Why the NUS elections need to change
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Liam Burns is the new NUS President; he has not been a student since 2006 and was elected by 446 voters to represent 7 million students. This is the natural order of things in the NUS. A tiny number of delegates, elected by a tiny proportion of students, picked their candidates from the politburo of NUS hacks and Student Union lifers. To illustrate this one delegate noted that 60% of delegates are Sabbatical officers, the other 40% Sabbatical elect. I do not know the figures, repeated queries to the NUS have been ignored, but students, not sabbs, should make policy for students as their interests are clearly different. Due to this disconnect the NUS is not the voice of the ordinary student and the system is so entrenched that reform is near impossible. It is remarkable that in the modern age that we still need such a Byzantine system to elect our leaders and determine our policy. In the internet age where ideas can go around the world in seconds the NUS has no excuse for retaining the status quo. Direct elections to NUS positions would force those running to be more in tune with the views of ordinary students rather than engaging in left vs far left parodies of Westminster politics. Most students don’t know or care if someone is a member of the SWP, EAN, NCACF or The Society for the Promotion of Acronyms.
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