Jewish student running to be NUS vice-president

Izzy Lenga, who has described union as "toxic" for Jews, announces candidacy for senior role


A Jewish student has announced she is running to become a vice-president of the National Union of Students.

Izzy Lenga, who studies theology at the University of Birmingham, is standing for the position of vice-president for welfare, a role focusing on issues such as student housing, money, health, safety and faith.

In her manifesto, Ms. Lenga, who has served on the NUS’s national executive council for two years, has promised “to deliver national programmes all over the UK, fight national and local campaigns, and bring together a united, fighting and winning student movement.”

Her ideas include having “a trained mental health first aider on every HE [Higher Education] and FE [Further Education] campus”, to “introduce a minimum standard for private landlords to commit to, ensuring quality and accessibility for student tenants”, and “to secure fixed terms and conditions on existing student debt”.

The election for NUS positions will take place during the organisation’s conference next month, where delegates from each of the member universities will vote on who fills the different offices of the student movement for the next year.

In the past Ms Lenga has condemned the NUS as being "toxic for Jewish students.

“Jews have a thriving Jewish life on campus,” she said, “but they don't want to get involved with the student movement, and rightly so."

She has been approached for comment.

NUS' relationship with Jewish students has become strained in recent times.

The NUS adopted a policy of boycotting Israel since 2015.

Malia Bouattia, the union's current president, was found by an internal NUS inquiry to have made comments that “could be reasonably capable of being interpreted as antisemitic".

The ruling referred to a remark made by Ms Bouattia, before she became president, that the government’s anti-terror programme Prevent was fuelled by “Zionist and neo-con lobbies”.

Ms Bouattia also angered Jewish students by describing Birmingham University, which has a large Jewish student population, as a "Zionist outpost".

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive