Image: The Independent

Pragmatically impractical: Leave the NUS?

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I can’t really say whether I think we should leave the NUS or not. I despise the organisation generally, but I’m also a pragmatist, and that pragmatic side of me is saying that one day, or perhaps even now, the NUS could be useful.

The major issue is that every time the NUS, or someone in the NUS vocalises an opinion which is seemingly idiotic, ridiculous, or offensive, the entire organisation is then tarred. It doesn’t matter if people release statements, the NUS rectifies things, anything like that – that stain sticks.

That pragmatic side of me is saying that one day, or perhaps even now, the NUS could be useful

This NUS conference did more damage to itself, publicly and vocally, than it ever has before, I think. People argued against holocaust memorialisation. Social media restrictions were put in place, in what people are calling, inaccurately, ‘the banning of yik-yak’.

And someone accused of anti-Semitism was elected president of what many people already believed was an organisation with a problem of anti-Semitism. All these things are somewhat misrepresented and then crowed from the rooftops, but the reality is, they’re all a problem.

This NUS conference did more damage to itself, publicly and vocally, than it ever has before

The reality that stuff like this happens is the basis for lack of trust. Malia’s ‘anti-Semitic’ comments have maybe been misrepresented or twisted, and Malia has released a statement addressing them – it doesn’t matter. The comments were made in the first place. The damage is done.

I don’t know whether or not to leave the NUS. But I do know that more and more people are joining movements to do so, and that there’s a definite, tangible reason for that – it just really isn’t a representative or trustworthy organisation. The NUS stands for many issues, and they do many things for many groups of people, but they don’t seem to do anything for the average student.

They don’t seem to do anything for the average student

If change doesn’t happen, and damned soon, the NUS will die and students will be the killers. Everybody wants to be represented and everyone wants people that work for them, but if those people are problematic, the game is over. But honestly, I can’t see that happening. Because despite the fact that there are millions of students in the NUS, the same 1000 or so students are the ones saying the same thing, time after time.

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