The proposed motion for disaffiliation from the National Union of Students (NUS) will be voted on by students at an emergency All Student Meeting (ASM) on Monday 16 May.
Due to university legislation, the only way any Warwick Students’ Union (SU) disaffiliation motion can proceed to a vote is through a petition with at least 2% of members. The SU sought legal advice on this subject during Term 1 when a similar motion was proposed.
The deadline for proposals to May’s ASM was at 12 noon on 3 May: this was extended by 24 hours to 12 noon on 4 May for the disaffiliation motion. However, at that time there were less than 200 signatures on the petition – well below the 2% minimum requirement.
Since then, there has been a renewed effort to gain signatures, which has resulted in the 2% quorum being surpassed. The petition was then sent to Olly Rice, Democracy and Development Officer, to verify the names and to discuss the next steps with the Democracy Exec.
On the afternoon of Tuesday 10 May, the decision was made to send the motion to the emergency ASM on Monday – following the already scheduled one – and to send it to an all student vote in the days following.
A vast number of students are either disillusioned with or fail to see the relevance of the National Union of Students. It’s therefore hard to see how an organisation with such undemocratic processes can claim to represent the majority of students.
Sam Carter, third-year Engineering student
Sam Fry, one of the proposers of the NUS motion, said: “We think it is in the interests of both sides of this debate to have a proper discussion of all the relevant issues.”
Sam Carter, third-year Engineer and another key figure in gaining the required signatures, stated: “A vast number of students are either disillusioned with or fail to see the relevance of the National Union of Students.
“It’s therefore hard to see how an organisation with such undemocratic processes can claim to represent the majority of students.”
In an email to the proposers of the motion, Olly Rice said: “The President and Chair of Council have accepted my request to schedule the emergency All Student Meeting for immediately following the scheduled ASM.
“This serves our members’ interests in being able to engage as many students as possible in such an important decision whilst making the most of limited Union resources.”
This serves our members’ interests in being able to engage as many students as possible in such an important decision whilst making the most of limited Union resources.
Olly Rice, Democracy and Development Officer
A number of other motions have also been given the provisional go ahead to either the ASM or the Student Council meeting.
These include: a yes-no referendum to boycott the National Student Survey (NSS); a motion proposing to create a new part-time Mental Health Campaigns Officer; and a motion for the SU to support the EU Remain campaign, called “Warwick SU – Let’s Stay in the EU!”.
Charlie Hindhaugh, Education Officer of Warwick SU, said of the NSS motion: “I support the principle of a UK-wide coordinated sabotage of the NSS. When Higher Education is facing the biggest threat in a generation in the form of the upcoming White Paper and Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) creative and strategic responses are needed – one of these ways could be a sabotage of the NSS
“It seems premature to vote against what could be our strongest threat against potential TEF-linked tuition fee rises.”
The SU are going to release a statement soon regarding the NUS vote. Any comments will be added shortly.