By Kirsten Robertson
NUS Scotland’s Annual Conference kicked off in Dunblane yesterday morning with four University of Stirling delegates at the event. Jamie Grant, Joshua Muirhead, Henrietta Mochrie and Anuraag Joycelyn Mukhia were representing the student body through the motions and elections.
NUS Scotland’s Vice President of Education Jodie Waite introduced the conference. She highlighted the successes of the union in the past year, such as organising the first NUS Scotland’s Trans Conference; held on the 26th of April. The free period campaign that began in Aberdeen spread across other universities such as Stirling, with sanitary products being freely available in a number of bathrooms on campus. The Scottish Government have now announced they will provide in all education areas.
“Our strength and unity comes from our position as a voice of students, lets help shape the future of Scotland,” said Waites.
She also spoke of on-going problems for students, such as college institutions being underfunded, student carers studying without support, and less than stellar counselling service around Scottish campuses.
These issues were echoed in the speeches of the five students running for NUS President and Vice President who also focused on student inequalities, regaining support for NUS and supporting striking lecturers. Stirling delegate Willie Cunningham did not attend the event as he was part of the #OccupyLogie movement. NUS UK President Shakira Martin praised the work of Stirling protesters.
In the elections, Liam McCabe won the position of NUS President after receiving 66 votes from delegates by the end of voting.
Gemma Jones beat opponent Will Stringer by just six votes, echoing Daniel Wright and Georgia Laverick’s six vote difference in the elections for Stirling’s VP of Education.
At the NUS Scotland Awards, the University of Stirling won ‘Campaign of the Year’ after the successes of the #IsThisOk project to end sexual harassment on campuses.
Today, Jamie Grant will speak on behalf of the University of Stirling to address the bus service in Scotland; after numerous issues with First Bus in Stirling. He also will be running for Scottish Executive Committee; aiming to create a “just and equitable society” in student society.
Also from Stirling, Elena Semple will be running for Vice President Communities, aiming to tackle unpaid internships and campaign to stop student evictions.
The elections will take place this afternoon, and Brig wishes Elena and Jamie the best of luck!