sctually they did ask all their members. AGM - any one can attend and vote. Just so happens that more people who don't want BRistol to be in the NUS turned up.
At Imperial NUS membership is a referendum issue but it may not be for all student unions. Not all decisions to go into/out of the NUS have been taken at referendum level at Imperial. I have a feeling the first few times would have been exec/council level
The majority of Bristol students are not involved in the SU and value their NUS card much more than a group of hacks who are doing this for reasons that have more to do with arrogance and strutting than representing their students.
Indeed... the uninformed masses may well value their 10% discount at Top Shop more than a properly funded SU, but the job of the informed few (in student government as in all) is to make decisions that the proletariat might balk at due to their ill-informed nature, ill-educated backgrounds and general short sightedness.
How can it be 'selected' when all union clubs and societies are open for anybody to join?
Providing opportunities for students to canoe, sing, play clarinet, play football, go gliding, be a radio dj, 100s of other things that will help them develop as a person and make new friends sounds to me like a slightly better 'investment in people' than saving them ?2 on each CD or trendy top they buy.
Who needs the nus at all? I can still get my handy 10% at topshop and the like by flashing my icu card. Student discount is the only real benefit most students notice, and you don't even need the nus for it!