student.union@newcastle.ac.uk

Antisemitism within NUS: A statement from your Sabbatical Officer team

CW: Antisemitism

CW: Antisemitism

As some of you may be aware, we recently held a referendum in which students voted to re-affiliate with the National Union of Students (NUS).  

Since then, we have been contacted by students concerned about historic antisemitic comments made by the NUS President Elect. We believe that the President Elect’s comments are completely unacceptable and our students’ concerns about them are entirely valid.  

This controversy follows the NUS’s decision to invite the rapper Lowkey to the 2022 NUS conference. On the 24th of March, the President of the national Union of Jewish Students (UJS) wrote to the NUS stating that this decision had caused significant ‘hurt’ to Jewish students. In response, on the 8th of April, the NUS released a statement apologising ‘for the concern and worry caused’ by these recent incidents and committed to ‘address any wrongdoing and rebuild trust’.  

On the 12th of April, the UJS called on the NUS to ‘launch an independent investigation into the issue of antisemitism within the NUS’ and into the fitness of the NUS President Elect ‘to represent all students’. On the 13th of April, the NUS UK Board announced that it is launching an independent investigation ‘into allegations of antisemitism within NUS and the President Elect’. 

We expect the NUS to cooperate fully with this inquiry so that it can rebuild trust with the Jewish student community. We will carefully monitor the situation as we continue with our re-affiliation to ensure this is the case. 

NUSU stands against antisemitism and, as a re-affiliated member of NUS, we will make sure to voice any student concerns around antisemitism and hold NUS to account on this issue to ensure it is a safe and welcoming place for Jewish students and all students.

Any students with concerns about this issue can contact the NUSU Your Voice team at wsc.union@newcastle.ac.uk.  

Wellbeing support is also available through the Student Health and Wellbeing Service. You can also contact the Campaign Against Antisemitism if you are concerned about antisemitism on campus. If you would like to speak to our faith and belief officer, you can contact them here – faithandbelief.union@newcastle.ac.uk