NUS tried to supress One Member One Vote debate

One member one vote (OMOV), proposed by YUSU President Ben Leatham, was overwhelmingly rejected at the NUS national conference in Brighton last week.

If passed, future NUS Presidential and Vice Presidential positions would have been directly elected by students.

According to Leatham delegates strongly opposed to the motion fillibustered previous motions to try and stop it from even being debated.

If  this had occurred then the motion would have been brought before the NUS National Executive Committee (NEC) which would almost certainly have voted against it.

The Chair also turned up late to the debate shortening a 10 minute debating slot to just four minutes.

The motion was successfully fillibustered during the 2014 and 2015 NUS national conferences.

Currently the NUS President and Vice-President are elected by delegates at the NUS national conference who are themselves elected by students at local student union elections although turnout for delegate elections is notirously low.

Speaking in favour of the motion at the conference Leatham said: “conference, let’s not leave here today as hypocrites.

“Hypocrites who speak of democracy, speak of accountability, speak of a National Union of Students, all the while ignoring the independent, individual student voice.”

Opponents of the motion claimed that OMOV would drown out the voice of minorities in the NUS.

Explaining what happened at the conference Leatham said: "It was clear that a proportion of delegates were causing delays because they didn’t want One Member One Vote discussed on conference floor. 

"This included some of the NUS leadership. I had to pressure both the chair and DPC (Democratic Procedures Committee) extensively to ensure it got heard at all.

"I am disappointed that the motion didn’t pass. Conference voted against moving towards a more direct democracy that gives every student a voice but this issue will not be swept under the carpet; as a direct result, we have opened up a national discussion about NUS democracy.

"Conference voted against moving towards a more direct democracy that gives every student a voice but this issue will not be swept under the carpet; as a direct result, we have opened up a national discussion about NUS democracy."

"One Member One Vote has being talked about on Newsnight as well as in various national papers since conference ended.

"I don’t think it’s an issue that will go away easily."

Editor-in-Chief.