NUS Just Published An Open Letter Promising To Do Better

The National Union of Students has today released an open letter promising to do better over the next year, amid membership concerns and affiliation referendums taking place nationwide. 

“We, as the current and incoming Full Time Officer team, co-sign this letter together”

May has so far seen University of Lincoln Students’ Union and Newcastle University Students’ Union disaffiliate from NUS, with confirmed referendums still yet to take place at Hull, Loughborough, Cambridge, Oxford, Worcester, Warwick, Essex, Nottingham and Durham. Many other institutions currently have ongoing petitions and open letters calling for a referendum, such as York.

So far students at Exeter voted to remain affiliated in a referendum; students at Surrey voted on the spot to remain affiliated at the union’s AGM; and UEA’s council voted not to hold a referendum.

In response to losing two members, and potentially more over the coming weeks, all current and future officers at NUS have come to together in signing an open letter called, A strong, united voice for students.

It reads:

We each come from very different institutions and have different backgrounds; from both further and higher education. We each got involved in being a student representative in different ways; from joining sports teams to running political campaigns. We often agree and sometimes disagree on issues, as all elected representatives do, and we recognise that democratic debate is what moves our union forward.

One thing we do all agree on is that a strong, national student voice is imperative to ensuring we defend and extend the rights of students… 

It goes on to mention the 94-year-old organisation’s history and its achievements, such as securing council tax exemption and raising the national minimum wage for apprentices.

…we can see that NUS has had a massive positive impact on past, present and future students across the UK.

The officers acknowledge there are problems which need fixing and that not enough students understand what the NUS even does. Before claiming that the government doesn’t care about students, they promise to address these issues and engage students more effectively.

It concludes with a vow to be more transparent.

So this is our promise;

We as a team will work together to find and create joint priorities over the coming months for the benefit of members, students’ unions, and through them, students.

We will spend our year openly and honestly addressing the concerns that students have put to us, explaining what we do, learning what you want from your national union and exploring how we can best achieve that.

At National conference 2017, we will bring a new proposal for NUS’ democracy to be more transparent and representative, as well as a new model of affiliation fees for students’ unions – to ensure the very best deal for students’ unions.

Read the full statement here.