How to Achieve Change
Anyone in Wales, including students, has the ability to achieve change through the National Assembly. One of these ways is through petitions. All the devolved subjects which could affect you, from student housing to access to education through transport can be petitioned on. It is important to remember that ten signatures are needed for any petition to be considered. Though petitions are not guaranteed to become law they are designed to enable you to submit your concerns in an accessible and meaningful way.
Among the many assembly committees there is one dedicated to petitions, consisting of one assembly member from all four parties. This means you or your friends can make sure your issue goes directly to assembly members. This also allows you to hold them to account and directly seek information.
For the 2011 Assembly Election, former NUS president Katie Dalton lead a successful campaign to maintain EMA support and prevent a tuition fee increase for Welsh students.
Students across Wales highlighted the campaign with local candidates in meetings and hustings events. This ensured it was high on the agenda, both nationally and locally. Ultimately, this resulted in 166 candidates from the welsh assembly signing up to the campaigns pledge.
This included the party leaders from Welsh Labour (Carywn Jones), the Welsh Conservatives (Nick Bourne), Plaid Cymru (Ieaun Wyn Jones) and the Wales Green Party (Jake Griffiths). As with other campaigns this effort was strengthened immeasurably by committed, passionate campaigning on a local level by students and students union representatives. It’s success left behind a legacy which protected students for years to come.
What can you do to protect your fellow students?