Driven by data; ridden with liberty.
If you’re one of the 99.6% of University of Bath students that did not vote in NUS Delegate elections, or one of the many thousands that did not buy the NUS Extra card, it’s likely that you haven’t needed the NUS while you’ve been here at Bath.
Despite costing us £39,000 a year to be a member, the NUS offers us very little in return. Their National Conference is a place where factional infighting and political grandstanding come before the wishes and needs of students. There have been concerns that our own president here at Bath spending too much of his time on NUS activities and not enough on our union. Meanwhile, the NUS is spending more and more money on protests that you’ll never go to and training weekends for career politicians you wouldn’t want to vote for. We can spend that money in Bath to make your student life better: on real things that you can see, like more equipment for sports and better facilities in our union.
People who support the NUS will tell you about the discounts you get for being a part of it, but you would get the most of the same discounts with a University of Bath library card.
The NUS tells you what drinks you can buy in the bar, and what food you can buy in our union stores by Bath SU being part of their purchasing consortium. Unions that have disaffiliated from the NUS have found that they can get equal or better prices than the NUS can. The NUS shouts about how it disagrees with corporate culture, but then will cosy up to big brands in your name – just so its last president can get a management consulting job.
For an organization that says it is dedicated to democracy, the NUS has a big problem with free speech; it employs a “No Platform” policy towards speakers it deems unacceptable. This policy is forced on students unions as well. Whenever they have attempted to invite speakers covered by this policy – even to debates with their opponents – they have been met with threats from the NUS and its officers. Student media groups, which are meant to be independent of their SUs and the NUS, have also been attacked with attempted censorship by the NUS.
If you’re a normal student, then the NUS ignores you, whilst mismanaging your money and telling you that a Spotify discount is all you need as a student. If you don’t like politics, if you care about what you drink in the bar or would like our union to concentrate on its own members, then the NUS is not for you. If you don’t care, then why should we stay?
The NUS doesn’t work for you, and we’re better off without it.
It’s time to go, so vote No.
Note: This manifesto was written in conjunction with the rest of the ‘No to NUS’ University of Bath campaign team.
Update (11:36 19/04/2013): The referendum voting period is from 9 am on Tuesday 23rd April to 10 pm on Thursday 25th April. The outcome of this referendum, ratified by a simple majority on a quorate of 5%, will be binding the University of Bath Students’ Union for a period of 12 months.