The NUS is the most undemocratic and absurd clique of budding politicians I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
The NUS does not and will not ever listen to the students it claims to represent.
I will start with the ridiculous undemocratic nature of the NUS and the NEC (National executive council which the NUS is a member of and decides policy). Personally, I think it is probably a good idea to know what the NEC decides in terms of policy during the year, but it is actually impossible to know. They have consistently failed to publish at least half of their minutes last year and I’m pretty sure they will continue to cunningly deceive the people they are supposed to represent.
If that’s not absurd enough, they constantly fail to discuss issues which affect students. There was even a motion put forward that we should re-nationalise the banks in the NUT conference by an NUS delegate in the affiliation debate hustings.
Looking back on the ex-presidents of the NUS, the vast majority have come on to become future Labour MPs. One example, Jim Murphy, even voted in favour of introducing tuition fees during the 13 years of Labour government. Hardly standing up for students at all. Now before I am attacked for being politically motivated in this piece in favour of the Conservative party or others who disagree with the NUS membership, I am a member of the Labour party and have been since I was 14. I just do not think that it is fair that students in York are represented by the Labour party, which is what is happening now. I’m pretty sure that there aren’t 15,000 members of UYLC in York, last I saw, there was about 30.
The NUS has consistently managed to make themselves a laughing stock of the whole country. Whether it was the shambles of the 2010 tuition fees march which managed to annihilate the credibility of students or the fact that the NUS conference cheered when they heard the news of Thatcher’s death, this ridiculous union should have no place in the lives of the students in York.
All of this I could forget if the NUS actually managed to help students in their day to day lives. However, they have managed to catastrophically fail in this department as well. YUSU pays the NUS just over £40,000 a year to be affiliated and what do we get in return? More expensive alcohol and limited discounts. The NUS chooses which alcohol YUSU sells at the student bars and charges a huge amount more than they would do if we left. Southampton Union sells a Bombay sapphire gin and tonic for £1.50, now that they have left the NUS. I would be paying almost double that in a YUSU bar and it wouldn’t be Bombay either. There is no denying that being a member of the NUS means that alcohol is much more pricey.
Moreover, in terms of discounts, the NUS chooses which companies which they are allowed to coerce with to give student discount. This means that we are losing out on reductions in hundreds of stores in York because some radical left wing students don’t see them as ethical enough. Surely give us the choice?
Leaving the NUS doesn’t mean you will lose out on discounts either. Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh have enjoyed a flurry of discounts in their city centre cashing in on the student market. It will happen here.
The fact that Universities such as Oxford, Southampton, Imperial, Edinburgh and Glasgow have left the NUS shows how out of touch they are with the student population. What is the point in staying in such an outrageously unaccountable and ignorant Union which makes FIFA look like a bastion of morality. Let’s leave this breeding ground of Labour students and make sure we can decide what is actually best for students in the University of York.