Every three years YUSU offers students the opportunity to make a decision on our affiliation to the National Union of Students. The next referendum, due in 2017, has been accelerated with the submission of a policy motion calling for the question of YUSU’s ongoing affiliation to be put to students.
A REFERENDUM WILL NOW TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE END OF SUMMER TERM WITH VOTING OPENING ON WEDNESDAY 1 JUNE
A YUSU referendum is a vote that is open to every student. Students will be asked to respond ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the question: ‘Should YUSU remain affiliated with the NUS?’ The outcome will be decided by a simple majority. If more students vote ‘No,’ YUSU will inform the NUS that we will not be renewing the affiliation. To reach quoracy 5% of YUSU members must vote. If under 5% of members vote then no change will be made.
Any student at the University of York can get involved with campaigning to persuade students to vote for or against YUSU’s NUS affiliation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the Yes/No Campaign Coordinators.
Deputy Returning Officer Details: Michael Hewitson (Democracy & Campaigns Coordinator) - email@example.com
External Returning Officer: Paul Chapman, Director - Student Support and Involvement, University of Manchester Students' Union
The Students’ Union will remain neutral in the referendum. Our priority is to ensure a fair and robust debate, rooted in factual information, in which every University of York student that wishes can participate. Student members, including Elected Officers are free to participate but they do not represent an official YUSU view on the question of affiliation.
NUS affiliation offers University of York students a range of tangible benefits. Key facts are set out below in the interests of ensuring students have the full picture before they vote.
Thousand of University of York students - just under a quarter- have bought an NUS card this year. The card means students can access over 160 discounts ranging from 50% off Spotify to 40% off Zizzi and Pizza Express and 10% off at Topshop/TopMan, The Co-Op and ASOS. Students will not be able to buy one in future if YUSU disaffiliated. MyUniDays covers many of these discounts, but not all.
Last year YUSU generated £21,700 of income from NUS Extra Card sales. This money was invested straight back into services for students.
NUS Extra card sales are just part of the picture. In total, YUSU received £51,864 in rebates and savings from its NUS affiliation in the last financial year. As well as the NUS Extra Card sales, this figure includes discounts that YUSU can access as a result of the NUS’s commercial operation, running one of the largest buying consortiums in Europe. As a member of the purchasing consortium YUSU can buy goods, like soft drinks and alcohol in bulk at discounted rates which have been independently audited as being cheaper than are available for those purchasing independently or with other purchasing consortiums.
YUSU spent £44,932 on NUS affiliation in 2014/15. Over the same period, YUSU generated a net profit of £6,452 from the affiliation; alongside an unseen benefit of £36,599. Unseen benefit is an analysis of savings received against wholesale supply contracts versus NUS negotiated consortium contracts.
Profit from the affiliation is ploughed back into student services and activities.
The NUS plays an important role equipping and supporting students’ union sabbatical officers to undertake their roles to the best of their abilities. A unique programme of training is delivered each summer that is tailored to the responsibilities of each officer. It helps get them up to speed on key elements of the job so that they can do more for students faster.
In addition, the NUS offers a range of behind the scenes support; providing research and briefing support and legal advice that is tailored to the status of students’ unions as charities and the unique regulation framework that they exist within. Over the past year YUSU has used the NUS’ briefings and research to better evidence our campaigning to raise awareness of gaps in mental health services, and drawn on legal advice especially commissioned by the NUS on the role of students’ unions in the EU referendum.
Updated at 6 June 2016