The University of Lincoln Students’ Union will be leaving the National Union of Students (NUS) following a campus-wide referendum.
881 students voted to disaffiliate compared to just 804 who wanted to stay with the NUS – a turnout of 12.6% of Lincoln SU’s members.
It is the first student union to disaffiliate following the NUS’ widely criticised national conference last month.
SUs at Oxford, Cambridge, Hull, Newcastle, and Exeter are also due to hold referenda on disaffiliating, and a campaign group called NUSceptics has satellite campaigners in Bangor, Stirling, Aberystwyth, Leicester, Durham, Sheffield, Birmingham, Reading, and Plymouth – to name but a few.
The £44,000 Lincoln SU currently spends on NUS affiliation fees is expected to go towards fully covering the cost of hoodies for academic reps and insurance fees for sports teams and societies.
In a statement on the Lincoln SU website, President Hayley Jayne Wilkinson said: “As a group of elected officers, we no longer felt confident that the NUS represented the views of our students.
“We agreed it was necessary to ask our members themselves if they wanted to remain affiliated with the NUS. Our members have now told us through their votes in this referendum that they want to disaffiliate.”
It is now Hayley Jayne’s duty to inform the NUS of the disaffiliation, which should then come into effect on 31 December.
“For ULSU, our priority is our members and what they tell us matters to them in today’s rapidly changing higher education environment,” she continued.
“Put simply this debate has been about what students want from the organisation that represents them nationally and, for some time, we have felt that the focus of debate within the NUS has been far removed from the issues that our students tell us are important to them every day on campus.”
The actual results are not too far off our own poll, which also put the ‘Out’ campaign ahead by a small margin: