With only a few weeks between deciding to have the referendum and actually holding it, the turnout will probably be tiny, however, I’m worried that those who do vote will be scared to side with this campaign if it follows a similar rhetoric to that of the Leave.EU campaign. Obviously, very different organisations, but no doubt “We spend £43,000 on NUS, let’s spend that on Rubix nightclub instead” sounds similar to something we’ve read before on the side of a bus.
Personally, I think we should disaffiliate because, as we do not directly elect the NUS leader, the organisation does not represent ALL students. I think in many ways the NUS fails to be transparent and engage students, hence the fact that most Surrey students really don’t care and probably don’t even know they’re members of the NUS. Surrey students probably also don’t realise the amount of time/money the NUS has put into campaigns which don’t directly benefit us as members, like calling for the monarchy to be abolished. 👀
I’m guessing that most students know of the NUS only via NUS Extra discount cards, but UNiDAYS & StudentBeans have already outdone this; with more discounts, better technology and no upfront fee. Besides that, in most cases, a University of Surrey ID card can get you the same discounts in shops/restaurants.
Even if there is a dramatic change that the NUS makes to student life, we would still benefit from outside, but also there are already intentions for universities in the South East to form a network of their own to discuss problems which directly affect us – such as extending the London weighting maintenance fees to expensive areas outside of the M25 like Guildford & Brighton. And, if you saw the work that our directly-elected sabbatical officers have been doing (such getting more student accommodation in Guildford’s town plan) I think you’d agree that it’s fair to say they’re dealing with Student issues in Surrey a lot better than the NUS ever will. Not to mention, an extra £43,000 a year for the USSU could go a long way. Therefore, Surrey, I think it’s time to disaffiliate with the NUS.