OWEN JONES For Union Parliament & NUS Delegate Founder of Union Parliament, former Campaigns & Involvement Officer and current NUS Services Company Director and Chair of the NUS Environment and Ethics Committee.
Background... First ran for election in 2007 and became a Finance & Management Officer without portfolio under the old Union Council system before rising to the ranks of Executive Officer in 2009, a post I held for two years; I have also been a NUS delegate since 2008. I have a long association with this Union of effective and innovative campaigning, placing Leicester on the national campaigns map with such campaigns as Debt Sentence. Having now returned back to my studies; I believe that I have built up a unrivalled amount experience and knowledge of campaigning for Leicester students which will be a tremendous asset to Union Parliament. We face a historical turning point in Higher Education, with the tripling of fees and the removal of funding, and the University of Leicester Students’ Union needs to be ready; with active and strong students officers at the fore-
Delivering a “Day of Action” address at the Clocktower
On BBC News - launching Debt Sentence „bodies‟ protest
At the Heart of Student Experience... This University should be all about us, the students. We the students are the pulse of campus, we are what makes this University such a great place to be - and we should never allow the University to forget that, nor take us for granted. Oadby Student Village is student halls of residence, not a conPre– National Demo speech from the roof of the SU ference facility that happens to let students live their during term with now City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby time. The Library is a place for students to study in, not an art gallery. Our Students’ Union is a social space for us, not a shopping centre. I understand that conferences help subsidise our accommodation fees. I enjoy the art in the Library. And I see the many benefits of having a Rymans in the Percy Gee Building. However, we cannot let the University forget their priorities and why they exist, for us the students. I have sat on high committees such as Senate, and I know that students can have a real voice and say in these high level matters. We need strong student officers supporting the Exec, leading the grass roots campaigning, and creating a true Union! I believe that I am the candidate that can make this happen.
A Greener Students’ Union... I first got involved in student politics because I wanted to see a greener Students’ Union. Over the past few years I have introduced the Union’s first Environmental Sustainability Policy, helped reduce the Union’s carbon footprint by 17.5%, got our Union the prestigious Green Impact Gold Award, helped launch the national 10:10 campaign and held a carbon neutral Freshers’ Fair (see picture). I am also the national Environment & Ethics Chair for NUS and this year was a judge at the celebrated Green Gown Awards. However, there is still a lot to be done I promise to work alongside the Campaigns & Involvement Officer to make our Students’ Union the greenest in the country.
Bio-diesel powered Freshers‟ Fair
Postgraduates... Having completed my bachelors I am now a proud postgrad, and it’s a little known fact that postgrads make up over half the students here at Leicester, yet we certainly do not seem to get that level of attention! Universities depend on three things, prestige, income from tuition fees and research funding. The latter feeds the former which itself affects the fees income. HEFCE has had to slash £45m off the research budget. This has massive implications on the postgraduate community and our Students’ Union. To increase your rating you need to improve your research. To improve your research you need the best researchers. One of the most common ways of achieving this is by having top quality PRG students, who concentrate on delivering cutting edge research, and lots of it. What will be implications of this? I am unsure. Are we going to see an explosion of PGT students to feed greater numbers of PRG students? Who is going to pay for these students? Are we going to see PGT fees rise in line with undergraduate fees? Will we see an increase role of industry in our postgraduate courses to boost funding? The future is very uncertain, but this Union needs to be ready. We need student officers that really understand these debates, which need to be at the forefront of the student movement over this year. I believe I am the only candidate that can deliver what is needed for postgrads.
Distance Learners and Part-Time Students... The majority of students at Leicester study off campus, known as distance learning. I was one of the first Officers to try and incorporate these students into the Union; even over the Summer I have been in talks with DL departments to help welcome new DLs to the Union and promote a more holistic engagement with both DLs and P/Ts. I believe I am the only candidate with a strong track record in this area.
The NUS.... I have a fair amount of experience of the NUS. Having been a delegate for this Union at National Conference since 2008. I chair the Environment & Ethics Committee, a member of the NUS Services Company Board of Directors and sit on the NUS Society & Citizenship Zone Committee. Since 2008 I have attended numerous NUS Conferences and have a decent standing within the National Body. I am the the candidate with the most experience of NUS and I believe the only candidate to have submitted motions to the National Conference. National Conference is large and can be very confusing due to its size. We need a delegate that has experience at this level to ensure Leicester’s voice is heard at a national level. I believe that I am the best candidate for this responsibility.
Leading a group of Leicester students at a climate change protest in London
Campaigns & Involvement Officer (2 terms) Chair of the Executive Committee University Senate NUS Services Environment & Ethics Committee NUS Society & Citizenship Committee Finance & Management Committee Union Officer (since 2007) NUS Delegate (since 2008) Founder of SIFE Union Constitutional Working Group Founder of Hope Not Hate Society Lead the largest campaign in the Union’s history (Debt Sentence) Reduced the Union’s carbon footprint by 17.5% Economics Sport Sec UoLMCC Social Sec Cross Country Club Treasurer University Sustainable Travel Implementation Group One of the lead national officers in the fight against fees Real Ale Society Social Sec University Biodiversity Group University Distance Learning Advisory Group (first student officer to sit on this group) Big Green Week Love Music/Hate Racism Campaign NUS Services Company Board of Directors Invited as a panel judge on the national Debating Matters Competition Blood Brothers (LGBTQ rights campaign) LUSH presenter, award nominated University Distance Learner Forum contributor Green Impact Gold Award Outstanding Achievement Award 2010 Panellist on BBC Radio Leicester fees debate (only non-MP invited) Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 Panellist on ITV Central’s 2011 political round-up show Doubled voter turnout in Executive elections for two consecutive years Launched the East Midlands largest Anti-BNP campaign during the European Elections Judge at the Green Gown Awards Chair of Governance Review Committee Founded Union Parliament Awarding winning Contact volunteer Environment team volunteer Panellist at local Question Time Sound Impact Silver Award