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Research carried out at Conference 2007 suggests that many delegates find the event tiring, inaccessible and confusing and very difficult to engage with. Lots of the agenda is taken up with bureaucracy or procedural matters rather than policy debates. People feel the whole thing is "stitched up" and only the most confident speakers get to contribute. They also told us that the days- which last 9.00am-11.00pm are much too long and there's little time for fringe events and networking. Many unions have very low participation in the Cross Campus ballot and wanted an alternative but democratic way of selecting their delegation.

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What does the NUS or the average SU do throughout the year to engage students? How is that impacting on participation in these elections? If the NUS isn't visible or relevant, then why would you get involved unless you have an interest group to guide you in

A key problem with conference and accessibility is the ethos/attitude towards the event with vested interests. Somewhat accepting there is no room for individuals. This not to say that NUS should not or won't have factions per se but it shouldn't justify complaceny with involving all of the membership.

Transparency and engagement throughout the year, should be considered in conjunction with improving conference/congress.

Posted by Emily Randall on 2008-08-31 17:44:40.
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