Yes, NUS (and especially National Conference) can be messy and frustrating and weird. There were 800 people representing 7 million students this week. Do we always get it right? Do we hell.
Back in December, I was fortunate enough to attend a French anti-privatisation student protest. I was keen to attend a protest in France as along with cheese and wine, strikes and manifestations are something that the French are notoriously good at.
Nobody wants violence at universities, from police, students or otherwise, and nobody wants buildings damage and trouble caused. Yet it can't be denied that there are legitimate questions to ask about the future of higher education in this country.
A degree, with its ever-elevated status, has become a means to a personal end. This elevated status, coupled with the economic concern of students, has also led to a proliferation of new degree subjects. It is now possible to study almost anything at university. And yet, many of these courses simply don't suit a degree structure, an issue many concerned with higher education seem all too happy to ignore.
How did a British university get to the stage of inspiring such anger and contempt from someone like Geoffrey Robertson, the man who organised war-crimes trials in Sierra Leone, that he would be prepared to spend days of his time working unpaid, dealing with petty academic administrators, instead of making the big bucks in Strasbourg?
My view is that the BBC is simply not transmitting an accurate account of reality. Over the space of the year it has ignored significant news and spun events to present something quite different from what those involved witnessed.
Every time something goes wrong, every time there is an injustice, and we tolerate it, that is shaping our society, and in the worst way possible. When the state stops playing by the rules, we all have a duty to make it start again.
We've just finished an MA in Human Rights from University College London and the recent news that the University of London have obtained a court order banning students from peacefully occupying space on campus has alarmed us... It seems contradictory to us that an Institution that has prepared us for a life as human rights practitioners has now curtailed the democratic rights of its students.
The University of London needs to start supporting its students and protecting their interests. However, the trajectory of events last week demonstrates that management are unwilling to do this. Until this changes we need our union to stay open, so that we can support each other and campaign to protect students' interests ourselves.
Imagine what would happen to Britain if the Home Secretary had the power to expel anyone from the country "without assigning any reason." Then imagine what it would be like now if the power had always existed: no dissenting voices left, no debate; anyone in a minority either too intimidated to speak out or already deported.
Over one thousand students are expected to protest today against the Government's proposal to sell student loans to private companies. The 'National Day of Action', to be staged at 26 universities across the country including Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield and LSE will be co-ordinated by the Student Assembly Against Austerity (SAAA).
Aging Tory ministers might be in denial about the reality of climate change and the urgent need to tackle it, but students and young people aren't. We are increasingly aware of the dangers climate change poses for our future and that's why it should come as no surprise that the rising environment movement is young, vibrant and determined to play our part in tackling this huge challenge.
Facing imprisonment and exile, Tropicalia's music was their ultimate Molotov Cocktail against political oppression and traditional modes of self-expression. In search of answers, I decided to approach the director himself.
Over the last few months we've seen a significant rise in student activism at British universities. Prompted by the anti-privatisation 'Occupy Sussex' protest, students around the country have sought to influence the managers of their institutions in increasingly visible ways.
Lads' mags, a further form of sexual objectification which has been lying dormant since before I arrived at university, has been permitted to sell in my Students' Union Shop seemingly innocently alongside less offensive food items.
Student Rights, a two-man group with a history of pressuring British universities to prevent certain individuals that it deems to be 'extremists' - frequently Muslims - from speaking to students on campus, has issued a statement in response to widespread criticism of its activities. It contains several easily refutable arguments.