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Edinburgh joins NUS

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Dec 03 2004 20:41
 

Edinburgh University Students? Association has voted by 52% to 48% to affiliate to the National Union of Students.

Click Here for the Full Article

1. C!   
Dec 03 2004 23:45
 

Now that nearly everyone who voted here in 2002 has left, can we have another referendum? Surely we could joing the NUS to use it as a discount club? I'm sure the total student savings would be more than the affiliation fee

Dec 04 2004 00:15
 

C! you are a t**t. We are all still here. We will never join. Stop being a t**t.

Dec 04 2004 00:16
 

Yes we are all still here.

Clear off - NUS are w**kers.

Dec 04 2004 00:18
 

Edinburgh are idiots - who wants to waste ?70k on a load of lefty t**ts

Dec 04 2004 00:19
 

Deny Edinburgh Stduents the right to trial by jury, and then jail them.

Dec 04 2004 00:20
 

Put Edinburgh students under a curfew order, and then lock them up. And charge them for it.

7. Sid   
Dec 04 2004 12:14
 

Being new to college politics and so forth, I am not completely aware of all the reasons for not joining the NUS, perhaps the only obvious one is, that if enough universities join the NUS, the government can perhaps assume that it speaks for all students and hence dissolving the unique identity of individual student unions.

Dec 04 2004 13:06
 

Reasons for not joining:

* the annual fees are high for little perceived benefit.

* the NUS is (IMO, allegedly etc) full of self-righteous student "politicians" whose main aim in life is to further their political careers.

* the Union gets good deals for the bars anyway.

* you can normally get student discounts without an NUS card, especially if you make a fuss (success with cinemas, even in darkest Dorset, Carphone Warehouse etc etc who have all said NUS only).

What's needed is to educate companies that the NUS does NOT represent all students.

Dec 04 2004 13:07
 

While I'm on the subject of phones and NUS cards - I see the many hundreds of Orange advertising cards littering the Union last Monday mentioned you needed an NUS card for the offer.

Who screwed that up? Has someone from the Union informed Orange that they may want to target their advertising better?

Dec 04 2004 15:59
 

Having another referendum would mean yet another election and having flown inside to escape the cold I get the feeling that most people in the union are getting a little sick of endless Farce.

Dec 04 2004 16:04
 

We are still here. We voted by a huge whooping majority (in thge bigest turnout in union history) to NEVER join the NUS. It is a waste of money, it does not represent us with its far left loony politics and its career politicians studying arts degrees at c**ppy unis, and we don;t want to be told what to do and hoe to rubn our own union. The fact that the vote was soo close in edinburgh shows how the nus and its idiotic leader (who only got in cos she is a blonde) is a dying anachronism!!1

12. Chris   
Dec 04 2004 17:38
 

Ok, Putting a hacks hat on for a moment,

IC Student, the referendum was not a decision to never join the NUS, the constitution states:

"No issue shall be put to referendum if it had already been put to referendum:

1. In the current accademic year if it concerns affiliation by the union to an external organisation, or

2. In the current or previous two accademic years for any other issue"

As I read this it means that the referendum was only a guarantee of not joining until the end of the accademic year it took place as another referendum could then take place to change the decision if enough of the student body or Council wanted it.

Right, thats enough hackiness for one day, I'm of to the pub.

13. Seb   
Dec 04 2004 17:46
 

The NUS is extortionately expensive in terms of membership fees. On top of that, I belive they insist on joining their buying consortium, though the consortiums prices are far more than the deal ICU already gets.

Result: Bar prices would go up while clubs and society budgets would go down.

What do we get from it? Not much really. We might send a few of our Sabs to some conference where NUS hacks talk party politics on the first rung of the greasy pole.

Would we get any more "representation"? Not really. The NUS will say what it says whether we are affiliated or not. We get all the benefit of that anyway. We might also get some more "training" for our Sabatical officers? But is it really worth it?

Sabs are elected an paid for out of the unions money to serve ICU students, not to provide political parties with raw material.

When it comes to campaigning, we can choose to invest our own time into the matter (for example, over tuition fees) and work with the NUS (if necessary), ULU and some societies and studens worked with the Socialist Workers party on the campaign. ICU made a significant contribution to campaigning on tuition fees without needing to joint the NUS.

Having an NUS card might make getting student discounts marginaly easier, but I can only think of one time I've ever been refused student discount using my college swipe card. Any savings would be wiped out by higher club membership costs and higher bar prices. And if you don't drink in the unions bars, go to union ents, and don't participate in club and society activities, you are probably in a minority and you can always go and joint the NUS as an individual.

14. C!   
Dec 06 2004 10:16
 

We are not able to join the NUS as an individual if we study at IC.

I have often been refused discounts. The IMAX in waterloo said "Contractual Reasons with the NUS" meant I couldn't. Warner Village in Fulham broadway just kept saying no. HMV are awkward (despite advertising on our urinals)

"We" didn't vote - the vast majority of us weren't here then

Dec 06 2004 10:47
 

You can join as an individual, I beleive, you just have to opt of ICU memebership first.

Dec 06 2004 11:09
 

If there are places that are refusing discounts to Imperial students, let the know about it. Usually a phone call is all it takes to sort it out.

Anyone interested in discounts particularly might find the bit on the front page of the ICU no2nus site useful...

Dec 06 2004 11:29
 

So if you don't use any of the Union's services or belong to any clubs, opt out and join the NUS as an individual.

If you do, take a little of the money you'll save by ICU's non-affiliation and get yourself an ISIC card (a whole ?7 last time I looked).

18. Seb   
Dec 06 2004 20:52
 

Well, I had no problem with Fulham broadway or HMV.

Cutting back club and society budgets and increasing bar prices just to save a few people a few quid on cinema tickets (particularly as the problems are patchy) doesn't seem a fair deal, and I suspect that if another referendum were held the answer would be the same.

The cost of a referendum can be somewhere in the region of ?5,000 I belive, so think seriously

19. C!   
Dec 06 2004 22:57
 

How would opting out of icu help me? I would have to claim to be in the sixth form of a school to join the NUS as an individual (they are the only people eligible to join as individuals)

"Kate Hustwayte" at Warner Village UK HO said that they will never accept non NUS cards for discount. Maybe she's gone back on her word.

According to the http://union.ic.ac.uk/no2nus it would cost ?35K per year. From memory ~10,000 students. So thats ?3.50 each. Despite what the no2nus frontpage says there are a lot of discounts advertised as NUS only which they do not have to give to all students and I am sure the average student spends more than ?35 per year at HMV or more than ?17.50 at Pizza Hut (yes thats 20% off) for it to be worth investing in?

I keep hearing that joining would mean having to buy drink from the NUS bulk buying consortium rather than Northen. If this is such a problem, why are drinks at our union so much more expensive than drinks at other unions (outside of London)

I know that in an ideal world we shouldn't join the NUS to use it as a discount club but when places so close to Imperial haven't heard of us and aren't prepared to give us a discount maybe it would be a wise idea

20. Ant   
Dec 07 2004 00:41
 

Seems your just very unlucky, HMV staff gladly gave me their student discount card when i presented them with my college swipe card last year after seeing poster above the urinals.

"If this is such a problem, why are drinks at our union so much more expensive than drinks at other unions (outside of London)" Well why are drinks at london pubs so much more exspensive than in over pubs around the UK? You can only make fair comparisons locally, in my opinion we also have a much larger and better selection than most unions (both inside and outside london).

Vue (who now run Warner Village) take NUS and ISIC and "university/college card which contains a photo at the managers discretion". Therefore if person on desk says no, ask for manager..they usually give up argueing then anyway.

Dec 07 2004 01:30
 

Right now, time for my two cents.

The figure of ?35k was a special "introductory price" that the NUS offered the students of Imperial. This would then have increased the year after to the value of ?55k per annum. Now vector in 3 years of inflation, and the fact that the NUS has had to increase subscription being in danger a year or so back of going bankrupt. We are therefore looking at a figure of ?75k per annum, that comes in at roughly ?300 per club & society. Which ones would you cut their budget from? This money will have to come from students, so any "discounts" gained via NUS membership are given over to the Union to run clubs you are a part of.

Also, it is not impossible to get discounts. If you find difficulty then just ask to see the manager. You can then generally expect the sales assistant to keel over and just give the damn discount. If they try and cite "contractual reasons", ask to see the contract. If they don't give it, accuse them of hiding behind an excuse. Also use this with "orders from head office". They'll give you the discount then (trust me, it worked with the most belligerent lefty sales assistant you can imagine).

On another note, shop at Virgin, not HMV. Never had any problem getting a student discount from Virgin, and the sales assistants are in fact very helpful in this respect.

As for the bars, the Union could no longer stock it's most popular beer if it joined. So that's just another reason about why we shouldn't join this collective of aspiring Labour MP's.

22. sporty   
Dec 07 2004 10:33
 

C!, Mustafa has said on a number of occasions that he's more than happy to discuss NUS / IC card issues with any retailers who do not accept the Imperial card as student identification. All you need to do is email him details.

How about you save the rest of us ?75000, and drop him a quick email, mmm?

23. C!   
Dec 07 2004 16:43
 

?75,000 where did that come from?

I emailed him last academic year and he didn't get back to me

24. C!   
Dec 07 2004 18:16
 

Why is everyone so hostile? I am only putting forward my point of view

25. Seb   
Dec 07 2004 19:37
 

C!

Not so much hostile so much as fed up with the "lets join NUS" arguments that turn up every year when some freshers find mild inconvenience in getting discounts. And then decide that there must be some conspiracy of right wing nutters keeping ICU out of the NUS for neffarious reasons and start complaining as though an NUS card was a god given right.

Okay, so that's the more extreemist attitude, but you didn't help yourself by starting:

"Now that nearly everyone who voted here in 2002 has left,"

We haven't. It's only 2004, so most people on a four year course or more are still here.

The intial affiliation costs ?35k, but is only an introductory rate. Using their funding formulae, we would expect to have to pay ?55k the next year, but they have raised their membership fees since then due to funding issues.

Dec 07 2004 20:35
 

C!, it is not worth e-mailing Emporer Arif.

How about e-mailing the dpfs, or alternatively bring a paper to council to mandate the dpfs to negotiate discounts with a list of companies you suggest?

27. C!   
Dec 07 2004 21:02
 

Presumably most people on a four year course aren't still here. I am in my third year and, as I understand it, the vote was the summer before I came.

How does one go about formulating a paper?

Dec 07 2004 23:17
 

I'm on a 4 year course, in my final year, without repeating...

Funny though, because the referendum doesn't seem like it was that long ago (or that early in my IC career).

Joining the NUS just for student discounts isn't worth it, especially as you can often get them without an NUS card.

Remember that the NUS:

* has strings attached to membership.

* has a massive deficit and is well on the way to being bankrupt.

* gets blinded by politics.

See for some amusement http://forum.susu.org/modules.php?name=Forum&sub=list_posts&tid=227

Also, a more recent report from LSE SU:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/LSESU/Democracy/UGM/Reports/UGM,%20gensec%20report,%20Week%205%20.doc

"The main debate of the NUS Regional Conference centred on the issue of the NUS card, which senior members of the NEC plan to introduce a charge of at least ?10 for if they have their way. I do see that NUS are in extreme financial difficulties and that a card that costs money would not be wholly unacceptable to students if the discounts and services on it were greatly expanded, but I do have my doubts about how the current proposals are not fully researched and are being fairly patronisingly and one-sidedly presented to the members of NUS."

Googling for "NUS bankrupt" should reveal more interesting things.

Dec 08 2004 06:58
 

Formulating a paper:

A paper has 3 sections; Notes, Believes and Resolves.

Notes is factual stuff ie. something like "The last referendum deciding NUS affliation was held in the 2001/2002 Session of Imperial College Union".

Believes is, unsurprisingly, what you'd like the Union to believe, something along the lines of "The members should have a direct say in this affliation decision".

Resolves is what you'd like to happen, something like "To hold a referendum to decide our affilliation to the NUS".

If I'm correct in Union protocols, this will actually count as policy, so you'd need 2 seconders as well (you'd count as the proposer, get 2 friends who feel the same way to second it).

Whilst I personally dislike the NUS, our current policy set at the last referendum lapses at the end of this year, so really, a paper should be put in to give students their say again.

Dec 08 2004 07:00
 

Forgot to mention, when it's done e-mail a copy to Mustafa Arif at (probably also send a copy to Elin Morgan). If you want to hit the next Council meeting (next tuesday), let someone know you're writing it, so they know to put it on the Agenda.

Dec 08 2004 07:03
 

Also, come to the meeting to present your paper. This one'd probably need 2/3rds majority (rather than 50/50) to be passed, so practice what your gonna say, and think of possible questions people might ask so you can prepare answers. You'd have a better chance of getting it passed then.

Here endeth the lesson.

Dec 08 2004 08:59
 

Don't be a muppet and ask for a referundum.

If you want discounts then mandate the Sabbs to negotiate discounts. Each of them cost us about ?22k a year, so lets get our money's worth.

As for NUS referundums - are you actually trying to kill people again - I really don't have the time to campaign against a pointless thing again....

Dec 08 2004 09:22
 

I'm telling C! how to draft a paper, as he is more than entitled to present one to Council requesting a Referendum. Also, this issue, now moving to Policy Lapse stage, has always had a referendum to decide it in the past. It is too important to leave this decision to Council alone. Sorry if I think ordinary srudents should ultimately decide this particular area of policy.

Dec 08 2004 09:52
 

I imagine that as the current policy doesn't lapse until the middle of summer 2005, it will not be possible to call for a referendum until after this date. This means that C! would probably be wasting his/her time asking for one this year because Council wouldn't set referendum policy until the old policy had lapsed.

Maybe next year, eh?

Dec 08 2004 10:06
 

A referendum can be called any time to debate policy that is in force, even stuff just voted on. Council on it's own cannot change this policy, as it's set by a referendum. Nothing to stop a referendum changing it though, so nothing to stop us having a referendum this year.

36. C!   
Dec 08 2004 12:58
 

Well, if NUS cards are going to become more sparse the problem of non NUS cards not being recognised should sort itself out anyway

Dec 08 2004 13:04
 

I have never heard anyone involved in clubs/societies say they want the Union to be part of the NUS.

As far as I can tell the only argument is 'you get a NUS card'. The loss of money to clubs would be a heavy price to pay just for a few quid saved when you go shopping.

38. maths   
Dec 08 2004 13:30
 

And if the above posts are all correct, the NUS card will cost more than the "ISIC" card, so students will start getting that instead and that will become the more widely-known card.

Dec 08 2004 13:43
 

The ISIC card IS more widely-recognised, worldwide at least.

Not that I have one- I'm not the most well-travelled of people, and all the places I go have given me the discount, with the Swipecard, my Union card even though it's a year out-of-date, or even the rather home-made-looking Wye Ents Card!

Once at the Cinema we were told to "Just make sure you bring your NUS Card next time," but other than that the main quibble with the swipecard has been that the picture doesn't look like me!

40. C!   
Dec 08 2004 14:37
 

To different old person,

My point all along was that the savings on shopping would be much more than a few quid but I'll just pop into STA and get an ISIC card (if they still do them?)

Dec 08 2004 15:27
 

C!,

Ok so a few quid was a bit of a underestimate but the point is that many people believe the Clubs and Societies to be the most important bit of the union (enough to warrent a DP).

Clubs shouldn't suffer budget cuts just so people can get the latest REM CD slightly cheaper.

Maybe the best plan is to convince the union to talk to the major retailers (HMV, Vue etc) and make them aware of the issue. I don't know how much it will help. Some shops have given me the impression that their NUS Only stance is based upon some agreement with the NUS.

Dec 08 2004 22:09
 

I think you will find none of them actually have "an agreement" with NUS.

Most of them are just naive enough to think that all stduents are members of the NUS when actually a large proportion are not. I for one do not want to be part of an organisation such as the NUS which also represents 6th form colleges!!!

43. Seb   
Dec 30 2004 20:10
 

Well, I got refused a discount for the first time ever at the UCI next to the swiss centre in Liescter Square.

The manager claimed they were sponsored by the NUS and that he'd seen "real" IC cards with an NUS logo on them (probably last years NUS endorsed endsleigh insurance advert on the back of the union card).

What's the hope of the Union Sabs doing something genuinely useful to the student body and talking to them?

What we need is a column in felix and a big board in DaVinci's naming and shaming frequent offenders with an invitation to boycott, and a website for people to submit instances of where their discount was refused. Then send a picture of said board, fill in the details and send a form letter to the branch/area and regional manager of offender.

Anyone interested?

Dec 30 2004 22:39
 

I hear LSE are about to leave the NUS - well have a referendum anyway - good to see some other London colleges realising that the NUS is useless.

Jan 04 2005 16:00
 

UCL's having one too (something the sabbs tried, but failed, to stop)

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