NUS proposes to defund its Trans Campaign
The National Union of Students is currently the only national body solely representing transgender students
On 16th January, the NUS UK Board announced a formal proposal to defund its Trans Officer and Campaign for at least the 2019-20 period. The announcement was distributed to members in a letter signed by NUS President Shakira Martin and Acting CEO Peter Robertson on 21st January.
The proposal involved several other cuts, including defunding seven other full-time positions, reducing the number of NUS officers to 12. With a fiscal deficit of £3 million, these cuts form part of the NUS' urgent search for financial solutions.
The NUS came under fire for its money-saving tactics in December 2018, when it proposed a plan to defund its liberation officers (the full-time staff who represent black, LGBT+, trans, disabled and female students).
The recent move to defund the Trans Campaign in particular, however, has been accused by the NUS LGBT+ Campaign as a "political, rather than a financial choice", given the secrecy with which the funding cuts were decided.
Crucially, the NUS UK Board made the controversial proposal without consulting "a single trans student"; this procedural decision has been indicted by the LGBT+ Campaign as "undemocratic" and indicative of a "fundamental lack of respect for trans students".
The outcome of the proposal will not be known until it is voted on in April at the NUS National Conference.