The Trail so far

The first day of the NUS conference was a perfect analogy for the tide of change sweeping the ranks of the national movement.

Students from across the country have been debating policy that mandates the running of NUS for the next year with stark vigour and passion.

The broad nature of motions submitted this year also reflect on the massive diversity of political opinion within the delegates. This year has seen a surprising shift in NUS ideology, prominently its core belief in free education is no more, with a graduate contribution now favoured, how that manifests its self is yet to be seem.

Some motions that would have been expected to pass dramatically fell in what can be described as a u-turn in NUS position.

Observers and press watched on from the balcony as a proposed non means tested living grant for all students fell flat on its face after an impassioned plea from a Cambridge delegate. “its not fair for single mothers to pay for your education” he declared while A delegate from Plymouth argued “that Delegates should vote down this motion as (they) represent the full spectrum of political belief”

Whilst the conference floor has been rife with debate, the corridors of the Sage in Gateshead have been transformed into a battle ground where political parties and special interest groups lobby each delegate for their crucial vote.

Every corner and staircase is teaming with eager campaigners handing out posters and flyers advertising the many candidates standing in the various elections, with some of the die hards plastering passers by with stickers without so much as a hello.

The atmosphere around the conference hall is electric, a raw energy surrounds the venue driven by political ideology and idealism.

One thing is for certain, if a delegate arrived at this conference with an apolitical mindset they wont be leaving with one.

Imad Faghmous

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