Aaron Porter set for NUS Vice-President Election
On Tuesday 2nd April, Aaron Porter (Academic Affairs Officer, University of Leicester Students’ Union) stands as a candidate to become the new Vice-President (Higher Education) for the National Union of Students (NUS) during their 3 day Annual Conference in Blackpool.
During the four month election campaign, Porter has already secured widespread support from over 200 Student Union Sabbatical officers from over 100 different Student Unions and the high profile support from current NUS President, Gemma Tumelty and all 3 Vice-Presidents, Wes Streeting (Education), Ama Uzowuru (Welfare) and Beth Walker (Further Education).
Standing on a platform promising to deliver a fairer funding model for University education, to feed into the 2009 Government review; Porter has also made it clear that NUS needs major reform, needs to become more relevant to ordinary students on and off campus, and needs to start being more representative of its diverse membership.
Should he get elected, Porter will create a small piece of history as the University of Leicester’s first ever former student to ever hold office as a full-time member of the NUS National Executive committee, made all the more noteworthy as he has by-passed the 12 part-time officer positions on the National Executive, often considered the more conventional route, instead going from a Sabbatical office within a Students’ Union straight to Vice-President of NUS.
Porter stated, “The academic year 2008/09 is arguably the most important year for NUS in its recent history. With the Government already committed to reviewing the introduction of capped variable tuition fees, it is vital that a unified student voice says ‘No’ to any attempts to lift the cap. But in truth I wish to go further, the current funding system isn’t good enough and isn’t fair enough. Thousands of students are put off from entering higher education, not because of their ability, but their ability to pay and fear of debt upon graduation which is spiralling out of control. I will advocate a new system for student contribution toward their University education, a contribution which will not require any up-front fees or accumulated debt, but a graduate contribution taken from their salary once a student has graduated and is earning a comfortable income.”
Aaron Porter faces competition from Rob Owen (University of Manchester) and Sam Rozati (Essex University) both of whom currently sit as part time members of the NUS National Executive. Rob Owen is currently the organiser for the student wing of the political party, Respect.
Over the last two years, Porter has made a significant contribution to NUS and the wider student movement already. This year he was elected as Chair of Unions94 (the Student Unions of the 1994 Group), made up of 19 Universities which include Warwick University, Durham University and the University of Leicester. He has also been a Director and Deputy Company Chair for the commercial arm of NUS, NUS Services Ltd (NUSSL) and chaired the Student Loans Company student consultative group. Previously, he has also sat on NUS Ethical & Environment committee, NUS Finance committee and the National Executive of Aegis Students, concerned with raising awareness of genocide amongst students.
As well as the election for Vice-President (Higher Education), there will also be elections for the other 2 Vice-Presidents which the incumbents are both re-standing in. Vice President (Education) and former President of Cambridge University Students’ Union, Wes Streeting is standing for NUS President to succeed Gemma Tumelty.
More information about NUS Conference can be found on: www.officeronline.co.uk
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