Across the country Marxist Students have been running campaigns to be elected as delegates to the national conference of the National Union of Students (NUS) which will be taking place in Glasgow in April 2019.
We started off in the University of East Anglia where three comrades ran on a strong socialist program intent on turning the NUS into a fighting force against marketisation by uniting with workers on and off campus.
Unfortunately, turnout was not high due to the lack of advertising by the SU. But this didn’t stop two comrades - Erin Maniatopoulou (President of the Marxist Society) and Josh Cole-Hossain - being elected. They distinguished themselves from the other candidates by standing on a radical programme aiming to solve not just the problems facing students, but of wider society.
Shortly after this election success, the campaign at SOAS began. We had one comrade running on a socialist programme, calling for: the scrapping of tuition fees; rent strikes for free accommodation; student-worker solidarity; and the building of a mass student movement.
Timings of the elections, at the start of the academic year, meant that turn out was at an all-time low, due to people being too busy or too new to really know anything about the elections. There was also the same issue faced at UEA, with little-to-zero publicity from the students' union, made worse by the fact candidates were only given three days for campaigning before voting opened.
Despite these issues, the SOAS Marxists gained a second victory for the MSF. Our comrade Nico Navarro Padron, President of the SOAS Marxist society, will also be attending the NUS conference.
A third victory has been achieved at yet another university - this time in Sheffield. where three comrades ran. Lilly Cockwill won the election, meaning she will be yet another Marxist delegate going off to the NUS conference.
The Sheffield comrades' Vote Marxist campaign was run on openly revolutionary socialist lines. This victory for the Marxist Student Federation is a great example of our growing influence within the wider student movement.
These campaigns have been a great step forward for the Marxist Student Federation in the push to transform the NUS into a fighting socialist force within society.
Last year Marxist societies across the country ran serious campaigns to win elections for the NUS conference delegate positions. Several Marxist students won positions in that round of elections. And this year, only a month into the first term, we have already been as successful.
At the time of writing, more MSF candidates are also standing in NUS delegate elections at UCL and Manchester universities. And Marxist candidates are likely to stand in further university elections later in the academic year, meaning there is still ample opportunity to expand the forces the Marxist Student Federation will be sending to the 2019 NUS conference.
We will no longer allow the cosy status-quo of student politics, which has turned the NUS and student elections into a vehicle for careerists to pad out their CVs.
Only a fighting, socialist NUS will radically improve the lives of students. And only an NUS that fights alongside trade unions and workers will help to radically improve the lives of all people in society.
Marxist students have made this point whilst campaigning to become delegates. And students across the country recognised this also, voting for Marxist candidates to represent them next year in Glasgow.