Why I’m Voting NO to NUS

Joe Miles tells us why he is voting NO in the NUS referendum

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you might be aware that there is currently a referendum on the touchy topic of whether OUSU should remain affiliated to the NUS. I’m here, in typical balanced and impartial fashion, to tell you why this would be a disastrous idea.

Let’s start with the NUS card – the one actual demonstrable advantage that the NUS has for students. The YES camp has naturally pounced on this but there are many alternative discount cards out there like Unidays or the Oxford-specific St John’s Discount Scheme. Don’t forget your good old Bod Card can grab you most of the discounts.

Moving onto representation.

When did the NUS do something that actually matters to you? When they really needed to step up in 2010 when higher fees were introduced, their protests were handled so badly that they managed to lose all public support.

It’s no surprise that the NUS isn’t particularly interested in representing the views of Oxford students. They lied about our admission process, accused Oxford of being biased against ethnic minorities without deigning to speak to OUSU about it first, and, whilst we fought for the most generous bursary scheme in the country, stood up and told the world that our plans wouldn’t work.

One of the criticisms I’ve seen levelled at the NO campaign in the husts is that by leaving we would be sending a negative message to the rest of the country. By saying that we’re better off without the NUS purporting to represent us, we would be displaying the worst sort of arrogance that people expect of us Oxbridge twats.

I imagine the message we send to be somewhat different. When one of the most respected academic institutions in the country stands up and says “The NUS does not represent its members, and that is why we are leaving”, this will give the NUS a serious shock.

Students absolutely need a national voice. But the NUS isn’t going to provide one any time soon. Give the NUS the boot it deserves and vote NO.