Students still split after NUS referendum debate

York’s position within the NUS continues to be a point of discussion following a heated debate on the issue

The debate, which took place last night, saw speakers from each side put forward their arguments as to whether York should be part of the National Union of Students.

Representing the YES Campaign was Kallum Taylor and representing the NO campaign was Tom Morgan. The indicative vote showed a pretty even split on both sides of the discussion, with an ample amount of undecided voters also present. The referendum debate was quick to get started with issues such as cost, student support, drink prices and the general effectiveness of the NUS being at the forefront of the discussion.

Kallum and Maddie Kirkman, NUS Disabled Students’ Officer, emphasised that despite the NUS’ flaws “we will be worse off out of the NUS” arguing that leaving the NUS would cost York more money and give students less political power and protection. In contrast the other side of the argument, led by Tom Morgan and Sean Bossick claimed that the NUS was ineffective, didn’t represent students and made student drink prices higher.

Weighty allegations were made on both sides with Sean Bossick accusing Kallum Taylor of ‘scaremongering’ with regards to mentioning council tax in a Facebook post. Similarly Maddie Kirkman accused the NO Campaign of “walking away” from the problems faced by students rather than acting to change them.

The cost of alcohol featured heavily within the debate, with both sides citing Southampton as a case study. Team NO stated that through leaving the NUS, students were actually able to secure cheaper drink deals as they could barter with local businesses. The YES side stated that this was ludicrous and that cheaper drinks, whilst sustaining good wages and bar standards, are simply not plausible.

On a slightly more important note, the rights of smaller student groups were also discussed. Tom Morgan argued that student representatives would still be able to do a fantastic job without the help and control of the NUS. Thomas Ron, Disables Students’ Officer, disagreed, stating that the support he received from the NUS was extremely beneficial in helping him focus on bigger issues. Student campaigning was also raised with audience member Helena Horton putting forward the case of a Birmingham student who was facing a failed degree after campaigning and not receiving any protection from the NUS.

The debate ended with another fairly even split, however with far less undecided voters.

For live coverage of the event visit @nouselive on twitter
Voting opens today and close next week.


  1. Can we please mention the fact that Kallum Taylor called the no campaign extremists. Ridiculous and desperate tactics which the NUS use themselves. Saying that and shouting down other students who disagreed made me ashamed to be part of YUSU, it was disgraceful behaviour.

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  2. *fewer undecided voters

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  3. Those present will have witnessed Kallum Taylor shout down, rather aggressively, individual students after relatively simple and unbiased questions. We witnessed personal tiraids after little, or in fact no, provocation.

    His tone was appalling. He spoke offensively and inappropriately at the very students who elected him into office. After that performance, I doubt many members of YUSU would make the same mistake again.

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  4. Those students deserved everything they got. Whoever thinks it is appropriate to heckle someone who is trying to make a point needs a reality check. When a question was asked, a response was given. If that was me up there and someone heckled, i would’ve thrown my damn phone in their face.

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    • 4 Jun ’14 at 11:13 pm

      Feeling Angsty Mike?

      If this quote was attributed to anyone but Mike Anstey I wouldn’t believe it to be true.

      This university really isn’t going to miss you and Kazza, Mike.

      You might have been tough guys here, but out there? Well…

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    • loooool! You would never be up there.. after all you resigned as a good good loser! through the phone into your face, hopefully your new one would look more like a human and less like a monkey!

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      • I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you mike GO HOME. Somethings are for Christmas Mike Angsty’s face is for life.

        Poor chap.

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  5. 5 Jun ’14 at 2:07 am

    vision is a sham

    kallum taylor aside wasnt horton doing a vision blog that night? vision is pretty fucking biased if you ask me.

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  6. In what was a very circular debate, after endless Facebook bickering, it’s no surprise that Kallum, being demanded to answer the same question time and again, lost his cool. To say that what happened was “disgraceful” is disingenuous and a deliberate attempt to create an issue out of nothing. Inevitable to an extent when so many wannabe hacks and politicians come together in one room, but utterly pathetic.

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  7. 12 Jun ’14 at 10:42 pm

    Dissident Republican

    All 8% of the uni that actually care, what a joke

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