Socialist Worker supporters at Imperial College in London took a leading role in a recent campaign to join the National Union of Students (NUS).
Students called a referendum after Imperial College student union decided to leave the University of London Union (ULU) last year. Last week, with a record turnout of 30 percent, we voted to join the NUS, which we have not been a part of for 30 years.
During the campaign we worked with Imperial students with different political views, and students that were completely new to politics.
During the referendum, we discussed the importance of collectivism and being part of a wider movement. We argued that we need to unite with other students to fight top-up fees, and that we could use our experience to help deal with sexism and Islamophobia elsewhere.
We also had to show that we are not just interested in high-profile campaigns—we were asked about everything from housing and council tax to discount cards and beer prices in the union bar.
The campaign against affiliation argued that the NUS does not represent us, and even accused it of being too left wing.
However, the results showed that the majority at Imperial are interested in union involvement.