NUSU to hold referendum on NUS membership after student petition reaches 300 signatures in under 21 hours

Following a petition gaining 300 signatures in under 21 hours, NUSU will now have to bring forward its referendum asking the student body whether they want to remain affiliated with the National Union of Students.

Victoria Armstrong
27th April 2016

A petition started by Matt Wilson-Boddy has reached over 300 signatures from Newcastle University students within 21 hours of being launched. This petition (which can be read in full at asks that NUSU brings forward the cross-campus referendum it holds every three years on NUS affiliation to this academic year. The petition cites increasing unhappiness with the NUS due to undemocratic processes and a "disregard of relevant student interests in favour of ineffective national campaigns based on party politics".

The Newcastle University Students' Union Constitution states that where a student petition asking for a referendum gathers 300 signatures and is delivered to the President, the SU is required to hold said referendum. There is a mandatory ten day minimum notice period to the student body of when voting will open on such a referendum, so the earliest a referendum could be held on NUS disaffiliation is Saturday May 7th, although it is likely that the referendum will be held alongside the elections for the Part-Time Officer (PTO) positions which are open from May 9th through May 12th.

Speaking exclusively to The Courier, Matt Wilson-Boddy commented "I'm thrilled to see the petition hit 300, it's a great opportunity for students at Newcastle to have their say on how they want their union to be run.

"I look forward to seeing the remain and leave campaigns form in the wake of this, and will be keeping a close eye on how things unfold."

This petition follows a spate of discontent with the NUS from other Universities' SU's nationally. Currently several other Student Unions have already organised referendums on NUS affiliation, including Hull and Exeter.

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  1. This is exciting news. I heard about the NUS ref. through YikYak, which I think is a sweet sweet irony given that have "banned" it.

    Lets hope we send a message to our "student representatives" that we want action on STUDENT issues hereon.

    I don't see how the remain campaign is going to approach this. They don't really have a leg to stand on. The biggest threat to OUT would just be a poor voter turn out, but if the OUT lot spread the message I'm sure people will vote.


  2. Hey Courier,

    Will you be keeping us updated with the NUS campaigning teams? or who should we contact if we want to campaign?


  3. Personally I would have called it the 'NEXIT' campaign. I'm anticipating the Courier doing all the predicted polls, key interviews and bombardment of statistics.

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