We’re awake! It’s day two of NUS National Conference here in Sheffield, and Northumbria’s delegation are back on conference floor despite yesterday’s very busy (and early) start and an evening at the Presidential Question Time.
Much of the focus today is on the elections, today conference will elect the NUS National President and the five Vice-Presidents; plus we’ll be seeing a lot of campaigning by the candidates for the National Executive, although their election takes place tomorrow.
With current NUS President Liam Burns stepping down at the end of this academic year, his second in office, it’s a tight race to see who will be succeeding him. Current Vice-Presidents Toni Pearce and Vicki Barrs are in tight competition for the job and everyone on conference floor expects in to be a close one. Peter Smallwood and Sam Gaus are also in the running and Peter is campaigning heavily but would have to make a big gain to balance the strong groups of supporters in the Toni and Vikki camps.
Rachel Wenstone, current Vice-President Higher Education is up for re-election this year, Rachel won the position with a majority of 257 to 230 against candidate Sophie Richardson at conference 2012. This year she’s up against Thomas Evans and Naomi Beecroft who both have strong support from different factions within NUS, the big question that will affect this election is whether Thomas and Naomi’s supporters give their second preference vote (NUS uses a single transferable vote system) to each other or to Rachel.
The other hotly contested election is for VP Union Development, candidates James McAsh President of Edinburgh Students’ Association and Raechel Mattey, Deputy President of NUS Wales have both been out campaigning hard and with just two experience candidates this election will be one to watch!
But elections aren’t the only thing happening today, debate on Education continues from last night and we’ll also be hearing loads on Society and Citizenship and Union Development as the day goes on.
As per usual I’ll be posting updates throughout the day on what’s occurring on conference floor and what your delegation is getting up to.
09:00 – Delegates return to conference floor for day 2 of conference.
09:10 - NUS Scotland President Robin Parker speaks on the work of the Scottish Executive.
10:00 – After hearing from NUS Wales and NUS-USI we now discuss education motions including a fairer deal for postgraduate students.
10:10 – President Jo Rhodes takes to the stage to say “We want better placements”
12:40 – BREAKING NEWS – Toni Pearce elected NUS President.
12:53 Huge debates in VP Welfare and VP Higher Education election.
14:45 – Rachel Wenstone re-elected Vice President Higher Education. Colum McGuire elected VP Welfare.
16:30 – Some very close votes at the end of the Union Development zone.
18:00 – Begining of Society and Citizenship zone, final zone of conference. Coming soon NUS Annual General Meeting, expect lots of input from Northubria.
19:10 – Joe Vinson elected VP Further Education, Raechel Mattey elected VP Union Development, and Dom Anderson elected VP Soc & Cit!
19:27 – NUS President Liam Burns reports on NUS trustees and conference gets to hear about NUS finance.
20:20 – Northumbria delegates take a stand on gender balancing motion in NUS AGM.
All motions to conference, as well as loads of other info can be found at http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/conference/about/