Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Students' Union Elections not spectator sport for Cymru X

by Luke James
Cymru X Chair

Since I became involved in Cymru X in 2008 I have been in a handful of members of the Cymru X executive to stand in any students' union elections.

Last year at Swansea University I was encouraged by a Labour student to stand as a part time officer and was duly elected General Secretary.

I've also been successful in the National Union of Students' (NUS) UK conference delegates’ elections and last week was elected to serve as full time Education Officer for the next academic year.

But for the records I missed out in the NUS Wales delegates’ elections, so it wasn't all good times.

And I would stress that I have fought these elections, not as a Cymru X or Plaid Cymru candidate, but independently and with only our union members’ interests in mind.

But the point is, if it wasn't for the encouragement of a Labour student, who comes from an organisation where to fight for the top positions in every students' union is a minimum requirement, I might not have thought about standing.

If you ask me, for a youth movement of the second largest political party in the country with the talented people we have within our ranks, our record on contesting students’ union elections is embarrassing.

That’s why starting with this years students’ unions executive elections we will be encouraging our members to stand for positions in their unions, independently and to serve their members, but with the values and passion they bring to Plaid Cymru and with the support of Cymru X.

And to those people who dismiss student politics – students’ unions represent a huge amount of people and uphold the right to education amongst other things.

And from a Plaid perspective if you want to see a generation of trained and motivated activists ready to take on our opponents in the battle of ideas, door to door - then this is the place to start.

Dros Gymru!


Pelagius said...

Honest blog. Bit too much, really. But is Cymru X in reality an autonomous body with its own dynamic? In my experience, this can only happen if you have separate conferences, etc. Being tied to the parent party may be the problem. Perhaps you need a bit of creative tension?

Luke James said...

I think we have to be honest with ourselves to get anywhere Pelagius.

We need to match our competition every step of the way, I see students who could be joining Cymru X joining Labour students because we arn't the main group and arn't relevant politically at the universities.