The long and early morning journey began for most on March 23rd for the Spring 2018 National Council Meeting (NCM) in Stirling, Scotland. Some even saw more of Scotland than they bargained for, travelling through Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth (… accidentally, but that’s another story.)
Upon arrival to the Stirling University Campus, ELSA committee members from across the UK were greeted by the friendly ELSA Stirling host committee, with their matching NCM T-shirts and a bag full of weekend essentials for participants, namely pancakes and Irn-Bru. With some time to mingle and explore the campus on a surprisingly sunny day, the day time plenaries then began.
When explaining ELSA to someone who has never heard of it, the society can be best described as a truly all inclusive ‘network’ with countless diverse opportunities to benefit everyone. NCM’s are therefore crucial to ensure that the ELSA network remains strong and continues to thrive in the UK to promote these amazing opportunities. The day time workshops are a perfect way for Local Groups to discuss what opportunities they provide to their members and how they promote the wider benefits of an ELSA membership.
An example of one of these opportunities was afforded to the NCM participants on the first day of the weekend, as experts in their field: Anni Pues (International Law Lecturer at the University of Stirling), Samuel White (PhD Student at the University of Dundee) and Thomas Muinzer (Public Law Lecturer at the University of Stirling), were kind enough to host a panel discussion on the implications of Brexit on Human Rights in the UK. This highly informative panel discussion gave participants a unique chance to not only learn about this topical legal issue, but also ask the professionals questions and network.
After a long (but highly productive) day it was time to get ready for the first social of the weekend, the return of ELSA Stirling’s infamous Cluedo themed pub crawl. The local groups were split up, mixed in to random teams and the race to solve the clues and complete the pub crawl first was on! These social events are equally as crucial to capture the true ELSA spirit and form friendships that will exist outside of ELSA.
After a late night clubbing and a second day of hard work (struggled through by most) participants were able to get glammed up and unwind with good food, good music and great company! Ever heard a band called ‘Drums N Roses’ play ABBA on the bagpipes and drums? Well, NCM participants were pleasantly surprised at the final night Gala.
The Spring NCM finally wrapped up on the Sunday with the elections for the next National Board. Listening to the candidates presentations and seeing first-hand their sheer hard work and dedication to ELSA was truly inspiring. Regardless of who was eventually elected, it was obvious that ELSA UK would be in safe hands! A warm congratulations should be extended to all those elected. It certainly appears that exciting times are ahead for ELSA UK with the fresh ideas and opportunities presented during the elections.
President of the UK board, Ethan Dodd summed up the weekend in the following quote: “NCM Stirling finally brought home the ELSA Spirit that has remained so elusive to the UK network in recent years. It was the perfect weekend to celebrate the induction of a new National Board and raised the bar for future NCMs to new heights. Truly a milestone of success.”
ELSA Stirling would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who made hosting the event possible. Firstly, to all of the amazing participants who travelled from afar all the way to Scotland, we hope you enjoyed attending the NCM as much as we enjoyed hosting it. We would also like to thank the caterers and suppliers for the treats and the goodie bags, the snacks were very much needed for this non-stop weekend! Last but not least we are very grateful to the Vice Chancellors Fund and the amazing Law School of Stirling University for providing us with the financial support and again more freebies…us students love a freebie!
Finally, we would urge future groups to not just attend the NCM, but take on the rewarding challenge of hosting this event and showcasing what your local group has to offer the network. We look forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully a few new ones in Bristol for the Autumn NCM!
With ELSA love,
Nicole Rose is a final year student at the University of Stirling, studying Criminology & Law (BA Hons). During her time at University, Nicole was one of the founding committee members of ELSA Stirling, a new Local Group entering the network in 2016. She started off as a Social Secretary organising social events to try and generate interest in the committee. In 2018, Nicole was elected for the position of Head of the Organising Committee within ELSA Stirling and subsequently tasked with organising the Spring 2018 National Council Meeting.