Dear fellow NUS undergraduates,
Welcome to the new academic year. We hope you have secured your modules and had an enjoyable orientation.
Are you aware that NUS management is replacing CORS with a new module registration system by the end of this academic year? If you are aware, did you learn about it through the school or via the mass media? Do you know the details of the new system and what would happen to your remaining CORS bid points?
What did you make of the announcement by NUS management that NUS will be a completely cashless campus by this year (until pushback by students led to NUS management moderating the cashless campus roll-out)?
How did you feel about the way NUS management handled the orientation 2016 fiasco?
Maybe you were involved in the above issues. Maybe you knew people who were involved. But we ask: Where was NUS Students’ Union (NUSSU) in the above contentious issues impacting all NUS undergraduates? Were NUSSU actively standing up for students’ interests? What is the purpose of a student union if not to speak up for students?
Indeed, according to the NUSSU constitution available on its website, the objects of the Union are:
- (1) To promote and safeguard the interests of the members of Union within the University.
- (2) To uphold and respect the dignity and equality of every member of the Union without regard to religion, race or politics.
- (3) To promote the welfare of members of the Union within the University.
However, rather than being the voice of the student body, it appears to us that NUSSU has been used as props by the NUS management - attending pompous events, shaking hands and posing for photos - instead of propping up student interests. The current state of affairs should not and cannot continue: NUSSU needs to actually realise its purpose for existing.
We understand that you are generally way too busy, with academics (CAP 5 or pushing it up to 4), internships, part-time work to cover tuition fees and living expenses, CCAs, Hall or RC life, and so much more. Yet somebody has to tackle the bigger issues that will impact all NUS students – whether we can graduate on time, get the modules we want and need, afford to pay for decent food and course textbooks on campus, ensure our halls and RCs can continue to thrive.
Thus, some of us from various faculties have formed a group to run in the upcoming NUSSU elections. We believe that a student union should, first and foremost, be the voice of the student body and not be the hands and legs of the university administration - and we intend to make this belief a reality.
Make no mistake: contesting the NUSSU elections to ensure that our Student Union advocates for students is not an idealistic pursuit; it is a practical approach to a bread-and-butter matter for all of us. As the saying goes, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” It is important that student interests are considered in policy decisions that affect students; We need to ensure NUSSU is represented at the decision-making table lest our interests get served.
We will be releasing more details on our plans for NUSSU soon. Keep a lookout for them. We hope you can support us in making NUSSU a proactive advocate for students.
Remember: Be at the table or be on the menu.
A group of concerned NUS undergraduates
PS: Please help us spread the word. Share this open letter with your friends!