May 20, 2008

Warwick delegates vote for No Platform at NUS Conference

Monday 12th May saw the last Union council of this term, and after 4 and a half hours, it was certainly in the style of councils this academic year. With no policies up for review, and the governance reform, which had taken up a lot of time during previous meetings having passed at referendum, there were 12 pieces of new business to be debated. There were motions on welfare and liberation issues, on education, on international students’ issues and democracy in the union.

Questions to Union Officers were numerous. Officers were asked about their general activities since the last council, and about campaigning during local elections. A question on the voting behaviour of delegates to the NUS national conference on No Platform attracted the most controversy, due to the recent referendum that removed Warwick University’s No Platform Policy. Warwick’s NUS delegates controversially voted in favour of supporting No Platform on a national level, and RaW News invited the Union’s Finance, Democracy and Strategy Officer Tom Callow onto the show last week to debate with Rajiv Shah, a staunch supporter of the removal of No Platform.

No Platform symbol

Were the delegates right to vote for No Platform on a national level, or have they mis-represented the students who put them there in the first place?
To hear the debate click on the link below and feel free to add your comments in the section below.

Hannah Smith – News Editor
Andrew O’Brien – Chief Political Correspondent
Alex Fowles

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Anon

    I don’t think that mountains should be made out of molehills here.

    Firstly, this was not a huge controversy at Union Council as has been suggested. It was one Question to the Union Officers who were part of the NUS delegation; all of those present gave their reasoning behind their decision and it was then left at that.

    Secondly, NUS Conference is made up of thousands of delegates. The “staunch supporter” in question seems to be suggesting that this is an absolute outrage. However, I imagine that the overall vote was not decided by only twelve people. Things should be kept in perspective here.

    Finally, the big issue seems to be whether or not Warwick students and the decision they made was represented. Again, perspective is required. How many students actually voted in favour of the Referendum motion? Only a tiny fraction of the entire student population at Warwick. Of those that voted, it was a very close call so to say that the entire student body was misrepresented is incredibly flawed and somewhat naive.

    Most importantly, how many Warwick students were really aware that there was an NUS Conference happening, that a No Platform vote was scheduled or even cared about anything remotely similar to it?

    24 May 2008, 00:36

  2. Hey Anon,

    I shall give you a more detailed reply when I have a bit of time.

    But here is my very short on line reply: “Yes it is true that it will not have a massive impact in the life of the average apathetic Warwick student, but what happened is important to those who do care about Union democracy and those who voted. And as the Warwick Globe pointed out it will undermine union democracy”.

    Ok I guess it was more than one line. My long reply may end up as completely different than the short one though.



    25 May 2008, 02:25

  3. The Voice of Reason

    There is one very simple answer to all of this. Leave the NUS.

    25 May 2008, 23:18

  4. I must concede I am still undecided on the issue of leaving the NUS, although I am slightly leaning towards leaving. The issue is what is the invisible contribution the NUS does to Warwick and is it worth £50k?

    26 May 2008, 15:57

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