first_imgThus far, OUSU has voted to remain affiliated with NUS every year since at least 2006. However, Rutland maintained, “Disaffiliating from NUS would cost Oxford students money, it would isolate us and it would remove our opportunity to shape national policy and campaigns. After students were betrayed at the last general election, it is more important than ever that we come together to fight for our interests – especially in the run-up to the 2015 General Election, where we need to be following up on the broken tuition fees pledge and get policy that champions students in party manifestos”.  An all-student referendum on OUSU’s affiliation with the NUS will be held in Trinity Term, it has been announced. Last year, OUSU Council voted to continue its affiliation with NUS on the condition that an all-student referendum would be held on the matter the following year. Typically, OUSU Council votes on its membership of NUS every Trinity Term.The referendum, which is scheduled to be held in 4th week of Trinity Term, will ask the following question: “OUSU is currently affiliated to the National Union of Students (NUS). Should it continue to be affiliated: yes or no?”A motion to cancel the referendum in favour of a ‘Special Council’, in which JCRs would have mandated representatives to vote on the matter on their behalf, was defeated at OUSU Council in 7th week of Hilary Term, paving the way for the referendum. Proponents of a Special Council had argued that given historically-low OUSU referendum turnouts, it would have been more democratic for the debate to take place in common rooms. However, OUSU Council decided that because opting for a Special Council would exclude members of disaffiliated JCRs from voting, holding a referendum was the preferable option.Nominations for the leaders of the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns will open on the first day of 0th week (27th April). Husts and elections for campaign leaders will subsequently take place at briefing meetings on 4th May in the OUSU buildings.OUSU President Tom Rutland has said that he will be supporting the ‘yes’ campaign. Rutland told Cherwell, “I will be campaigning for OUSU to remain part of NUS. I strongly believe that Oxford students benefit by being a part of a national union. With a seat at the table, we can influence NUS policy and ensure that we have a national union that is fighting for students’ interests. Oxford students have access to the NUS Extra Card, which nearly 2000 students currently take advantage of, saving them a tonne of money over the course of their degrees. If we disaffiliate, none of our students will be eligible to have an NUS Extra Card”.However, OUSU NUS Delegate Jack J Matthews has said that he will be opposing re-affiliation. Matthews said, “For three years I have worked tirelessly to reform the NUS into an open organisation that actually works for students. What I have encountered is a body that has no interest in change, and that seeks to preserve the cosy arrangement of the status quo, to the detriment of its members”.Matthews, a former OUCA President, continued, “The time has come for change. We’ve tried to reform from within, but they wouldn’t listen. It’s time for us to stop wasting tens if thousands of pounds within an organisation that simply doesn’t care about our views. I believe in Oxford, and I believe in the strength of our Student Union – that’s why I will be voting ‘no’ to NUS this Trinity Term”.last_img

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