Hi fellow Lincoln students!
I just wanted to update you on something important I am working on with my team, Abi, Georgia, Emma and Mo.
Over the last three years it has been brought to the attention of each Student Executive Committee of the student dissatisfaction of NUS and its failure to represent ‘ALL’ our students. This is through discussing the limited representation NUS has provided from a membership point of view.
Following on from these continued conversations had in all areas of the Student Union, it was decided by The Board Of Trustees, which is predominately students and of which all of the Executive Committee members, myself, Georgia, Abi, Mo and Emma sit on, to be proactive following on the conversation had from the last 2 years. This resulted in the board giving notice to leave NUS due to the timely manner of paying the £58,000 it would cost to carry on being a member of NUS for next year. This is not the board making the decision to disaffiliate from NUS, but simply giving notice to potentially leave due to the time sensitive nature of paying membership what has been previously expressed by our students. We had to give notice by June 30th over summer when students were not here, as giving notice after the 30th June meant we would have been members of NUS until January 2021 at a possible cost of £70 000, instead of leaving in January 2020 and saving £35 000 this year alone!
The Board are trusted to oversee the Students’ Union (Charity), and are regulated by the Charity Commission, and have powers given to it by our Articles of Association to run the Union. It is very rare that the Board make decisions such as this, but when advised by your cross campus elected student officers, the Executive Committee, they can in the interests of students use their powers. Don’t worry, we can do this, I checked with our solicitors myself and they said, given the information they had, the Trustees had a duty to be proactive and give notice. We have done everything as per our governance, no rules were broken here!!
To make sure that the board have made the correct decision to give notice, myself and the rest of the sabbatical team will be talking to as many different groups of students as possible, so they can have their say on the matter. The last two years of students have said they agree with the Board; however we want to check with you this year. If you disagree, the Board can simply withdraw the notice and we will continue to be affiliated to NUS and pay the £58 000 membership again. This will be groups of reps, to Sports & societies, to the campaign network, to any current student who wants their voice heard on the matter. We want to be able to discuss this with every student, not just those that shout the loudest. We also want to be honest with you, and give you all the facts from an educated position. I give you my word, as your President, I will be totally honest with you about all the information I have which led us to this decision. To validate the board’s decision made from years’ worth of evidence, an ASM will be held where there will be a vote on the validation of the board’s decision.
If students are still wanting to leave NUS and spend the NUS affiliation fee elsewhere, this can be discussed at our ASM. From a representation perspective, we have found other organisations to work with instead, who specialise in their specific area. For example, ‘WonkHe’, ‘Mind’ ‘Stonewall’ and ‘Black lives matter’ just to name a few. From a commercial perspective, our award winning and successful Commercial team have assured me, they have no concerns from a trading perspective. We will still have VK and Hooch at Quack!
With this all-in mind, we are here to represent student views, whatever that is. If students want to stay in NUS, that is not a problem, we will represent your views. However, if our students do not see the benefit of the membership of NUS anymore and would rather the £58 000 fee this year and future years membership fees be spent on other things, then we will follow this and be represented by more specialised organisations.
The ASM where the decision of NUS will be made and what the future of our SU looks like from a financial point of view will take place on the 31st of October with only current students being able to attend and vote. More information will be released shortly.
Stay classy Lincoln
SU President and Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Related article: https://lincolnsu.com/news/article/nusupdate
To find out more about the ASM and join the event, please click here.