Now that you are thinking about taking a degree and flying from the nest there will be societies, clubs and unions that you wouldn’t have known existed. One of these, that are the most important to you, is the Student Union.
What is the SU?
A student union, or association, or another name it may come under, is a student-run group that dedicates its time and resources to give the whole student community of the university, fairness, opportunities and a voice.
Does each uni have one?
Not every single university has a student union, but it is extremely rare if the one you are thinking about going to doesn’t! They may be under a different title, like an association or body. You can usually check out if you university has one by going onto your university’s website, looking through your prospectus or even logging on to NUS’s website and finding out if you do have one near you.
What do they do?
They can schedule protests, organise a better library, or even just give you an amazing bar with discount drinks. They are in charge of anything social or organisational of the student body, which means students, and you! If you do have any issues or concerns or want to get involved, they are the place to go. They represent students concerns, views and aspirations, campaigning, and organising activities. They roles are endless.
Is it hard to get into?
Depending on what type of role you wish to have, student union’s need all the help they can get from amazing and passionate students like yourself. Whether it is standing in a peaceful protest to get better muffins in the cafeteria or an admin role. They will list the vacancies they need and have and you can see what suits you best. You don’t have to join the student union, it isn’t necessary to pass your degree! However, if you want a more active role, like a president, you should speak to past or the current president and ask for ideas. It is a big job, that takes up a lot of time and energy and you will need to be passionately active in wanting a better time for all types of students.
What can it do for me?
If you have concerns or issues that your personal tutor, administrator or lecturer’s can’t help you with you should go speak to your student union. Even if you are thinking about setting up a society, or activities around the university it is a great idea to get them involved, they can help you out a lot and offer a lot of help and guidance.
What is the SU bar?
The SU bar is the Student Union bar, which is dedicated for social and activity purposes for students, whether it is a bar every night and open during the day for society meetings. Check out their notice boards for the types of events and upcoming events in store and how cheap their spirits are!
Who is involved in SU?
Students! Like you! And the opportunities are endless, such as, volunteering, protesting and organising, students are able to do as they please, for the better of the student body and university life throughout the institution. You can take part by going to events, buying tickets and offering support if you’re not up to becoming a full on member!
Does the uni have a huge part?
The university doesn’t generally have a big role in the unions. Unions, associations or guilds get allocated money from the government, and most of the time they do extra events and activities to raise money. This money could go to their student newspaper, newsletter, activities, talks, concerts. You can contact the union and ask what they are currently focusing on and the planning behind it.
What is the NUS?
The NUS is the National Union of Students, and this is for the entire United Kingdom. This is great, especially if your university doesn’t have a union or association to represent your student body. The NUS has done wonders for the U.K. They fight discrimination, injustice, and constantly research and battle to give each student what they deserve whilst studying. They are made up entirely of volunteers and their aim is to make a real difference for students and represent the 7 million voices when they need to be heard.
Why should I care?
Because they represent you! Whenever there is a serious issue regarding students, a representative from the student union will get involved, take part or attend meetings to keep the students up to date and informed about decisions and changes that may take place. They offer you great services and opportunities, and above all they work hard to make sure you get what you should from university.
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