Shakira Martin will be the new President of the National Union of Students, after she was elected with over 50% of the vote at Conference.
The 28-year-old beat controversial current President Malia Bouattia, who became the union’s first female Muslim president last year. She will take over in July and wants to refocus the NUS on its 7 million members nationwide.
Ms Martin said after her election: I am honoured and humbled to have been elected as NUS’ National President.
“I take this as a vote of trust that our members believe I can lead our national movement to be the fighting and campaigning organisation we need it to be, representing the breadth of our diverse membership.”
The President-elect is currently one of five vice-presidents of the NUS, covering Further Education, something she says has been a huge part of her life.
“Further Education made me who I am today and look forward to sharing stories of just how powerful all forms of education can be when we’re all given access to it”, she said following the announcement of her win.
The outgoing President Malia Bouattia will remain at the head of the union until after June’s snap General Election, but will then hand over the reins to Shakira Martin.
She has presided over a controversial year for the National Union of Students, with continuing allegations of antisemitism, with the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee accusing her of “outright racism” in a report last October.
Her election caused students at several universities including Manchester and Durham to campaign for disaffiliation.
However, students at the University of Sheffield voted for the Students’ Union to remain affiliated to the NUS in a referendum in March, with almost 60% of voters eager to maintain the connection.
This year’s election was the first to feature two black female candidates, as well as 20-year-old Durham University student Tom Harwood.
After this election the NUS annual National Conference is being held in Brighton, with 1200 students and campaigners debating important issues affecting members in Britain.