Meet the Candidates for the future of NUS Scotland Working Group

NUS Scotland is pleased to announce candidates for the Future of NUS Scotland Working Group. The Future of NUS Scotland Working Group will explore options and organising models for NUS Scotland and its future relationship with NUS UK.

Elections are taking place for 4x positions representing the membership of NUS Scotland: 2 students or sabbatical officers; 2 staff members. Please note that there will be equal representation between FE and HE within the election.

The election will be voted on by Students' Associations based in Scotland that are affiliated to NUS. Each Students' Association will receive one vote and this will be sent via email, in most instances this will go to the President. The election is being overseen by the NUS Scotland Returning Officer Mike Day. The election will be run to the following schedule:

Campaigning    25 Oct – 4 Nov
Meet the candidates zoom session    7 Nov
Voting open    7 – 10 Nov
Close of polls    10 Nov 12 noon
Count and announcement    10 Nov

Please note due to the extension of nominations these timings have been revised. Where candidates had submitted their nomination by the original deadline we have noted this below.

We encourage Students' Associations to read about the candidates, reach out to them and discuss who you would like to sit on this committee. Below are their candidate statements. All candidates were invited to provide an optional supporting statement in the form of a motivation letter/CV. We have linked to those provided by candidates.

You can find out more about the role here.

Candidates for student/sabbatical officer positions

Kirsten Koss, Aberdeen University Students' Association

Election standing in: Student/Sabbatical Officer HE

You should elect me for this position because I'm a student with a wealth of experience in Scotland's student movement. I'm currently a student at the University of Aberdeen studying History and Politics after articulating from college. As a former college student, I was Depute President of NESCol Students' Association where I represented college students locally as well as nationally on SQA strategic committees and also at the Scottish Parliament College Regionalisation Inquiry. I am currently a sparqs Associate Trainer and I am volunteering on the NUS Scotland Steering Committee. I’m also a class rep at my University. I'm well versed in the Scottish Student Movement, and I believe I am a great candidate for this committee deciding on the future of NUS Scotland.  I believe my experience across the tertiary sector would be very useful on this committee. Furthermore, I feel very passionately about ensuring that the voices of FE students and apprentices are heard on this group and if elected I would do everything in my power to do so.

Megan McClellan, City of Glasgow College Students' Association

Election standing in: Student/Sabbatical Officer FE
As a second year Officer at City of Glasgow College, I am committed to ensuring that the College voice is heard at a local and national level.  I am passionate about community work and advocating for inclusive and accessible education for all students.  
I have a background in studying Sociology, International Relations and Journalism, and believe that these are all complementary subjects to my role, allowing me to see the bigger picture of our students' futures.
As NUS Scotland begins the journey to become independent, I think it's incredibly important to ensure that this process ensures FE voices are not left behind. 
I believe that, as a compassionate, determined and flexible person, I have the skillset to ensure we reach an Independent NUS Scotland that benefits all students across the country.

Benn Rapson, University of Strathclyde Students' Association

Election standing in: Student/Sabbatical Officer HE

(This candidate submitted their nomination before the original nominations deadline)

Formerly, I was the President (2021-2022) and VP Welfare (2020-2021) of Strathclyde Students’ Union. I was also the drafter and proposer of the motion calling for an independent NUS Scotland. At conference, I spoke on why I passionately believed in independence, but I was also clear that this was the start of a process - not the end of one. As I promised at conference, I want to ensure that this is an open, transparent, and democratic process that includes all corners of our movement. If elected to the advisory committee, that is what I would seek to ensure, as we build the NUS that students in Scotland deserve. We must ensure that the outcome has the support of all corners of our movement, both FE and HE as well as grassroots student organisations, if we are to make a success of this newly reformed NUS in Scotland. I would greatly appreciate your support and, regardless of the outcome of the election, I look forward to the national conversation that is about to take place on the future of our movement in Scotland.

This candidate has prepared a supporting stament which can be viewed here

Jess Reid, University of Stirling Students' Union

Election standing in: Student/Sabbatical Officer HE

Hi, my name is Jess Reid and I am the Vice President Communities at the University of Stirling Students' Union. I am running for this Independence Advisory Group due to my interest and experience in the development of grassroots movements and national organizations. Outwith my work at the Students' Union I have founded and led Reclaim Stirling, a grassroots campaign focused on Gender-Based Violence and sexual violence which has been shaped and redeveloped considerably over the last two years due to the external environment.
This experience along with my work as a Sabbatical Officer and Women's Officer in my own Students' Union has given me a passion for governance and how NUS Scotland can work for students in Scotland. This is a turning point in the organization's history, one which will be looked back on in years to come. I want to be part of this group to work to ensure this turning point is one that strives to find the best way forward for the future of NUS Scotland.

Olivia Robertson, Abertay University Students' Association

Election standing in: Student/Sabbatical Officer HE

My name is Olivia, I am the current President of Abertay Students Association, while on a break from my degree in Sociology. During my two university years, I founded the Abersafe society. This allowed me to advocate passionately for awareness of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and work with Abertay to encourage a safer student environment for everyone, which manifested into interviews and campaigns for amplifying student voices surrounding safety concerns and GBV. This progressed into becoming a part of the YWL Dundee program, where I worked with other Dundonian women to produce a report on the sex education received in Dundee, which ended up being taken into Scottish parliament! All of this led me to where I am today, as the Student President of Abertay University, pushing for actions directly in the interest of students alongside the established parts of the President role, such as committees and university court. 
Hopefully, this shows my dedication to the role of student president and beyond and the true passion I hold for amplifying student voices. This perfectly mirrors the goals of NUS Scotland, and I believe I would be able to thrive with further involvement.  
Thank you for your time and consideration!  

Candidates for staff positions

Sinéad Daly, Students' Association of the University of the West of Scotland

Election standing in: Staff HE
My name is Sinéad Daly, CEO of the Students' Association of the University of the West of Scotland. I’ve worked within the SU sector for almost 4 years.  I also have 17 years’ experience in working for membership led organisations in the Violence Against Women sector. I believe there is huge potential for positive change through this constitutional review. We have the potential, if we get this right, to become a stronger collective voice for students and vehicle for change.  I have significant experience in constitutional and organisational change processes both within individual organisations and national bodies, including Scottish Women’s Aid.

Sinead McKenna, City of Glasgow College Students' Association

Election standing in: Staff FE
With over seven years’ working within College Student Representation, I believe I have extensive occupational experience advantageous to this role. 
Previously working as a NUS Consultant, I have a strong understanding of the challenges facing Scottish College Student Associations. I would be excited to investigate how an independent NUS Scotland could further advance the development of our Scottish SAs including our responsibilities to the new Tertiary Quality Systems.
During my time, I have navigated and reformed complicated committee structures as well as procedural guidance and policies.  Like the work I have already completed, within my institution, I would look for the governance of an Independent NUS Scotland to be as accessible as possible to all student members.
Finally, whilst working with City, I have had the daily opportunity to engage directly with students and recognise that the disassociation they have with NUS as a real challenge to the movement. I see the opportunity to develop an independent NUS Scotland as a catalyst to re-engage on the ground students and put strength back into the student voice.
I would be delighted to represent these ideas and more on this Advisory Group should membership vote for me.

This candidate has prepared a supporting stament which can be viewed here

Craig Walker, Fife College Students' Association

Election standing in: Staff FE
As a former President, and current Staff member, I am aware of the challenges facing our students, unions, and associations and how an effective NUS Scotland can help to address these. 
In all aspects of my work I want to deliver the best  service and experience for our students. If elected, I will bring my passion and commitment to the role, working constructively and with appropriate challenge to ensure the process delivers a well-informed, realistic, and sustainable plan for the future of NUS Scotland.

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