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Policy Explainer

Creating Liberation Policy

 

What is Policy?

 

Policy is all about what NUS believes. It sets out the way NUS UK thinks about issues facing students and the changes we want to see to tackle these issues, be they changes in legislation, different approaches to issues or changes in society.

 

Students lead the work of NUS UK and through participation in democracy set our priorities. Once we have these priorities our elected student officers use this to create a Plan for Action. The Plan for Action is what details what NUS UK does and how we win for students.

 

The Policy Process

 

In 2019 students at National Conference passed the biggest set of reforms that NUS has ever seen. A new policy process had been created and this has been used in other spaces such as National Conference.

 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision to take our conferences online, this policy process has been reviewed and simplified. The idea is to allow for participation and the formation of policy in the most straightforward way possible.

 

Cross Liberation Policy

 

The Liberation Conference functions as one conference, setting the policy priorities for the Vice President Liberation and Equality and Plan for Action led by the Officer Executive. Therefore the formal policy making function of the Conference lies with the conference as a whole rather than in individual caucuses.

 

Setting Priorities for Each of the Campaigns

 

The conference has space for each of the campaigns to discuss priorities for the year ahead, though this is not a formal policy setting space.

 

Ahead of the conference we’ll ask activists to submit ideas for that the main priorities across the Black, Disabled, LGBT+, Trans and Women’s campaigns should be. At the conference itself the current officers and steering committee members will facilitate conversations to work out and organise on these priorities.

 

1. Policy and Idea Submission

 

Any student or students’ union may submit one policy proposal to the conference as a whole. Proposals should contain:

 

  • A simple, clear, 100 word summary of what the proposal is
  • A summary of what the issue is and details of the effect it has on students who define into each of the five Liberation campaigns.
  • What are the solutions? A summary of changes we want to see made in society to take on this issue and make change.
  • The overall policy proposals should be no longer than 700 words
  • Any specific ideas for implementation of the policy should be captured, but not included in the policy proposal itself. The actions we need to take to take the policy forward should be discussed at the conference and taken forward by activists, the Campaign Committee and the Vice President Liberation and Equality.

 

In addition each SU can submit up to one proposal to each of the five Liberation caucuses (Black, Disabled, LGBT+, Trans, Womens) for discussion there. There is a 700 word limit but you can submit your idea in whatever format you want.

 

Policies can be submitted using this form.

 

The deadline for submission is 30 April 2020 12 noon.

 

Things to think about when submitting: You can submit ideas on any topic, however it may be useful to think about previous policy which has been passed by Liberation Conferences under the old arrangements. You can find this here.

 

You may also wish to consider position statements that were passed at National Conference this year and how they may apply to Liberation work. You can find these here.

 

 

2. Deciding which policies should be discussed at Conference

 

All delegates of the conference will have the opportunity to decide which policies should be discussed by Liberation Conference.

This will be decided by a priority ballot. A priority ballot is an exercise where delegates vote to rank the order of policy proposals to be discussed at the Conference. Delegates are able to rank the policies in order of preference. These will then be counted using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system to decide the three policies to be discussed at conference.

There will also be a priority ballot to determine proposals for discussion in each of the caucuses. The Priority Ballot will run from 13 May – 15 May 12 noon.

 

How to take part: All delegates will be able to vote using their preferred email address provided at registration. They will be emailed a link to participate in the vote. It is therefore really important that Students’ Unions provide at registration their delegates’ unique, preferred email address so they can receive the links

 

 

3. Finalised policy for discussion sent to delegates

 

Once the exercise has taken place the Steering Committee will publicise three policies to be discussed at Conference and three proposals for discussion at each of the caucuses. These will be the priorities that topped the Priority Ballot.

 

All delegates will receive these proposals so that discussions can take place before conference, between delegates, within students’ unions and online.

 

 

4. Formal Debate and Voting

 

Delegates will then formally debate the policy proposals and vote on them.

Cross Liberation policy will be debated by video and there will be opportunity to pre-submit speeches for and against each of the proposals. We will also publish a participation guide so that delegates can run DIY debates.

We will facilitate a skype conference on 27 May for each of the five caucuses to discuss submitted proposals.

Voting will open for each of the policies on 27 May and close on 1 June at 12 noon.

 

How to take part: All delegates will be able to vote using their preferred email address provided at registration. They will be emailed a link to participate in the vote. It is therefore really important that Students’ Unions provide at registration their delegates’ unique, preferred email address so they can receive the links