Why I’m backing Robin Parker for Re-election as NUS Scotland president.

Why I’m backing Robin Parker for Re-election as NUS Scotland president.

Hey folks, well to those of you who know me, and those who don’t. It may surprise you to know I have only been involved with NUS for the best part of a year.

Before my first conference (which was Scotland conference 2011 almost a year to the date of this weekend). My only contact with NUS was the marches in London against Tuition fees, and even then I was just starting out I was just an angry, passionate student back then. Funnily enough this was the first time I ever met Robin, It was also the first day I fell in love with the movement and what it stood for. Some would call it a romantic notion or even a bit cliché, that we are trailblazers with passion and dedication uniting in numbers to make things better. It is the sort of thing you tell yourself when its 5am, and you haven’t slept for 3 days while your trying to run some sort of campaign.

But I digress my reasons behind my involvement in NUS is only partially related to this blog post. After meeting Robin at the “DEMO-lition march” and seeing him at conference I found him to be an approachable, intelligent and genuine person. I didn’t at the time know enough about him to see how he would take over from Liam Burns especially with being so impressed with Liam’s charm and charisma. However, Robin has proved any naysayers wrong with a staggering successful year as NUS Scotland president. His track record speaks volumes, and the sheer fact colleges are more involved and active not only on the ground but in the meetings with people who make the decisions is a fantastic win that you just can’t put a price on.

Many of you here will be reading this and feel like I’m preaching to the converted. I know Robin is dedicated and passionate student leader, with a sound clear vision for the future of NUS Scotland. Someone that has helped rally and motivate colleges and universities to engage with NUS and the big campaign, the first college priority campaign in NUS Scotland history (if I am correct).

A governance review written by Robin himself that is going to shake things up in terms of representation structures in Scotland, and of course the fact the government are now consulting US on how THEY spend the money on Education/support. THAT’S AMAZING students actually being the shapers of investment in Scotland’s future, Isn’t that the big dream for us?

We have a tough year ahead of us, we need to make sure that support for colleges is there NEXT YEAR, and the YEAR AFTER. So students have that support to make it through every level of education they proceed through. We need to have the discussion on independence and continue to push for everything we want. I make no pretences that I want to be part of that discussion, and that I want to be part of SEC in the coming year, because I think I can bring something to the table (but whatever happens come Sunday I won’t be disappearing no matter the outcome). I do however believe even more importantly that Robin is the person to lead us in the coming year, that he considers the views and ideas of others while bringing forward a vision we can all work towards. I feel closer and more involved with NUS than ever before and I have loved every minute of it. YES, we will challenge each other. YES, we will be frustrated and stressed over the coming year. But can we make more wins? Does all of the debate and talking build towards a bigger picture? I say YES IT DOES.

Looking back on the last year I see how far I have come within my roles at Heriot-Watt and involvement with NUS. I see not only how far I have come on my own personal journey but how much stronger NUS is for the work of its members, how much smoother the new zone system in terms of getting feedback and input from the membership to form policy. The friendships I have formed and the admiration and respect I have for everyone who pours their heart into making things better. I have massive respect for the NUS Full time officers who sit on tons of boards, meetings, attend rallies and then still find time to work in supporting students and long term policy. It must be killer but hopefully an amazing experience (why else would they put themselves through a second term?).

Charandeep is a great guy, a passionate officer and someone who I enjoy to talk and engage with, but Robin has proven himself a leader, and helped galvanise the work of 1000’s of students across Scotland to make some of our biggest wins to date. Re-elect Robin so we can keep doing what we do. Do it for the movement, do it because it will be the best decision you can make.

I will be voting Robin come NUS Scotland conference this weekend. I hope you will too.

Conor Murray-Gauld
Executive of Education
Heriot-Watt University

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~ by conorstrife on March 1, 2012.

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