Nathanial, SU President, explains what the conference was all about. Motions were put forward by Students’ Unions from across the UK. These motions can change NUS policy and how it approaches its campaigns for the next twelve months.
For example, The University for the Creative Arts Students' Union put forward a motion titled: 'High course costs are destroying student mental health'. A member of that Students' Union then came on stage to explain what the NUS should do to change this. “NUS will support Students’ Unions in researching the correlation between hidden course costs and welfare and mental health.” The conference then voted on the motion by a show of hands, raising their voting card depending whether they agree, disagree or wish to abstain from voting.
We voted on many different motions and policies across the three days of the conference. This was an invaluable opportunity to influence policies and campaigns that will effect all students across the country.
Hannah, Secretary of the SU team, attended a fringe event about conspiracy theories. Organisations and groups within the NUS put on fringe events throughout the conference. We went along to the event put on by the Union of Jewish students. It was advertised as the conspiracy theories that exist within the west. Marlon Soloman talked about conspiracy theories and the damage they can do, not just to religious groups, but to society.
I was surprised by how engaging the talk was, I was ready to hear more about the popular conspiracy theories, for example, that the moon landing was faked. But it delved deeper into how a lot of conspiracy theories can be linked with anti-Semitic views that exist on both the hard left and right of the political spectrum.
Marlon's main opinion was that the UK government is not doing enough to cover these anti-Semitic views that exist within society. The piece mixed the complexity of prejudices with humour, which allowed us to laugh at the conspiracy theories that still exist and are talked about today.
The fringe event gave highlighted issues I would not have known about and introduced me to a different area of the NUS.