Should we stay with the NUS?

There are only four days left to vote for whether the SU should renew its affiliation with the National Union of Students (NUS) at a cost of £21,207 a year.

NUS affiliation gives all students automatic membership to the NUS and gives them the opportunity to purchase NUS discount cards.

Hannah Mullarky, Solent’s VP Engagement believes that NUS affiliation has many benefits for the SSU.

She says: “The NUS is a really good resource for our students union.

“Not only does it offer the best training for each new intake of sabbatical officers, to prepare them for the tough year ahead, but also give Solent a chance to have their voice heard nationally.

“Each year we get a chance to send students to national conference, LGBT+ conference and BME student conference to name a few, but this is a chance for Solent students to vote on the new elected NUS officers and the national agenda for the following year.

“The NUS are also really great at being there when we need them. For the lad culture campaign that I’m leading on this year, we’ve had loads of advice from nus officers and Toni Pierce the NUS president wants to come down to get involved in the campaign too.

“The NUS is such a good tool to getting students more involved, such as through conferences where students represent Solent nationally and get our voices heard and to also spearhead what the nation of students are looking for.”

The University of Southampton hasn’t been affiliated with the NUS for many years and voted no in a recent referendum on whether they should affiliate.

Megan Downing, Southampton’s VP of Democracy and Creative Industries says: “The student population liked the Union as it is without any changes having to be made, and not only that, paid for.

“The NUS affiliation fee was one thing that put students off voting yes.

“When this money could be spent on students, why waste it on a silly affiliation fee?”

Megan believes that Student unions are better off without NUS affiliation, she says: “We have a lot more freedom to do the things that our students care about.

“A factor for me during the referendum was that if we affiliated to the NUS we would be restricted in the amount of freedom we have within our venues.

“Unions that are affiliated to the NUS often have restricted options on what they can serve in the bars, sell in the shop and offer for events.”

Voting closes on Friday, March 6.

Written by Paige McCardle