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Template:Infobox Political Youth Organization

Student RESPECT was founded as the student wing of the Respect Party in England and Wales in 2005 to provide a united campaigning organisation of the radical left in the student movement.

It has achieved notable successes in Unions like University of Manchester[no citations needed here] in both pulling together the anti-war left and being an organisation capable of winning full-time positions. Student Respect currently has elected officers in Leeds,Goldsmiths, Plymouth, Essex and Middlesex plus a member of the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS) National Executive Committee.

Although the recent loss of several sabbatical positions in University of Manchester to a moderate coalition including the position of General Secretary to a prominent Labour Student has drawn into doubt how popular Student Respect are with grassroots students.

Following the decision of the SWP leadership in Autumn 2007 to break its alliance with George Galloway MP, Cllr Salma Yaqoob and others, and the ruling, after a protracted legal dispute, that Galloway's wing of Respect were the rightful bearers to the name Respect, the SWP gave up on the Student Respect brand and began organising through other names. Student Respect is now recognised as the organisation of students within the current Respect Party, with active students on a number of campuses across the country.


Student RESPECT's primary campaign since its foundation has been the Stop the War Coalition and many Student RESPECT members are leading activists within the campaign. Because of this foundation Student RESPECT have been active in organisations such as Action Iran, Campaign against Climate Change, Hands off Venezuela and various Palestine campaigns. Student RESPECT members in Manchester recently made national news with campaigns to twin with Al-Najah University in Palestine and boycott Coca-Cola in the Students Union there.[1]

As well as an international focus Student RESPECT has been heavily involved in anti-racism work both combating Islamophobia and being a vital part of Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism campaigns. Many Student RESPECT activists have been drawn from the thousands of young people politicised by the activity of groups like the British National Party - celebrations of Black History have been amongst the most successful of events across the country.

Respect became prominent to NUS campaigning with its activity around the slogan “Fund Education Not War”. In the build up to the National NUS demonstration against Fees, this slogan earned it both recognition and derision from its political opponents for bringing “wider politics” to the action. Respect has opposed the official NUS policy of means tested grants and campaigned for universal grants for all and an end to what it describes as the neo-liberal restructuring of Universities.


Student RESPECT policy is decided at Respect National Conference where Student RESPECT delegates meet with the wider organisation to discuss the global and local situation and decide our collective response to it. Student RESPECT groups organise on many campuses in both universities and Further Education colleges. The majority of activity is done as part of wider campaigns particularly the Stop the War Coalition but Respect groups also organise regular events under their own banner, which are open to all students, as well as standing in Student Union elections.

Student RESPECT has an annual conference which decides the political direction of the organisation. The day-long conference includes an opening session usually with the National Secretary and an elected representative of the mother organisation. Workshops on topics such as Education in the Neo-Liberal World, LGBT Liberation, Climate Change, and The War on Terror are held consisting of a talk by a Student RESPECT member and time for discussion and debate. Action Points are then decided upon at each workshop and agreed on collectively in the closing session. Conference also elects the 12 member Student RESPECT Committee (SRC) which meets once a month and sets policy and strategy in between conference as well as making NUS full-time candidate recommendations. Each Student RESPECT branch is able to send two delegates to SRC meetings with speaking rights. The SRC also usually includes the full-time organiser for the Socialist Workers Student Society in order to benefit from the time and resources this can bring to SR. More informal National Activist meetings are also a regular feature of Student RESPECT activity, giving a wider range of members a chance to feedback and make suggestions to the SRC as well as network and share ideas and experiences.


Student RESPECT is one of the biggest of the left factions in NUS and traditionally stands a slate alongside Student Broad Left. At the 2007 conference Student RESPECT played a far larger role both because of its increased involvement in national student politics and because of the increasing crisis amongst the rest of the left since the collapse of the Campaign for Free Education (CFE) and its successors around Kat Fletcher.

Student RESPECT stood four members for the National Executive. Assed Baig took 193 votes for National Secretary – Student RESPECT's biggest score to date. It was the most prominent organisation speaking against means testing and in favour of free education, anti-imperialism and anti-racism.

The left within NUS is noted for a fundamental split over anti-imperialism and Islamophobia dating back to the Socialist Workers' Student Society walking out of the United for Education slate a number of years ago over what it regarded as the Alliance for Workers' Liberty’s (now Education Not for Sale, ENS) Islamophobic reaction to the war in Iraq. This is a difference which has been increased over the attitude of the left to Federation of Student Islamic Societies and Muslim students in general. Student RESPECT and Student Broad Left generally came out ahead at the last two conferences finishing above ENS in the full-time elections, with bigger presence on campuses and having a greater say in the policy debate within NUS. [no citations needed here]

Currently Student RESPECT is involved in the campaign to 'Defend' NUS Democracy (along with Education Not for Sale and Student Broad Left) against the NUS Governance Review. It has four of its members elected to the Steering Committee.

Student RESPECT currently has Rob Owen on the NUS NEC[2] and Dan Swain on the NUS Steering Committee.

The 2008 NUS Annual Conference saw success for Student RESPECT, with the proposed Governance Review, failing to reach the required two-thirds majority by fewer than 20 votes, and with two members of Student RESPECT - Rob Owen and Hind Hassan - being elected to the Block of Twelve.

There was however controversy at the NUS Black Students Campaign Conference 2008 where Student Respect were accused by other factions of trying to stitch-up the election of Black Students Officer although this accusation has been strongly countered by members of the faction.

Representation and supporters

Student RESPECT is currently supported by a number of Student Officers and organisations in NUS including:

  • Rob Owen - NUS NEC
  • Nik Roberts - President Middlesex
  • Noreen Fatima - Vice President London Metropolitan
  • Assed Baig - Staffordshire SU Executive
  • Alison Smith - Plymouth VP Education
  • Hind Hassan - NUS NEC
  • Socialist Workers' Student Society


Template:British political youth organisations