I was earlier reading about the NUS conference on the excellent Live! website, and it basically looks like a complete cluster-fuck. Once again, the conference has been hijacked by the far-left, more obsessed with idealism and political activism than with making the NUS an organisation which acts in the best interests of students.
I advise you to take a look at Live! to see the full disaster of the thing. but it more or less boils down to a defeat for reform, policies calling for a disastrous national bursary scheme, and the like.
For those of you who aren’t Imperial students, we only (re)joined the NUS last year after a narrowly fought referendum. It was sold by the “Yes” campaign on a promise that the dysfunctional NUS would reform, and would give Imperial a national voice. This rather emphatically hasn’t happened; the reform has failed, and most of the motions went against Imperial’s interest. It gets worse – the delegates to the conference were elected on the basis that they were mandated to represent the position of the Union, and by extension, the students. One of the Imperial delegates, Camilla Royle, broke mandate three times to vote with the Student Respect faction. Absolutely disgraceful behaviour.
The NUS is mess – even the most clear-cut benefit, that of discounts, is debatable. You have to buy their NUS extra card, and then the NUS lobbies for discounts to be restricted to only card holders, rather than being for all students; a despicable policy.
Anyways, if you’re an Imperial student, the campaign for disaffliation has already begun. Join this Facebook group and sign the petition, 500 signatures will trigger a referendum on leaving the NUS. If you’re not an Imperial student, I would suggest seeing if such a thing can be done with your Union.
On another tack of stupidity, I saw this on the Bad Science Blog:
Luckily, it also had the antidote, a Feynman chaser.