National Conference 2017: Democratic Procedures Committee Candidates

Wednesday 26-04-2017 - 20:14

The period of nominations for the Democratic Procedures Committee has closed and we can now announce the candidates standing for election.

The candidates for the Democratic Procedures Committee, which will be elected during NUS National Conference, are as follows:

Lani Baird
Queen Margaret University

Hi Conference *waves*

My name is Lani Baird and I'm currently a fourth year student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. I've been involved in NUS for quite some time now; currently the Chair of the Scottish Procedure Committee and only recently co-opted onto the Democratic Procedure Committee to help with National Conference.

I've been lucky enough to be involved with NUS throughout my educational career. As a college student, college sabbatical President and now during my four years at university; I have had the opportunities to engage with NUS. Whether on committees, as a volunteer officer or attending conferences, I believe I've gained the knowledge and understanding of how things are done around here.

I'm a sucker for the rules, don't mind a good motion and always keen for parts! Having experience as chair for NUS Scotland, I believe I can bring some charm, wit and dinosaur chat to the table.

DPC needs someone who has a good mix of experience from being a delegate to going behind the scenes and I'm the candidate that does just that. Whether you want to waive a speech or just wave at me, to challenge the order paper or no con the chair then just come see me....or better yet vote Lani for DPC.

Can I also ask (if you read this far :p) to cast you next closest preference (after me) to John Hein - my partner in crime (in Scotland).

#DPC #NUSDinosaur #CoolKidsOfConference

Nominated by:

  1. Heather Innes - Dundee & Angus College
  2. Luke Humberson - University of the Highlands & Islands
  3. Gemma Jones - Scottish Rural College
  4. Lainey Mckinlay - Ayrshire College
  5. Angela Alexander - National Executive Council

Shane Bear
The City of Liverpool College

Hi, I'm Shane. I'm a delegate from The City of Liverpool College and I currently study musical theatre. Something to know about me is there's a statement I live by and that's "I will always be a student" and alongside this there was a person who once said "don't wait for opportunity to come to you, seek it out" and that's exactly what I am doing now.
 2017 has been my first conference and I already see the passion and love in the room for the rights we stand for. The Democratic Procedures Committee work tirelessly to make all this happen. To be a part of putting together this week and providing people with a space to come along and experience what I've experienced, develop the passion I now feel and walk away more knowledgeable and receptive to the issues I knew nothing about would be an honour

Nominated by:

  1. Abdi Saed, The City of Liverpool College
  2. Emily Chapman, Leeds City College
  3. Saffa Mir - University of Manchester Student Union
  4. Ayo Akinrele - Liverpool Hope Students Union
  5. Matt Grange - UWLSU

Lewis Cleminson
Solent SU

Hi I'm Lewis, VP Engagement at Solent SU. During my time as a sabbatical officer I have rewritten the majority of our union Bye-Laws, Societies Constitution and several policies and procedures to ensure consistency in everything we do. I have also worked to ensure our societies and clubs have a clear, fair and consistent way of democratically electing their committee each year, by redeveloping our society election rules and guidance to give fairer access to those members who are not necessarily a strong member of the society and may feel nervous and disempowered to run for society committee positions.

Why should you elect me for the Democratic Procedures Committee?

Democracy is at the heart of every Students Union across the country. Democracy is at the heart of everything we do as a united movement. Democracy is at the heart of ensuring the student voice is heard.

This democracy is only as strong as the rules and guidance on what form it takes, and ensuring everything is done in a fair and consistent way.

I have proven time and time again within my Union, from first year when I was treasurer of our RAG society and worked to bridge the gap between other freshers wanting to join the society and the committee, through to my work as a sabbatical officer where I have worked to ensure our bye laws are consistent with our Articles of Association.

I have a clear passion for making sure rules and procedures are followed and properly explained to individuals, to empower them to get more involved and feel confident that their vote matters

Elect me for the Democratic Procedures Committee and I will work to ensure that our democratic rights and procedures are respected and adhered to.

Nominated by:
1. Rebekkah Payne - Canterbury Christchurch Students Union
2. Vanessa Bardosa - Kent Students Union
3. Hareem Ghani - NUS
4. Kirsty Paterson - Sunderland Students Union
5. Luke Pilot - Warwick SU

Adam Crawley
Northumbria Students' Union

Hi folks! I’m Adam Crawley, President of Northumbria Students’ Union, and I want your #1 vote for Democratic Procedures Committee.
What I want is straightforward; I want NUS National Conference, the policy setting body for NUS, to be more accessible, more effective, and more simple.

For people who can come to conference, they are faced with a long and exhausting experience. How can delegates make informed decisions when they are under-rested and under-fed?
And even then, nowhere near as many of our members are able to come to conference, or worse, don’t feel like they are able to contribute.
Conference must be accessible - accessibility must not come second to campaigning or the atmosphere on conference floor. I want to ensure that the voices of students who can't attend conference are able to contribute and inform the decisions made by NUS.

The fact that so many motions don’t even make it to conference floor shows that conference is not effective. Students’ Union’s hard work and passion is being neglected because our systems are not working for students.
I want the priority ballot to not just reflect what’s important, but also what is contentious. We need to save time at conference by not repeating age-old arguments and by streamlining how we agree on motions.

First time delegates, and even conference veterans, still struggle to understand how to best engage with conference. How conference runs is unnecessarily complicated and out of date
I want to get rid of jargon and work with members to understand what training delegates need to be able to engage with NUS democratic processes.

If you elect me, I will work my hardest to make our processes as seamless and understandable as possible. I will bring the diligence and scrutiny that this committee needs. I will make sure that our democratic procedures work for our delegates, our Students’ Unions, and above all, our members.

Vote Adam Crawley #1 for Democratic Procedures Committee

Nominated by:

1. Matt Auden - Northumbria Students' Union
2. Bruna Silva - Teesside University Students' Union
3. Millie Beach - York University Students' Union
4. Dan Seamarks - University of Westminster Students' Union
5. Daniel Punch - University of Sunderland Students' Union

Richard James Davies
Birmingham City University Students Union

Hello, I am Richard Davies, a student at Birmingham City University and a first-time delegate at NUS Conference. I am also a huge policy and democracy keeno and nerd.

During my time at University I have always been passionate about student representation. I stood for and was successfully elected as a Course Rep, School Rep and Student Council Chair, but for me that was not enough.

This year Birmingham City University Students Union have forged a new and innovative democratic solution. A reform built to fairly represent all students, no matter of race, age, ethnicity, gender, course or background. A system which is accessible for every student within my university and every student represented by my student union. A system which also actively encourages and empowers every student to make change and not feel intimidated to hold our elected officers to account.

Conference, if you elect me for Democratic Procedures Committee, I promise I will ensure access needs are met. I promise that I will encourage healthy debate and every delegate to have their voice heard. I also promise to encourage more delegates to fill out the priority ballot by promoting its benefits and its necessity in allowing the membership to shape national conference. We need to ensure that the discussions at national conference are shaped by the membership and are relevant to the students that we represent.


Nominated by:

1. Darren Clarke - Staffordshire University Students Union
2. Emily Andrews - Uni of Gloucester Students Union
3. Natalie Jordan - Keele University Students Union
4. Victoria Glynn - Birmingham City University Students Union

5. Kira Cox - Liverpool Hope SU


Hassun El Zafar
Sheffield Hallam University

As an experienced member of NUS and student union education officer 2015/16 I have a very thorough understanding on how democracy must be able to accessible and inclusive for all.

Nominated by:

1. Luke Renwick - Sheffield Hallam 
2. Ilyas Nagdee - Manchester University
3. Robiu Salisu - Swansea SU
4. Zoe Backhouse - Bristol SU
5. David Bertili - Plymouth SU

Adam Elmi
Birmingham Guild of Students

As a fifth year student and third time at NUS I have been involved in the democracy at my own student union and NUS. Therefore I have the experience and understanding to run the vital DPC work.

Nominated by:

1. Ross Strong - Birmingham Guild of Students
2. Danny Nasr - Goldsmiths SU 
3. Sana Iqbal - UCLanSU
4. Natalie Chan - BCU SU
5. Alice Coombes - Aston SU


Cameron Hartey
Newcastle College Students Union

I think I should be elected for DPC roll as I believe strongly in the student empowerment and allowing everyone to have a voice. I understand that not everyone are as able as others in such a social situation so I want to be able to give my up most effort to ensure that every attendee feels comfortable and is able to feel safe in such an environment.
I find that i am quite confident in a room of such magnitude and capacity of NUS national conference and will be able to enact all rules of NUS.
I am very reliable and strongly believe in the representation of the students in politics and I also wish to be able to be an example to FE students across the country that we can contribute to change and as strong as our HE counterparts which seems to be lacking in representation.

Nominated by:

  1. Raj Jeyaraj - Strathclyde
  2. Fflur Elin - NUS
  3. Helen Pritchard - UWL SU
  4. Becca Huitson - Newcastle
  5. Emily Chapman - Leeds College

John Hein
Edinburgh College


Member of NUS DPC for 2 years
Member of NUS Scottish Procedures Committee (5 years)
Member (and past Chair) of NUS Scottish LGBT+ Steering Committee (4 years)
Member NUS Scottish Disabled Steering Committee
Chair of University of Stirling General Meetings Committee (1975-79)
Chair of Leith Central Community Council (4 years)

Currently a Mature Part Time Student at Edinburgh College

Have been at this sort of thing for years and am, therefore, no longer totally incompetent at it. Seek to become perfect but need another 2 years on DPC to allow me to achieve perfection.

As a person blessed with Aspergers, I have the anally retentive attitude to rules that suits me for the role.

Does anybody actually read these things?

Is there honey still for tea? And are there sausages for me?

Please give your next available preference to Lani Baird who is my colleague on Scottish Procedures Committee but is not quite as old as I am (although she's working on it).

Nominated by:

  1. Lainey McKinley, Ayrshire College
  2. Jo Williamson, Edinburgh College Student Association
  3. Michaela Ditrichova, Glasgow Clyde College
  4. Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland
  5. John Black, SAUWS


Nicola Hemmings
Beds SU

My name is Nicola Hemmings and I am the re-elected VP Education for Beds SU and an elected member of the NUS HE Zones Committee. The reason why I believe that you should elect me to sit on the Democratic Procedures Committee (DPC) are because I believe that democracy has the capacity to be perceived as a step away from complacent knowing. Why, because democracy no matter how much we purport it to be, is not, in my view a common concept, but one which is rare as we are not born knowing what it means, alongside the immense individual effort that it takes for respecting what it implies. The Humanities and Social Sciences, where my own degree lies, are often seen as the guardians of Democracy and a way of educating students about freedom and social justice, two of the pillars of Democracy itself.
As a mature Black single mother, with sons of University age and my position as VP Education for my own Students’ Union, it goes without saying that I value Education and democracy highly. Democracy has a personal meaning to me, it’s not just about equality, it should be seen as a way to enable equity and parity, with the hope of authenticating and amplifying democratic processes and procedures. It is too often said that young people do not engage in politics which could be due to alienation from the process, however this does not necessarily mean that they are not interested in political issues.
I believe that it is more that they do not fully comprehend the meaning of Democracy and how it is grounded in politics, however, evidently, they are not alone in this. This is one of the main reasons why I would like to stand for DPC, because I truly believe that it is imperative that all delegates who come to National Conference are fully informed in the democratic processes of NUS. To vote effectively and authentically, you need to understand what democracy actually means, that democracy was birthed by socio-economic and political ideologies. Political philosophy also stresses the importance of education for democracy, with education as a tool to advance knowledge and sharpen moral understanding.
This is why I believe that my educational grounding in the social sciences enables me to confidently say that I would be a valuable member of DPC as the Humanities and Social Sciences has a strong tradition in cultivating ‘value judgements’ which are necessary to the education of an active democratic membership.

Nominated by:

  1. Melissa Owusu - University of Leeds SU
  2. Daniel Nasr - Goldsmiths SU
  3. Daisy Du Toit - Kingston University SU
  4. Ayo Akinrele - Liverpool Hope SU
  5. Theo Antoniou-Phillips - UEA SU

Mariya Hussain

Nominated by:

  1. Mo Hanafy, Cardiff University Students' Union
  2. Danial Mohammed, QMSU
  3. Zamzam Ibrahim, Salford SU
  4. Hansika Jethnani, Arts SU
  5. Hassan Zafar, Sheffield Hallam

Sian Jones
University of South Wales

Hi, I am Sian Jones, a 2nd year Mature Student from University of South Wales (USW). I am currently USWSU's Mature Students Officer and next academic year I will be the Chair of Student Council. I believe I am the right choice for DPC because I am dedicated, hard working and a stickler for rules (just ask my friends and children!)

On the subject of children, I have a 15 year old daughter who is studying for her GCSE's and who has been given a conditional place in college for September. She plans on becoming a teacher, which equals another 6 years she is spending in education. I want to ensure processes are held and in place to guarantee both my daughter and I have a fantastic education. I want to make sure the NUS works hard for her and all her friends in the years to come. I want the NUS to move forward and continue building on the success it already has and to become even more successful in the future.

My role as a parent and in university means I make sure rules are upheld, procedures are followed and that people play nicely.

So far at conference, DPC has had to warn people about what is posted online. If elected, I will also make sure online bullying would be dealt with.

Please vote Sian onto DPC to make sure proceedures are met!

Nominated by:

  1. Mo Hanafy - Cardiff University Students' Union
  2. Kelsey Taylor - University of South Wales Students' Union
  3. Gwyneth Sweatman - Trinity Saint David SU
  4. Emily Karim - Wrexham glyndwr su
  5. Elizabeth Strange - Undeb Bangor

Bradley Langer
Coventry University Students Union

Vote Lovin' Langer for DPC!

I want to stand for Democratic Procedures Committee to make democracy work for delegates.

As a first time delegate, I was excited to discuss all the motions in the policy document but we have been let down by procedure that has meant so many motions will never see the light of day again. I want a DPC that facilitates as many motion debates as possible in the future.

The lunch break was a welcome gap in proceedings but 12 hour days with only small breaks is simply not accessible to delegates. The timetable needs to be looked at again to ensure that National Conference works for our members.

So please vote Lovin' Langer #1 for DPC.


Nominated by:

  1. Jamie Ali - Leeds University Union
  2. Emily Chapman - Leeds City College
  3. Jess Rich - Essex Student Union
  4. Matt Grange - UWLSU
  5. Luca Raimo - Manchester Met Student Union

Chealsea McNulty

Choose Chelsea for NUS DPC

I’m Chelsea McNulty, Societies and Communications Officer -Elect at The Students’ Union at UWE and I’m running to be part of the Democratic Procedures Committee at NUS National Conference 2017.

As a disabled student that has attended a lot of NUS Conferences I want to improve accessibility at National Conference! All access needs should be taken into consideration, it can be hard to participate fully in conference with disabilities, seen or invisible. I want to work on specific access needs so that ALL delegates can fully take part in all aspects of conference.

I LOVE policy, so much that I am willing to give up my voting rights for it. I have sat on my SU’s Student Council many times and have written and assisted others in writing policy for that and our AGM.

Vote Chelsea #1 for NUS DPC

Nominated by: 

  1. Mark Harvey - Brighton SU
  2. Susuana Amoah - Sussex students union
  3. Danny Nasr - NUS NEC
  4. Kathryn Younger - Anglia Ruskin students union
  5. Sara Wysocka - Sheffield Hallam Students Union

Sam Mujunga

Re-elect Sam Mujunga for Democratic Procedures Committee

Vote Sam Mujunga 1 for an experienced and dedicated member.

Experience of NUS Conference for 5 years including as a delegate and a member of Black Students Committee.

Current Vice-Chair of DPC

Volunteered over 80 hours in my current role on DPC for Conferences.

Helped charing Sections Conference (International, Post Graduate and Mature/Part-time students')

Chaired NUS Scotland and NUS Scotland Black Student's Committee Conferences

2 x National Conference

What I've done;
Worked to improve the turnout of the priority ballot, which has gone over 50% for the first time ever.

Streamlined policy debate by getting rid of automatic challenges to the order paper.

Delivered pre-conference training to London SU delegates

Delivered training at conference for over 250 first time delegates

Composited the enormous 601 motion to make it more accessible and delegate-friendly

What I will do if re-elected;

Look again into e-voting on conference floor

Look to streamline the voting process for manual counts (if e-voting is not possible)

Ensure that policies passed in the AGM are enacted and followed through

Send out more pre-conference materials so SU's can prepare their delegates better before arriving at Conference.

Increase visibility of DPC around delegate election times so that groups of SU's can host regional training with DPC assistance

A vote for Sam Mujunga is a vote for an experienced member of DPC to take NUS forward in the next step. To bring together the decisions made at Conference and to improve the overall experience for first time delegates.


Nominated by: 

  1. Ayo Akinrele - Liverpool Hope SU
  2. Rochelle Felix - University of East London SU
  3. Charles Osiminibeke II - Robert Gordon SA
  4. Mahmood Hasan - Staffordshire SU
  5. Aphrodita Darmadi - Bradford Uni SU

Luke Myer
Edge Hill Students Union

As a teacher trainee, I'm in a lot of unique positions. I experience the difficulties of being a working postgraduate student, while understanding the concerns of FE through my own sixth form students.

As a HE student, I've been devoted to improving and expanding my SU's representative democratic structures, with autonomous, elected liberation campaigns, improvements to elections, and spearheading the drive for both constitutional reforms and democratic reviews. As a teacher, I've seen firsthand how my students are unaware of NUS and its democracy, and how much they'd benefit from training and support around this, and an effort to seek ways to include their voices in NUS100.

I've also been a delegate to National Conference for three years running, and in that time I believe we haven't yet seen the improvements to accessibility we sorely need. If elected, I will seek a provision for signers and audio-to-text translators, for those delegates who are deaf or hard of hearing. I'll also improve practicalities like signage for dropped pavements around venues.

I believe in a union that is accessible, inclusive, and that reaches out to member SUs of all stripes; if you do too, please consider voting me for DPC.

Nominated by:

  1. Heidi Vistisen - Queen Margaret University Students' Union
  2. Melantha Chittenden - NUS
  3. Amatey Doku - Cambridge University Students' Union
  4. Amy Smith - The Sheffield College Students' Union
  5. Emma Stubbs - Leeds University Union

Hannah Niblock
Queens University Belfast

Dear Delegates,

It gives me immense pleasure to nominate myself for Democratic Procedures Committee. This is my second year at NUS Conference and what an experience it has been. How privileged we are to be able to assemble here in the beautiful seaside city of Brighton and make decisions about our ideas and values. It is a privilege I do not take lightly and I know you all cherish it too.

I am from a wee place called Northern Ireland. For being only a tiny little place we seem to cause a lot of trouble. As of this moment, sadly our devolved Government is in a state of crisis. I wish I could say this was a new phenomenon. But it’s not – government and the functioning of our devolved assembly is always teetering on the edge. The cause isn’t some conflict over a high level policy issue, the cause is simply a lack of tolerance and respect for others. Instead of respecting each other our politicians mock each other’s language and culture, instead of respecting each other our politicians have mooed and jeered at elected representatives simply because they are women, instead of respecting each other our politicians have compared each other to animals and used every opportunity to mock and intimidate each other simply because of our political, religious or class background.
And where has this got us. Stormont is in crisis yet again, we have no government formed, public services have only 75% of their budgets and the main parties have insulted each other so much that it is becoming impossible to get our assembly back up and running. Disunity, inefficiency and confusion is the order of the day. See any similarities?

You see when we chose to be unkind to each other we cause division, hurt and pain and ultimately, we make it impossible to do what we set out to do in the first place – Make a difference! But we can change that.

It’s time we started to respect each other and the first place we need to start doing that is at conference. You should be leaving conference feeling energised and motivated for the year ahead with new friends and memories, leaving behind a full and comprehensive policy file for your NUS to get to work on. I want to help make that happen.

I already sit on steering committee for NUS USI in Northern Ireland. I have also attended countless student conferences across the UK and Ireland gaining a real wealth of experience about the best ways to run democratic meetings and events. Crucially I am a great believer in fairness and in enforcing the rules so that everyone can contribute to debate. I have the to take tough decisions and confront those who are not abiding by the rules you have laid out for conference.

For a fair and more respectful NUS that you can be proud of, vote for me for DPC.

Thank you,
Hannah Niblock

Nominated by:

  1. Rachel Watters - Queen's University Belfast
  2. Kevin McStravock - Ulster University Students' Union
  3. Darren Clarke - Staffordshire University Students' Union
  4. Dean Shand - Northern Regional College
  5. Louise Meek - Belfast Metropolitan College

Lucas North
University of York SU

I'm experienced, having steered the first autonomous Trans Campaign this year.

I'm keen, I love democracy so much I'm ready to give it up to help you.

I'm focused - I know what I want to achieve. We need Conference to be more accessible, we need more pre-conference guidance, and we need support writing motions. I will fight to deliver these, including regional motions workshops to help you submit focused and developed policy to conference.

As a member of The Green Party's LGBTIQA+ committee, in political. But I want to put that aside to represent you on DPC and improve the conference experience.

Vote Lucas #1 on DPC, for a better conference.

Nominated by:

  1. Laura Lunn-Bates - Sheffield Hallam SU
  2. Millie Beach - University of York SU
  3. Ana Oppenheim - UAL SU
  4. Fez Endelhurst - Plymouth SU
  5. Rob Noon - Manchester SU

Zorena Shanks
New College Lanarkshire

Nominated by:

  1. Taylor Campbell - Glasgow Clyde college
  2. Jatinder Singh - City of Glasgow college
  3. Liam Lynch - Glasgow Kelvin college
  4. Myk Mulreany - Edinburgh Napier University
  5. Lord Apetsi - University of Strathclyde

Pépèr-Hadé SHÓYEMÍ
Student Union University of Greenwich

I came, I saw and I was happy with what I saw and that propel me to stand as DPC member having a the roles and responsibilities.

"Members of DPC are responsible for the democratic procedures" and am running to be responsible and accountable to you.

Support my candidacy for smooth running of the democratic procedures.

We are here to run the procedures together, your VOTE will go a long way in achieving our objectives. Collectively we shall get there!

Vote Pépèr-Hadé SHÓYEMÍ as #1, your voices is mine. You are to lead and I will follow. NUS for All.

Nominated by:

  1. Agnes Thiongo - NewVic SU
  2. John Agbonrofo - Strathclyde SU
  3. Sarah Serunjogi - Arts SU
  4. Justine Nwajagu - Beds SU
  5. Michael Akolam - Greenwich SU

James Starnes
Leeds Beckett Students Union

You should elect James Starnes for DPC because I have spent the last four years holding elected posts of representation and Chairing our student council, because I've experienced National Conference for the past 3 years, because I love (yes... LOVE) procedure! Give this old leftie hack a shot, give Leeds Beckett a break from me next conference!

Let's show NUS there's room for mature students, postgrads, and people who care about process in YOUR DPC!

Let's show NUS we can all be the very best like no-one ever was!

A vote for Starnes is a vote for YOUR best interests! #DemandStarnes

Nominated by:

  1. Jack Harrison - Leeds Beckett Students Union
  2. Stephanie Little - Leeds Trinity SU
  3. Heather Armstrong - SAUWS
  4. Emily Andrews - Gloucestershire Union
  5. Rob Henthorn - NUS Scotland

Holly Stewart
University of Manchester Students Union


I first came to conference in 2015 from a small and spec union. I didn't really know what I was doing and as much as I love my old union - I'm not really sure that they knew what they were doing in regards to conference either.

I'm running for DPC with the aim of giving unions clearer messages about what needs to be done in the run up to national conference.
When I was a first time delegate - I had no idea what the priority ballot was. I didn't vote in it. I had no idea how to submit a motion. My delegate election was after the motion deadline anyway, so I wouldn't have got the opportunity to anyway.

I'm running for DPC as I now know how it feels to be a delegate from a small and a spec union as a first time delegate and from an enormous HE union as a second time delegate.

Elect me and I'll help prioritise helping first time and small and fe unions be more active. I want to see more of you on stage and by electing me #1 dpc I can help this happen.

Nominated by: 

  1. Ilyas Nagdee - University of Manchester Students union
  2. Pauline Stephenson - University of Chichester Students Union
  3. Aliya Yule, University of Oxford students' union
  4. Halima Begum, University college London students union
  5. Hareem Ghani, NEC

Re-open nominations (RON)


DPC Elections will take place during NUS National Conference in Brighton between Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 April 2017.

There are five positions available in these elections. The elected DPC will serve on for two years

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


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