After Malia Bouattia’s election to NUS president last week, and as 25 universities announced campaigns to disaffiliate from the NUS, The Tab carried out a survey to ask students if they would leave.
Almost 6,500 students responded to the poll and three quarters said “yes”.
(73 per cent said yes, 14 per cent said no and 12 per cent replied that they didn’t know.)
Many students fear that the track record of prominent figures within the NUS give great cause for concern. NUS President, Malia Bouattia has expressed what some have called a “violent rhetoric” towards the Jewish community, referring to the University of Birmingham as ‘Zionist outpost’. Her refusal to condemn ISIS in 2014, on grounds that it was an excuse for Islamophobia, has caused much debate about whether she could be the head representative of a nationwide movement.
It also emerged today she argued in a debate that the police force should be dismantled. She labelled them “thugs on the street”.
Many of those in favour of disaffiliation argue that individual student unions are better placed to represent the interests of their students than the wider umbrella movement. This is not unprecedented. In 2008 the Imperial College London SU decided to disaffiliate, arguing that the NUS was unable to fully represent the interests of the student body. Other student bodies, such as St. Andrews and Southampton have also decided to disaffiliate in 1975 and 2008 respectively.
It remains to be seen how the NUS leadership will respond to this vote of no confidence from the student body.
Source: The Tab