Conference 2011/12

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The national conference of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) was held in Liverpool on January 28th and 29th. Between 150 and 200 students and activists from all corners of the UK attended, in the largest event of its kind in many years, with discussion and skill-sharing on a huge range of issues.

The conference put forward numerous actions to take the  student movement forward for the next few months, including:

  • A call for a National Student Strike to coincide with an NUS-backed week of action in March
  • A major new campaign entitled “Take Back Your Campus”, focused on democratising campuses and student unions.
  • Support for major strike action by lecturers and public sector unions over pensions and conditions
  • Continued resistance to the HE white paper after the dropping of the government’s HE Bill, including policy to fight for access against student number control, against marketisation and soaring fees for international and postgraduate students
  • A call for NUS to organise a national demonstration in autumn 2012
  • Policy to defend political prisoners and the right to protest.

Structural motions were passed to make NCAFC’s operations more transparent, and to increase representation of liberation groups and FE and school students. There was also a lively debate on a smattering international issues, and on anti-fascism. A full policy report will be put up on this website tomorrow.

The broader conversations at conference centred around the higher education white paper following the dropping of the HE Bill, with in depth analysis and discussions, as well as campus democracy, and a host of workshops on the issues affecting Women’s, LGBTQ, Disabled and BME students.

There was also a big social in the evening and a fair bit of fun.

 

Elections

One of the major events of the conference was the election of a new national committee, as well as liberation (Women, BME, LGBTQ and Disabled) representatives, and the co-chairs of the Communications and Inclusiveness Working Group. They were as follows:

Co-Chairs of the Communications and Inclusiveness Working Group:

  • James McAsh, Edinburgh University (Open Place)
  • Tali Janner-Klausner, UCL (Women’s Place)

Open Place National Committee members (14 elected, 40% reserved for women):

  • Naomi Beecroft, Edinburgh University
  • Michael Chessum, UCL
  • Edward Maltby, London
  • Aidan Turner, Glasgow University
  • Sean Rillo Razcka, University of London and Birkbeck
  • Jamie Woodcock, Goldsmith’s College
  • Kristian Bruun, SOAS
  • Daniel Lemberger Cooper, Royal Holloway
  • Sally Roberts, Sheffield Hallam
  • Sarah Weston, Merseyside
  • Riya Al’sanah, SOAS
  • Joana Ramiro, London
  • Ruth Nicholson, Royal Holloway
  • Bob Sutton, Liverpool University

Scotland Region:

  • Gordon Maloney, Aberdeen University (Open Place)
  • Lucy Eskell, Edinburgh University (Women’s Place)

Women’s Campaign:

The women’s campaign elected a committee of 12 people to share their vote:

  • Esther Townsend, University of East London
  • Aimee Kent-Payne, Hull University
  • Naomi Beecroft, Edinburgh University
  • Martha Gillespie, Royal Holloway
  • Rebecca Mallowan, Sheffield University
  • Lucy Eskell, Edinburgh Univesity
  • Ellie Clarke, University College Falmouth
  • Fiona Edwards, Birkbeck College
  • Beti Scott, Edinburgh University
  • Riya Mary Al’Sanah, SOAS
  • Abigail Barr, Edinburgh University
  • Philippa Faulkner, Edinburgh University

Disabled Campaign:

  • Matt Bond, Sheffield
  • Matthew Reuben, Royal Holloway

Black and Minority Ethnic Campaign:

  • Alusine Alpha, Bradford University (Open Place)
  • Maham Hashmi-Khan, SOAS (Women’s Place)

LGBTQ Campaign:

  • Daf Adley, London (Open Place)
  • Stef Newton, UCL (Women’s Place)
  • Chris Walter, Aberdeen University (Trans Place)

Other regions and nations will hold their caucuses independently, and their reps stay on the committee until that takes place.