National Conference 2017: Block of 15 candidates

Wednesday 22-03-2017 - 09:00

The period of nominations for the National Executive Council (NEC) Block of 15 positions has closed and we can now announce the candidates standing for election.

The candidates for the NEC Block of 15 roles, which will be elected during NUS National Conference, are as follows:

Grace Anderson
Anglia Ruskin

I care about how NUS is perceived as a movement and that the good things we do get the recognition they deserve. I think we can only improve that by working on the accessibility of NUS' democratic structures and making sure members of NEC can provide on the ground support when needed to NUS Officers, SUs and grassroots campaigns. NEC has an amazing platform and we should be using that for groups that need a national advocate.

Nominated by:

  1. Niall Hamilton - Reading University
  2. M Colledge - University of East Anglia
  3. Amelia Horgan - UCL
  4. Noha Abu El Magd - University of Bristol
  5. Ben Hunt - KCLSU


Lord Apetsi
University of Strathclyde
Vote Lord Apetsi #1 Block of 15

Why Lord Apetsi?
I want a NEC that is more representative and accountable to all 7 million students across UK, including Refugees and Asylum seeking students - not just for a few elected officers. On NEC, I will use my experience as a Father, Counsellor, Conflicts Resolution Scholar and a Mediator, making sure a play mentoring role for all students’ officers, especially those less experience and from less privileged background, making sure NEC is accessible to all students.

Nominated by:

  1. Nesaraj Jeyaraj - University of Strathcylde
  2. Rojan Kumar Subramani - Edinburgh Napier University
  3. Jeroen Van Herk - Abertay University
  4. Dlshad Kadir - Glasgow Kelvin College
  5. Jodie Waite - GCU


Daniel Asaya
Bournemouth University

Hi there, 

I'm Daniel - President of the Students Union at Bournemouth University, committee member for Society and Citizenship Zone as well as the Black Students' Campaign and I'm standing to be the change I want to see in the NUS.

I strongly believe I will make an outstanding NEC member because not only have I acquired adequate insight on the role to understand how it works and how I could help take the movement forward, I have also had an all-rounded experience here at the NUS and trust that I can make a change.

As the first Black, Postgraduate International Student to serve as President of my students union, I've come to understand the diverse range of students that we as a movement represent as well as the big and small issues that our students face. 

As President, I've worked hard to ensure everyone has a place in SUBU irrespective of who they are, how they look or where they come from. 

From working with Jewish and Muslim students to make sure anti-Semitism and Islamophobia has no place on campus to working with the LGBT, disabled, international and BME students to fight against all forms of discrimination/hate crime to make sure that students feel safe on campuses.

To celebrate diversity and success, I worked with AFC Bournemouth and organised the Union's first ever BME awards with over 300 students in attendance

I've campaigned for getting students interested in politics in order to have a say in what affects them and also led my students to two successful Demos where we marched with thousands of students across the UK saying No to cuts and the government’s attacks on our education.

I helped setup the Student Action for Refugees group on campus and I’m currently working to make the University offer more support for those seeking asylum in the UK.

As chair of the Exec committee, Board of Trustees and the Big student meeting, I've made big and strategic decisions that have helped shaped the direction of my union and I strongly believe that NUS now more than ever needs someone like me.

I'm not afraid to hold the officers to account and ensure students across the country are effectively represented on a national level. With the rise in hate crime post Brexit, we need our National Movement to stop fighting with each other and start working together to fight and win big for students.

Elect me and I will make sure your views are effectively represented on the council. I'm passionate, hardworking and I will always be there to listen. Don't miss this opportunity to be the change you want to see in your National Movement - please vote Daniel Asaya #1 for NEC.

Thank you!

Nominated by:

1. Ayo Akinrele - Liverpool Hope University
2. Brooke Elias - SUBU
3. Adebowale Adebiyi - Coventry University 
4. AV Doku - University of Cambridge 
5. Precious Nwanze - Anglia Ruskin University 



Darren Clarke
Staffordshire University

Hi delegate, I hope you are enjoying conference! My Name is Darren Clarke and Currently Vice President of Staffordshire University Students’ Union. 

I have had different experiences of NUS as a Student Union Venue manager for 2 years, A Sabbatical Officer for 1 year and I’ve Sat on NUS Trading Support DOB for 1 year. I know what to expect and what Students and Unions want from NUS! It’s time to see that happen!

Nominated by:

1. David Titley - University of West London
2. Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson - FXU
3. AV Doku - University of Cambridge 
4. Emily Horsfall - Keele University
5. Michael Kay - Aston University

Joseph Cox
Middlesex University

I believe that students should be able to look at #NUSNEC on twitter and see their representatives working hard on their behalf to fight the awful attacks on students from this Tory government. Unfortunately, when they go to #NUSNEC at the moment all they see is their representative fighting each other. Elect me and I'll fight for students again by:

Helping SUs to work - the NUS was set up by Students' Unions and should always be a helpful tool for the work they do on campus. As your representative on the NEC I will work to make sure that SUs are being involved in the conversation and that NUS is working for them.

Changing the culture - Delegates should never be scared to come to our conferences or be bullied out of speaking on twitter hashtags. This culture isn't just toxic, it's shutting voices out of our union.

Widening access - As your rep on the NUS NEC I will fight for social mobility in all our ranks. That means pushing the NUS to fight, engage and lobby to make sure that everyone has the chance to get as much education as they need, no matter their background.

If this is something you like the sound of, vote for me, Joe Cox, #1 for Block of 15.

Nominated by:

1. AE Dee - Durham University
2. AV Doku - University of Cambridge
3. Yasmin Gasimova - University of Liverpool 
4. Sulaiman
Lkaderi - Middlesex University
5. Rachel Holland - Leicester University 


Mary Finch
Kings College London

Fight Trump, fight bigotry
The election of a racist, sexist billionaire as president of the US has provoked a wave of fury that has set the globe alight. Already, the first weeks of Trump’s presidency have given us more than a glimpse of the huge potential power of working class and young people in action. 

Now we need to continue to build the momentum. In Britain, this means preparing to give him one hell of a welcome party if and when he does visit. And it means organising against the divide-and-rule politics put forward by the ‘mini-Trumps’ we have closer to home – starting with our very own ‘deporter-in-chief’ – Theresa May. 

The NUS must place itself at the heart of this fightback, including taking our own initiatives. In the US, Trump’s inauguration was marked by a huge student walk-out. 

We need to draw on some of the traditions laid down in the past. During the movement against the Iraq war school, college and university students organised walk-outs for ‘Day X’ the day the war started. If 2017’s ‘Day X’, when Trump sets foot in the UK, is in term-time, we should organise an enormous student strike. If it falls in the holidays we should mobilise our students to huge marches and demonstrations anyway. 

If you elect me to the Block of 15 I will campaign to help make sure our union is at the forefront of this fight. 

Defend Education
The Tories’ attacks on education have intensified over the last year. It was therefore a big step forward that our union organised a national demonstration, which took place last November. But we could still go further. 

Scrap the HE bill
While I support the call to boycott the NSS, this can only ever be one weapon in our arsenal. On its own, it will not be sufficient to defeat the TEF or the HE bill more generally. Recent US protests, which created the pressure leading to the racist travel-ban’s suspension, have shown the effectiveness of strikes, occupations and walk-outs. We need to bring some of those methods into our education campaigning closer to home.

Defend FE
The attacks on Further Education are even more devastating. If elected, I will campaign to help ensure FE remains a central focus of all our campaigning in defence of education.

Nominated by:

1. Madeleine Steeds - University of Leeds 
2. Nancy Douglas - City and Islington College
3. A Downes - University of Birmingham
4. Franklin O'Riordan - University of Leicester
5. Ruby Dark - KCL



Malone Gosano
Hackney Community College

Further Education demands competent representation and voices that speak to the experiences of the student body. Being elected will mean that I get support to bring forward the concerns of FE students who might often feel shut out of student politics, isolated folsom larger networks, neglected by larger bodies and mostly forgotten by the mainstream.

Unlike other candidates, I am not afraid to confront difficult issues and start the conversations that often unsettle people. More debates need to be initiated and explored and being a part of the block of 15, I will relentlessly push to have meaningful engagement and provocative exchanges. 

There is so much I could say, but, with actions speaking louder than words, given the opportunity to be an elected official, on the national level. I will be able to better advocate for students, and ensure nus officials follow proper procedure.

Nominated by:

1. Emily Chapman - Leeds City College
2. Dodie Okito - College of North West London 
3. T Richards - University of Exeter
4. Ayo Akinrele - Liverpool Hope
5. Rosie McKenna - Edge Hill University



Tom Harwood
Durham University

I'm Tom Harwood. I am standing to re-legitimise our student movement.

We have to speak for all students. We should be fighting credible battles, and offering constructive solutions. Only then can we deliver.

Students deserve a competent student movement. The victories we have won in the past have come from a more united student movement, ambitious in its goals but realistic in its methods.

We need to recognise that the NUS has failed in representing all students views.
We have to accept that our movement has drifted from the real concerns of students.
We must shout louder about living costs, fight for realistic improvements to tuition fees, and be flexible and innovative in our response to government policy.

I want to help our movement become inclusive again. Everyone should feel welcome in our movement. Every student should feel like this is their national union.

We cannot continue to speak for one narrow group, we have to reflect the diverse nature of the 7 Million students we seek to represent.

Only when we are inclusive to all can we achieve real change. We can tackle mental health stigma, we can combat sexism, and we can fight anti-Semitism.

We need to pursue fundamental change. Our movement isn't about any one person or clique. We should be more democratic, more accountable, and more responsive to student concerns.

We need to be a national union for all.

Find out more at

Nominated by:

1. Rihanna Voice - Cambridge University
2. Elrica Degirmen - Leeds University 
3. Bethany Wright - University of York
4. Anna Lukina - University of Oxford
5. Sophie Nash - King's College London



Emily Horsfall
Keele University SU
#ElectEmily for Block of 15

Hi, I'm Emily, the Union Development and Democracy Officer at KeeleSU.

 I’m standing for NUS Block of 15 because I believe it is vital that we have a strong NEC that listens to our unions to lead the student movement through such a turbulent time in education. I believe in an NEC that is relevant to all students, that prioritises making involvement in our national movement as easy as possible and works to make sure our zones and regional networks are supported and empowered. 

 #ElectEmily for Block of 15 | @Emily_KeeleSU

Nominated by:

1. Christopher Slesser - FXU
2. Freya Thompson - University of Westminster
3. Darren Clarke - Staffordshire University
4. Lauren Marks - Prifysgol Aberystwyth University
Ceewhy Ochoga - Salford University


Benjamin Hunt
Kings College London

Hi, I'm Ben Hunt, and I'm running to be on Block of 15. At King’s College SU, I've fought to keep education as a public good, accessible to all. I was the first LGBT+ Officer at King’s, a Vice President Education and this year, President.

 I've fought for access for disabled students, designing the first accessible campus for disabled students. I mandated and pushed through a Postgraduate officer to defend casualised and over worked students to ensure they always have Sabbatical representation, got a fee freeze for current students, fought against TEF on campus and led on a boycott of the NSS. I got increased mental health support and put it at the top of my University’s agenda. As a sufferer from mental health issues myself, I knew that the College had to commit more to the counselling capacity and for a positive move to be made towards proper student support. 

 Why am I running for Block? Because at King’s I transformed the Union into one that engages and empowers the marginalised, no matter who they are, through different means, and I want to do it nationally. Accessibility The movement has to be accessible to all students. I will work with Block members to create guidance on accessible and liberated campus spaces, which include physical spaces but also virtual spaces and the curriculum. This is important so that students who define as people of colour, LGBTQ+, disabled and women can access their educational spaces physically, and also have a curriculum and academic experience that fully recognises them as people and represents them.

 Fighting for education as a public good The Higher Education Bill's proposal to bring private, for-profit Universities into the sector is a threat to the value of education as a public good itself. These private providers and cuts to University support, with increasing fees, will disproportionately affect the mental health of students, as well as LGBTQ+ students, women students, disabled students and students of colour. As a block of 15 member I will work to unify the movement against the entry of private Universities and to hold the Government to account in their brutal cuts to the sector, and the wider country. Part of this must begin with the boycott of the NSS to fight against raising fees and encroaching privatisation, I will work to get more Unions engaged with the NSS boycott so that it carries on next year, and for more resources and guidance is put to affective on the ground grassroots campaigning.

Nominated by:

1. Daniel Nasr - Goldsmiths
2. Niall Hamilton - Reading University
3. Laura Ho - University of Bristol
4. Grace Anderson - Anglia Ruskin University
5. Jenny Killin - Aberdeen University



Zamzam Ibrahim
Salford University

With such difficult times ahead, now is the time more than ever that we need a strong student movement to fight for students in HE and FE.

- Tackle BME Attainment Gap
The gap in attainment between BME students and other students has been well documented, and BME students are less likely to achieve good honours. This unfortunately reflects a disparity is symptomatic or wider inequalities that exist within both FE and HE. If elected, I will work with NUS officers and support Black Students' Campaign to make sure that radical actions are taken o re-address the inherent prejudices within the system and make sure education is accessible and inclusive for all.

- Combat Hate Crime 
Since Brexit referendum result, there has been a rise in hate-crime by 41 per cent. NUS needs to continue the great work on combating racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic and ableist hate crime. If elected, I will continue to work with NUS Officers and ARAF campaigns to develop networks to support students and activists affected by Hate Crime, to fight against the disastrous racist PREVENT strategy and support international students and migrant communities.

Nominated by:

1. Shelly Asquith - NUS
2. Sulaiman
Lkaderi - Middlesex University
3. C Wynne - Warwick University
4. Amelia Horgan - UCL
5. Noha Abu El Magd - University of Bristol



Hansika Jethnani
University of the Arts' Students' Union

Hiya, My name is Hansika. I’m an International student and Arts SU Education Officer. I also sit on NUS Women’s and International Students’ Committees and am the International Rep of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. As an officer and activist, I have campaigned against fees and TEF, and for the rights of international students and all migrants, on and off campus.

When I moved to London four years ago to study Photography, I didn’t understand what activism was. My first ever demo in November 2015 quite literally changed my life. I realised the importance of resistance and the need for an unapologetic grassroots student movement. I’m standing for NEC because I want to ensure that our National Union of Students is at the forefront of fighting injustice and inequality across society.

No borders!

At a time of Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right, it is more important than ever that we stand up for the rights of international students and all migrants. Racist border policies have always existed in the UK and beyond - but the current political climate gives it legitimacy in pushing it further. That’s why we need to fight back with even more urgency - resist the attacks on international students, stand in solidarity with migrant workers and smash racism and fascism in all their forms.

No market in HE!

I stand for a free, democratic, accessible and liberated education system. What the government is proposing in the HE Bill is the exact opposite. The Higher Education reforms are more than just about fee increases: they’re about turning our universities more and more into heartless businesses, forcing competition and backdoor privatisation. I want NUS to continue and escalate the fight against these changes through a diversity of tactics, including but not limited to building the NSS boycott.

Accountability and Transparency

While factions are inevitable and can be healthy, I believe that democracy and transparency are principles that cannot be compromised on. We will only be a strong and united movement if we can openly discuss ideas and challenge each other. As a NEC member, l will scrutinise the work of all officers as well as make myself fully accountable to the student body.

Nominated by:

1. Hareem Ghani - NUS
2. Yinbo Yu - UCLU

3. Josh Berlyne - Sheffield University Students Union
4. Anna Oppenheim - University of the Arts London Students Union
5. Jenny Killin - Aberdeen University Student Association



Myriam Kane
Westminster Kingsway College


 The Tories are destroying education and destroying our futures with massive cuts to education and soaring tuition fees. 

 I've fought cuts to ESOL, fought cuts on my campus and built the huge anti-austerity movement. 

 Elect me and I will:
- Lead huge campaigns for free education – no cuts, no fees, no debt 
 - Campaign to save FE against cuts and privatisation 
 - Speak out against student poverty: affordable housing, decent jobs - bring back EMA and the NHS bursary 


 We are living in difficult and uncertain times. Racism is rising and so is hate crime. The Tory's racist, hard Brexit threatens to destroy our living standards and job opportunities. Donald Trump's Presidency of the US is a threat to every progressive cause. 

 I stand for: 
 - Defending students, education, jobs and living standards against the Tories' racist and hard Brexit 
- A global movement to stop Trump – no State Visit to Britain 
 - Campaigns against racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, disability discrimination and LGBTphobia
 - Building a movement that says loud and proud: refugees are welcome here
- Opposing attacks on international students – no deportations – end unfair visa restrictions 


 The student movement has a proud tradition of standing up for peace and justice across the world. Let's keep that up!

 I stand for:
 - Urgent action to stop climate change 
- Justice for Palestine – end the occupation of the West Bank, end the siege on Gaza 
- Peace and justice in Africa and the Middle East – end the wars and Western intervention 

 My experience includes: 
 - President of Lewisham Southwark College Students' Union
 - NUS Black Students' Campaign Committee
 - NUS International Students' Campaign Committee 
 - Collected aid for refugees in Calais 
 - Activist in the movements against cuts, racism, climate change and war.

Nominated by:

1. Dodie Okito - College of North West London
2. Yousuf Farooq - New College Nottingham
3. Oluwatoke Fafowora - Brooke House College
4. Joseph Wright - Derby College  
5. Amal
Bider - Westminster Kingsway College


AQ Khan
Kingston University

Nominated by:

1. Besar Zasella - SOAS
2. Aleksandra
Malczak - Kingston University
3. Akram Abdel Gadir - Manchester University
4. MT Mubashir - Aberystwyth University
5. MR Ansar - Queen Mary University of London

Bethany Kitchener
Leicester College 

My name is Bethany Kitchener and I am a mature student at Leicester college. This is my fourth year at an FE college and my first year involved with SU. FE gave me a second chance after I found myself a single parent with no qualifications and no chance of getting a decent job to support my family.

Not only has FE given me the chance to get the qualifications but has also inspired me to continue on to university and get a career. That is why I am passionate about FE and getting them the funding and support services that students so desperately need.

When I started in the SU I first went to the zone conference. This conference showed me that I could make a difference at my college as well as on a national stage and from that I was voted as one of the FE representatives on the Welfare Zone Committee.

Attending the meetings for this committee I started to see how desperate the situation with mental health was in our education system. I wanted to make a difference and helped put together a policy on mental health to be put forward at national conference.

Within my college I have also organised for a new video to be made to raise awareness of mental health issues to be shown around the college during mental health week.

The government has continuously cut funding to education for the past 5 years and this has left colleges in a state where it is almost impossible to keep staff motivated and enthusiastic about their work. 

Support services in FE are patchy at best and non existent at worst. Suffering from SAD I find some days difficult but am lucky to have a counselling service in college. Some students are not so lucky and this is unacceptable.
If I get elected to the block committee I intend to :
• Keep mental health on the agenda
Make sure that mental health is a priority not an add on and that we are both talking about making improvements as well as implementing them.
• Campaign for more funding for FE
 Investment is desperately needed for FE colleges and Apprentices. The work has been started but we need to continue on so that government realise that FE is not an after thought but for most students the first step to their career.
• Continue to make sure FE is represented fairly within the NUS
 Our present VPFE has put us on the map but now we need to stay there. No longer should FE be an after thought for anyone in NUS!

I want to be elected to the block Committee so that I can be your voice direct to the VPs and President of NUS. I want to make sure that they are listening to your voice and implementing the changes and policies that you the members have asked for. 
 Vote for me Bethany Kitchener. Thank you.

Nominated by:

1. Jessica Foster - Canterbury College
2. Dan Wood - Dudley College
3. Emily Chapman - Leeds City College
4. Robert Allcock - Wakefield College
5. Sam Coath - North Hertfordshire College

Jessica Levy
University of Birmingham
#JessWeCan for Block of 15!

#JessWeCan for Block of 15!

 I’m Jessica Levy, a third year Economics student at the University of Birmingham and I am running to be one of your NUS Block of 15 representatives.

 NUS and Students’ Unions can have a transformative effect on students’ lives and their experiences in education. This happens when we work together as a movement, locally and nationally. This happens when we stand up to the attacks on our movement by the government and by those that seeks to divide communities on campus. We need a strong NUS to support strong student unions. I’m running for Block to push for NUS to develop student experiences for their own benefit and to improve the lives of those in the local community.

Vote Jess #1 for Block of 15! #JessWeCan

Nominated by:

1. Emily Chapman - Leeds City College
2. James C. Ali - University of Leeds
3. Jess Rich - University of Exeter
4. S Munro - The University of Edinburgh
5. Luca Raimo - Manchester Metropolitan University


Lucy Mason
Havering College

Hi, I'm Lucy Mason and I'm currently in my second term as President of my Students' Union at Havering College. I'm an incredibly committed person who's extremely passionately about Further Education and am a firm believer that education transforms lives.

I now want to take this opportunity to shape NUS' work around Further Education to hold the Government, and our full-time Officers, to account. Even though FE makes up more of the membership than HE, FE is still an after-thought for too many in our movement. Vote for me for Block and I’ll make sure Further Education students are listened to and not ignored in our national movement.

Nominated by:

1. Amy Smith - The Sheffield College
2. Emily Chapman - Leeds City College 
3. Ruth Wilkinson - University of Kent 
4. Jess Rich - University of Exeter
5. Izzy Lenga - University of Birmingham



Louise Meek
Belfast Met

I want to be a voice for Further Education and the Students of Northern Ireland by being voted into the Block of 15

Nominated by:

1. G McCorkindale - Belfast Met
2. Olivia Potter-Hughes - Queens University Belfast
3. Ethan Seamus
Oceallagh - North West Regional College
4. Lauran-Ashley Bell - Ulster University
5. Jenny Killin - Aberdeen University 



Rahman Mohammadi
Barnfield College

I am Rahmaan Mohammadi. In the last two years I have been targeted repeatedly by Prevent. Instead of being silenced, I stood up, organised and fought back.

After two years at the forefront on the fight against Prevent, I remain more committed than ever to confront it in every campus. My documentary for the Guardian and representing Students Not Suspects in the media made me realise that more needs to be done in Further Education to protect students from toxic policies. By creating the Further Education Students Alliance, we plan to do just that. The fight for FE has just started...
Being elected the chair of my sixth form college union allowed me to participate in the fight against the arms trade, Prevent and area reviews on campus. The NUS needs to support FE students across the country to do the same.


Nominated by:

1. Ming Li - Pearson College London
2. Fergus Kneath - Gower College
3. Sidra Hussain - Bradford College
4. Jude Coupe - The Manchester College
5. Noha Abu El Magd - University of Bristol



Ilyas Nagdee
University of Manchester SU

#1 Block of 15
Hi I'm Ilyas, I'm a graduate of Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Manchester and the elected Diversity Officer in the Students' Union. I'm running for Block of 15 on a record of creating   change in my union whether that was from working with grassroots activists to collaborating with   my institution. I want to be able to provide support to students and officers whenever they need it.
I've worked in widening participation for 4 years, having come into University through an access programme myself. Since then, I've mentored and supported hundreds of young people to progress into HE. In recognition of this work, I was asked to speak at an international conference in Beijing. This year, I have created a scholarship evaluation framework with greater student ownership and shaped my own institutions access agreement.      Following on from the national conference I'm helping organise student-led widening participation activities.  I want to do an audit of all the activities and great projects students and officers are doing in this area and create guidance for officers and SUs who want to do work on this.
I've campaigned against the Prevent agenda from last year starting "Preventing Prevent at Manchester" with my Islamic Society. This led to us testifying at the Home Affairs Select Committee, and organising with a group of lecturers and staff at the     University who signed a statement outlining their concerns with the duty.
While I was in my final year I ran events and met with university figures around the issue of  the BME Attainment Gap and liberating the  curriculum. In the last year, I've supported the  running of an inclusive learning pilot scheme which is now being rolled out across unions nationwide.
This year, I have started to look at institutional provisions for estranged students at Manchester. I would like to  work with Stand Alone to get an idea of what is happening nationally and to better support Students' Unions who want to lobby their institutions on this matter.

Nominated by:

1. Azza Abdulla - University of Leicester
2. O Twins - LSE
3. Hannah Dualeh - University of Bristol
4. Mohamed A Hameed Sadurdeen - University of Nottingham
5. Ming Li - Pearson College London



Nia Nash
Woodhouse College

My name is Nia Nash, I am a student at Woodhouse college and I am standing as a candidate for Block of 15 elections.

I am running in these elections with experience as a campaigner in my college, as well as having built a regional campaign against xenophobia and in solidarity with Migrants.

Vote for me for a strong voice for FE students within NUS. 

I have:

- Built a Mental Health awareness campaign in my college
- Organised student assemblies to promote discussion and collective help around eating disorders
- Participated in launching the Further Education Student Alliance
- Helped facilitating nationally-renowned speakers at Woodhouse
- Coordinated the FE students Against Trump campaign
- Led the FE block on the national demonstration Against Trump’s State Visit

Nominated by:

1. Samayya Afzal Butt - Bradford College
2. Rahman Mohammadi - Barnfield College
3. Ming Lee - Pearson College London
4. Fergus Kneath - Gower College
5. Jude Coupe - The Manchester College



Ceewhy Ochoga
Salford University

I'm Ceewhy Ochoga the President and Chair of Trustee Board at Salford Students' Union. As President of the Students' Union, I represent almost 20,000 students.

I have vast experience in representing the viewpoint of all students, from being a University council and senate member, to getting involved in the National Union of Students by being an NUS delegate in 2016, and being successfully elected to the Union Development Zone committee, in the same year. 

I have been proactive in representing every member of Salford SU, the same way I intend to represent on NEC. I want NUS to achieve its full potential in being visible, transparent and relevant to students. 

In the past year, I have noticed NUS' focus shift away from what is most important - it's membership. This is unfortunate and needs to be reversed by bringing the membership back into the heart of the movement - something I am truly passionate about. 

NEC needs honesty and dedication to challenge what is currently the status quo. Two things I have in bucket loads. By electing me to the National Executive Council you start making the change that will make NUS work for all of us rather than a few of us. 

I want an NEC that: 
 -is a proper accountability hub, ensuring that real student issues are at the heart of NUS' work 
 -listens to its members, and ensures that national agendas take priority over personal ones
-educates the membership about what NUS truly stands for, rather than being stagnant and focussing on what NUS isn’t about.
 -continues to make equality and diversity it's priority.

Join me to reclaim our NUS. Vote Ceewhy #1 for Block

Nominated by:

1. Kira Cox - Liverpool Hope
2. Emily Horsfall - Keele University
3. Josh Gulrajani - University of Essex
4. Rosie McKenna - Edge Hill University
5. Tara
Alade - Beds SU


Aidan O'Toole
Coventry University

 As a Socialist Students member and campaigner at Coventry University I have spent three years standing up for students. Recently I have helped organise a major campaign on housing, fighting dodgy landlords and rogue letting agencies. This has resulted in us establishing a Tenant’s Union for students. I have also participated in a successful campaign for pay increases for student staff, who are now paid a living wage. This went alongside fighting to defend the hardship fund for the most vulnerable students. If elected, I will use this experience to help fight for students interests to be put before profit. 

Student housing for all
One of my main focuses over recent years has been campaigning on the issue of student housing. If elected, I will fight to help keep housing campaigning high on the agenda for NUS. This means continuing to support tenant’s unions and fighting to develop them on more and more campuses. It means arguing for rents to be capped and slashed to genuinely affordable levels, and it means campaigning for student halls to be brought back ‘in house’ and taken out of the hands of the profiteers.

I’ll fight for
• Rents in halls to be capped at a genuinely affordable levels 
• Student Union run letting agencies that refuse to charge fees and can name and shame dodgy landlords 
• Councils to use their powers to introduce rent controls
• Support for rent strikes. Organise students to resist sky high rents and poor quality housing
 Fight Trump, fight bigotry

On 20 January, the day Trump was sworn-in, Socialist Students in America and the UK teamed up with the Sindicato de Estudiantes (students unions) in Mexico and Spain to organise student rallies as part of an international day of protest. In America, students walked out of their classes and took to the streets. Here in the UK, thousands joined protests in solidarity with those fighting back in America. Since then, there have been hundreds of thousands out protesting against Trump as part of a range of solidarity actions. The brave actions of millions of people in the US, including those at the sharp end of his racism and sexism, have already forced Trump back and won victories – like the suspension of the travel ban. International solidarity has also played a part in this.

 Now, as well as continuing the mobilisations and demanding the cancellation of the president’s ‘state visit’, we must also prepare to give him one hell of a welcome party if and when he does arrive. During the movement against the Iraq war, school, college and university students organised walk-outs for ‘Day X’, the day the war started. In a similar way, we need to put Trump and May on a notice. Socialist Students says 2017’s ‘Day X’ must be whenever this racist, sexist billionaire sets foot in Britain. We need to prepare now for mass walkouts from our schools, colleges and universities whenever he arrives in the UK.

Nominated by:

1. Ruby Dark - Kings College London 
2. Franklin O'Riordan - University of Leicester
3. A Downes - University of Birmingham
4. Madeleine Steeds - University of Leeds
5. Vladimir Bortun - University of Portsmouth



Krum Tashev
Canterbury Christchurch University 

My student journey was nowhere near as easy as people told me it will be; from struggling to get mental health support, to having bailiffs coming to my house. My experiences encourage me to get involved on a local and national level, and fight for international students’ rights, affordable housing and better mental health support services. I have organised the first “One World Week” at CCCU in 5 years, ran our “International students’ campaign day”, and have been part of 6 #Yes2NUS campaigns. I believe it is crucial time for the students to unite and fight together against the increasing fees and austerity.

Nominated by:

1. Moonisah Iqbal - University of Nottingham 
2. Kate Hoare - University of Kent 
3. Santhanavathana Gopalakrishnan - University of Sheffield 
4. Eleanor Forkin - Liverpool John Moores University
5. Kaloyan Ganev - Royal Holloway



Aliya Yule
University of Oxford

Hi, I'm Aliya (she/her), and I'm running for Block to fight for a liberated education system which is accessible to all. I want to help build a student movement that fights and wins for students.

 Last year, I managed Oxford’s Yes to NUS campaign during the referendum, where we won, as did so many throughout the country. SUs remained in NUS because they know we need a strong, collective national union that stands up for all 7 million of us - and I’m standing for Block to ensure that NUS delivers for students. 

 The struggles of students for access to a liberated education do not happen in a vacuum. We are facing a global political crisis because the far right are on the rise. There are no exclusively “student issues” - we need a fighting student movement which understands that an injury to one is an injury to all. 

Nominated by:

1. T Frost - University of Birmingham 
2. Shelly Asquith - NUS 
3. CDW Woodman - Warwick University
4. Eran Cohen - University of York
5. Almas Yasmin - University of Westminster



Re-open nominations (RON)


The Block of 15 elections will take place during NUS National Conference in Brighton between Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 April 2017.

There are fifteen positions available in these elections, five of which are reserved for further education representatives. The elected Block of 15 will serve on NUS’ National Executive Council for the 2017-18 academic term.   

Want to find out which other positions are being contested during National Conference? A full list of candidates and manifestos is available at



Related Tags :

More NUS connect Articles

More Articles...