Between the 8th and 10th of April 2013 the NUS (National Union of Students) will be holding their annual National Conference in Sheffield, where delegates from affiliated Student Unions will be voting on motions and mandates that will define the NUS’ work and course of action over the upcoming years, as well as the Officers and representatives that will lead and (in theory) deliver on those actions.
As one such affiliate Union, the Birmingham Guild of Students will be directly affected by the outcome of Conference, as well as the Education sector across the nation on the whole.
(By extension BEMA, as part of the Guild, will also be affected to some degree, or at least enough to justify this WordPress being hijacked for this series of posts).
As one of those delegates elected to represent the Guild, I think it only right to open up the process and procedure of Conference publicly to any interested parties, so over the upcoming days I will post up on the motions going to Conference – including a brief summary of what the motion entails and mandates, and what direction I intend to vote on at present – and some information on the candidates for full-time Officer positions within NUS (President + Vice Presidents).
Fitting with the structure of NUS, motions are divided into ‘Zones’ which generally represent the areas of remit presided over by a corresponding Officer (e.g. Welfare Zone overseen by the VP Welfare).
A successful motion will then mandate that Zone of the NUS and the relevant Officer(s) to carry through the resolutions of the Motion, and collaborate/get relevant input from affiliate Unions who also make up the Zone (for example, our Guild’s VP Welfare would attend conferences and communicate with the Welfare Zone).
Motions are divided into what ‘Conference Believes’, which ideologically ground or support with evidence the motion, and ‘Conference Resolves’, which set out the action to be taken by NUS towards achieving the goals of the motion (which often involve research/reporting, campaigning/lobbying certain groups, bodies or areas of interest for the sake of NUS’ members/students/education in general.
Amendments to Motions come either in the form of ‘Add Amendments’ (denoted ‘+ Amendment’) which add points of belief or resolution to the main motion, ‘Delete Amendments (‘- Amendment’) which remove points from the main motion, or include a mix of both (‘-/+Amendment’).
Amendments are voted on separately and if passed, are integrated accordingly into the main motion.
Amendments can substantively change the spirit of a motion, hence why you’ll see sometimes in my intentions that I may be Against a motion in its original form, but For an amendment to it.
This would mean that I would be in support for the motion on the whole, were the amendment to pass.
200 – Further Education (FE)
300 – Higher Education (HE)
400 – Society & Citizenship
500 – Union Development
600 – Welfare
700 – AGM Proposals
as well as
The motions can be viewed in whole below,
the links above will be updated when the relevant post/voting intentions have been released.
As it stands i’ve only really included justifications for my voting intentions where I intend to vote Against/in Abstention from a motion – if you have any questions or queries on my intentions in general, or if you want any clarification on NUS/Conference then either comment below or email me at email@example.com
Edit 4/4 – The individual pages are being updated to reflect the changes made to order and content of the motions between the Draft version and the Final version (which is embedded below now).
NUS Conference motions 2013