The Referendum is Coming?
Yes! Yes, it is. Thanks for asking.
In Elections Committee last Wednesday, the elections calendar of the year was approved, as was the date of an NUS Referendum. Voting will take place on 6th December, with scheduled debates and campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to this time.
SUSU had a referendum to join the NUS 2 years ago and voted “against joining”, however a motion was voted for at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) to hold a further referendum in the autumn term of the forthcoming academic year. Come December, every student will be able to take part by voting for whether they think SUSU should or shouldn’t be part of the NUS. Every student also has the opportunity to campaign in this process, and we shall be setting up a hub on the SUSU website where you can register your interest for campaigning on either side of the debate. *Watch this space*
From the start of this process, we’ve made sure that SUSU can carry out this referendum in a fair and impartial manner to give students the best opportunity to hear both sides and make up their mind. This includes the creation of a Trustee Board sub-group (created only from impartial Trustee Board members) to evaluate the impact both financially and as an organisation; and the creation of an Elections Committee working group (created only from impartial members of elections committee) to compile the planning and help the running of the referendum on a day-to-day basis.
This means that you will be able to make an informed decision on the future of your Union. While all that might sound tedius, we’ve got a topic here for you to sink your teeth into.
It’s no secret that some of the Sabbatical team have strong opinions on the NUS referendum and might even become part of the campaign teams, but how should they be able to communicate that opinion to you? Is it fair that a Sabbatical, who you’ve elected to represent you and make decisions on your behalf, should also be able to tell you why they are campaigning the way they are (for example with their Sabbatical blog – this isn’t something that they’ve suggested, but just a hypothetical)? Or would this ability give them an unfair advantage, not in the spirit of the referendum?