undertaken further study in web design and development and various media design platforms. I am due to do a masters in creative technology after my role as a sabbatical officer as I want to pursue a career in the innovative and creative technology industries. For these reasons I feel I’ll be a huge asset to this role given you extensive knowledge of media both internally and externally. During my degree I also participated in my uni radio station, magazine and TV station. I will now be taking over as the officer in charge of media at my students union.


Evette Prout –Sheffield


My name is Evette Prout and I am the newly-elected SU Development Officer at Sheffield Students' Union. A vital part of my role is to improve communication with our student body, and NUS media systems are a crucial component of this. I want to sit on the NUS Media CEU because only by proactively focusing our energies on this, can we hope to reach out to students. In each of our own SU's we work hard to ensure that as many of our students as possible understand the work of their representatives and the manner in which they can affect change in our institutions. So too in NUS we must speak to students where they are, and show that they can be a part of national change. Unless NUS Media focuses on this, it will be impossibly to shake the image of an NUS removed and distant from its members. This will be my priority. Vote Evette Prout #1 for Media CEU!


Connor Rand  -UEA


My name is Connor Rand and I'm the Undergraduate Education Officer at the Union of UEA Students in Norwich. The role of the media in the student movement is always something I've been interested in and of course student media is a central part of student life, both in terms of student interaction and information collection. When scrutinising and inputting into the role of student media, and the work of NUS extra, media and digital we should always remember to keep our values at the fore and ensure liberation is enshrined within that process. We also need to make sure we tailor our approach for FE and HE.

Candidates standing for Purchasing

Joel Smith -Manchester SU


I'm the second year Activities & Development Officer at Manchester Students' Union and I'm standing for this role as I have a keen interest in both the commercial aspects of NUS and ethical purchasing. As a student I successfully campaigned for our University to go "Sweatshop Free" after gathering 1300 student signatures and extended lobbying. I'm also currently campaigning on Fossil Free and organise our thrice yearly student festival Pangaea, the largest student-led festival event in Europe.

My current role entails leading on the commercial development of the Union, which has this year extended its commercial contribution to nearly £1m. I chair the Manchester Academy Venues, one of the largest venue complexes in Manchester. As a sabb I focus on the detail and ask the difficult questions on key decisions. On the board I would bring a strong ethical stance but would look to develop key areas of NUS' purchasing to try and drive better deals, particularly for smaller Unions who heavily rely on the purchasing power of NUSSL.

The commercial environment is evolving faster than ever. As a large body NUSSL can sometimes be slow to react to trends; for example, an individual bar can bring in a trendy new drink with a short turnaround, whereas NUSSL can't diversify as quickly. We really need to be looking to improve our product ranges more efficiently, adapt more quickly and reverse the trend for declining commercial income for Unions, which supports the brilliant work we do as a movement.

Chris Jarvis –UEA


At UEA I have developed our social enterprises, with a particular focus on diversifying the range of services and products we offer. The majority of this work has consisted of tightening the ethical and environmental criteria that's applied to our social enterprises, as well as improving provision of halal, kosher, vegan and gluten free options.

Through this, we have reduced our social and environmental impact by increasing the number of FairTrade, Organic and locally sourced products we stock, in addition to removing from our stock 'worst offenders' including companies engaged in unrepentant tax avoidance, such as Starbucks and Tate&Lyle, companies complicit in the human rights and international law violations of the state of Israel and companies involved in aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes which has led to the deaths of countless infants in the Global South, such as Nestle.

NUS is a campaigning organisation that seeks to make positive change for students and in the wider world. In doing so, it is key that we take a variety of actions to achieve our goals, from grassroots activism to top-level lobbying and from direct action to awareness raising. But NUS is also a purchasing consortium and that can be used as a campaigning tool. Enshrining ethics at the heart of it can add one extra tactic in campaigning for social justice.

If elected I will focus on the following:

- Implementing BDS policy

- Sustainable procurement

- Increased provision of Halal and Kosher

- Affordable FairTrade and Organic products


Thomas Hope –Staffordshire


Change. As a Students' Union we have to adapt to a rapidly changing student environment and at the forefront of that change is student officers. The main benefit of student officers is that when we take post we bring new ideas to the organisation and help to identify the current students needs and wants to the Union as well as the University so they can adapt. As a student officer going into my second term, I have taken the strategic strand within the Union of "Ensuring You Are Well Served" which is about students getting quality services that they expect. It includes lettings, accommodation, advice, venues and outlets that we operate within the Union. I have been part of team that have helped changed over 100 things for students, including 24/7 library, cheaper gym prices, cheaper car parking, taking over the private accommodation service from the University and incorporating a sustainability landlord accreditation scheme so students get the quality services they expect whilst at University. We have also seen a higher level of student engagement in democracy with the general election and the leadership race that the Union has not seen for a decade. Most importantly I have developed as a person I just completed my first speech at graduation, which I never thought I would have the confidence to do when I first got elected. If given this opportunity I promise to listen and implement change that the student movement both needs and deserves. #VOTEFORHOPE


Liren Zhang –Northampton


Hi everyone, my name is Liren Zhang, the Vice President Student Experience of Northampton Students' Union. I am really excited about committed to NUS interns of ensuring maximize the Union's purchasing power. With the knowledge of Accounting and Finance as the background and Finance board committee in our Union, I will be committed to ensure that NUS get the best deals and quality products to serve their members.

I will share my knowledge and experience to the community, do my best to improve the enterprise activities within the NUS.

Please VOTE for LIREN as I am very passionate about our matters.


Alireza Milani –Brunel


No statement submitted.


Laura-Jane Tiley –Exeter 


I'm running for this position because it's something that truly matters to students in the Exeter Students' Guild. Following a successful 'Stay in the NUS' campaign last academic year, it was partly the purchasing benefits through the NUS that engaged lots of students. Early student engagement is integral to building deeper participation and this comes in the form of commercial purchases in our outlets be it a meal deal or a competitively priced pint. We promised after the referendum we would do what we could to get Exeter students' voices heard nationally in broad aspects of the movement. Indeed, at Exeter we've focussed hard on channelling the student voice into our trading decisions, through a dedicated officer and our responsive student ideas hub. It would be great to elevate this to national influence. We want to contribute. As the 15/16 Guild President I am committed to extending our reach and believe this to be mutually beneficial for our movement.


Urte Macikene –Edinburgh