“Serious failings” in the NUS, racism report finds

Joanna Taylor 4 January 2017

An independent think tank, the Runnymede Trust, has concluded that the "NUS as an employer has seriously failed to support Black staff" in a report on racism. 

Since the election of Malia Bouattia to the presidency of the NUS in April last year, allegations of institutional racism in the organisation have been frequent, prompting investigation. 

Some BME members of staff, including Black Students' Officer, Aadam Muuse, have walked out on meetings, in protest of racial discrimination. The report found this action to be justified. 

The report does note the NUS's employment of staff from minority ethnic groups. The President herself, a Muslim descended from Algerian family, previously held the position of Black Students' Officer.

Yet despite this, some employees have experienced "painful" incidents of racism in their day-to-day work, the report finds. Several BME members of staff have resigned from their positions due to racism in the workplace. 

In a statement, Bouattia has said that she is committed to battling racism within the NUS. The report offers suggestions on how the NUS as an employer might improve in this regard. 

The report makes no mention of anti-Semitism, something for which Bouatti has been previously criticised after her description of Birmingham University as "a Zionist outpost". 

Racism in the NUS is not simply found in the form of exclusion, but also active discrimination, the report concludes. 

CUSU has been contacted for comment.