By Lauren Halsey (Lesbian Leader)
What is the NUS conference?
The National Union of Students hold annual decision-making conferences to discuss, debate and vote on motions then elect the political leadership for the year ahead. This was a LGBT+ specific conference, whereby the motions specifically brought up to benefit Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer etc. community were discussed and voted on by students representing universities from all over the UK.
LSBSU funded three representatives from the LGBTQ+ society to represent the university at the annual NUS LGBT+ conference, which was held in Stratford-Upon-Avon this year. We were each chosen to represent our identity groups; I represented the lesbian/bi women at our university, Corey represented trans and bi people and James represented gay men.
We all had a VERY early (3am) start, our train left London around 6am so we had to leave time to get to the station and grab breakfast!
We arrived at the conference just before 9am, signed in and headed straight to the first part of the conference, where we started by voting for or against pineapple on pizza… to cut a long story short, the hosts explained how the voting process worked and what we could expect over the course of the conference.
The venue was lovely, when we finally checked in at 3pm, we were able to find our rooms and explore the building. Not only were our rooms MASSIVE, but we were also able to share a massive dorm with LGBTQ+ students from up and down the country!
We also had some time to look around Stratford-Upon-Avon…
There was a small social event in the evening where awards were given out to societies and people who had grown exponentially or achieved a lot in the past year. The social was really inspiring as it showed some of the greatest and largest scale achievements which inspired us even more to take action at our University.
We started the morning off by checking out and heading to the Caucasus, where we voted for next year's reps by how they identify (there were Women’s, Trans, Bi and Black/BAME roles up for grabs, as well as Open Place, HE & FE specific representatives and the Disabled Students Officer role, to name a few).
We then rejoined the conference where we voted on a few of the final motions and had our final lunch as a group before the results of the elections were announced and final winning speeches were delivered.
Overall, the conference served as a massive motivational and confidence boosting tool! I can’t wait to use what I’ve taken away to help continue to grow the LGBTQ+ society at LSBU and continue to raise awareness and spread positivity to all of the LGBTQ+ students here and our allies!