This may be slightly irrelivent to this topic but I think the clarification of these 'zones' is important. Being an activities Sab myself it seems that more emphasis is being put on the welfare and education side of things with sport and activities given minor attention. I think if NUS want more participation from the students unions across the country they need to start giving more attention to the different remits of the sabbatical officers. (link)


I'm confused as to what the purpose of the NUS Board would actually be in this case. On the one hand, it's suggested that the NEC poorly managed NUS's finances. But on the other hand, it's suggesting that professional managers couldn't be trusted with the job either. If so, I don't soo how an NUS Board would solve the problem. You'd still have professional managers making the bad decisions, but students would have even less power to stop them.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'd have thought the first step would have to find out why professional managers were making such bad decisions and why the NEC were rubber-stamping them.

(Maybe beefing up Finance Committee would work better.) (link)


Surely the best way to prevent the loss of money from the organisation is to employ impartial auditors. People who could highlight exactly where money is going and not going without any bias as to what they think NUS should be. (link)


Implies that there is a need for greater transparency in how the NEC and the professional internal managers work. Addressing the problems in how NEC officers are trained to deal with finances, should have been considered, especially as NUS emphasis the need for SUs to have external training for Student Officers dealing with trustees, staff and agendas. (link)


If the board of sabbatical and student trustees are seeking legal advice then what is the point for external trustees? External trustees while they may have experience in their field do not necessarily understand what it is like to be a student now. They may have experience in campaigning but what is to stop trustees/members of staff from working with them in partnership now? nothing! This is also a criticism of some sabbatical trustees. (link)


Would be interesting to have 'extreme problems' clarified. Congress will be voting on who gets appointed but who is involved in the selection process before. Congress can remove them but not much incentive to if Congress meets once a year, taking in to account this is when first time delegates will be presented with the finance reports. It can seem a somewhat predetermined and inaccessible part of congress. (link)


It is unclear which VP if any is concerned with promoting liberation campaigns,minority student interests etc, although this could ideally be a major role for the VP responsible for social policy. (link)


Does this model not implicitly restrict the responsibilities for oversight of the NUS Organisation (which actually implements decisions) to the President? (link)


Is it sufficient for a political organisation, to have one officer focusing on developing campaigning strategies?

An implication of this vision of the VP Society and Citizenship is it doesn't utilise the campaigning background of rest of the elected NEC officers.

In respect of VP Union Development, it would be interesting to see how this role would enable a better support structure for officers putting on events and activities. (link)


I think the proposed officer structure is workable. (link)


Students who come from Liberation groups deserve to be represented with their issues on a national office bearing level. (link)








I think the officer for union development is a a bit of a hazy title, I can see this person being spread a little too thinly on all the other areas that aren't covered (link)


One of the concerns I have had about the NUS and how it could be improved is with communicating to the membership. Although there has been some improvements in this is recent years, including a Communications elements in to either a specific office title or in the duties of one of the new VPs. (link)


Sounds like a good idea. (link)




I think policy input will always assume that all member unions of NUS have structures that enable students to become active within NUS which isn't true. Too many unions are members for the purchasing benefits that come from NUSSL. There needs to be a way that individual students can submit policy to NUS.

If zone conferences are held before congress what will be the number of delegates from each union? Will the zone conferences be subject to cross-campus ballots? How many days in total will the zone conferences and congress take? Won't it just be cheaper, more accessible and most importantly more democratic to have one long congress? For instance a day for each zone plus one? (link)


Involving all of the membership will not be possible, if the exposure to policy making remains limited to the conferences and NUS networking events.

Improving how the NUS communicates to the membership about policy throughout the year would be good start. If a student doesn't know that the organisation makes policy, are they going to care about the why/how of policy making.

Realising not all students to have to attend policy making events to have an opportunity to get feedback for the NEC or the people writing the motion.

Debating about policy does not need to be limited to voting, a good debate should stimulate new ideas along the way, not just who wins/loses

For instance, an online form that has the template for writing a motion, having the motions document in a commentable online format, minutes mailing list etc

The governance debate should be seen as an opportunity to make practical changes. (link)


What does the NUS or the average SU do throughout the year to engage students? How is that impacting on participation in these elections? If the NUS isn't visible or relevant, then why would you get involved unless you have an interest group to guide you in

A key problem with conference and accessibility is the ethos/attitude towards the event with vested interests. Somewhat accepting there is no room for individuals. This not to say that NUS should not or won't have factions per se but it shouldn't justify complaceny with involving all of the membership.

Transparency and engagement throughout the year, should be considered in conjunction with improving conference/congress. (link)


Ideally conference should be longer, with a day per zone but shorter days as well as incorporating informal events like workshops to motivate delegates to put the new ideas in to practice on their own campuses, unfortunately the arguments against are costs.

Holding informal events weeks before in each region, where any student can attend provides the opportunity to get involved both in policy making and the NUS campaigns in their local area. Getting SUs to collaborate on organising these events would keep costs down and be a useful means to get feedback on NUS policies. (link)


As someone who has encountered some of the difficulties which face mature students, I propose that the NUS engage with us by promoting greater understanding and awareness, and consultation within individual sites of learning. (link)




This time around, why not consult with the committee directly and give them the respect they deserve.

As a committee member for MSC last year, i was not aware of the proposed changes and had little opportunity to react to the inclusion of part-timers into our campaign. This was something decide by the NEC in a private meeting, which made a mockery of what they had promised us previously.



Does this not explicitly disenfranchise people who are not specifically interested in one of the five zones? (link)


Presumes that all SUs will be able to facilitate a structure for getting students involved in the zones. Developing on how this would enable NUS to support unions especially in smaller ones with no full time student officers.

Holding more events is a good step forward but the reasons why student officers struggle to get students involved in their own SUs should be considered if the objective is too open up the NUS to their membership and not just student officers.



How is it remotely feasible to have FE representation when the vast majority of students are only in FE for 2 years.

By definition, any FE representation will be by those who have returned to FE after HE,which is distinctly disproportionate, and whose priorities are unlikely to be remotely similar to those of FE students (link)


The proposals to have a so called democratic procedures committee with 12 members and only 8 of them to be elected is poorly thought out and unnecessarily undemocratic. If anything it would make more sense to keep the present structure with the addition of a conference disputes committee. The steering committee already has to much to do at conferences as it stands at the moment. There is a case for changing the structure of elections committee (purely for cost reasons).

I felt that in the consultation paper the arguments for this were very poor. The only justification for appointed members is that they would bring expert experience. What do you need to be an expert on to do the steering job: You need to be an expert on NUS conferences and who better to choose them than NUS conference itself. I accept that you would not need to be a student to do this. My solution would be to allow anyone who agrees with the aims and objects of the National union to stand for committee elections. Perhaps elections committee should consist of 5 elected members elected in even years (Rules Revision Committees 2 elected members are elected in odd years)



the cost of running an election campaign should be seriously capped to £40 (or something similar) including donations from individuals or political parties with the penalty of not being allowed to stand if a campaigner breaks them. (link)


I think capping it to £40 would be hard especially if we were including travel to these regional hustings.. (link)


By whom will they be scruitinised? (link)


I don't think there are many things wrong with this document, i just think that if you aren't actively interested or involved with politics and/or familiar with political jargon it is hard to understand and off putting. One of the reasons not much feedback is being given is probably because people find it hard to break down or find it irrelivent to their particular job roles. Maybe if it was shown how this would affect sabs on a day to day basis, or give some clearer examples you might get some more or more productive feedback. (link)


To keep representatives accountable their activities need to be transparent to the membership. It would be interesting to see how having minutes sent out in mailing lists would work. (link)


Of what? (link)


Back to source document.