Candidates for NUS-USI President Announced

The Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) is pleased to announce the candidates for the position of NUS-USI President.

Voting will open online on Monday 11 March at 12pm and close on Thursday 14 March at 12pm.

Voting is open to NUS reps registered to attend NUS-USI Conference 2024.

The winning candidate is due to be announced on Friday 15 March.

NUS-USI Conference takes place on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March 2024.

The candidates are:




Ben Friel
National Society of Apprentices (NSoA)

Nominated by the following students / sabbatical officers at member unions:

  • Eamon Mckenna, National Society of Apprentices (NSoA) 
  • Nicola Boyle, Ulster University Students' Union 
  • Owen McCaughey, Belfast Metropolitan College Students' Union 
  • Maria Donelly, Northern Regional College 
  • Dara Mooney, St Mary's University College Belfast Students' Union 
  • Victoria West, North West Regional College 
  • Aoife O'Neill, Queen's University Belfast Students' Union 

picture of Ben Friel

As a member of the National Society of Apprentices Leadership Team, I've witnessed the profound effect a national approach has on shaping student politics. I am committed to championing the rights of every student. My background as a Higher-Level apprentice, combined with my conversations and campaigning efforts with apprentices across Further Education, has given me a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities within our education system. The path forward for our movement is ensuring that every student feels included and welcomed. Together, we can create a community that celebrates diversity, fosters equality, and relentlessly pursues justice for students everywhere. 

Read Ben's manifesto here

Social Media

@BenforNUSUSI - Instagram


Vikki Pinkerton
South Eastern Regional College Students' Union

Nominated by the following students / sabbatical officers at member unions:

  • Cameron Burns, South Eastern Regional College SU 
  • Laura Gron, North West Regional College 
  • William Henderson, Ulster University Students' Union 
  • Heather Gyle, Queen's University Belfast Students' Union 
  • Toby Davis, Belfast Metropolitan College Students' Union 
  • Zuzanna Tuchewicz, Northern Regional College 
  • Evie Martin, Southern Regional College Students' Union 

picture of Vikki Pinkerton

Hello, I'm Vikki and I'm your top candidate for advocating student empowerment. I'm currently pursuing an Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies and am a mature learner. Last year, I was honoured as the SU Class Rep of the year, and this year, I hold the position of Student Governor. My interests lie in writing, biodiversity, and volunteering. Notably, I spearheaded the creation of a beautiful garden on our campus last year to promote biodiversity and provide a space for student well-being. Additionally, I was a contributing poet for “HER OTHER LANGUAGE Northern Irish Women Writers Address Domestic Violence and Abuse” which raised funds for Woman’s Aid. 

Read Vikki's manifesto here

Social Media

Facebook: Vikki Pinkerton

Re-open Nominations

If you wish to cast a vote, but do not want to vote for any of the other remaining candidates for this position, then you can express your desire to reopen the nominations process. If any position is not filled by a candidate, but instead Reopen nominations is declared the winner, there will be a fresh opportunity for candidates to be nominated and the election for the position in question to be re-run.

Campaigning for RON must be accountable and RON campaigns are governed by these election rules. Only registered RON campaigners may run a RON campaign. In order to register to run a Re-Open Nominations (RON) campaign, you must do this by emailing [email protected] no later than 24 hours before polls open