Even with allegations of anti-Semitism hitting her campaign, Malia Bouattia won the NUS presidential election on the first ballot, beating incumbent Megan Dunn by nearly 50 votes.
In a late campaign twist last week, leaders of Jewish societies at 48 universities around the UK signed an open letter calling for her to answer questions about her past comments calling the University of Birmingham a “Zionist outpost” and referring to its large Jewish society as a problem.
Her response to the letter was deemed insufficient by both Jewish student leaders and the OUSU sabbatical team, which decided to not support Bouattia in the election.
Immediately after the results were announced, Oxford students across the ideological spectrum voiced discomfort with Bouattia representing them. “An anti-Semite has won the NUS Presidential election. We are disgusted”, Oxford NUS representatives ‘Oh Well, Alright Then’ tweeted after the announcement.
Others started calling for OUSU to dissociate from the NUS in response.
“Bye bye NUS,” an Open Oxford post read. “You don’t represent me. You don’t represent 99% of British students, and you certainly don’t represent British Jews who you repeatedly defame, humiliate and denigrate.”
Neither the OUSU Sabbatical Team nor ‘Oh Well, Alright Then’ slate members have released their official positions on disassociation, but are expected to announce their intentions in the coming days.