NUS National Conference 2013 – Union Development Zone motions (500)


Here is a summary of the motions going to Conference for the Union Development Zone, which concerns how NUS should best support Student Unions in increasing their effectiveness and engagement from members, etc.

For any questions/clarification on voting intentions or NUS or Conference procedure please comment below or email me at

For an intro/recap on Conference in general + all the motions click here.
For the Education Zone motions summary click here.
For the Society & Citizenship Zone motions summary click here.


Motion # Motion title Summary of motion Intentions
501 Deepening participation in Student Opportunities NUS support for SUs should focus attention and resources towards volunteer work (‘student opportunities’) within Unions;
better supporting and nurturing volunteers as the best way to ensure, secure and deepen outreach/engagement by students in them.
501a + Amendment Report into benefits/costs of a ‘Vice President Student Activities’ within NUS leadership;
better support student activities in SUs.
501b + Amendment Better training and support for Non-Sabbatical officer in SUs and by NUS. For
501c + Amendment Develop a Code of Conduct-type guide for student groups looking for external funding, to protect them from shifty partnerships. For
502 Deepening democracy: defending autonomy & independence Introduce participatory democratic mechanisms into SUs for trial run;
release guidance on increasing engagement in small and specialist SUs;
develop better models for SUs, generally.
502a + Amendment Develop new scales for measuring SU success/impact beyond officer voting turnout – one model tailored for FE SUs and another more idiographic model to be appropriated elsewhere by HE SUs and so on.
Would allow NUS to better support/augment SU success.
502b + Amendment Re-affirm NUS support for direct action in defence on education; work towards getting General Meetings more commonplace in SUs as representative democratic bodies. For
502c + Amendment External Trustees should have no vote or final say in Trustees; their job should not extend beyond giving specialised advice. ForAlthough happy for this to be abrogated by motion 50E.
503 Cultivating our activists and our organisers in our Unions Develop activist development with membership – academies and regional programmes to reach SUs that can’t afford sending members to London/NUS Central. For
503a + Amendment Empower local and regional activism/development on a range of locally relevant campaigns. For
503b + Amendment Make better use of students activities and student groups’ work to communicate to public why HE is worth public investment come 2015 elections. For
50A Nationwide Officer mentoring Investigate into maybe using outgoing/former NUS Officers as mentors to new ones.
Maybe extend this to mentoring from business/third sector also.
For/AbstainA bit wary of external mentors stifling innovative development within the student movement in favour of more traditional business-minded approaches.
50B Keep it clear – Crystal Mark it! Documents presented to students to be made more clear and unambiguous; adhere to international Crystal Mark award status. For
50C NUS – Arts unions need different support Support specialists Arts Unions, and get them working with relevant sector groups (e.g. UK Arts and Design Institutions Association) for mutual development. For
50D Defend the rights and needs of students with Developmental Disabilities and students with specific Learning Disabilities. Directly – and through SUs – support disabled students with welfare/academic needs and make sure provisions are made for them and that they can participate and be represented in SU activity. For
50E For democratic student unions and a democratic NUS Student democracy to be democracy by students:
oppose existence of Trustee Boards, push for regular General Meetings, increase autonomy of student representatives from management.

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  1. Pingback: NUS National Conference 2013 – Introduction | BEMA

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