Warwick SU votes to disaffiliate from National Union of Students over ‘hostile environment’

The disaffiliation comes after claims of ‘bigotry’ towards Jewish people

The University of Warwick’s Student Union has voted to disaffiliate from the National Union of Students (NUS) after an independent investigation found that it had created a “hostile environment” for Jews.

It was reported that the NUS had been previously condemned by groups representing Jewish students for claims of “antisemitism” and inviting “a guest with historic antisemitic comments” to speak at an event.

Three weeks after this investigation, the University of Warwick’s SU has voted to leave the NUS by a margin of 487 votes to 416 in an ASV (All Student Vote).

This vote came after a period of campaigning, with leaflets being given out on campus on both sides.

According to a report by the Jewish Chronicle on Friday, a motion put to students claimed: “The NUS has failed to protect minorities from abuse through divisive rhetoric and lack of zero tolerance and condemnation for hate speech.”

“Warwick SU, and any national student union it belongs to, must have zero tolerance against bigotry towards any individual, minority group and other protected characteristics, and require the same of elected individuals and guests,” it said, branding the National Union of Students as a “failing political arm.”

“The NUS’ constant failure over allegations of bigotry and their detachment from key student concerns, as shown by successive low turnout, has left the union without credibility to many students from various backgrounds and politicians from across the spectrum, endangering the success of any future lobbying by NUS UK,” the motion added.

The Warwick Tab contacted the NUS for comment. They said: “NUS is sad that Warwick Students’ Union has decided to leave our national union and it will always be welcome should they decide to return in the future.”

The NUS also released a full press statement: “We are confident that the investigations have been thorough, fair and conducted to the highest standards throughout. There is no room for doubt that this process has been as robust as it gets.

“The KC’s report is a detailed and shocking account of antisemitism within the student movement. It is a truly difficult read for all of us but we welcome the clarity it brings to enable us to act with confidence to tackle antisemitism head on. There is no place for antisemitism within NUS and we are committed to ensuring that Jewish students feel safe and welcome in every corner of our movement. Antisemitism is an attack on our shared values of equality and solidarity. We have a proud history of fighting struggles alongside Jewish students. We must tackle antisemitism in all its forms with collective responsibility and in doing so restore our collective. We are stronger united.”

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