Warwick Student's Union votes to leave National Union of Students over 'bigotry'

KC led investigation previously branded the body a 'hostile environment' for Jews


University of Warwick students have voted to leave the National Union of Students just three weeks after a report branded the body a "hostile environment" for Jews.

A disaffiliation motion noted that the NUS has been condemned by groups representing Jewish students as well as politicians for antisemitism and had invited "a guest with historic antisemitic comments" to speak at an event.

Previous president Shaima Dallali was ousted over "controversial comments" and an independent report found the body to have failed to challenge antisemitism, it added.

Warwick Students' Union will now disaffiliate from NUS UK but will remain connected to NUS Charity.

Following a 2020 split, the former body organises campaign work, while the latter supports individual student unions.

Attacking NUS UK as a "failing political arm," a motion put to students claimed: "The NUS has failed to protect minorities from abuse through divisive rhetoric and lack of zero tolerance and condemnation for hate speech."

It continued: "Warwick SU, and any national student union it belongs to, must have zero tolerance against bigotry towards any individual, minority group and other protected characteristics, and require the same of elected individuals and guests....

"Warwick SU, and any national student union it belongs to, should prioritise the day-to-day issues students face, such as requesting financial support following increasing living costs...

"There are various alternative organisations which deal with national issues that have little direct relevance to students, including foreign affairs, which are more suitable for other causes and to which students are free to sign up to."

The motion also added: "The NUS’ constant failure over allegations of bigotry and their detachment from key student concerns, as shown by successive low turnout, has left the union without credibility to many students from various backgrounds and politicians from across the spectrum, endangering the success of any future lobbying by NUS UK...

"Collective power of students remains important, and a sustainable alternative model of national cooperation between student unions should be explored."

Warwick SU is set to save £30,000 in affiliation fees following the move to sever ties. The vote passed by a margin of 487 votes to 416.

The vote comes under a month after a report written by Rebecca Tuck KC found the NUS to have consistently ignored and dismissed antisemitism.

Jewish students were often “treated as a pariah at NUS events” and held “answerable for Israel, responsible to call out any antisemitism, seen to represent every single Jew in the student population, and stripped of any other characteristics," she wrote.

At the time, Joel Rosen, President of the Union of Jewish Students, said: “The report shows how NUS has failed generations of Jewish students.

"It is a searing indictment of anti-Jewish racism at the heart of student politics.

"It confirms that Jewish students faced harassment and discrimination and that complaints of antisemitism were dismissed and disregarded.”

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