NUS National Conference Agenda

Tuesday 02-03-2021 - 11:27
Work computer pens

The agenda for NUS National Conference is below. This is currently in a draft format and as we get closer to the date of conference itself, so this page will be updated.

Day One - Tuesday 6 April

9.00 - 9.30 - Energiser

Start the day with an optional energiser session to get you ready for the day!

9.30 - 11.30 - Opening Session

This session will be for all delegates of National Conference, welcoming you to the event, hearing from the NUS Officer team about our campaigning work plus the following speakers:

  • Chanté Joseph – Chanté is a social media creative, host and writer. She hosts How Not To Be Racist on Channel 4 and Anything Goes with I Weigh. She has written for publications such as British Vogue, The Independent, The Guardian, Vice, Soho House, Complex UK, gal-dem, Refinery29, and Bustle.  
  • Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan - Suhaiymah is an educator, writer and poet from Leeds, West Yorkshire. Her work disrupts understandings of history, race, knowledge and power, interrogating the political purpose of narratives about Muslims, migrants, gender and violence. Suhaiymah was the runner-up of the Roundhouse National slam 2017 with her viral poem, This is Not a Humanising Poem which gained 2 million views and was short-listed for the Outspoken Prize for Poetry in 2018.  

11.30 - 13.30 - Break

13.30 - 14.00 - Optional information and energiser sessions

Special sessions for updates, information and fun

14.30 - 16.00 - Campaigning workshops

Choice of workshops themed around NUS' core campaigns, giving you the opportunity to grow your networks, build your skills and take action

We'll be running the following workshops:

Decolonise Education Workshops

  • Decol 101: From Diversify to Decolonise with Sara Khan - If you’re wondering what exactly Decolonising Education is all about, this workshop is for you. In this session we’ll establish the fundamental differences between diversifying and decolonising, and raise some key questions to set you off on your decolonisers’ journey.
  • Decolonisation in Practice: Running Campaigns as an officer with Hillary Gyebi-Ababio - A candid conversation with Student Officers discussing their experiences being in but not of the institution. 
  • Decolonisation in Practice: Running Campaigns as a student campaigner with Larissa Kennedy - Student Campaigners present and share about how they started and are continuing the decol work they’re doing on their campuses. (Please note: this session will run from 15:00-16:00).
  • Campaigning for decolonisation: Collective Care in Practice with Rami Yasir - Collective Care through Art is an hour of sharing, caring and affirming. We'll discuss what collective care means for all of us and the ways we can affirm our commitment towards it. Together, we'll make art and share art as a way of showing each other we care and, hopefully, create a shamelessly loving space | Rami Yasir is a poet, illustrator and writer, winner of the 2019 National Poetry Day #SpeakYourTruth competition, and big, giant nerd. Their work has been published in a few magazines and books and they've facilitated workshops up and down the country. They're very good. You should book them.

#StudentsDeserveBetter Workshops

  • How do we solve a problem like tuition fees? - The introduction of tuition fees and a marketised mechanism to education funding has fundamentally shifted how we treat out education, but why did this happen and what can we do about it? This workshop will explore the effects of tuition fees and alternative funding systems.
  • New Vision for Education: where are we now? - Let’s come together to discuss the New Vision for Education campaign – updates, progress and next steps. We’ll discuss the importance of framing campaigns and how to use this to energise & mobilise our movement to work together to transform education for good. 
  • Campaigning on the Cost of Living - We've put £174M into the pockets of students since the pandemic started. In November, we have a chance to win big on student funding, and bring back student grants in FE + HE - let's have a chat about how we can do it!
  • Campaigning on Housing and Student Renters - Join housing Campaigners Generation Rent to discuss how we can win big on student housing!
  • Everyone's a Campaigner: Getting active on your campus - Explore how campaigning links demonstrators; knitters; breakfast clubs; and sitting at your computer. It's never been easier to campaign - but what does that actually mean - and are we all already doing it?

 

18:00 - 19:00 - Optional Evening Event Hosted by the Union of Jewish Students

Join the Union of Jewish Students who are hosting a performance of Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale

Marlon's a Jew. This didn't bother him much until he discovered that some people he knew didn't believe the Holocaust happened. From 9/11 to shape-shifting lizards and Holocaust denial, this is a darkly comic tale of one man's journey through the conspiracy underworld. The first one-person show to be performed in the Houses of Parliament, Marlon Solomon’s Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale  is a piece of documentary theatre which explores why conspiracy theories are more popular than ever. He examines how fake news gives fresh currency to ancient slander and how this all relates to current issues in mainstream British Politics. Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale is a one man, multi-media piece of storytelling; it’s a comic tale which is no laughing matter. 

Marlon is an actor, musician and public speaker from Manchester. Having worked in the theatre for over a decade he wrote his first solo show in 2017 and is now a public speaker on the issues raised in the Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale. 
 

 

Day Two - Wednesday 7 April

9.00 - 9.30 - Energiser

Start the day with an optional energiser session to get you ready for the day!

9.30 - 11.30 - Policy workshops

The way we discuss policy is changing!

As you may know, democracy at NUS conferences used to operate like Parliamentary debates: lots of speeches for and against motions, but only a few voices in the spotlight. Now, we’re changing this – we want to make sure that all voices are heard and all participants are represented. Moving forward, conferences will involve more collaborative group discussions on each policy idea; participants will have the chance to ask questions, learn about the topical issues, converse on similarities and differences of opinions, and then vote once everyone’s had their say.

Participants will be able to choose which workshops they attend based on which ideas they’d most like to discuss. Trained facilitators will guide participants through the discussions, which will be formatted as follows:

  • Introduction from the SU who submitted the policy idea, or someone they nominate
  • Work through questions chosen by SU to discuss as a group
  • Once questions have been answered, the group works together to decide what they agree and disagree on, and if they want to make any changes

Today you can choose from

Read all the policy proposals here

11.30 - 14:30 - Break

13.00 - 14.00 - Optional Lunchtime Event Hosted by the Federation of Students in Islamic Societies

Join FOSIS for a session on Opposing surveillance and Islamophobia on campus

With almost 6 years since the imposition of Prevent on our Universities and Colleges, we explore how the policing and surveillance of Muslim students is affecting their ability to engage and practice their faith/religion and how this is links to the wider hostile environment policy.
We explore the ways Islamophobia has grown and manifests in our institutions and how we can collectively organise to address the root causes of this hostility and combat the policing of student activists. 

 

14.00 - 14:25 - Optional information and energiser sessions

Special sessions for updates, information and fun

 

14.30 - 16.00 - Campaigns based networking

We'll be running the following Networking Sessions:

Decolonise Education - Disrupting the anti-racist narrative - Where are the black squares and post-BLM inclusion statements now? 

Decolonise Education - Disrupting the anti-racist narrative - Making the press care without one of us having to die: How do we make the press care about decolonisation? Media interest in anti-racism work only sustains around traumatic events. This workshop will explore tactics for maintaining this interest through press releases.

Decolonise Education - We're all in this together - Decolonising FE with Black FE Leadership Group

Decolonise Education - We're all in this together - Building alternatives locally with Black communities - This workshop is being run by NExclusions, An Abolitionist Grassroots Coalition Movement in Education focused on racial justice, abolishing exclusions & free quality inclusive education 4 all. In this workshop you will learn about the power of grassroots movement, organising and action

Students Deserve Better - Campaigning on the Cost of Living - This networking session is a chance to meet up with other delegates in your area interested in taking action on the cost of living, and discussing action you can take together.

Students Deserve Better - Campaigning on Housing - This networking session is a chance for you to meet up with other delegates from your area interested in housing campaigns.

New Vision for Education - Focus Group - Join the focus group to chat about the future of education and help us shape what that could really look like. Have your say in building a New Vision for Education with likeminded students, officers and activists.

Get out the Vote This networking session is for anyone who has an election coming up - whether it's mayors or ministers, meet other delegates interested in using this for change!

Craftivism This networking session will be a relaxing space to explore craftivism - a creative way to protest! Due to the online nature of this conference, the craftivism session will incorporate a large number of visual images. We will provide image descriptions for all images used in the session. 

 

18:00 - 20:00 - SDB Digital Rally!

We're bringing together the power of the student movement to rally behind our collective demands for economic and academic justice!

Yoga with Noreen Khan and Fizz -

Day Three - Thursday 8 April

9.00 - 9.30 - Energiser session: Yoga with Noreen Khan and Fizz

Start the day with an optional energiser session to get you ready for the day!

BBC Asian Network DJ, Noreen Khan, is going to chat about what yoga and mindfulness has done for her wellbeing, before Fizz takes us through a fifteen minute morning yoga session to brighten up our day with selfcare and a healthy focus. If you would like to take part please be mindful of the space around you in your homes! Any questions please do add to the chat and Noreen and Fizz will do their best to answer after the session. 

9.30 - 11.30 - Policy workshops

The way we discuss policy is changing!

As you may know, democracy at NUS conferences used to operate like Parliamentary debates: lots of speeches for and against motions, but only a few voices in the spotlight. Now, we’re changing this – we want to make sure that all voices are heard and all participants are represented. Moving forward, conferences will involve more collaborative group discussions on each policy idea; participants will have the chance to ask questions, learn about the topical issues, converse on similarities and differences of opinions, and then vote once everyone’s had their say.

Participants will be able to choose which workshops they attend based on which ideas they’d most like to discuss. Trained facilitators will guide participants through the discussions, which will be formatted as follows:

  • Introduction from the SU who submitted the policy idea, or someone they nominate
  • Work through questions chosen by SU to discuss as a group
  • Once questions have been answered, the group works together to decide what they agree and disagree on, and if they want to make any changes

Today you can choose from

Read all the policy proposals here

11.30 - 13.30 - Break

13.30 - 14.00 - Energiser session: Decompression Session with DJ Stuart Sandeman

Radio 1’s Decompression Session is a wellbeing series hosted by breathing expert, coach and DJ Stuart Sandeman. Stuart empowers listeners with shareable tools, tips and techniques designed to help them find calm in the chaos and focus in a world of distraction. He will guide students through a breathwork session. | Stuart's life was transformed by breathwork after the loss of his girlfriend to cancer. He discovered that by following a connected pattern of breathing, his grief faded, his stress and anxiety diminished, and energy levels increased. He has made it his mission to share his methods with the world. Stuart infuses breath science, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, coaching, movement, sound and meditation. He creates a safe, energised learning environment that encourages interaction and active participation. His self-empowering breathing programs can be done by anyone of all ages, and abilities. He teaches tools that can be embedded into all schedules. he has a wealth of experience and has a dynamic approach to his sessions.

14.30 - 16.30 - Closing sessions

Join us to hear from speakers from across the student movement on quickfire tips for making change. The session will finish with closing remarks from NUS National President, Larissa Kennedy.

All voting for policies and in elections will take place once conference has closed. Participants will be emailed a link to cast your votes

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