By Sam Creighton
Phil Whyte, President of Strathclyde Students’ Association and campaign manager for new NUS President-elect Liam Burns, is “absolutely delighted for both Liam and for the student movement” that the candidate he has worked hard to advocate has now claimed the top job in our national union. “It’s dedication on Liam’s part that has massively paid off” Whyte explains, “it’s a great victory for the movement, with Liam at the helm we can really now go to new and exciting places.”
While delegates may view the elections as only really taking place for the few days of Conference, the truth is that they take months of preparation and hard graft. “Nothing can prepare you for a national election in any shape or form.” It was however a fun campaign to be part of: “The people who have been supporting Liam have been fantastic. Everyone believed in him and knew he was the best man for the job. He’s had the backing of every Student Association in Scotland as well as many more up and down the country. Having that base has been a fantastic resource.”
The relationship between the candidate and his campaign manager goes back a long way. “I’m a bit of a hack” Whyte explains, “I’ve been around for years, so I met Liam when he was running for NUS Scotland Deputy President back when I was a part-time officer for my own Students’ Union. I followed through to become a full-time officer at the same time as when Liam was NUS Scotland President so we developed a very strong friendship and a very strong working relationship as well.”
According to Whyte, Burns shows that there is no such thing as a natural successor to the position of NUS President and will push the student movement forward in a way that it never has been before. Find an article with the candidate himself in the next issue of The Delegate.