The NUS is in the spotlight again after several officers have launched allegations of bullying and intimidation against Shakira Martin. Among them is campaigns officer at the University of Manchester, and NUS parents and carers’ representative, Deej Malik-Johnson.
Hareem Ghani, NUS women’s officer, has submitted evidence as part of an internal complaint into Martin’s behaviour. Ghani detailed to Varsity (Cambridge University’s student newspaper) her full allegations against Martin, which include:
- Sending foul-mouthed rants in voice notes to officers
- Reducing staff and officers to tears
- Making gun signs at officers with whom she disagrees
- Throwing out motions with which she disagrees
- Threatening to beat someone up during an office Christmas party
- Shouting and swearing at officers during meetings and conversations
Ghani said “The only reason I decided to air my grievances publicly was because her behaviour over the last two months has escalated, and it has been a breaking point for many officers and NEC members,”
However, Varsity reported that Ghani said that she has no “faith in the system” and does not believe the NUS will “respond effectively”.
Other members who have spoken out against Martin in the last four days also include NUS LGBT+ officer Noorulann Shahid, NUS National Executive Council (NEC) member, Myriam Kane, NUS NEC member Amelia Horgan.
Myriam Kane took to Facebook to accuse Martin. She said she has received abuse from both Martin and Martin’s mother. Kane attached a twitter screenshot to her post, in which Martin says “you’re not that important”.
Martin has called for the allegations on social media to be investigated.
In a Facebook live video posted on the 29th of January, Martin says the allegations are all “lies”. She talks of the “anti-blackness and racism” she has faced during her term as President and says her name has been “tarnished” “for election purposes”.
In a post following the video, she said: “I have been baited and provoked on purpose and recorded in my own workplace by those who claim to support working-class black women like myself but would happily push me to the limit and watch me break.”
Deej Malik-Johnson also took to Facebook on the 29th January, detailing the alleged abuse he received from Martin.
Malik-Johnson needed a character reference as part of a “legal battle in an attempt to re-establish contact with my daughter”. After Martin agreed to write the reference, that’s when “things got weird.”
Malik-Johnson said Martin would “call me at weird hours on the phone about me being ‘funny’ and ‘knowing what side I’m on'”. Things escalated after Malik-Jonson attended the National Free Education Demo. Martin apparently called again.
“She stated that she would no longer help me or write a statement to help with Dillara. She said it was because we are apparently ‘enemies’ and I’m “on the wrong side”. And so I’ve received no support and I’ve stayed silent at the hands of a bully — because let’s call it what it is — because whilst if she had said no from the start for want of time or concerns she chose to agree and only then refuse after an attempt of political coercion.”
Malik-Johnson has been on leave this week and so has not been able to provide further comment for The Mancunion.
Whilst the investigation is still ongoing, the NUS has said: “all officers will be working from home this week”.