During the UCASU Elections 2022, we will be holding a referendum on whether the Students’ Union continues to affiliate with the National Union of Students. Will you join the "Yes" or "No" campaign?
As part of the UCASU Elections 2022, we will be holding a referendum on whether the Students’ Union continues to affiliate with the National Union of Students (NUS).
On Tuesday 15 February, Union Council voted in favour of holding the referendum during Elections this year – this means that you will be asked:
YOU have the power to decide whether UCASU remains in the NUS or leaves by simply answering “Yes” or “No." Voting on the referendum will take place during the Elections voting period from Monday 21 March until Friday 25 March.
The Students' Union (us here at UCASU) must remain impartial, so we are looking for students to form part of the “Yes” and “No” campaigns to influence the student body on how to vote.
The “Yes” campaign will be run by students who would like UCASU to remain affiliated to NUS UK and NUS Charity. The “No” campaign will be run by students who would like UCASU to leave, or disaffiliate from NUS UK and NUS Charity.
If you are interested in getting behind a campaign, pop into the UCASU office on your campus or email email@example.com.
A referendum is a direct vote on a particular proposal or issue.
In our case, a referendum has the ability to set a policy that governs the Students' Union. It provides the electorate, which is YOU as UCA students, the opportunity to vote on a single question with a "Yes" or "No" answer.
Any UCA student can put forward a referendum question, however, it must be approved at either UCASU's AGM (Annual General Meeting) or by the Union Council.
There is a minimum requirement for voter turnout for a referendum, for any referendum that UCASU holds the voter turnout must be at least 5% of the student population – this means we need at least 325 students to cast their vote on UCASU's affiliation to NUS.
More information can be found in our by-laws under 'Regulation 6' by clicking here.
The NUS, or National Union of Students, is a confederation of nearly 600 Students' Unions enabling the democratic and collective representation of students across the UK – it's made up of two organisations; NUS UK and NUS Charity.
NUS says that they aim to promote, defend and extend the rights of students and the interests of Students’ Unions. Most Students' Unions are affiliated to NUS, but some are not and there is no requirement to be a member.
To be affiliated, each Students' Union pays an annual membership fee to be a member of NUS and receives benefits in return for doing so.
The annual fee paid by UCASU is £10,475 which is paid to NUS UK and NUS Charity. For context, the fee represents 2% and 0.5%, respectively, of the block grant that UCASU receives from the University.
What does NUS UK provide as part of affiliation?
You can access TOTUM student discount cards.
Democratic opportunities to direct NUS focus.
Involvement with national campaigns.
Representation of students at the highest level in the country.
Access to expertise in campaigning.
What does NUS Charity provide as part of affiliation?
Core support to create and grow strong Students’ Unions.
Championing the Value of Students’ Unions.
Support for Students’ Unions in crisis.
We have provided an overview of the service that NUS offers as part of membership and affiliation, to learn more head over to www.nus.org.uk.
As we mentioned, the Students' Union has to remain impartial in a referendum; we cannot influence the student body on how to vote. We can provide you with the information required to make your mind up but the influence needs to come from students which is why we're looking to you, our members, to help run the "Yes" and "No" campaigns.
If you are interested in getting behind the NUS Referendum, pop into the Union offices (we have one on each campus!) or email us by clicking here.