Students of Nottingham: it’s time to quit the NUS
Enough is enough, we should leave the out of touch NUS, says George Highton
The National Union of Students rips us off, attacks political freedom and supports lecturer strikes. Nottingham: enough is enough.
The NUS claims to be the organisation representing students across Britain, but it does more harm than good, and it’s time for our SU to disaffiliate from the expensive, undemocratic NUS.
What does the NUS actually do? Well, at their National Conference this spring, they voted to support lecturer strikes.
Everyone loves a guilt free day off lectures, but if you are a humanities fresher with 12 contact hours a week and you missed 3 teaching days this year because of strikes, you are £214 out of pocket.
But the NUS, instead of campaigning for your right to the education you’ve paid for, supports the lecturers.
Just to add insult to injury, the strikes were called because lecturers thought their proposed 1% pay rise was too small, when tuition fees for students have tripled since 2010. Students are the ones suffering, and instead of helping them the NUS is using its members like political footballs.
NUS policies cover many other areas as well, such as criticising the number of women in prison, changing the definition of ‘woman’ and tackling climate change, worthy causes perhaps, but irrelevant to students.
Another policy also includes a commitment to ‘intersectional women’, but doesn’t say why the NUS should support women that have been cut into sections. They even have a policy that states there is a ‘High number of female students in the arts’.
That’s it. That’s an entire policy. Perhaps they need a policy to tell them where bears crap too?
The NUS’ out of touch leadership is headed by Toni Pearce, a party politician that never even went to uni. University is a unique experience that can only be understood by someone that has gone through that process, so their own leader doesn’t have a clue what students want or need.
Some of the NUS policies are so ridiculous they are actually insulting. In one policy announcement, the NUS states that it is concerned that clothes shops that sell magazines ‘are offering customers a slice of sexual objectification with their cashmere cardigans’.
So while students across Britain were counting out the pennies last winter debating whether or not they could afford to turn the heating on, the delusional NUS was more worried that its members might see boobs while buying the cashmere cardigans it thinks students can afford.
Many of you will be concerned that if you leave the NUS, you would lose your student discounts in shops. However, the Arcadia Group, Cineworld, Pizza Hut, Odeon, New Look, Yo! Sushi and many other chains only have a commitment to a student discount, with no reference to the NUS or its affiliates, meaning that if you were to leave you would still get discounted stuff with your student IDs.
And what does it cost to be a member of the NUS? Shockingly, Nottingham Uni SU’s annual affiliation fee is over £50,000. This means that while many SU societies make a loss year on year, damaging their ability to function for their students, the SU is splashing out your cash just for you to be told that lecturer strikes are actually a good thing.
It’s not just Nottingham that’s being ripped off, as the NUS takes £3.9m every year from students in membership fees, which is spent on politicised ideological campaigns like tackling ‘lad culture’ and complaining about Nigel Farage.
We students desperately need an organisation that stands up for us as we are pressured by rising tuition, energy prices and rents, but unfortunately the NUS is no longer that institution.
They defend the ice-caps, convicted criminals and striking lecturers, in fact, just about everyone except students, and it’s time for Nottingham to stand on its own two feet and leave the NUS.