Student loans fall-out

June 16, 1995

In "Opinion" (THES, June 2) you claim that it is the hard left celebrating after Derby. As an independent sabbatical officer not affiliated to a party, faction, or fan club I reject that claim.

Students across the country breathed a sigh of relief that there were no policy changes at a conference held amid exams and course-work deadlines.Their belief in democracy was highlighted in Derby. You comment on the "salvaged agreement" to continue our review. No! We discredited a review which was biased and fearful of debate. We are crying out for debate.

The delegates to an extraordinary conference do not have to be elected by cross-campus ballot therefore it is patronising to claim that those 1,000 people represented the wishes of the student population. It may prove in March 1996 we were wrong and students want to subsidise their education with loans. Until such time our present policy remains.

You call this decision selfish. Selfish is calling a conference mid-exams; is using student hardship as a political football; is getting through your education with sufficient funding, to decide at the end that this is unrealistic and so change it all for the poor buggers who follow.

Finally you ask what Mr Murphy and his companions in the NUS leadership should do now - carry out the mandates they have been given by the extraordinary conference they were so enthusiastic to call.

Crea Lavin

President

Newcastle University Union Society Proposer, Amendment 1

"Democracy" , NUS extraordinary conference May 30

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