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Essex students vote to leave the NUS


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Students at the University of Essex have voted for their students' union to leave the National Union of Students.

59% (602 students) voted to leave the NUS, while 41% (424 students) voted to remain.

Last year several SUs voted to leave the NUS including the universities of Lincoln, Loughborough, and Hull. Many other unions, such as the University of Cambridge, held referendums on the issue following the controversial appointment of Malia Bouattia last April.

This appointment in particular sparked concerns regarding anti-semitism in the union, following an article co-written by Bouattia which described her alma mater, the University of Birmingham, as "something of a Zionist outpost in higher education". 

This combined with a general feeling of under-representation by the NUS governing body has sparked debates on disaffiliation up and down the country. Many feel that the NUS only works to represent those students with the same political agenda as them, when their purpose is of course to speak for all students.

The vote to leave comes at a curious time, given that last week Bouattia was defeated by Shakira Martin in her bid to serve another term as President.

The students’ union executive committee said;

"Firstly, we believe that NUS is no longer representative of the students or student officers at the University of Essex. The politicisation of NUS, combined with the ineffective and non-inclusive tactics employed through campaigns and democracy, has led us to take the view that NUS is no longer a tool that we as an Executive Committee can utilise."

Image courtesy of the National Union of Students.

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