Jewish students at NUS national conference did themselves, their peers, the student movement, and our community proud.
There were many shining moments throughout last week’s conference where Jewish students proved they will always be ready and willing to fight for what they believe in.
Our UJS fringe event on combating extremism on campus was attended by more than 150 people who heard that extremism is something we cannot be complacent about and should tackle at every turn.
Our Yom Hashoah ceremony was also respectfully attended by many students. The messages of both events served to remind those in attendance that extremist views destroy our liberal, democratic society and must be stopped.
Jewish students also spoke to hundreds of delegates who resoundingly said they were opposed to a boycott of Israel.
A motion which proposed an NUS boycott of Israel did not get round to being discussed and will therefore be voted on later this year. However, we are reassured by the amount of genuine support we received indicating students would vote against the motion.
We were out campaigning on the boycott issue, starting the conversation, debating, and gaining the support of hundreds of delegates.
An anti-racism, anti-fascism policy was re-adopted with overwhelming support. It includes the EUMC definition of antisemitism and Jewish students should be reassured that NUS takes antisemitism extremely seriously.
This definition provides students’ unions and NUS with a good guideline when dealing with antisemitism on campuses.
Students everywhere should be pleased with what was achieved this year. The conversations were focused on the direction of the student movement and how NUS will support students in higher and further education.
I am so very proud of the Jewish students that were at conference and showed commitment to their unions. I am also grateful for the support of our friends at NUS who always make sure that Jewish student welfare is never an afterthought.
Judith Flacks is UJS campaigns director