National Conference 2017: Student Director candidates

Wednesday 22-03-2017 - 09:01

The period of nominations for NUS UK Student Director positions has closed and we can now announce the candidates standing for election.

The candidates for the Student Director roles, which will be elected during NUS National Conference, are as follows:


Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson

Hi! I'm Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, one of four current SU Presidents at Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union (FXU). I believe that our national union of 7 million students is continuing to move away from its primary aim and mission, and that NUS needs guiding back in touch with its members. Coming from a Small and Specialist, primarily arts focussed, SU I know that NUS often is leagues away from where students need it to be and the Trustees have a responsibility to work to ensure this is not the case. Following a successful two years as both a Trustee and Chair of the Trustee Board at my union, this year I am keen to bring all I’ve learnt at FXU over to NUS. Elect me this year for a Trustee Board with better communications and clearer decision processes.

Nominated by:

  1. Sandy Downs, Oxford University
  2. Sean Turner, University of Liverpool
  3. Zander Lavall, St Mary's University
  4. Mary Carr, UEL
  5. Natalie Jordan, Keele University

Jo Goodman
Birmingham City University
Go with Goodman for Student Director!

I'm Jo Goodman and I am running for NUS Student Director. As the current President at BCUSU and previous VP Student Voice, I have spent the last two years reviewing and writing a new strategy which is reflective of the membership for my Students' Union. NUS is moving into a year where the new strategy is essential and the Trustee Board needs to ensure that key priorities are efficiently resourced. I am running to effectively represent Students' Unions and ensure that the development of affiliated unions to successfully enhance their student members is prioritised.

Nominated by:

  1. T Richards, University of Exeter
  2. Kira Cox, Liverpool Hope University
  3. Jess Rich, University of Essex
  4. Natalie Jordan, Keele University
  5. Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland


Miranda Harmer
Leeds College of Music
Vote Mimi for #1 NUSUK Student Trustee!

Hey dudeskis, my name is Mimi and I am the President of Leeds College of Music Students’ Union; a small and specialist SU with a lot to offer!

I’m running to be a Student Trustee of NUSUK as I know I have the skills required for this position, plus the passion and enthusiasm.

What’s my experience, you may ask?

Director of a record label for three years
Chair of LCoMSU Executive Committee
Member of LCoM Board of Directors
Member of the Conservatoire UK Student Network
President of LCoMSU
Vice President of LCoMSU

I am used to consulting and liaising with students before making decisions for their benefit, and would love the opportunity to get involved on a national level.

As a student and sabb of an SSI, as well as having a background in the Creative Arts, I know I would bring a unique perspective to the NUSUK Board of Directors. A seldom-heard voice would be captured.

I always have, and always will have the movement and membership’s best interests at heart.

Setting the long term plans and direction of the Union
Making sure the Union uses its financial resources properly and that it is financially viable

This is a non-political role, which means that I would never let my own personal beliefs get in the way of the work that has to be done. I also implemented this at LCoMSU which meant that everyone was represented fairly and equally.

Vote for a person who is passionate about shaping the future of NUS.
Vote for Mimi Harmer #1!

If you want to get in touch or hear me play the cello, bob us a tweet: @mirandaharmer

Nominated by:

  1. Becky Dann, UCA
  2. Emily Chapman, Leeds City College
  3. William Sringer, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  4. Matthew Fogg, Leeds College of Music
  5. James C. Ali, University of Leeds


Mollie Kneath

I'm Mollie Kneath, current Education Officer at Goldsmiths Students' Union, and future English secondary school teacher.

I love being a part of education. Every element is important, from the lecturers teaching you to the admin and support staff making sure your forms get to the right place. Students' Unions have a huge part to play in the education process, and NUS has been there for all of us in the last year or two as sabbatical officers to make sure that we're properly trained, properly supported, and properly represented. I want to make sure that NUS keeps working and functioning as a charity should - to work towards a set of goals that support those who need it fairly, equally, and democratically.

For the last year I've been a trustee of Goldsmiths SU, where we've been fighting back from a couple of years of serious mismanagement and as a board we've had the responsibility of getting our Union back on its feet. A new CEO has been hired; tireless and thankless work has been carried out re-establishing our finances and allocating budgets. The work our trustee board has carried out this year has completely revived our Union, and it's been inspiring to be a part of.

From next year I'm not going to be playing an active role in students' unions, but I will be working with young people who could go on to be sabbatical officers, student campaigners, and even NUS Vice Presidents in the future. I would like to be involved in the process that ensures their national union is strategic, democratic, and student led.

Nominated by:

  1. Aynsley Bernard, University of Bath

  2. Zoe Backhouse, University of Bristol

  3. Jason Somerfield, Goldsmiths

  4. Callum Johnstone, KCL

  5. Fergun Kneath, Gower College

Dominic Trendall
The University of Sheffield

Hi I’m Dom from Sheffield, and I’m running to be a Student Director.

I’m running because I think it is of paramount importance that the board is accountable to our movement.

The NUS should always be a political, campaigning organisation run in a democratic way and it is important that the board does not overreach itself. The board is there to provide an entirely different function to that of the National Executive Council and members of the board hold a completely different role to that of the Officers.

Nonetheless, it is important that members of the board behave in a way that is consistent with our values. This means more than just being accountable to the movement – it means making sure that our values are evident in everything that we do. The NUS has to work for students’ unions and ensuring that our Unions are always listened to key to this.

As the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Sheffield Students’ Union, I feel that I have relevant experience that could be useful in for filling this role. As for all sabbatical officers that sit on trustee boards, it is often a difficult balance that must be struck and it often necessitates a different type of thinking to that which you usually have to adopt as an elected officer.

As President of Sheffield Students’ Union I have worked on campaigns opposing the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework, student safety and prioritising student’s mental health. I have also worked on a report looking at the intersection between liberation and widening participation. Making sure that NUS is accessible is something that I feel extremely passionate about.

In my role as an officer I have also focused on trying to get more students involved in social sport and an array of activities, as well as making union nights out cheaper and safer. I understand that the work of students’ unions is multi-faceted and that there is political virtue in simply representing our student’s views and standing up for their interests.

Vote Dom #1 for Student Director!

Nominated by:

  1. AV Doku, University of Cambridge
  2. AE Dee, Durham University
  3. Jess Rich, University of Essex
  4. Emily Horsfall, Keele University
  5. T Antoniou-Phillips, University of East Anglia

Re-open nominations (RON)


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

There are three Student Director positions available in these elections. Those elected will sit on the NUS UK Board for two years and will have collective responsibility with the officer and lay trustees for the finance and legal aspects of the National Union.

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...