Since the NUS Conference concluded this week, the media has been swamped with comments and news concerning potential disaffiliations with the body.
Despite 2015-16 NUS President, Megan Dunn rerunning to hold the position for a second year, delegates voted for Malia Bouattia to be the next NUS President. Bouattia has faced allegations of anti-Semitism, resulting in discussion that continued affiliation with the NUS suggests that Jewish students are not valued, whilst Jewish Society leaders have demanded answers in letters to Bouattia, to which she responded openly. This has caused much controversy, alongside several dubious and controversial motions being passed at the conference this week, raising the questions of whether the NUS is really representing all students as it should be.
Motion 609: “One Member One Vote” was voted against at the conference. This was brought up with the aim of allowing every student in the country the right to vote on some members of the NUS Committee, in reference to the “main officers”. Some are elected in “Zones” and would not have been affected by the change. Despite this, delegates voted against the motion, and voting for President and Vice Presidents will remain in the hands of delegates at the Conference only. Why should we have to leave this in the hands of a few? With less than ten representatives from the student and executive body, are they all really going to represent the views of everyone, or at least the majority? This does not only account for LSU, but for unions everywhere.
Motion 609: One Member one Vote has fallen #NUSConference
— NUS UK (@nusuk) April 21, 2016
Students from Oxford, Manchester, Cambridge, York and Exeter Universities have begun campaigns and motions to disaffiliate themselves from the NUS on the basis of the new President-Elect and supposed anti-Semitic allegations.
This begs the question, if several other unions across the country are questioning their affiliation, should LSU readdress its affiliation with the National Union of Students? Are they really there to represent all? Has recent in-fighting at the top caused further problems within the Nation Union? And, are we taking allegations of anti-Semitism seriously- or have Malia’s public apology and letters expressed her opinions fully?
Loughborough Students’ Union runs a campus-wide ballot each year, at the same time as the Exec Elections. You probably voted, or at least saw that you had the option- but maybe you didn’t have the information you needed in order to make an informed decision back in March. In order to readdress this, LSU could undertake a referendum in order to debate NUS affiliation.
Label will keep you up-to-date with NUS affiliation news. If you have views to share, feel free to contact LabelEditor@lsu.co.uk and get involved with the discussion on twitter or in the comments below.