NUS (National Union of Students) National President 17/18 Shakira Martin has been re-elected as this year’s NUS President, beating fellow candidates Momin Saqib and Sahaya James.
Shakira’s campaign “Time to get real” with Twitter hastags “Shak-era” and “Re-electShakira” included three main manifesto points: “getting real on student poverty”, “getting real by getting election ready” and “getting real on student rights”.
As part of Shakira’s bid to tackle student poverty, the President has promised to campaign for a Minimum Living Income for all students, the return of grants, regulation that forces universities and colleges to reduce costs, quadrupling the apprentice minimum wage, and demanding universal discounts on student travel.
To get “election ready”, Shakira will be calling for automatic voter registration of students, getting students and their SUs involved in a massive programme of lobbying, influencing and engagement with MPs and candidates, and ensuring that student issues dominate the debate when an election is called.
To promote student rights, the President hopes to build and launch a national student rights framework “on everything from academic appeals to eduroam”
To promote student rights, the President hopes to build and launch a national student rights framework “on everything from academic appeals to eduroam”, provide the tools, tactics and arguments to agitate for change on campus and “not let a single sector bigwig off the hook on our positive agenda for student success”.
As President 17/18, Shakira opened the conference yesterday in Glasgow, where discussions took place concerning further and higher education, and development of the union. Shakira’s Priority Zone motion helping to tackle student poverty was also passed by the Conference.
The UCU shared today that Shakira Martin had also stood in solidarity with the union after the prestating: “Students stand with you to defend pay, and to defend pensions – we stand strong and firm, side by side with our lecturers and support staff.”
Following her re-election, Shakira tweeted: “Thank you so much everyone for putting your faith in me for one more year, I cannot explain how humbled and thankful I am!”
The conference will be ongoing today to elect the five Vice President positions: Further Education, Higher Education, Society and Citizenship, Welfare, and Union Development.
Further elections will take place tomorrow for the National Executive Council’s Block of 15, Student Directors, and the Democratic Procedures Committee.