Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
33 views
33 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018
247 Views

NUS National Conference begins with controversy for Sussex delegates

Three of Sussex’s delegates for 2016’s National Union of Students (NUS) conference are publicly backing a candidate, Malia Bouattia, who has been asked to explain her “extremely concerning rhetoric” by a group of 57 Jewish representatives from universities across Britain.

Ms Bouattia, current NUS Black Students’ Officer, is alleged to have claimed at a 2016 meeting hosted by London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies that the government’s controversial anti-extremism policy, Prevent, was created by “all manner of Zionist and neo-con lobbies”.

In response, 57 Presidents and Vice-Presidents of student Jewish Societies put their names to an open letter accusing Ms Bouattia of “peddling conspiracy theories” which could create “an element of suspicion towards Jewish students on campus”.

The open letter chastises Ms Bouattia for accepting the endorsement of a spokesperson for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, an organisation which has been no-platformed by the NUS since 2004 for propagating the idea of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy, and for re-posting articles from neo-Nazi and Holocaust Denial websites.

Upon receiving the message of support from the controversial Muslim group’s representative, Ms Bouattia replied simply: “Thank you :-))”. The open letter’s signatories say this “worried” them.

In spite of the controversy surrounding Ms Bouattia, Sussex delegates Annie Pickering, Bethan Hunt and Rose Taylor intend to vote for her to be the next NUS National President.

Gabor Szekely, co-president of Sussex Jewish Society, released a statement saying: “Jewish students at Sussex need to know that USSU will take seriously the worries of Jewish students. Therefore, as co-president of the Jewish Society, I ask Annie Pickering, Bethan Hunt and Rose Taylor to publicly condemn Bouattia’s distressing comments and attitude toward the Jewish student community and her failure to address the concerns of more than 250 Jewish students. Furthermore, I strongly urge the USSU representatives to reconsider whether or not Bouattia is a suitable candidate for NUS Presidency.”

Ms Pickering, Ms Hunt and Ms Taylor responded to the statement by Mr Szekely, saying: “Whilst we respect the concerns raised, we feel that comments Malia has made have been taken out of context. We have discussed these concerns with Malia and her campaign team and feel that they have been addressed. Malia has clarified that she has never seen a large Jewish society on campus as a ‘problem’ stating that she ‘celebrates the ability of people and students of all backgrounds to get to together and express their backgrounds and faith openly and positively’.”

Ms Bouattia is part of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) faction, which is also fielding candidates for the other 5 positions. Ms Hunt, Ms Taylor and Ms Pickering are supporting all of NCAFC’s candidates for the NUS officer positions.

Malia Bouattia’s has penned her own letter in response to the controversy. It reads in part: “I am deeply concerned that my faith and political views are being misconstrued and used as an opportunity to falsely accuse me of antisemitism, despite my work and dedication to liberation, equality and inclusion saying otherwise.

“I am alarmed that you have drawn a link between criticism of Zionist ideologies and anti-Semitism.

“I do not have a relationship, in any shape or form, with this organisation or the individual in question [Raza Nadim]. I have always and will continue to respect and uphold NUS’ No Platform Policy.”

The National Union of Students’ (NUS) National Conference is being held in Brighton between Tuesday and Thursday (19th-21st April).

The National Conference sets policy for the NUS.

Students’ Unions up and down the British Isles send representatives to vote on motions and to elect the NUS’ leadership for the next academic year.

Delegates are set to debate hundreds of motions, including a proposed boycott of the National Student Survey; an attempt to get “oppression” and “privilege” inserted into the compulsory curriculum at schools; investment in a community-owned wind farm in Mexico; and expulsion of the Israelis from the West Bank.

More traditional policies concerning communications, students’ rights and unionisation will also be debated.

According to NUS, nearly a thousand representatives will fill the seafront Brighton Centre for three days of democratic decision-making and fringe sessions.

The University of Sussex Student’s Union is sending four representatives to the conference, all of whom were elected last month:

  • Current USSU president, Abe Baldry;
  • President-elect of the USSU, Annie Pickering;
  • Undergraduate Education officer Bethan Hunt;
  • Postgraduate education officer, Rose Taylor.

Photo: NCAFC

Miriam Steiner

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
33 views
33 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018
Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?
Arts
46 views
46 views

Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?

Rob Smith - April 19, 2018
Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe
Arts
53 views
53 views

Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe

Georgia Grace - April 18, 2018
What’s wrong with the literary canon?
Arts
46 views
46 views

What’s wrong with the literary canon?

Shiri Reuben - April 18, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
33 views
Arts
33 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018

Following the release of his Fourth Studio album ‘Hearts that Strain’ in September 2017, Jake Bugg decided he wanted an intimate tour, and that is exactly what…

Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?
Arts
46 views
Arts
46 views

Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?

Rob Smith - April 19, 2018

I am not advocating that all music, no matter how little talent is required, is by default innovative. I will eagerly admit that much of the bland,…

Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe
Arts
53 views
Arts
53 views

Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe

Georgia Grace - April 18, 2018

  Final year English and Drama student Sophie Pester will be taking her original stage show A Glass Half Empty to Brighton Fringe next month. First performed…

What’s wrong with the literary canon?
Arts
46 views
Arts
46 views

What’s wrong with the literary canon?

Shiri Reuben - April 18, 2018

This elusive and slightly archaic category, 'the literary canon' seeps into what we know and what we think we know about 'good' and 'bad' literature. On a simple…

For students, where does work end and rest begin?
Features
61 views
Features
61 views

For students, where does work end and rest begin?

Lucy Pegg - April 17, 2018

Print Production Editor Lucy Pegg examines the difficult balance between work and rest for students. In an environment that blurs the line between productivity and recreation, can…

Cambridge Analytica: did Facebook share your personal data?
Science
51 views
Science
51 views

Cambridge Analytica: did Facebook share your personal data?

Luke Richards - April 14, 2018

The last couple of weeks have been tough for Facebook, as it reels from the public scrutiny it has received over its lackadaisical protection of personal data.…

Brighton Fringe comic Joseph Morpurgo on satire, Frankenstein and his fictitious nine-hour, one-man show
Arts
82 views
Arts
82 views

Brighton Fringe comic Joseph Morpurgo on satire, Frankenstein and his fictitious nine-hour, one-man show

Georgia Grace - April 13, 2018

At The Badger we sat down with multi-talented comic, three-time Chortle Award winner and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Joseph Morpurgo to discuss his show Hammerhead. Following a three-week…

Amritsar: 99 years later and still no apology
Comment
94 views
Comment
94 views

Amritsar: 99 years later and still no apology

William Singh - April 12, 2018

99 years ago on Friday, one British general marched his soldiers into an enclosed garden in the vicinity of the holy Golden Temple and sealed off the…

Talking disability, identity and inclusion through dance – Candoco preview
Arts
90 views
Arts
90 views

Talking disability, identity and inclusion through dance – Candoco preview

Georgia Grace - April 12, 2018

Candoco are a company of disabled and non-disabled dancers who, for the past 25 years, have challenged ideas about what dance can be and who gets to…

Voodoo preview
Arts
53 views
Arts
53 views

Voodoo preview

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 12, 2018

“[A] science fiction that addresses the desire, confusion and responsibility felt as individuals, who are also symbols of many long-persecuted people.” (Quoted from Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila…

Interview with Chris Watson: Take a trip to No Man’s Land this spring
Lifestyle
137 views
Lifestyle
137 views

Interview with Chris Watson: Take a trip to No Man’s Land this spring

Louisa Streeting - April 6, 2018

Sound recordist, Chris Watson, spoke to The Badger about his new installation piece featured in the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts until 13 April 2018. From…

“A moving symbol of cooperation and humanity” – COAL review
Arts
175 views
Arts
175 views

“A moving symbol of cooperation and humanity” – COAL review

William Singh - March 31, 2018

“This is not a show. It’s something else”, we’re told. Gary Clarke’s dance performance of the life and decline of Britain’s mining communities is certainly something else.…

Brighton’s craft beer festival returns in April for third year
Lifestyle
173 views
Lifestyle
173 views

Brighton’s craft beer festival returns in April for third year

Louisa Streeting - March 28, 2018

Brighton will become the hub of craft beer in more than a dozen pubs from April 27-29. The Brighton Tap Takeover returns for a third year bringing…

Young blood promotes brain regeneration
Science
119 views
Science
119 views

Young blood promotes brain regeneration

Nikolaos Manesis - March 28, 2018

On the "growing old is natural" vs "it should be medically reversed" debate, vampires have crossed the picket line from the get-go and scientists have just proven…

The educational psychology of children with autism
Science
145 views
Science
145 views

The educational psychology of children with autism

Nikolaos Manesis - March 28, 2018

The scientific field of educational psychology studies the relationship between learning processes and the individual differences in cognitive development, motivation and intelligence. The majority of children are…

Stand Up & Slam review
Arts
138 views
Arts
138 views

Stand Up & Slam review

Alex Leissle - March 28, 2018

Sometimes the best experiences are those you initially question. Stand Up & Slam is one such idea, for it is a resounding triumph of an evening. Hosted…

Organisms, self-understanding and sacrifice in Rambert’s production at Theatre Royal Brighton
Arts
158 views
Arts
158 views

Organisms, self-understanding and sacrifice in Rambert’s production at Theatre Royal Brighton

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - March 24, 2018

Goat.-Rambert-Dancers-FrontCentre-Daniel-Davidson.-©-Hugo-Glendinning Rambert delivered a series of fluid performances where human bodies became elegant oscillations, much like the metallic wall used on stage to divide the dancers in…

SMuTS presents ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ review
Arts
226 views
Arts
226 views

SMuTS presents ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ review

Georgia Grace - March 23, 2018

Excitement and anticipation were running high Wednesday evening at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) for the opening night of Sussex Musical Theatre Society’s (SMuTS’s)…

SU Election coverage – Dead Slate: all women elected for third consecutive year at Sussex
Campus News
173 views
Campus News
173 views

SU Election coverage – Dead Slate: all women elected for third consecutive year at Sussex

Jordan Wright - March 23, 2018

The results are in for this year's Students' Union election, which saw 30 candidates running to be the full-time elected representatives of the student body at Sussex.…

Academic Armchair: ‘Cinderella, you shall go to the ball”: a conversation with Ketan Jha
Features
157 views
Features
157 views

Academic Armchair: ‘Cinderella, you shall go to the ball”: a conversation with Ketan Jha

Devin Thomas - March 23, 2018

In this week’s edition of the Academic Armchair the Features team sat down with Ketan Jha, an associate tutor of Sussex Law School. Alongside his work in…