Aaron Kiely was elected as the new NUS Black Students Officer, succeeding Kanja Sesay, in May during the NUS Black Students’ Conference 2012. Aaron represents the largest constituency of Black students in Europe and during his term, he will be campaigning on a local and a national level about all issues affecting Black students. BEMA will be working very closely with the Black Students’ Campaign this year, and we have got Aaron to answer a few questions for us about himself and his aims for his term as Officer.
For the June 15th Guild Council two proposals were made both of which BEMA supported. One was to join and support the national demonstration at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on October 2nd. Second was to join the Trade Union Congress national demo on October 20th, which is also supported by the NUS.
Due to time constraints both these motions were referred to the sabbatical officer group for a decision. However when voting to give the decision to SOG we had no idea that they would reject the proposals that would have likely pass at Guild Council.
Black students are amongst the hardest hit by the cuts which disproportionately hit less privileged groups. The average rate of black youth unemployment is now 56%, the youth unemployment rate for black people has increased at almost twice the rate for white 16- to 24-year-olds since the start of the recession in 2008.
We are fighting for a fairer society and the Guild has repeatedly in the past supported us in our fight. Backing the demo against the Liberal Democrat conference and sending coaches to the TUC national demo last year.
Guild Council policy and precedent clearly backs supporting these events. On behalf of many of those most in need of fighting union we call on the incoming sabbatical team to reverse the decision immediately and commence work to build for the demos.
Please show your support,