The National Union of Students (NUS) is once again marred by scandal after leader Shakira Martin was vilified for comparing criticism to an abusive relationship, provoking allegations against Martin for bullying other NUS officers.
The tweet by Mark Crawford, the UCL Student Union’s postgraduate officer, called Martin a ‘scab’ for her apparent failure to oppose gentrification and told her to ‘get over herself’. The tweet, which has since been deleted, was then screenshotted by Martin and posted to Facebook, along with her response: ‘This is the name calling and abuse i have to put up with. I’m a scab now yeh…these people are as abusive as my ex was too me, emotionally trying to break me down at every level every single day. I feel like im back in a domestic abuses realationship and if i am honest this shit is really triggering things for me. I dont have to nor will i continue to put up with this shit.’
Hareem Ghani, the NUS Women’s Officer, announced she would be filing a complaint to the NUS based on her ‘distasteful’ comparison and ‘deeply dangerous behaviour’, such as threatening and bullying officers ‘over the course of the last 6 months.’ She later added: ‘I will no longer be going into NUS HQ until the complaint is concluded,’ ending ‘if only you all knew half the shit we’ve dealt with in the last 2 months especially.’
Amelia Horgan, the Postgraduate Officer for the NUS, tweeted that ‘this comparison is not only very messed up but also silences people with serious political problems with the NUS president.’ Martin has also come under fire for contradicting NUS policy regarding the University College Union academic staff strike.
The opinions of NUS Presidents were also criticised last year, when then-President Malia Bouattia was accused of anti-semitism for calling her former university, Birmingham, a ‘Zionist outpost’, leading to numerous Students’ Unions’ disaffiliation from the NUS. Bouattia lost to Martin in April 2017, winning 56% of the vote in an election campaign marred by controversy.
Former CUSU President, Amatey Doku, was also elected to the post of Vice-President for higher education in April of last year.
TCS has contacted the NUS for comment.