FAQs



What is National Conference?

National Conference is the sovereign policy-making body of NUS and is where delegates pass policy to decide the political direction of the organisation. Conference also elects the President and five Vice-Presidents for the year ahead, as well as holding the current officers to account.
 

Who do I contact with a query on National Conference?

For issues relating to the administration of conference, including registration, access needs, room bookings and stalls contact the Events Team through events@nus.org.uk

For issues about delegate entitlement, zone committees, reports and policy, amendments to zone policy proposals & Cross Campus Ballots contact the Chair of the Democratic Procedures Committee through governanceteam@nus.org.uk

For issues about elections contact the Chief Returning Officer through governanceteam@nus.org.uk
 

How is delegate entitlement worked out?

Each union gets a number of delegates based on the number of part-time and full-time students. This is set each year by DPC based on the amount of money that they are given by the NEC and approved by National Conference in the Estimates. 

 

What is 'Fair Representation'?

At National Conference 2014, delegates voted to change NUS' rules around delegations to Conference, meaning that from this year, all students' unions must send delegations that include at least 50% self-defining women (rounded down) as a way of ensuring that conference floor is representative of the student movement. For example, if you have a delegate entitlement of four, two of your delegates must self-define as women (if you have five, it would also be two as it's 50% rounded down.) If you are a union with a delegate entitlement of one, then your place is open but if the delegate you send is not a self-defining woman then your free observer place must be taken by a self-defining woman.

Guidance about Fair Representation can be found here.

 

Why do we have guest speeches and fringes?

NUS has a long history of working with others and those who are involved in the student movement often go on to do further good in trades union, charities, politics or other aspects of society. National Conference is a good time to hear from people with an inspirational journey and stand in solidarity with those with similar fights to NUS.
 

What time does National Conference begin?

National Conference begins at 12:00PM on Tuesday 25 April 2017. Registration will open at 9:00AM on that day. After registration, there will also be two delegate training sessions so we advise delegations to arrive early in order to attend training as well.
 

What do I need on Conference floor to participate?

You should always have your wristband and voting card with you for the whole conference. These are known as your ‘credentials’ and are necessary for taking part in voting. If you lose any of these please go to the NUS information point.
 

What documents do I need?

Each delegate will have a printed copy of the agenda and policy proposals

There will be optional printed copies of Officer reports available in the venue for reference only and Adoptions and Policy Lapse will be availble on display in the venue. All documents are available to download from the Conference website.
 

Where should I sit?

You should sit with your delegation (your union) for the whole event. Your delegation will be assigned an area on conference floor on registration.
 

How do I vote?

For policy you’ll be asked to raise your voting card in the air. If the need arises for a counted vote then the Chair will explain exactly what you need to do.

For elections you’ll be asked to cast your ballot paper in a specific area of the building showing your voting card and wristband. Ballots will only be open for a specific time and you will not be able to vote on behalf of anyone else.
 

Will there by any WiFi?

There is free WiFi throughout the venue. You can access all digital copies of the Conference documents on the Conference website. Please keep your devices on silent whilst on conference floor.
 

Will there be a Prayer/Quiet Room

Yes and will be signposted within the building or you can ask for details at the NUS information point when you arrive.
 

Where can I eat?

Breakfast is supplied in your hotels, but otherwise there are a number of food outlets in and around the conference venue, please ask at the NUS information point if you want some advice on places to go for specific dietary requirements. Food is not allowed on Conference floor so please make sure you use the breaks and fringes for lunch and dinner.
 

Who will be at the Conference?

  • The Democratic Procedures Committee (DPC) are responsible for the smooth running of conference procedures and sit on stage left (audience right). Speak to them about any items on the order paper (except elections).
  • The Chief Returning Officer (CRO) and their deputies are responsible for the smooth running of the NUS Elections and will be at the NUS information point.
  • The Chair is the person guiding delegates and observers through discussion on motions, reports and other agenda items and will sit on stage right (audience left).
  • National Executive Council (NEC) will all be in attendance and are responsible for implementing the decisions set by Conference. They will be sat in an allocated section of conference floor.
  • Delegates are members of conference with voting and speaking rights. They can access conference floor by any of the 4 main doors to sit with their union in the allocated area.
  • Observers are members of conference with some speaking but no voting rights. They can access conference floor by any of the 4 main doors to sit with their union.
  • Visitors are individuals who have been given access to conference but do not have speaking or voting rights. They will have restricted access to conference floor.
  • Press are individuals from local, national or student press who have the same status as visitors.
  • Enablers are individuals who support delegates with disabilities to participate at conference. They are not to influence voting decisions made by the delegate, nor personally take part in any political activity at conference.
  • NUS Staff carry out the administration, practical logistics of conference run and aim to ensure you have a positive experience. They are not responsible for the political decisions made by NUS and their conduct, and the conduct of conference attendees towards them, is covered by the Staff Protocol.