The NUS has voted against a motion that would require them to be “impartial and inclusive” to students of all political backgrounds, on the first day of the 2017 NUS National Conference in Brighton. They also voted to allow student representatives to publicly endorse certain political parties.
At the conference, delegates from Students’ Unions across the country voted on a number of policies focused on student welfare – including Warwick delegates Alexandra Bevis, Hope Worsdale, Chloe Wynne, Dapo Adaramewa, Uma Kotwal, and Chairman Rose.
The vote on the motion has already been met with some negative responses, including from second-year PAIS student and President of Warwick Politics Society Henry Riley, who tweeted: “Is this actually serious?”
The motion itself, submitted by Huddersfield Student’s Union, claims that “The NUS is run by left-wing officers who publicly endorse parties such as Labour” and that “The endorsement of specific parties excludes many members, making NUS unrepresentative.” The motion therefore urges, as one of its three clauses, that “NUS should actively follow article 6 of the Articles of Association and “be independent of any party-political organisation” rather than stating this as merely De Facto.”
However, the motion failed to pass.
The NUS and its outgoing president Malia Bouattia have previously received criticism for their controversial political stance, including for the official condemnation of UKIP and Israel in 2014. Bouattia has also received considerable criticism for allegations of anti-semitism.
Since 2016, many universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Newcastle and others held referendums on leaving the NUS, with Lincoln, Newcastle, Hull and Loughborough voting to disaffiliate themselves.