A NEW AGE FOR THE STUDENT MOVEMENT: NUS ELECTIONS 2017 – MARY FINCH

The Norwich Radical was born in the student movement, and we continue to play an active role within it. We recognise that while official structures are not the sum total of the movement, they are undeniably important. After a momentous year for the National Union of Students, studying it is more important than ever for understanding the political consciousness of the student movement. As we move into election season for the new NUS President, Vice Presidents and National Executive Council, we contacted all candidates in those elections and offered them the space to write about their election campaigns, why they are standing and their vision for NUS.

Submissions are unedited, and are being published in the order we receive them. This candidate is standing for the NEC Block of 15.

Mary 1

I joined Socialist Students and started campaigning against attacks on education when I was 17. Since then, I organised demonstrations against student loan privatisation, for free education and against the attacks on maintenance grants, while doing my undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds. As a postgraduate student at King’s College London I’ve supported the cleaners strike for fair working conditions, been a part of solidarity protests with the Spanish student strike, and protests against Trump.

The NUS has made big steps forward in the past few years with the election of a new, much more left-wing leadership. The national demonstration in defence of education last November shows how much enthusiasm there is amongst students for a fightback, and how crucial it is that the NUS place itself at the centre of that fight. That’s my vision for what NUS should be – a democratic, campaigning organisation which is prepared to take on all attacks on education. That means demanding free education and an end to all funding cuts amongst other things, but also demanding a decent standard of living for all students – living grants, not loans, for all students, and an end to sky high rents.

 

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