NUS Conference Day 1 with Hertfordshire

[Brad Johnson & Grainne O’Monghain | Deputy Editor & NUS Conference Delegate]

12:12: Colum McGuire [NUS VP Welfare] opened Conference and is Chair for the first session of today.

Your Chair and Chairs Aid shortly opening conference… here we go! #nusnc15 #NUSconference — Colum McGuire (@ColumMcGuire) April 21, 2015

Session one is set to feature a welcome speech from a local campaigner, a keynote from Rick Edwards, broadcaster and writer and finally opening remarks from Toni Pearce, NUS President. 

We’re ready with @HertsSU delegates @nusuk #NUSConference! Joining @HertsSUGurpreet @HertsSUJack @xGROZx @bradjohnson1994 @KiranKaurPadam — Trident Media (@TridentMediaUK) April 21, 2015

12:21: A fantastic opening speech from Jay McKenna (@JayMcKenna87) welcoming Conference to Liverpool. The keynote talked of the culture of the city, the history of the port and the slave trade and the important role that immigrants played in Liverpool growth and development.

12:25: A moving tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster given by McKenna. Talks of renewal of the city and urban redevelopment that has been seen within the city.

Thanks to @nusuk @nusconnect for the invitation to give the welcome to #NUSconference – I hope you enjoyed it and enjoy the city #nusnc15 — Jay McKenna (@JayMcKenna87) April 21, 2015

12:28: Presenter of Free Speech on BBC Three, Rick Edwards takes to the floor to stress the importance of voting in the UK General Election on May 7th 2015.  Edwards stressed the importance of elected representatives of using their platform to benefit those who elected them. He jested about common questions he is asked and being heckled as ‘Oi Oi T4 T4!’. Edwards has written a book about politics called ‘None of the Above’.

He states how a book written by a entertainments TV presenter can make politics more accessible to those who are usually less interested. Check out this article which is written by Rick Edwards. 

12:40: Rick raps up his opening speech and closes with saying that linking young people’s issue with the political context is key to increase engagement with young people and politics.

‘apathy’ is just an excuse #NUSConference #NUSNC15 used by politicians. — Gurpreet – President (@HertsSUGurpreet) April 21, 2015

12:42: Toni Pearce takes to the floor to give her Presidents’ Opening Remarks. Toni states how although the student movement has changed since 2009, the UK and society has not changed in the same way.

I think that it’s really important to remember our movement is made up of people like @rickedwards1 not just @JayMcKenna87 #nusconference — Toni Pearce (@toni_pearce) April 21, 2015

12:48: Fantastic and key points at the work Students’ Union’s do for students at their Universities. Toni then went on to talk about the Broken Promises campaign and the impact that the government has had on the UK over the last five years.

12:51: Toni explains about the rising intolerance towards some students in UK is still prevalent. A round of applause erupted when she stated how politicians don’t understand the needs of students because they “are so remote from them”. A damning speech about the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Government is given by Toni.

12:55: Toni talked how the rich pay taxes and then get it straight back in unfair grants and support and said: “If you already have enough [money] then don’t take more when others are struggling to survive.”

“We need a country where opportunity is not based on luck and success is not based on being born in the right place” – @Toni_Pearce — NUS Connect (@nusconnect) April 21, 2015

12:56: Toni stated how David Cameron said to her face that the government would “not scrap EMA for college students”. She states how when she met Cameron in 2009 he might not have known who she was but he sure does now. She went on to talk about the broken promises made by the Liberal Democrats.

13:03: She closes with “The responsibility is yours!” As Toni raps up her opening remarks, we get ready for the Opening of Business and Adoption of the Order Paper CD4.

13:04: Opening of Business

13:10: National Conference ruled that Dogs are Better than Cats. A nice light hearted way to get the sessions started.

Session 2 begins at 13:15 which is the Priority Zone.

13:17: Membership Motion put forward by Rachael Mattey, NEC. A group of Union’s have requested to join or re-join NUS and the Conference get to vote to approve new members including Aston University who have requested to rejoin NUS. Conference gets the opportunity to approve the new members. PASSED, New Members are welcomed.

13:22: Priority Zone starts. There will be a 5 minute presentation from the National President, Toni Pearce followed by 10 minutes when delegates may ask questions on how policy has been implemented.

13:28: Toni takes to the floor to answer questions from delegates.

1. Can you talk us through your role in woman in leadership?

Toni talked of supporting woman in barriers that are in place. She supports SU’s to encourage more women to run their Students’ Union Elections. We set up at HE scheme for women that enables women to receive training on how to run in elections. This has now been expanded to more liberation groups such as Black, LGBT and Disabled students.

2. What have done for trans students this year?