Imperial is unlikely to ever join the NUS because it is seen as such a half baked organisation. As for facilitating talks between UCL and IC, I don't think we really need them to do that. This is what ULU is for, though I suppose ULU is more worried about securing it's own future than acurately representing it's ICU constituent, passing policy to oppose the merger before either UCLU or ICU hold their referendum.
Frankly, the disafillated universities ought to band together and see if we can build a functioning body to represent us collectively.
It's certainly true that LSE and UCL are planning referenda for next term - the LSE ed-weldare sabb told me herself - in fact I think they are planning to hold them at the same time. I have to say the potential double blow to the NUS fills me with glee.
He stated that Imperial would ?probably never join the national union??.
Finally NUS get the message.
Is there any chance that we could form an alternative to the NUS? It would be nice to have something that offered discounts etc., helped the individual universities and yet didn't cost ?40+k p.a., wasn't a springboard for future Education Secretaries and didn't waste money.
Agreed. The pseudopolitics of the NUS is one of its biggest problems.
I also think that a new NUS (A Nu-NUS? [Insert teletubbies joke here]) would have to look carefully at what it actually wanted to do in order to ensure that there are no affiliation fees. As soon as they are introduced, we would be on a slippery slope to the current huge waste of cash.
What exactly do the NUS spend all that money on anyway?
I totally agree with Seb. In their last meeting the NUS had 16 motions tabled, including one emergency one concerning the IC/UCL merger.
They had two hours to debate these motions. They wasted 22 minutes waiting for people to turn up and then got stuck into the 3 motions concerning War with Iraq. Another great motion was "Students and the Labour movement". To its credit it did have 3 motions concerning eduction funding. However it seems that the NUS waste far too much time debating policies which are only of concern to a minority of students, which are already debated in many other forums.
Any NUS alternative must be apolitical and must concentrate on improving student's lives and helping the unions rather than pretending to be politicians. Even one of it's classic selling points, the NUS discount scheme, is proving troublesome this year.
How about Another National Union of Students? Seriously I think that it either needs to be like the aldwych group (a talking shop for sabbs) or it will need affiliation fees. Part of the problem is the politics and the way fees are calculated, say ?10k from 20 institutions, enough for a small head office to co-ordinate campaigns and act as a press office? The Aldwych group is already larger than the Russell group that it represents so there is no reason it couldn't be further expanded.