On Tuesday 23 October, along with the second round of QUBSU Student Council elections, there will be a referendum held on Queen's online to decide on our affiliation with NUS USI. Many students have been wondering what it's all about anyway, so here is a copy of the fact sheet published in our most recent paper. Make sure you use your vote.
What is NUS USI?
NUS USI (National Union of Students and Union of Students in Ireland) is the national union for students in Northern Ireland. Being the special case, as always, students in the north are part of the National Union for Students in the UK (NUS) and the National Union for Students in the South of Ireland (USI). NUS-USI represents, trains, and lobbies on behalf of students in Northern Ireland- whether that be on tuition fees, on nursing bursaries, on childcare provisions for students with children. NUS USI have an executive made up of several different officers, each with their own remit (e.g. Education & Welfare Officer, Women’s Officer, LGBT Officer, etc).
Why is the referendum happening?
Every few years, a referendum is taken on a students' union’s membership to NUS USI. It’s just a way to ensure that NUS USI still has a mandate from the students from QUBSU to keep supporting/representing/working for them.
Why should I bother voting?
NUS USI campaign and work on issues that directly affect students- it’s your chance to have a say as to whether or n
ot you support the work they’re doing.
How would leaving/staying within NUS USI affect me?
QUBSU is unlike other unions in that it is not separate from the university (ie. we receive funding from the university). The university pays QUBSU’s affiliation fee to NUS USI, and in return, NUS USI represent QUBSU students. When Stormont/other public bodies need the input of students (whether it be in regards to reports, legislation, etc.), they go to NUS USI for representation. NUS run a number of training events throughout the year, and students would not be able to avail of these if QUBSU were no longer a part of NUS USI. The fact that there is a large affiliation fee is a problem for some people; similarly, not every student NUSUSI representative will agree with all of their policies.
– Officially, campaigning won't begin until after this edition of the Gown is printed, so unfortunately, we cannot direct you to some useful websites just yet. However, keep an eye on http://localhost:8888/thegown/, where we will cover the referendum as it happens.
– Voting takes place on Queen's Online on Tuesday 23rd October between 7am and 5pm.Photograph : Tyler McNally