An Open Letter to Shakira Martin, NUS President
What the student movement should be about is outward facing campaigns to improve students’ living conditions, fight for liberation and transform our education and wider society alongside the trade union movement. We need a democratic, representative and campaigning NUS that can be a real voice for students, that links up our activism and campaigns and spreads them across the country.

We are very concerned by the news that major cuts will be made to NUS democracy with no input from ordinary members. It is claimed this is necessary to close up a £3 million deficit in NUS’s finances. We don't know if this is true. If cutbacks are needed, NUS should look first to senior management’s excessive salaries: the Chief Executive earns £100,000. We demand no cuts to democracy, representation and campaigns.

We demand NUS opens the books for a democratically-accountable student investigation, with complete transparency for decision-making. The only meeting that should take decisions is a properly constituted national or extraordinary conference. At the very least, the ‘strategic conversation’ meeting taking place on 27-28 November, currently only for SU Chief Executives and Presidents, must be opened up for students to attend, and either live-streamed or recorded.

We demand:

** No cuts to liberation, section and region campaign budgets and representation
** A turn outwards to campaigning: it doesn’t need to cost tens of thousands to organise a demo or run a speaker tour. The 2017 national demonstration for free education cost the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts just £5000
** A bigger, not smaller conference, with more, not less, time for political debate. Conference should be about ordinary members having real control over NUS, not a networking event for sabbatical officers
** More, not less, power in the hands of the democratically elected NEC not unaccountable and highly paid senior management, with wildly different interests to students. We want funding restored to NEC members so they can travel to campuses and run campaigns.

We will organise and protest locally and nationally to stop these attacks on democracy, calling emergency student council meetings and activist meetings to discuss the fightback.

If you agree, please sign and share and send to your sabbatical officers!

Signed:
Christie Neary, NUS Trans Campaign (Women's Rep)
Anita Israel, Arts SU, Education Officer
Dylan Thomson, Liverpool Guild of Students
Thalia Cox, NUS Trans Campaign
Lucy Clarke, Manchester SU, NUS Women's Campaign Bisexual Rep
Laura Smith, Aberdeen University SA, Disabled Students' Forum Convenor
Marcelina Rejwerska, Royal Holloway
Savannah Middleton, Manchester Metropolitan SU
Michaela Tharby, University of York, Chair of Women's Steering Committee
Rebecca Harrington, Oxford Brookes SU Women's Officer
Jake Roberts, Student Trustee Goldsmiths SU
Sophie Bury, RHSU Women's Representative
Esyld Ní Scolaidhe, Aberdeen University SA, NUS Scotland Trans Campaign
Becky Don, Royal Holloway Feminist Society Secretary
Charlie Porter, University of Sheffield, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Syirah Ami, University of Bristol, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Toby Horkan, Royal Holloway
Harpreet Padwal, Royal Holloway
Amaan Ramzan, Royal Holloway
Steff Farley, Loughborough SU
George Wheeler, Manchester SU
Maribeth Keeler, Aberdeen University SA
Bradley Allsopp, Lincoln SU
Ben Roberts, Sheffield Hallam
Tom Vale, Lincoln SU, Socialist Students President
Jack Kershaw, Students Union UCL
Mike Shaw, Open University
Niamh Smith, Royal Holloway
Ross Taylor, Students Union UCL, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Rory Fagan, University of Derby Union of Students, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Isabel Arandia, University of Manchester
Jonathan Walters, Aberdeen University SA, Environment and Ethics Committee Member
Rebecca Larney, KCL SU
Daniel Breeze, Loughborough SU
George Wright, Royal Holloway
Robert Munton, Goldsmiths SU
Ned Matyjaszek, Royal Holloway
Jake Shepherd, Royal Holloway
Bill Cannon, Northampton SU
Mike Tree, Birmingham Guild of Students
Seth Randall-Goddard, Camberwell College of Arts
Justine Canady, Students Union UCL, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Niall Murphy, Royal Holloway
Raffaela Pancucci, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
David Diaz, Royal Holloway
Charlton Jenkins, Royal Holloway
Ari, The Open University
Rhian Keyse, Exeter Students Guild
Iris Breward, Students Union UCL, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Ross Tayler, Students Union UCL, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Dora Dimitrova, Students' Union UCL, NUS Conference Delegate 2019
Kaja Colin B Bojer, University of Kent
Mia Helene Engeskaug, University of Kent
Driscoll Green, Students Union UCL
Tom Freeman, Lincoln SU
Ewan Hodson, Lincoln SU
Matthew Fyson, Lincoln SU
Lauren Brindle, Lincoln SU
Becca Bashford, Royal Holloway
Madeline Breed, Royal Holloway
Christie van Tinteren, LSE SU
Kendall Field-Pellow, University of Southampton SU
Sam Mortimer, University of Kent
David Bullock, Durham University

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