The National Union of Students (NUS) Liberation Conference took place at the end of March. Bringing together Black*, Black* Women, Disabled, LGBT+, Trans and Women Student Delegates. Delegates can expect to collaborate in building communities of activists and organise around several important issues currently facing students from liberation backgrounds such as Disabled Students Allowance reform, period poverty, trans healthcare, and the Prevent Strategy. Delegates will also be required to vote both motions and on candidates for the Liberation Campaign Committee and the Steering Committee.
The Liberation Conference is there to ensure the voices of those who are underrepresented are heard, the students within the campaigns work to gain equal rights or full social and economic opportunities for a particular group. Each exists to represent, extend and defend the rights of students from these Liberation Groups. Each year, The Students' Union at UWE sends 6 delegates, they are:
Each year we send elected students to attend the conference and represent UWE Bristol students nationally. Please note all expenses are paid for by The Students' Union in regards to transport, accommodation and food for the conference. For each of the different Liberation Conferences we have a different delegate entitlement which allows us to send students to the different conferences (see above). The delegate allowance is set by NUS and currently (although this will likely change in the future) two of the relevant Liberation Officers at The Students' Union at UWE automatically have a place - the BME Students Officer and the Disabled Students Officer.
Don’t worry if this appears daunting, training will be provided to delegates by The Students Union at UWE and you will likely be offed the opportunity to partake in range of workshops. Last year, delegates were to take part in a number of workshops around campaigns, policy and decolonising education. The Liberation Conference can be an excellent opportunity to develop your own campaigning skills and become more knowledgeable around structural barriers faced by students of liberation backgrounds.
Students wishing to attend the Liberation Conference must self-define into the relevant group the conference is representing. By submitting your nomination you are therefore defining into the group the conference you wish to attend is representing.
*NUS uses ‘Black’ as an inclusive term to refer to people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean descent and those who self-define as Black. It is a political statement, borne out of the UK anti-racism movement that encompasses individuals who live in the UK and have a shared history of systemic exclusion, inequality and discrimination experienced because of their race.
The NUS works on the works on the social model of disability. This is the idea that that a person is disabled by society because of a particular physical or hidden impairment they may have, i.e., society fails to put measures in place which hinder the independence and dignity of a disabled person.