Following understandable interest from members, the Students’ Union and its elected Officers wish to clarify the situation regarding the affiliation of Nottingham Students for Life and the position of the elected officers with regard to the society’s views.
Affiliation of societies
Following a challenge to the Students’ Union’s society affiliation process, an internal review identified shortcomings in our procedures and we are taking immediate action to improve these.
The Students’ Union Board of Trustees reconsidered the previous decision not to affiliate Nottingham Students for Life. Based on the shortcomings in the affiliation process, the Board agreed to affiliate the group. The Board of Trustees is responsible for maintaining the legal integrity and sustainability of the Union. It is a legal requirement that the Board of Trustees must overturn any decision, including those made by our student democratic procedures, if there is an intolerable legal or financial risk, and will only do so in exceptional instances. The Board deemed this to be one of these instances. The Board’s review brought the affiliation process itself into question and, as such, sending the group back through this process would not remedy the situation.
Nottingham Students for Life, like all societies, will be subject to, and must comply with, the rules, procedures and safeguards of the Students’ Union, including our Code of Conduct, which seeks to create an environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to supporting student groups to run their activities safely, inclusively, and responsibly.
The Students’ Union’s societies cover a wide range of beliefs, interests and activities. Our members will not always agree with every society, and student groups have the freedom to disagree. The Students’ Union aims to provide a safe environment for debate and discussion.
We will work with the relevant democratic bodies to improve procedures, with specific regard to affiliation and policy to resolve the issues raised and ensure that they do not reoccur.
Statement from UoNSU’s Elected Officers:
As the Officer team of UoNSU, we are elected to represent our members. This involves championing their views and protecting their rights.
In order to protect the SU from legal and financial risks, we agree with the Trustees’ decision and we are confident that Trustees acted appropriately and made the decision that ultimately best protects the interests of the membership.
Although we accept that there is no option but to affiliate Nottingham Students for Life into our roster of societies, we are also clear that we are not required to subscribe to or support their views and aims.
We firmly believe in the right to bodily autonomy, particularly with regard to people who may become pregnant. Therefore, we, the Full-time and Part-time Officers of UoNSU, will call an emergency session of Union Council to formalise this belief in policy, setting a clear Students’ Union stance in support of this position. This policy will allow us to run a clear campaign, championing pro-choice principles over those of anti-choice.
We will call for students to join this campaign and help us make clear that UoNSU is a pro-choice community of students, and we would welcome your support and involvement.
The Full-Time Officer Committee
The Part-Time Officer Committee
Any student seeking advice or support please note the following:
The University Counselling Service: 0115 951 3685, www.nottingham.ac.uk/counselling
British Pregnancy Advisory Service Nottingham - https://www.bpas.org/clinics/bpas-nottingham-city/
NUH Sexual Health Services: www.nuh.nhs.uk/sexual-health-services
If you have comments or complaints please go to: https://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/comments-complaints-compliments/