NUS President Gemma Tumelty has allegedly banned the Southampton and Glasgow presidents from attending a meeting at NUS conference on the reasons why unions choose to come out, or stay out, of NUS.
The decision was allegedly taken because the pair were deemed to be "liars", who would spread anti-NUS feelings. It has been said that Tumelty did not want Conference, held as the pinnacle of NUS democracy, to be turned into a debate on affiliation.
The aim of the fringe meeting was to hear views from non-affiliated institutions to determine what NUS needed to change to bring them back into the fold. Southampton has previously sent observers with balcony passes, at cost to themselves, to determine if reforms had been taking place. A major motion coming up this year will call for far-reaching reforms, but may be blocked by RESPECT-controlled unions such as Manchester: observers from non-affiliated unions will not be able to see how these reforms are argued for or against.
The alleged characterisation of these democratically-elected students as "liars" is curious, particularly as during the referendum members of the NUS were stating that College would reduce funding if ICU did not affiliate to them, which was a complete fallacy. After much begging from sabbaticals College has agreed to pay most of the affiliation fee for this year, but in future years the balance is to come from ULU money.
Stifling a free a debate on the reasons for remaining outside the NUS may be considered strange behaviour from an NUS President supportive of reforms, who would presumably be keen to hear the reasons why people remain outside.