More NUS elections: a veer to the left?

A voter at NUS Conference 2015

A delegate votes in one of the many elections at NUS Conference 2015 (Photo: Gregor Smith)

Three NUS Vice Presidents have been elected for 2015/16: Sorana Vieru as VP Higher Education, Shakira Martin as VP Further Education, and Shelly Asquith as VP Welfare.

The three winners gave relatively left-wing speeches – even by NUS Conference standards – before their votes, leading some to speculate whether the National Union of Students is becoming more left-wing.

Sorana, the new VP Higher Education won after condemning the “nasty little” Nigel Farage when speaking to conference. Her manifesto promises a focus on access to higher education, especially hardship funds and a reform of the postgraduate funding system.

Similarly, Shakira Martin’s policies for VP Further Education also focus around access for minorities, but with a greater push towards liberation and intersectionality. She also hopes to see the Education Maintenance Allowance put back into place and wants to “encourage more offenders to enrol [in further education] and complete their qualifications”.

Finally, Shelly Asquith – backed in her manifesto by Lincoln’s very own VP Welfare & Community, Olivia Hill, who said she was “fully backing Shelly because I know she won’t leave anyone behind” – won by 434 out of 752 votes cast.

She told NUS Conference she wants “a movement that puts international students first”, explaining that she doesn’t just want “freedom from tuition fees; it’s about freedom from poverty”. She’s a supporter of the living wage and would help SUs set up tenants’ unions and housing workshops, and I’ll be interviewing her tomorrow. Comment below or tweet @thelinc if there’s a question you’d like to ask her!

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