Sunday, November 20, 2005

Strong and active students union

NUS is currently carrying out a review of the role and resourcing of its Regions & Development Department and specifically its Regional Officers.

As part of this review NUS asks what respondents think should be the definition of a strong and active union. My response to the questions for my input into the University of Wolverhampton response was "a strong and active union should be one, which campaigns on behalf of its members on education issues as well as issues, related to the welfare and future of students. Strong and Active student unions should be campaigning to ensure that their universities charge the lowest possible amount of tuition fees but this is not all a strong union should be doing, strong unions should also be campaigning to ensure that the maximum number of people who have the academic ability to study at their institution should be regardless of their gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, membership of traveller community, HIV status, or political affiliation. Strong unions should also campaign against course and departmental closure. Strong unions should also be campaigning on issues such as visas since we have many international students, the Environment (we need a safe and clean environment to work in), Transport (many students use public transport to commute), Health (STI, prescription charges, health awareness campaigns), Media (freedom of press) and Sport (facilities and opportunities for students). Strong unions should also be communicating with their members so that they know what is happening at their university, in the union, the local area and in the country and world as a whole. Strong unions should also be helping students with financial difficulties that they may have whether they be bursaries, loans, grants, and information. Unions should be ensuring that their members have the freedom to an education without the fear of poverty. In a age when the job market is becoming more and more competitive unions should be helping their members learn and pick up the skills social actives and training programmes".


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