The NUS in particular has come under fire from potential delegates with the campaign group Oh well, all right then satirically mocking the union as, “hijacked by politicos”. Others have criticized the organization over its failure to appoint a full times trans officer.
Another major focus has been the infamous Oxford workload. Both IOU (Inclusive Oxford University) and BackJack candidates have called for a cap on the work required to end unhealthy and inconsistent workloads.
The elections, which will begin at 8:00 on Tuesday 17th November when polls open, have revealed considerable discontent over much of student life. Although many have also put emphasis on representation and improving existing programmes like the Woman’s Mentoring Scheme some have taken controversial positions.
The acerbic manifesto of Oh well all right then, a group of students running to become NUS delegates, has parodied the organization in their manifesto. They have pledged on “Pointless Bureaucracy” calling for the establishment of a “Working Group to investigate forming a Working Group on the future of Working Groups (WGIFWGFWG)”. In conclusion however they promise to: “Vote against pointless crap, and candidates who have pointless policies”.
Elements of this criticism have been take up by the BackJack campaign which, although representing any potential NUS delegates, commented: “the decision not to create a role for a full time trans officer last year was a key example of the NUS not putting the needs of students first”. However the party also stated that “I’m not sure we share a similar position with ‘Oh well, alright then” and that: “Hopefully we are all agreed that voting at conference should be directed by OUSU council mandates and by what is best for students, rather than our personal feelings toward the institution of the NUS”. This issue was also echoed by the Welfair campaign whose NUS delegate stated in their manifesto that the position of a full-time trans officer, “was unfairly voted down last conference despite the unilateral recognition of the need for one from trans students themselves”.
Work and welfare was another major theme with an IOU University wide survey showing that 51% of students had felt that their health had suffered as a result of their workload, with 71% identifying their workload as a source of anxiety. They also proposed at least ‘one deadline-free week (e.g 5th ) each term. In turn the BackJack presidential candidate also called for reading weeks as well as an end to inconstant workloads across the University.
Image: Oh Well, Alright Then