However, there was disappointment for the Holloway delegation on Thursday after the long-awaited governance review was voted down falling just 25 votes short of the 2/3 majority required. The NUS held an emergency conference towards the end of last year in order to put forward the motion of a governance review and there has been much hype about it since as it was intended to be one of current President Gemma TumeltyÂ’s key changes. At SURHULÂ’s NUS referendum in January 2007, Gemma Tumelty repeatedly referred to the impending governance review as a reason for Royal HollowayÂ’s StudentsÂ’ Union to remain a member of the NUS. Now, with no chance of a review, Hollowegians will likely be asking what reasons we now have for staying affiliated.
The conference was covered in depth by numerous forms of student media around the country, most notably Live! at Imperial. In the lead-up, Ashley Brown of Live! had dubbed the conference as Â“three days of pointless argumentsÂ”. He also cited Gemma TumeltyÂ’s public admission of fault: Â“The problems at your national union were well known; poorly managed, lacking clear direction, increasingly inaccessible to students, and with structures more adapted to 1922 than 2008, NUS has been failing to deliver on key issues.Â” In his reflection, Brown refers to ImperialÂ’s mixed views on whether or not to stay affiliated. Imperial also had a referendum regarding NUS affiliation last year but unlike HollowayÂ’s vast majority vote to stay, the ballots were much more even. With the Imperial delegation supporting the governance review, it is now looking increasingly likely that they will leave the NUS.
Ironically, the NUSÂ’s Stephen Brown cited Imperial and Royal Holloway together in his concluding speech stating that our Â“over-cynical viewpoint of NUS has changed dramaticallyÂ”. On the contrary, Holloway will, like Imperial, be more sceptical than ever. This precarious problem with the NUS will be one of the President-Elect Liz OwenÂ’s first issues to deal with this August when she assumes office.