As your Undergraduate Education Officer at Bristol, and Trans Students Officer at NUS, we’re urging you all to vote YES to NUS at Bristol.
98 years ago, Bristol Students Union was a founding member of the National Union of Students. The 1920s were a time of social division and international unrest, much like today. NUS’ founding vision was to create ‘hope for tomorrow’. In a time where we need more hope, more solidarity and more collaboration, it is essential for us to remain part of a union that ensures that we continue to fight alongside each other to ensure the education we get provides hope for tomorrow for ALL students.
NUS has fought on behalf of students all over the country relentlessly for the past 98 years and continue to do work that impacts Bristol students every day. We want Bristol SU to see NUS into its 100th year anniversary, and here’s why.
NUS’ education campaigns have changed the country and held the government to account time and time again. Bristol has been a big player in driving change in education through NUS. A former Bristol student who was the NUS Vice-President won student loan repayment cuts for postgrads. Bristol SU’s ground-breaking BAME Attainment gap research formed a major part of putting BAME students' academic experience on all university agendas. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students in Parliament is partially run by NUS, which gives us direct access to MPs and policy makers to drive real and meaningful change for students.
On mental health and welfare, NUS has been at the forefront. NUS fought and succeeded in abolishing letting agent fees, saving students hundreds of pounds. We won over £2 million in campus mental health funding for students in Wales. NUS and international students won back post- study work visas, meaning that international students will get to stay and find work in the U.K. after their incredible time at Bristol. NUS supported Bristol SU’s Cut the Rent student-led campaign as part of a national movement, saving Bristol students money and increasing access to low-cost housing.
On national issues like Brexit and the general election, NUS has fought to have students’ voices heard. Over 600,000 students used our vote matching app. Bristol marched with NUS to fight for a People’s Vote. Now, NUS is fighting to save Erasmus and our international futures. They’re also leading the fight against climate change with SOS-UK, the largest student led initiative in Europe. NUS’ work with and for students’ unions like ours captures the essence of why it is so important that we stay affiliated to the NUS. In unity, there is power, and when we come together as a collective, we are louder and stronger.
As student leaders, we have seen NUS from all angles. We’ve seen it for the passionate, hardworking and dedicated organisation it is through the people that work for, and with NUS to ensure your voice is heard nationally. We’ve also seen it for the organisation that has had a bumpy ride over the past few years with finances - but it has fought to change and adapt to be both financially stable and better in fighting for and representing you in the new and continuous issues that we see in society today.
Last year, NUS underwent the most extensive reforms in its history to deliver more for students and students unions like Bristol. This included voting to cut the affiliation fee (saving Bristol SU over £20,000 compared to last year), making NUS’ work more consensus-based and focusing on a small number of hard-hitting campaigns chosen by the membership including Bristol SU. NUS is taking students concerns about credibility seriously and is evolving to be more effective for students today.
As students at Bristol, all you have to do is walk into the SU to see the beauty, diversity and power of our student body in shaping the world around them. You are change makers, world shapers and barrier breakers – and it’s your voice that NUS amplifies and champions.
On national issues like Brexit and the general election, NUS has fought to have students’ voices heard.
With equality, democracy and collectivism at the heart of everything NUS do, saying #YEStoNUS is the way forward in ensuring that we maintain solidarity with SUs all over the country in fighting for an education system that is fair, free and accessible, a society that is accepting, inclusive and kind and a world that is driven by peace, unity and love.
You can find the link to the leave campaign article here.
Click here to vote in the referendum.
Do you think we should remain in the NUS?