Part of NUS Black Student Campaign “Operation: Black Students’ Representation” election special by NUS BSC president; Aaron Kiely…
We call for effective Black representation at all levels of the student movement. In our Students’ Unions this often means the creation of a Black Students’ Officer to make sure that the views and concerns of Black students can be put forward.
Anecdotal evidence tells us those unions with Black Students’ Officers witness increased engagement of Black students, a more inclusive union and a union that empowers the diversity of its membership. A Black Students’ Officer is not only good for Black
students, but also strengthens the student movement.
Creating a Black Students’ Officer in your Union
Many Students’ Union executives and councils do not represent the full diversity of its membership and all too often there is a distinct lack of Black representation. You can adapt the following motion to suit your Students’ Union to create the position of a Black Students’ Officer. Often these motions would be submitted after a campaign lead by Black students. If you are campaigning on your campus for a Black Students’ Officer or would like more information on how to campaign for one, please contact NUS Black Students’ Officer Aaron.Kiely@nus.org.uk for advice and support.
You can check out this blog from a student at SU Arts where they have recently created a Black Students’ Officer position following support from the Black Students’ Campaign: https://theefedstudent.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/the-inbox-suarts-president-tumblr-announces-liberation-officers/
This Union Notes:
1. That the NUS, which we are affiliated to, run four liberation campaigns: Women’s Campaign, LGBT Campaign, Black Students’ Campaign and Disabled Students’ Campaign.
2. Our Union has a commitment to promoting equality and diversity.
3. That the NUS Black Students’ Campaign calls for a ‘Black Students’ Officer In Every Union” in order to challenge Black under-representation and racism.
4. Around 20% of NUS’ membership are Black students, and that should be reflected in the make-up of our democratic structures.
5. The definition of ‘Black’ by the NUS Black Students’ Campaign is used politically to unite and empower all people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage.
This Union Believes:
1. That marginalised groups are under-represented in student politics.
2. That Black students have a right to be represented at all levels of the students’ union.
3. That Black students should be empowered to play a leading role in the fight against the discrimination that they face.
4. Our Union should empower Black students and support their calls for increased Black representation.
5. That, in order to achieve liberation, the aforementioned marginalised groups must be represented by members of their own groups, and that only a member of a marginalised group can truly understand the oppression and discrimination that that group faces.
6. That the Union should treat “inclusion and representation” issues as central to everything that the Union does.
This Union Resolves:
1. To create the position of Black Students’ Officer to which any self-defining Black student may run for.
2. To hold elections at the earliest possible opportunity to fill this Officer role.
3. The Black Students’ Officer will be elected by self-defining Black students.
4. To support the Black Students’ Officer in their campaigning on equality and liberation issues.
5. To raise awareness of equality and liberation issues both amongst the student body as a whole and in the wider community.
6. To support this newly-created Officer in engaging with the NUS Black Students’ Campaign.
*Black is a political term inclusive of African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean.
Get in touch with Aaron and the NUS Black Students’ Campaigncommittee
Lookout for the next post with another of Aaron’s key points #3 – For a more diverse NUS National Conference.
Please support by retweeting #OBSR tweets for our role models to tweet words of encouragement to black students to run for elections!