Shakira Martin has been re-elected as NUS President
She will be leading the NUS for the second year running
Shakira Martin has been re-elected as the next NUS President at the union's National Conference in Glasgow.
Martin beat competitors Momin Saqib, who would have been the first non-European to ever hold the position, and Sahaya James, a student activist and Labour Party supporter to the position of NUS President.
The vote counts are as follows:
Sahaya James: 104
Shakira Martin: 352
Momin Saqib: 168
RON (Re-Open Nominations): 66
A corner of the conference floor erupted in loud cheers as the result was announced, but delegates were swiftly told off for making too much noise.
Over 1000 delegates and observers traveled up to Glasgow for the National Conference this year, where the NUS elects their full-time officers and debates pressing issues for students in the coming year.
Shakira rose through student politics from a range of positions at London’s Lewisham College, before being elected as NUS Vice President for Further Education in 2015 and 2016, and eventually being voted NUS President in Brighton last year.
Shakira opened the conference yesterday with a speech which reflected on her year of Presidency, and the troubles she faced "inheriting a broken NUS" from former President Malia Bouattia. She welcomed the conference's positioning in Glasgow before touching on the city's past association with slavery, leading into the recent incidents of racism seen at universities such as Nottingham and Exeter.
Describing herself as an "outspoken" young black woman with "swagger", Martin's vibrancy woke up the conference after an otherwise dull morning of procedure and introductions. She spoke with flair talking of her Higher Education "friends" and Further Education "family".
Despite being at the helm of the NUS for a year, Martin's campaign for her second year as President proposes that now is the time to"get real" about student politics.
Her policies call for a serious rethink on student poverty, including demands for "universal discounts on student travel" and "quadrupling the dehumanising apprenticeship wage". She also campaigns for a bigger student engagement with national politics following the success of #GenerationVote at the 2017 General Election, as well as student employability and fighting for student parents and carers.
Martin promises her next year as NUS President will "bring the next generation of young black student leaders into our Unions", further involve college students in NUS discussions, and continue to "lobby UCAS to anonymise the application system".