Students across the UK have elected new representatives for the National Union of Students.
The NUS, the union for students in the UK, held its annual National Conference this week in Sheffield, where 1,000 students voted in their new NUS representatives.
Joining the delegates, Kieran Watkins and Nick Duffy from the Medwire were present along with Kent Union and University of Kent delegates as representatives from universities and colleges voted in Toni Pearce as their new National President.
Currently Vice President for Further Education, Toni will take over the reins from outgoing President Liam Burns later this year. She was elected on 424 votes, nearly double that of her nearest rival Vicki Baars.
Toni, who said in her manifesto that she wanted to link college and university students’ unions together and campaign for a single central admissions system, said about being elected: “I’m really proud to have been given the opportunity to build the student movement around a vision for public education, and to be leading NUS as we build towards the next general election.”
In other results, Kent Union’s very own Colum McGuire was voted in as VP Welfare. Colum won with a landslide victory, gaining 545 votes.
Speaking about his victory, Colum said: “In my first year at University I joined a society committee to help organise a couple of events. I never imagined where that would take me.
“I cannot believe I have just elected as Vice President (Welfare) of the National Union of Students. What an honour to take office in July and start working and fighting for the 7 million students across the UK.”
Other results include: Rachel Wenstone (VP Higher Education), Joe Vinson (VP Further Education), Raechel Mattey (VP Union Development) and Dom Anderson (VP Society and Citizenship). Results for the Board of 15, Democratic Procedures Committee and the Trustee Board will be announced in the next week.
With voting for their new NUS representatives aside, students also decided on new policy for the NUS. Three days of motions saw controversial subjects including gender balancing, votes at 16 and trustee boards decided on.
Commenting on his first experience of the NUS and the national conference, Kieran Watkins says: “NUS opened my eyes to the importance of the national student movement in the UK.
“Before I arrived here, I like a lot of people just viewed the NUS as the student card that gives you a free cheeseburger at McDonalds.
“In reality, the NUS is much more than that. All the students that attended conference are all active campaigners for real change; change to the problems and issues that affect their students back on campus.
“Conference opened up my eyes to the real significance of the NUS, and I for one can’t wait to make a greater impact campaigning in Medway.”
For more information on the NUS, the new representatives and the policies passed, check their website here.