NUS Role for Students' Union Members
Two members of Cornwall College Students' Union (CCSU) are making a name for themselves on the national stage after being elected to represent millions of students in further and higher education across the country.
A group from the College travelled to Liverpool last week (23-28th Oct) to take part in the National Union of Students (NUS) annual Zone Conferences, which allow students to debate policy issues to be proposed at National Conference in five areas – Further Education, Higher Education, Society and Citizenship, Union Development, and Welfare.
During the events elections were held for each of the Zone committees, with six students being elected in each area from colleges and universities across the country. Candidates had to produce a manifesto and deliver a 90 second speech to secure votes.
CCSU President Joe Vinson, 18 from St Agnes, was elected onto the Society and Citizenship Zone committee, which works on issues that affect students in wider society and the world, such as environmental issues or involvement in national democracy. Joe’s manifesto included campaigning to create a stronger identity for the Zone, ensuring that it takes a lead on the Living Wage campaign demanding a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work, making the activities of the Zone relevant to further education students, campaigning for consistent citizenship education in UK colleges and supporting the Votes at 16 coalition.
Joe said: “I’m delighted to have been elected onto the NUS Society and Citizenship Committee. It’s crucial that the NUS debates the issues that affect students, but are not necessarily linked to gaining a qualification. It is an honour to represent not only Cornwall College, but the millions of students in the UK at a national level.”
A-level student and CCSU Sustainability Officer for St Austell, Charlotte Knight, 17 from Par, was elected onto the Further Education (FE) Zone committee, which covers all areas that affect the study and development of FE. Charlotte will be working to ensure that FE is more prominent within the NUS as a whole encouraging more college unions to become actively involved, as well as fighting enrichment cuts and looking at integrating sustainability into students’ unions.
Charlotte said: “I’m really excited to be elected as there were lots of people standing so to be just one of six elected nationally is great. I’m looking forward to being able to encourage more unions across the country to become more sustainable as it’s a topic I really care about. I’d like to go into a career in politics in the future so this will be a great experience for me.”
The NUS is the biggest student representative organisation in the world, representing students in further and higher education from 600 affiliated students' unions nationwide.
NUS Vice President for FE Toni Pearce, who was previously Cornwall College’s Students’ Union President, said: “"It's really exciting to have both Charlotte and Joe on NUS' Zone committees for Further Education and Society and Citizenship respectively. The Zone committees are a really important part of the democratic and policy making process for NUS and to have two representatives from Cornwall College Students' Union on these committees just shows the huge steps forward that it’s making on a local and national level."
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “This is an excellent achievement for Joe and Charlotte as their involvement in the NUS at a national level will have a positive reflection on the development of the Students’ Union at Cornwall College. A high quality student experience in one of our key priorities and CCSU’s growth and development over the last few years has enabled us to work together with the student body to consistently provide this.”