NUS Scotland faces inquiry into cheating allegations

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Following allegations of cheating, the

3 future of the National Union of

Students in Scotland hangs in the

balance. Words: Deirdre Molloy

T'i-IE EstATIONAL UNION of Students has agreed to an intr'epen'lent inguiry followmg allegations by student leaders that the organisation had cheated at its last i‘.‘.’(: (oniei'ences The issue has led to three Scottish

. universities threatening to disaffiliate from the NUS

Student leaders at Stirling, Aberdeen and Paisley llltl‘.("tSfil(,‘S argue the NUS is no longer acting in the

' best interests of all students The allegations of ' rnafpiat tic e by NUS conference delegates and offiCIals


compounded the disquiet felt over NUS

at . eptaiire of Labour’s proposed graduate tax.

'{Y‘he NUS conferences were] being sewn up by

l. ‘3::;t.'t students,’ said John Shaw, President of Parsley

' nixersity's Students' Association ’Debate was being

stifled, There was fraudulent use of proxy votes, there

trilse delegates at the NUS Women’s (iii-it"(‘l't‘fiii‘l

Ldt"Hll President of NUS Scotland Keith Robson has the ac<usations of misconduct as 3",‘.'; by a disgruntled few 'I agree With the r-eed ‘M «iii intjuiry, l just think a lot of it is nothing lit’il" thin troiihleinaking by a few indiwduals,' he said "There's been a whole amount of stirring going inguiry is needed to calm people down.’

Referendurris over disaffiliation have been put on lmld {it"itilllfl the inguiry's outcome Only six of St intiartd's thirteen tllt‘\.’("lSlil(’S would remain in NUS if students voted to disaffiliate

inner today's NUS is a different political animal

trr‘irv. yesteryear, more at


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NUS Scotland: the once political organisation faces an uncertain future as students lose faith

President of Stirling UniverSity Students’ Association Rob Shorthouse believes Labour has av0ided highlighting the graduate tax on Scottish campuses. 'When Tony Blair gets in and scraps the grants system next year, our leadership Will be left With the job of haying to explain the fact they SuppOrted this to Our students,’ he said.

Around 50 per cent of Scottish students receive some form of grant assistance, With a third of that number getting a full grant Labour claims the graduate tax is needed it the expansion of higher education is to attract more students from low income backgrounds Under the scheme, students would borrow up to £20,000 to cover all their expenses, offsetting the need to find part time work

to supplement their incomes

'lt's not a case of looking after grwernrnent budget -

first and students second,’ said Keith Robson,


seventeen years we had a free education [)()il(y, we - had biannual demonstrations making our demands for grants, and where did it get us7 It's time for

change, time for more pragmatic policy?

The Claim that defending grants is unrealistii does not impress Shorthouse ‘If Albion Rovers get drawn .

against Rangers in the Scottish Cup, is it unrealistic for them to turn up just because they can’t expect to Win7’ he said. ’The Government can tell us it's unrealistic. all they want does that mean theirs is the only true voice and there should be no dissent against it?'

Moves to disalfiliate, and the founding of a new

umbrella group to represent universities outwith the NUS in Scotland, would be reconsidered if the ingu'ry fails to address the issues thoroughly, he added

And finally . . . Elvis is heralded Paisley’s biggest buddy

WHAT NEXT? THE Burger King Of Rock ’n’ Roll was not a Southern Redneck after all but, wait for it, a Paisley Buddy. One of those family tree fellows, a chap called Burk, has joined a few branches leading to Temazepam Town. Perhaps Elvis would have thrived there now, knowing his own penchant for substance research while rehashing new numbers to fit in with his roots - ’Youse on yer 'ain the nicht, doll’, ’Tartan Baffies,’ and the like.

’TUNE IN, TURN on and drop out’ was LSD guru Timothy Leary’s comedy catch phrase. ’Drop out,’ can now be replaced by 'have your scorched remains blasted from a cannon into outer space. Man’. The dead one’s last wish was to have his ashes sprinkled into a tin can and shot from a rocket, to orbit the earth for six years, re-entering the atmosphere where they would burn

again. The ultimate trip, one assumes.

THERE ARE SOME who think Keith Floyd is something of a wag with his taste for anything in a dress or a bottle. Now though, he may have lost public sympathy particularly in Norway. 'Just because the puffin is a protected species doesn't mean that it doesn't do wonderfully well with a full-bodied claret,’ he has yet to be quoted as saying. No more guest appearances on the covers of modern literature for them, just the prospect of turning up on a plate with fries/baked potatoes/rice.

PSYCHO, SORRY, PSYCHIC Uri Geller has once again fled from sanity. He has plead for a course of mind- concentration at 11am every day, to influence the Kashmiri rebels holding four hostages they nabbed while trekking in the Himalayas two years ago. Could someone have a word in Uri's lughole persuading him that part two of his plan for their

release has a slightly better chance of coming off offering the kidnappers hard cash and lots of it. Alternatively find them, tease them out with a deflated football and let them pick numbers, leaving the hostages as free as .birds as the gang argue over the passback rule. It worked in Lima.

EVER USED THAT excuse for your inexcusable behaviour where you claimed that it was the booze talking? Soon that will be a reality when Scottish Courage release their new John Smith's bitter can onto the market. Via a light-sensitive microchip, a voice will be activated which could win you anything from £10 to £10,000. A spokesperson insisted: 'We're not ringpulling your leg,’ not having rehearsed that line over a lengthy period or nothing.

FAR BE IT for this column to suggest that officers of the law are far from capable of doing their job properly

but, let’s face it, some of them need

Elvis Presley: alive and kicking in Paisley

along arm to show them the way. A couple of members of Edinburgh's local constabulary set off for Blackburn to pick up a prisoner - a three and a half hour journey which was lengthened by a couple of hours due to them taking a wrong turn-off or two and, get this, filling their petrol-fuelled car with diesel. Case solved. (Brian Donaldson)

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