Last week, our SU Officers headed off to Harrogate to attend the annual NUS National Conference.
Our Bath delegates this year were SU President Alex, Community Officer Blake, Sport Officer Elizabeth, Education Officer Julia and delegates Titus Hillier and Esther Jennings- Kirk and they spent two days (Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16) representing the voice of our student body.
NUS is an organisation led by students and SU’s. Every year, they run a series of events to bring students together, discuss issues and build campaigns. The National Conference is a space for delegates from across the UK to come together and set policy for the year ahead. The National Conference consists of two full days of drop-ins, policy workshops and debates. This year, the 5 key policy areas being discussed and voted on were:
- International Students
- NUS Organising, Transparency and Democracy
- Tackling the Cost-of-Living Crisis
The delegates also had the opportunity to elect two democratic bodies of the NUS- the Procedures and Steering Committee and the National Scrutiny Council. You can read about who got elected on the NUS website.
This was Sports Officers’ Elizabeth’s second year at the Conference and she said she found it really interesting. She attended the NUS Democracy and Regional Organising session, where discussions included the potential creation of NUS England, reports on where affiliation fees are spent and updates around what the elected officers are doing. Elizabeth especially felt this session was a ‘really good opportunity for delegates to identify any issues within NUS and where we would like to see improvement’.
The Officers also attended an accountability session, where they noted that the NUS chose not to answer live questions, did not address AGM and they felt there was a lack of reports. Elizabeth commented that, ‘this is something that we, as Bath, felt quite strongly on as we felt there was an expectation for us to be okay with minimal information or out of date reports. We were keen to highlight that the NUS should be representing us, and after having had minimal contact with the NUS this year, we are underwhelmed with the work they’ve done to represent us.’
She added, ‘From conversations, I am keen to see the changes that NUS will implement and how this will benefit Bath in the future.’
As always, we appreciate our SU Officers’ going to these events and representing the voice of our student body.