Queen Mary Students' Union to disaffiliate from the NUS

The Board of Trustees have released a statement on the Students' Union's disaffiliation from the National Union of Students (NUS) following the Annual Student Meeting.

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At the recent Annual Student Meeting a motion was put forward on whether Queen Mary Students’ Union should disaffiliate from the National Union of Students (NUS) and the motion was passed. As part of its duties and obligations, the Board of Trustees reviewed all outcomes from the Annual Student Meeting, including this motion, at its meeting on 8th December 2022. The Board of Trustees is the body that is ultimately responsible for the management, oversight and administration of the Students’ Union and is made up of 6 Officer Trustees, 6 Student Trustees and 6 External Trustees.

The Board considered that the decision taken at the Annual Student Meeting to disaffiliate from NUS was validly taken in accordance with the Students’ Union’s obligation to put all affiliations to its members for approval on an annual basis. As part of its responsibilities the options available to the Board of Trustees were as follows;

  1. To allow the decision to stand in its entirety
  2. To amend the decision to withdraw from either the NUS national organisation, or the NUS Charity.
  3. To reverse the decision in its entirety.

Having considered the implications of each option in the context of the Trustees’ responsibilities to the Students’ Union and its members, and considering in particular the Trustees’ duty to safeguard the interests of the Students’ Union and its members, the Board of Trustees voted to allow the decision to disaffiliate from the NUS national organisation to continue, but to reverse the decision to disaffiliate from the NUS Charity.

This decision means that the Students’ Union will cease to engage with the NUS’s political activities, campaigning and representative processes, including the National Conference, with immediate effect.

The Students’ Union will continue as a member of the NUS Charity, a separate organisation that supports Students’ Union’s and their development through the various services, events and networks it offers.

By acting in this way, the Board of Trustees believes that the Students’ Union will be fulfilling the mandate passed by students to disengage with the political aspects of NUS, whilst preserving access to the various training and support services offered by the NUS Charity, which benefit the Students’ Union and its members (and to which the Students’ Union is separately subscribed).

The Board of Trustees notes that the affiliation to the separate NUS Services Limited (NUSSL) was not part of the vote at the Annual Student Meeting. NUSSL is a separate trading element of NUS or “buying consortium” where Students’ Union’s procure supplies of many of the products that are provided in our on-campus bars, shops and cafes and are supplied at a discounted rate which benefits our members. The Students’ Union retains the benefit of this collective purchasing agreement, benefitting its members, particularly important at this time of rising costs and inflation.

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