Kristy Weegram

Vice President Activities

kristy2.weegram@northumbria.ac.uk  

Demo Demo Demo, and Union elections!

Trying to write blogs more often as apparently I don’t write them enough and we have some exciting stuff coming up this month that you may want to get involved in!

Last week I went to the NUS Union Development Zone Conference in Stratford Upon Avon with Tally (Comms officer) and Adam (El Presidente). The conference focused upon political engagement of students and really got me thinking about what politics is and why it’s so scary when we hear the word politics. When most people think politics in the UK they probably think white, middle aged, middle class man, and it’s hard for our generation to engage with such people sometimes. Going to this conference definitely made me more aware of how political I am though, and how politics doesn’t just entail governmental issues, but can be anything that you strongly care about and carry an opinion on, which yes, probably means we are all quite political at times! And when you think of it like that politics isn’t so scary after all.

Now I am no political expert, but I am a firm believer of standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid to speak up where you can. This is why I will be going down to London on Saturday 19th November with the rest of the Sabbs on a National Demo, organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) to basically tell the government to “Get Rekt” for the introduction of the Green Paper and in particular the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The word TEF probably means nothing to a lot of you, and if I wasn’t in the position I am I would be in the same boat (trust me before last year I was living in political oblivion!) but it basically means big changes for Higher Education and a rise in tuition fees dependent upon the quality of teaching on your course…if we weren’t in enough debt already now that we don’t get maintenance grants and everything is a loan, they are now adding to tuition fees…nice one Theresa May and gang!

If you feel as passionately about this as we do, then why not come along on the demo with us?! We have limited spaces available on the coach to travel down to London with us for the day and march, and it would be great to have some of your support with us. All you have to do is pay £10 at the Welcome Desk in the Student’s Union, which covers your travel to London and back and you are sorted! We will be arranging a date closer to the time as well to all get together and make some placards to take down with us, so get thinking of some good slogans!

While I am on my political spiel, we have some elections coming up very shortly in the Student’s Union! We are looking for candidates to stand to be a delegate at NUS National Conference and also looking for candidates for Equality Rep positions. I attended National Conference last year and it’s a great place to go if you are passionate about speaking up and making change for students. The conference allows you to vote on setting policy for NUS which means they have to look into the things you vote on, whether that be the marketization of higher education, or getting E-sports recognised by BUCS, as well as allowing you to vote on who the officers are going to be for the coming year (plus a few cheeky nights out if you feel like it!). There are 7 places up for grabs for conference which will be held in Brighton from Tuesday 25th April – Thursday 27th April.

The Equality Rep positions that we are currently looking to fill are an Open Place Equality Rep to speak up for all marginalised groups, plus a rep for International students, Students with Caring Responsibilities and Gender Diversity. If you define into any of these roles and feel like you could speak up for equality and give a voice to these students, then why not run in the election!

Nominations for conference and Equality Reps are OPEN NOW and will be open until 16th November. To nominate yourself to run for either then please go to; https://www.mynsu.co.uk/elections/

If you have any questions about any of the positions, then please feel free to message myself or any of the other Sabbatical Officers!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I realise it’s not my usual Fun Sabb blog, but being VP Activities doesn’t just mean societies and volunteering (all the fun stuff), it’s still about representing students, whether it be on campus or nationally on issues which effect you and that means being VP Serious sometimes haha!

Best Wishes,

Kristy

xoxo

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