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Hi! We’re your new National Office. We’ll be leading the organisation over the coming year so we wanted to let you know a bit about what we’ve been planning. Labour Students is an incredible organisation that contributed a lot to all of our University experiences, and as your National Office we want to ensure that being a part of the Labour Students movement is as good for you as it was for us.

We wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to talk to you about some of our priorities for the upcoming year, and if you’ve never been involved before, find out about some of the things we’re doing on a daily basis to ensure Labour Students is the best organisation it can be.

When we were elected, one thing that was clear is that liberation movements should be at the centre of our movement. This year we are organising our first ever liberation conference, in collaboration with our liberation officers, and continuing with anti-Semitism training alongside our friends in the Jewish Labour Movement. We also want to ensure our speakers and sessions are intersectional, and that our caucuses are empowered to make change in our movement.

It’s really important to us that as many Labour Students as possible are able to actively engage with our democracy. That’s why we want to reform our membership system, so every member of Labour Student has a chance to participate in our national organisation and so we can communicate better with new members and those who haven’t engaged with us before.

Labour Students has multiple clubs in every region of the UK, and we see new ones join our national movement every year. We’re especially keen to support new clubs who might not have worked with Labour Students before, and to work with sixth forms and colleges to ensure those who want to set up Labour Clubs in Further Education are able to.

One thing we’re keen to do is give our movement better accountability – we want to ensure that at every opportunity you’re able to hear about what we’ve been working on and ask any questions you may have. Beyond our current Officer Q&A sessions at the end of every National Event - we are intending on more regular reports and more accessible accountability that our members can participate in.

But most importantly, we want to hear from you about all the things you’ve been doing in your Universities and Colleges, and how we can help make your Labour Clubs thrive.

We want to give you the skills to win the arguments, spread the Labour message and build better, stronger Labour clubs. Whatever your plans for the year, we want to be with you every step of the way.

We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Melantha, Rachel & Josh

 

The year ahead for Labour Students

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Today Labour Students National Committee received a report from the Labour Party regarding Labour Students membership data requirements. The Director for Membership and Party Services at the Labour Party explained the content of the report to committee, and the implications of these for this years Labour Students’ elections.

This report follows our concerns with the way that the Labour Party determines a valid student member. Until this point, there has been no checks done by the Party to establish that Labour Students members are actually students, and no guarantees for those members who are students but don’t appear on our membership list.

This has resulted in a situation where an unknown number, potentially tens of thousands, of our members won’t get a vote in an online ballot, and thousands of non-students will. Therefore, it was advised that using those members designated as Labour Students in our membership system to verify eligibility to vote in an OMOV ballot is not a viable option at this stage.

It goes without saying that we are extremely disappointed in the Labour Party, and frustrated to be informed so late in the academic year of this widespread problem. It is simply not good enough that the Labour Party membership database is not consistent with the requirements of our new constitution which was adopted at National Council in December 2016.

The fact that we cannot be sure exactly how many Labour Students will be disenfranchised, and the overwhelming majority of our electorate are currently non-students, is staggering. That is why we agreed today for the Membership and Party Services department to carry out an in-depth investigation to assess the scope, timescale and resource implications of such a change to the Labour Party’s membership database.

Labour Students National Committee also discussed the next steps of our democracy in the interim, and how we can elect a new National Committee before the end of the academic year. We agreed to incorporate the election into a special stand-alone Labour Students Transitional Conference, to be governed by the rules outlined in Article 11 of our constitution. Under these rules, each Labour Club will be able to send up to four delegates to conference, of which at least two must be self-defining women members, in line with our new constitution.

We decided that the flat-rate delegation allowance as prescribed in our constitution is the fairest and most constitutional outcome. It would not be appropriate to weight a delegation against the membership of an individual Labour Club as it is concerns with our membership system that prompted the Transitional Conference. Concerns were raised around the infiltration of Labour Clubs by members of rival political parties, thus contributing to the size of any weighted delegation entitlement. It was agreed that the possible imbalance created in our membership of thousands of non-students meant the 4 delegate entitlement was the most constitutional and most feasible arrangement. This was further discussed by members of elections committee in attendance who are satisfied that internal obligations have been met.

Following the meeting we agreed the elections committee convene as soon as possible to approve the timetable for National Committee elections. After this has been decided, it will be circulated to National Committee, Club Chairs and all members will be notified over the next few days.

Statement on Labour Students' Elections

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Labour Students

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