An idiot’s guide to NUS Factions

NUS is dominated by factions, and Birmingham NUS Delegate elections are normally dominated by local versions of the national factions. Below is a basic explanation, for those unaware, of all the factions your candidates are secretly seeking to represent but can’t tell you because of Guild election rules or maybe just because they don’t want to tell you.

JSoc/UJS — the National organisation of Jewish Societies, or JSocs, known as the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), tends to have a pretty strong influence within NUS. In the last few years, they have successfully managed to elect at least one delegate to be part of the Guild’s delegations in recent years.

Key issues for Jsoc/UJS: Israel/Palestine Conflict, Anti-Semitism, Inter-Faith work, Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel.

Likely to back: NOLS and UJS Candidates.

Isoc/FOSIS: Islamic Society nationally are aligned to the Federation of Student Islamic Student Societies. In recent years they have been strong organisers within the Student Movement. With the introduction of the Counter Terrorism Bill and the growing issue of Prevent on campuses, expect a strong showing this year.

Key issues: Prevent, Palestine, Inter-Faith work, Islamaphobia, Sharia Compliant student loans

Likely to back: Their own candidates and other friendly candidates. Expect large support for Shelly Asquith’s re-election campaign due to her work opposing Prevent.

Labour Students/NOLS: The student wing of the Labour party, traditionally the dominant faction at NUS Conference largely seen as ‘the right’ due to their predominantly Blairite politics. Recent years has seen the rapid decline of influence and power of NOLS within NUS. There may be a stronger showing this year as membership has swollen due to the Corbyn Surge, particularly in Birmingham where they are attracting crowds of 100+ people every week.

Key issues: Maintenance Grants, Electoral registration, Access to Education

Likely to back: Their own candidates, UJS Candidates and support for Moderate Candidates.

Organised Independent (OIs) /Moderates

The faction consisting almost all of ‘moderate’ sabbs and their followers, its policy direction is generally what the lead sabbs want it to be. Expect talk of ‘average students’ , Student opportunities and putting students unions at the heart of NUS.

Key issues: ‘Average Students’, Maintenance grants, Student opportunities, HE Green Paper, Sabbs

Likely to back: Megan Dunn, Richard Brooks, and support for UJS and NOLS candidates.

‘Liberation Left’

Whilst not an official faction, this grouping best represents the groupings of students who originate from the NUS Liberation campaigns and also hold left wing views on issues such as Education funding. They tend to distinguish themselves from other left wing factions with their liberation first stance.

Key Issues: BME Attainment gap, a full time NUS Trans officer, DSA cuts, liberating the curriculum, Counter Terrorism, Police brutality

Likely to back: Sorana Vieru’s re-election campaign and the ‘anyone but Megan Dunn’ Presidential candidate. Will give support to friendly candidates but definitely not NOLS.

Defend Education/ National Campaign against fees and cuts (NCAFC)

The predominant Far Left faction within NUS. They are very critical over NUS Leadership and use NUS as a platform to promote their own ‘radical politics’ They see NUS as a way of strengthening their own organisation by making radical policy changes and putting up candidates. Growing stronger within NUS despite their waning influence in Birmingham.

Key issues: Autumn term Demonstrations , Free Education, Pro migrant politics, Living Grants.

Likely to back: Shelley Asquith’s Re-election campaign; the ‘anyone but Megan Dunn’ Presidential candidate.

Other factions: The Young Greens, Student Assembly against Austerity (SAAA), Student Broad Left,Workers Liberty, RS21, Democratic and Reformists Network, UKIP.

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Disclaimer: This knowledge is based on gossip, observations and what information we can infer and distill from the following webpages. NUS Hackery is something that is very obscure and behind the scenes. Many candidates and delegates will deny ever being part of a faction.

http://anticuts.com/2014/04/24/8-things-you-should-know-about-nus-conference-2014-and-about-nus-in-general/

http://anticuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FINALday-one-bulletin.pdf

http://anticuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FINALday-two-bulletin.pdf

http://anticuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FINALday-three-bulletin-1.pdf

http://www.labourstudents.org.uk/our_work_in_nus

http://fosis.org.uk/student-affairs/news/260-fosis-a-nus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_Jewish_Students#Activities

http://www.wujs.org.il/wujs-news/another-successful-nus-conference-for-ujs-uk

http://www.ujs.org.uk/news/article/6013/NUS-101/

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jagopearson/100259025/loony-anarchists-and-future-labour-mps-the-nus-represents-its-own-clique-not-ordinary-students/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Student_Islamic_Societies#Student_Affairs_Committee_.28SAC.29

http://edwardbauereeo.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/leaving-post.html

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/michael-chessum-james-mcash/turning-point-in-national-union-of-students

http://www.theyworkforstudents.co.uk/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organised_Independents

http://thecourieronline.co.uk/inside-the-nus-national-conference/

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/02/01/nus-leadership-panics-and-ditches-aaron-porter