Your say on the boycott which affects not just students’ banking but their social lives (not to mention the all important loss of the only ATM on campus to do fivers)

The Union is facing a backlash after they upheld a boycott of NatWest Bank which means Six Nations rugby will not be shown in the Union Pub.

Banned..Natwest

News emerged last week that Union Council had voted to continue the lapsed boycott, which was originally decided in 2010.

As well as switching the Union’s finances to the Co-operative bank, all NatWest non-banking services will now no longer be endorsed by the Union.

This includes the Six Nations Rugby, sponsored by NatWest, which will no longer be shown in the Union Pub.

In addition, clubs and societies have been asked to no longer apply for grants through the RBS scheme.

Several students have questioned the practicality of the boycott, which is motivated by Natwest’s fossil fuel extraction funding.

Second year Economics student Imogen Turner said: ‘No bank is above reproach – if you banned every organisation which has been accused of unethical practices, we’d be left with nothing’.

George Harris tweeted: “Presumably bar staff will be under strict orders to turn off the telly if a Natwest advert comes on…the whole thing is absurd.”

Second year English Literature and Creative Writing student Cadi Cliff supports the boycott however, tweeting: “I love rugby, but the Union needs to stick to its environmental policies.”

Questions have been raised as to whether the Union, which as of February last year was running a deficit of nearly £200,000 is cutting off its own nose to spite its face in banning an event at the bar that raises plenty of revenue for Union services.

The Tab spoke to Community and Student Rights Officer, Sam Clark, about the issues surrounding the boycott. He told us “The Union needs to stick by its principles. There will be a drop in bar revenue over the Six Nations period but we need to put our money where our mouth is.”

He was also quick to dispel claims that societies and clubs will suffer greatly from the loss of RBS funding stating “No societies rely on RBS bursaries, and the Union does run grants including the Cultural Fund and the Working Together Fund worth hundreds of pounds each.”

Union officer Sam Clark defended the ban

When asked about the democratic process that led to the upholding the boycott, he reminded The Tab that “Every student decision is made at Union Council – and students are welcome to come to Union Council and challenge the boycott.

“Any company can be complained about – it just so happens that it was NatWest which was brought to the attention of the Council. This is a union policy and any student can lobby to change it.”

Although every set of Union Council minutes are available to view online, many students were only made aware of the boycott very recently through social media.

History student Abbie Tempest said: “As students we know little about this ban and it could also be detrimental to those wishing to apply to RBS or Natwest banking in the future.”

Sam Clark told us: “A Union blog post was published, and a bulletin was sent by E-rabbit, an email system from the Union students can sign up for.”

Finally, he reiterated that the rumours surrounding the UEA NatWest branch closures are mostly untrue. “The Union has nothing to do with the closure – it’s a building owned by the University, not us. We have no idea as of yet what will be taking its place.”

Whilst the boycott divides opinion, one thing has been made clear. Change can happen at UEA if enough students care about it. Judging by the response, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if there are a few new faces at the next Union Council meeting.

 

What do you think of the Union’s NatWest boycott? Let The Tab know in the comments section below!

  • Anon

    Great story, well covered

  • 1styear

    It's a joke! Rugby has seemingly been ompletely eliminated by UEA! And what will come of the boycott, most likely nothing except animosity towards the union!

  • Anonymous

    Where is our representation? Surely such a monumental decision should have at least been run by the student body – the majority of which I'm sure would oppose! I feel like the union is standing by principles of morality and personal goals than truly being a pragmatic, student-friendly body!

    • Anon

      It was voted on in Union Council, a body of student representatives. It was passed by those students, who come from all different areas of the University.

  • I.P Freely

    This is the same union who campaigns so viciously for freedom of speech and yet threatens to sue the tab at the mere inkling that it may have been given bad press

    • Against the boycott

      Seriously?! Fill me in about this cos this is the first I've heard of it!

  • Anon

    "News emerged last week that Union Council had voted to continue the lapsed boycott, which was originally decided in 2010."

    This policy, "Ethical Banking", was in amongst several pages of policies which were voted on to be kept or ditched by Council, without discussion as to their content or wider implications. Councillors had no idea what they were being asked to agree to.

  • Stuart Lancaster

    This is absurd – can see the reasons behind it, but can't believe that any bank is squeaky clean and has never invested in an environmentally unfriendly company before or had some link to something which is bad for the planet.

    This further lack of revenue will have a knock on effect on the Union as a whole, and think that the students should unite and boycott the LCR one night and instead all go out on a 6 Nations themed night out in town to make a statement so that the Union loses further money until it realises its mistake. Just an idea though…

  • Stuart Lancaster

    This is absurd – can see the reasons behind it, but can't believe that any bank is squeaky clean and has never invested in an environmentally unfriendly company before or had some link to something which is bad for the planet.

    This further lack of revenue will have a knock on effect on the Union as a whole, and think that the students should unite and boycott the LCR one night and instead all go out on a 6 Nations themed night out in town to make a statement so that the Union loses further money until it realises its mistake. Just an idea though…

  • Against the boycott

    I agree with Imogen. "If you banned every organisation which has been accused of unethical practices, we’d be left with nothing.'"

    But, if you had to choose a bank on campus to boycott, wouldn't you choose Barclays?! They were at the centre of the LIBOR-rigging scandal, they have avoided billions of pounds in tax over the years, they supported Robert Mugabe's govt in Zimbabwe in 2009, and the apartheid govt of South Africain the 1980s, and they've had to settle money-laundering lawsuits rightfully filed against them. Barclays are scum and yet it is Natwest who have been banned! It's madness.

    Banks are unethical institutions on the whole. You can't go banning/boycotting each one which does something wrong because there'd be no banks left on campus and they're (unfortunately) a necessary evil.

  • Against the boycott

    I agree with Imogen. "If you banned every organisation which has been accused of unethical practices, we’d be left with nothing.'"

    But, if you had to choose a bank on campus to boycott, wouldn't you choose Barclays?! They were at the centre of the LIBOR-rigging scandal, they have avoided billions of pounds in tax over the years, they supported Robert Mugabe's govt in Zimbabwe in 2009, and the apartheid govt of South Africain the 1980s, and they've had to settle money-laundering lawsuits rightfully filed against them. Barclays are scum and yet it is Natwest who have been banned! It's madness.

    Banks are unethical institutions on the whole. You can't go banning/boycotting each one which does something wrong because there'd be no banks left on campus and they're (unfortunately) a necessary evil.

  • Chris

    As a UEA Alumnus and former member of the UEA RUFC in the 80s/90s I am well accustomed to these types of campaigns. The point the UEA SU never got – never – was that the majority of students did not care about its policies and it was a clique and a joke. Sounds like it hasn’t come far in the intervening period….

  • Kohl Undgaz

    What’s wrong with fossil fuel extraction anyway? Most of us use cars, buses, trains, airplanes etc. to get around. They don’t all run on organic bioethanol and solar power!

  • Gordon Mulholland

    I’m not a UEA student but this is a PR own goal. Why not use the 6 Nations matches to highlight RBS/Natwest activity and therefore educate with a positive message to an audience which will now go elsewhere to watch the rugby and harbour a grudge to the political “elitists” who imposed this undemocratic ban. I suspect this lazier option was the first knee jerk of the politically hard-of-thinking.

  • anon

    If only you could have resisted the temptation to be spitroasted by those marines, you wouldn’t have found yourself in this situation

  • chud

    someone name and shame his ex?

  • Vern Cotter

    Clow is a big part of my future plans. I urge you to #VoteStocky

  • LAX H8R

    Surprised to only see one LAX gal on here, especially considering they are RASHER, BIGGER and BETTER AT SKITING than the rest of us

  • James Byers

    I once saw Graeme Clow wearing AURFC trackies and a hoodie, so the next day i went out and bought AURFC trackies and a hoodie

  • Social as fuck

    There are some questionable BNOCs here!!
    Who the fuck is Clive Basingstoke, Jamie “Clunge Monkey” Norman, Genna Clarke?

    • Seriously Brah

      You really need to actually read the article and pay more attention to AUSA elections

      • Social as fuck

        Since when did AUSA ever make anyone a BNOC

        • Seriously Brah

          Never, but you asked who they were not if they were well known, just thought I’d help you out as you seemed to be struggling

          • Social as fuck

            Yeah I should probably phrase my questions better.

            • Seriously Brah

              That’s cool dude

              • Social as fuck

                Just read some of Clive’s articles, they are epic I can se why he was nominated now, and Jamie ‘Clunge Monkey’Norman seems to be doing well in the polls, so really it’s just Genna Clarke who just shouldn’t be there

                • Social as fuck

                  Quit posting as me

                  • Social as fuck

                    What are you talking about, I’m the real ‘Social as fuck’

                    • Social as fuck

                      You’re a dick, just stop it! Although I did read one of Clive’s articles and you’re right they are hilarious

    • Chaplington

      Clive doesn’t exist, it says so in the article man

      • Social as fuck

        Just read the article, you’re right

  • Simpson Squad

    If this was a true poll for BNOC, where the fuck is THE ORIGINAL BNOC Laura Simpson!

  • Jim Gee

    Graeme Clow punched me in the face once… It was awesome

  • GClow’s Mum

    Vote for my son Graeme Christie Clow: ‘picking tatties and banging lassies’ since 91

  • Social as fuck

    I’m changing my vote to Clive!

    • Chairman Clow

      Same here

  • Trotters

    What about Neil ‘Pig Face’ Hogg.
    The original BNOC

  • Andrew Norwood

    All “NNOCSs”

  • Shannen Murray

    I’m the giril in the photo with blare hahaha

  • Shannen Murray

    well, one of them! also so major lolapalooza as the guy naked in tonic in the sinck

  • Shannen Murray

    PP.S. tour was mental! had ace fun and i think i have that guys eyebrow hahahahahahahhaahahhahahha :P

  • Aidan Paterson

    Whym i nae there? cap’n of the footie and a general good lad!!! INNNNYYYYYYYY

  • James Yule-log

    hahahahaha dis is so funny. cannot get over the guy naked in the bk toilets

  • James Yule-b-sorry

    hahaha wiz at the chamber o secrets thats lads in ?

  • Whothefuckarehalfthesemugs

    This is embarrassing…

  • Non?

    Where the fuck is Seabiscuit? The original top lad in AU.

    p.s. Et Met is the only one anyone’s ever heard of.

  • Thisisjournalism?

    Probably the worst article ever written. Don’t know who most of these people are anyway.

  • Guest

    Liseli is a self-centred fanny, she probably nominated herself and votes for herself over and over again

  • Annoy

    Just to tell you know, I know people on the set and when filming starts if you’re not a crew/cast memebership you can literally be sent to jail.

  • Ched Evans

    I score when I want.