Motion 301: Higher Education Funding

Seven amendments are attached to this motion. Each of these amendments will be decided upon seperately. All the amendments for this motion are ‘add’ amendments to add points in. So if all are passed we end up with a long motion and then the whole motion will be voted.

HE zone committee will intoriduce the motion. Usman Ali steps forward. Ali begins by saying that we have seen the “biggest attack” on HE funding over the past few months.

“When cuts begin to bite we need to make sure students’ unions are ready.”

He adds: “The fight back starts now conference.”

Lilly Rumsey, Liverpool SU President, speaks for the first amendment and in support of the motion as a whole. No one chooses to speak against.

Mo Saquib in giving the summation. He says that the additions are “very valid”. Saquib is particularly keen to give support to fighting cuts to arts funding. He hopes conference will vote in favour.

Amendment 301a passes.

Amendment 301b is now being presented. “As students we must continue to fight for fairer funding and it is an absolute disgrace that the government thinks certain course aren’t worth funding,” says the speaker. Bob Sutton Liverpool guild of students will speak against the amendment. He is proud to have been part of NCAFC and is proud to have stormed Millbank. He says that this amendment condemns those students and condemns “fringe groups” which he disagrees with. He asks if they would have been better at the glow stick vigil offered by NUS on Dec 9.

The chair, Ben Whittiker, tells people to stand back from the mic if they wish to be passionate. “I love passion,” he adds. The crowd laughs.

Dora Meridith, University of Birmingham guild of students, speaks next. She says the amendment is about “inclusivity.”

She adds: “We must not appear divided.”

Amendment 301b passes.

Amendment 301c is next to be discussed. Aaron Porter will speak first for this motion. He says we are going into a territory, “where the market will run riot.” He adds that part-time and post-grads are not given proper support. He says that this amendment focuses on them.

No speeches against.

DPC (democracy committee) has some parts. Debate on whether NUS opposes any form of tuition fees. Lucy, President of Oxford Brookes SU, says she has an issue with parts of the motion – NUS should always fundementally oppose all fees.

Speech against – Emma Carey UMSU

These parts are not about a graduate tax these are about debt. If we have barriers against education either with a graduate tax or any sort of tax we can remove these barriers.

Parts remain in main motion.

Summation of overall motion has been waived.

Amendment 301c passes.

Motion 301 Amendment 301d.

Motion has been backed by many unions but Mark Bergfeld to take the speech.
Students have been thanked for “standing against the deepest austerity measures since WW2.” We want to fight to win – the battle against fees is one we do not want to lose. We need another national demonstration in the Autumn term to keep up the pressure. We need to capitalise on the new activist from the 10th of November – we need to fight the millionaires.

Speech against – NEC. Stevie Wise HE Zone Committee EUSA

proud of action taken against “agressive attack” from the government. Proud to call the student movement diverse and not just officers. Not prepared to be tied down to one type of action at one time. Need to be reactive as well as proactive and cannot tie ourself to this.

Speech in favour – Aaron Keily Black Students campaign.

This motion is about NUS leading the fightback. Our protests and peaceful direct action were all vital. NUS refused to get involved in all of these activities. NUS had to potential to lead the charge but instead stayed on the sidelines with glowsticks. We need an NUS that will mobilise tens of thousands. If we aren’t going to mobilise against the cuts we might as well go home.

Speech against – Rachel Wenstone NEC and Leeds University Union.

Local action builds the national campaign. It will be local action that creates tangible wins, local action can only serve to strengthen on efforts. NUS needs to ensure that every student on every campus is fighting for them. NUS must be there.

Speech in favour – Sam – University of Sheffeild.

NUS needs to keep building – NUS can never turn their back on students venting their anger. Aaron Porter himself said that NUS did not step up to the plate. We need to vote in favour of this.

Speech against – Jeffery Brown – Trinity Larden student union.

“Dont think that sit-ins in major stores is not the way to go – boycott makes more of a change.” Heckling from the crowd is met with disdain from chair Ben Whittaker: “It takes a lot of courage to come up on the stage and heckling is not helpful.” Another round of speeches have been granted.

Speech For – Alan Wargarsen – Hertfordshire College

an incredibly rousing speech from Hertfordshire college is met with a rowdy cheering crowd against the “villanous plans to destroy us all.” “We must get the fair deal I promised to my people” he yelled at the crowd “We need to fight against anything the tories or lib dems throw at us – who is with me!” The crowd is frankly cheering with glee.

Speech agaisnt – Usman Ali – NUS NEC.

A confused speech from Usman – “we have the responsibility to make sure these decisions do not negatively affect your students” another NEC call for local campaigns over national ones. The NEC clearly have a line on this one.

Call for parts – but there is a procedural motion C from David Berkley to suspend ***. for the duration of amendment 3 – no-one is sure what is going on.

Explaination – you have to take the whole clause out of a motion or amendment to take parts. This is a call to remove only one or two words.

Speech for – David Berkley – OUSU

This is a controversial amendment, there are lots of good reasons either side – we shouldn’t say when this should happen. DB wants to remove the words so that we are having a conversation about whether to have a national demonstration instead of one in the autumn term.

Speech Against – Rob Park DPC.

taking the speech against because this has been through so many committees beforehand, putting the text together. A call to “vote with your conscience.” Need a two thirds majority to pass but it is unclear. Chair Ben Whittaker calls for a count, and boy is the air tense.

Motion falls because it is short of 2 thirds!

But the motion is not yet over as the DPC announces that there are parts. Parts on 301D – conference resolves 4 to be discussed. 100 delegates needed – parts fall.

Summation waived to Mark Bergfeld.

Marky B takes to the stage again with his robotic voice booming across the conference – giving kudos for the vibrant Hertfordshire delegate from earlier. “This is not about local versus national – if we do not fight, we cannot win”

Passes to the vote, but another count has to be had. Amendment 301d falls. But with heckling from the crowd calling for a recount. 100 delegates needed for a recount and they find them.

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