Daniel Cooper for ULU Vice-President
For a campaigning ULU leading the whole student movement in London
I am standing for ULU Vice-President because I believe the last two years have seen a welcome shift towards an outward-looking, political, campaigning ULU – but there is a lot more to do to get the union London students need.
* Fight fees, cuts and privatisation. There are numerous local battles against cuts, fees increases and the entry of private providers into higher education. I want to throw the whole weight of ULU behind these struggles, and behind the fight for a free, publicly owned and funded education system, by linking up with groups like the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and building ties with student union education campaigns and local anti-cuts groups. We must expose and fight against the lavish pay and perks VCs are giving themselves while they push through cuts.
* Reach out. ULU needs to serve all its affiliates and members. But I also believe we need to reach out by building links with the non-ULU student unions at the sharp end of the cuts fight – institutions like London Met – and with school and FE students in London, who were the backbone of the 2010/11 protests. In the longer term, I am in favour of opening up membership to all London SUs, to create a union really leading the whole of the student movement in London.
* Solidarity with workers’ struggles. Whether it’s unionising student workers, campaigns around sourcing college merchandise, or supporting workers’ struggles from cleaners fighting for the London Living Wage to lecturers defending pensions, this will be one of my key priorities.
* Take back your campus! Whether it’s helping student unions expand participation, fighting for democratic universities or opposing police repression, ULU needs to be at the heart of the fight for democracy and rights in education. And as part of that we should expand and breathe life into ULU’s own democratic structures. I want to extend the forums and mechanisms through which affiliates and members can get involved and shape our policy and direction. And ULU should act as a network of mutual support and skill-sharing, with more frequent forums and training events. That would be particularly helpful to specialist or smaller colleges like my own, Royal Holloway.
* Fight for liberation. More support for union liberation campaigns to build genuine cross-London campaigning
*Housing. Affordable, decent housing is a concern for every London student – but it is out of reach for many. To fight soaring rents, rip-off landlords, deteriorating halls of residence and the virtual disappearance of new council housing provision, I will launch a ULU campaign for decent housing for all.
* Make ULU a centre of political debate. More political discussion and training events, including fundraising social events.
* A strong campaigning voice in London ULU should lobby across London for better services for students and use its weight to get what London students need.
* Suport for societies. Facilitate and promote societies hosting inter-uni events, shows and competitions to increase participation and build links across London. Greatly expand the number of students using ULU’s rooms and facilities. Organise London-wide sports tournaments. A bigger and better ULU presence at freshers’ fayres.
I am a socialist and activist, a member of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. I have been active in the student movement since I was at sixth form. My record includes;
* Royal Holloway Students’ Union President 2011-12
* Royal Holloway People & Planet president
* National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts national committee member.
* GMB Kingston 19 branch young members’ officer.
Support for Daniel:
Michael Chessum, UCL activist and former sabbatical, NUS national executive:
“Dan has been a brilliant campaigner against fees and cuts for years, on his campus and nationally. His passion for fighting for students’ rights at every level is relentless. I can think of no better person for ULU Vice President.”
Alex Peters Day, LSESU General Secretary:
“Dan is an effective and committed activist and a brilliant and talented sabbatical officer. His passion, enthusiasm and drive is just what ULU needs and I have no doubt he will be a great Vice-President.”
Noor Mansour, President RHUL Middle East society:
‘Daniel Cooper has consistently promoted the celebration of cultural diversity on campus. I completely support Daniel in his bid – the Middle East Society would not have been able to grow without his help.’
Arianna Tassinari, SOAS SU Co-President Education & Welfare;
“In his time as President of Royal Holloway Students’ Union, Dan has shown a great capacity of organizing students against cuts on campus, standing up to management with integrity and courage. Dan’s track record in mobilization and anti-cuts, anti-privatisation activism is truly remarkable, and so is his commitment to representing students and their voices. He is a hard working, capable and focused officer, and having worked with him on many occasions, I can confidently say he would make a great ULU VP.”
Craig Gent, Royal Holloway SU Campaigns Officer:
“Daniel Cooper has been instrumental in the transformation of Royal Holloway’s SU from apathy to action. His proven track record of prioritising participation, democracy, campaigning and liberation makes him an excellent candidate for ULU VP.”
Edd Bauer, Birmingham Guild of Students Vice President Education:
“I have never seen Dan hesitate to take action to defend students and their rights. A vote for Dan is vote for dedicate champion of the student body. At times like this, when education as we know it is under attack, he is exactly what we need.”
Mike Williamson, Edinburgh Students’ Union Vice President:
“I can’t think of a better candidate for ULU Vice President than Dan Cooper. He’s a strong and articulate voice against cuts and privatisation, and a dedicated activist working for students. That’s exactly what ULU needs right now.”
George Papamargaritis, People and Planet President:
“Dan Cooper is the most dedicated,hard working activist I had the privilege of meeting in university. He is always a source of inspiration and a voice of calm; he always encourages people to bring their ideas forward .”
Jasmine Wyeth, founder and president of SURHUL Feminism Society :
“It has been fantastic to have Daniel as a progressive, feminist Students’ Union president. Daniel has played a vital part in anti-cuts activism on campus, and has always placed great importance on recognising that the cuts are disproportionately affecting women. He has also been involved with the Feminism Society since its beginning, is helping the society work towards implementing the Zero Tolerance campaign in our SU and is working with us to improve street lighting on campus and in the local area. Daniel and the society are also working together to increase the SU’s focus on equality and liberation issues by working towards the introduction of liberation officers on our executive committee. Daniel is a brilliant activist who is passionate about a wide range of issues and has been at the forefront of progressive activism on and off campus, and as founder and president of the Feminism Society at RHUL, I wholeheartedly support him to become ULU Vice-President.”