The National Union of Students' National Executive Committee meeting has been taking place, but the motions discussed have been accused of becoming too politicised while decisions made come under increased scrutiny following mass disaffiliation campaigns earlier in the year.
One motion, which passed, means that students of any religion can vote on who represents Jewish students on the NUS Anti-Racism and Anti-Facism (ARAF) committee. This was an amendment to a motion which re-established a place for a Jewish student on the ARAF committee, however the controversial amendment only passed because NUS President Malia Bouattia used her casting vote in favour.
This has caused a backlash from prominent Jewish students inside and outside of the NUS.
Izzy Lenga, who is on the NUS NEC, voiced her opposition to the event on Twitter:
In another tweet she said that the NUS was not a 'safe space' for Jewish students, saying she has 'had to excuse [herself] outside of this room twice', referring to the NEC meeting. Others also voiced their opposition to the motion on Twitter:Malia just voted to decide that non Jews can decide who the Jewish rep is on Araf. So much for autonomy eh? @MaliaBouattia #NUSNEC— Izzy Lenga (@izzyjengalenga) July 18, 2016
Meanwhile, the NUSceptics group, which campaigns for universities to disaffiliate from the National Union, tweeted: "The NUS again have once again showed they fail to understand Jewish students' concerns about the movement #NUSNEC". The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said: "NEC votes to diminish Jewish students' involvement in national ARAF campaigns."Sickened that our NEC has once again ignored the voices of Jewish students #NUSNEC— Melantha (@Melantha9) July 18, 2016
More controversy followed events at the conference. Women's Officer Amelia Hogan was criticised for a tweet in which she said she would not be answering questions about the NEC meeting if they came from men. She said that she would only answer questions from 'women' or 'non-binary' students. The tweet has been condemned as 'sexist'.
The self-described 'classical-liberal' campaign group Young Liberty condemned the tweet on social media, saying 'the NUS is beyond a joke'.
Amelia Hogan responded to a request for comment from Student Voices, explaining that she:Thank goodness @theresa_may doesn't refuse PMQs from male MPs. @nusuk #NUSNEC is beyond a joke - #misandry https://t.co/v5qRqkuoqG— Young Liberty (@YoungLibbers) July 18, 2016
I'm elected by women and non binary students only at the women's conference. I'm the women's second place on the NEC so my constituents are women and non binary people.
Lead photo is copyright @SamayyaAfzal / Twitter
Anti-Semitism and Sexism Controversy Surrounds NUS NEC Meeting Reviewed by Student Voices on 01:08 Rating: