On Tuesday 3rd July 2018, myself and the 6 other SABBs from CUSU travelled to Birmingham to attend the NUS SU’s Conference 2018. On arrival, we received a speech from Shakira Martin, the NUS President, who welcomed us to the conference. She gave a personal talk about where she had got to in the organisation, and all the planning and hard work it had taken to get there, despite being a single mother. After this opening talk, first year SABBs were invited to network and mingle. As this was my first conference I felt slightly nervous, but as soon as I spoke to the other people, I realised nearly everyone felt the same way as me, and so I was instantly made to feel at ease.
We could then all split off and go to the chosen sessions throughout the day. I chose to go to Women Students’ Campaign, as it related most to my manifesto and plans for the year. Here I got to speak to Sarah Lasoye, The NUS Women’s Officer. She gave some really good advice on how to run campaigns in aid of women students and we planned for her to give a talk to Coventry students from the Women’s Community. It was a really interesting day, filled with lots of useful information for first time SABB officers.
The second day started off with a keynote speech from Dr. Kehinde Andrews about decolonising the University. His emotive talk touched upon Black Radicalism, and his publication ‘Back to Black’. Throughout the day, delegates were encouraged to walk round the various exhibitions and speak to the representatives. I also decided to attend the workshop ‘Surprises and How to Handle them’, as I felt this would be interesting and beneficial to my role – which it was. It allowed me to hear about other difficulties SABBs and staff had faced and how they dealt with it. It was a workshop that I definitely took something from. All in all I had a brilliant time at my first conference & definitely learnt a lot from it.