I know that the SU doesn’t work for everybody. Not everyone feels involved, not everyone thinks it is accessible, not everyone feels that the SU represents them.
That’s why I’ve been working so hard this year on the Student Leadership Review, which passed in the last Union Council. This will implement large changes in the way the officer team works, and provide students with more chances to get involved with running the SU.
You don’t have to be an Officer to shape the SU
Running in the huge elections isn’t for everyone, and I wanted to make sure that students who didn’t want to nominate themselves for an officer position still had a chance to get involved in shaping the SU. I’ve created several new committees which will sit around the full-time officers to offer their opinions, and assist in running campaigns. This will be ideal for students who can’t commit too much of their time, but still want to get involved with a particular area.
I’m also introducing Accommodation Reps. In each accommodation area on campus, there will be one student elected to represent their halls. They can then let us know about issues that particularly affect where they live, and act as a vital link between first years and the SU.
We have lots of students who are already very involved in representing their course, but they’re rarely made visible enough. I’m making sure that all students are told who their course reps are, so they know who to talk to if they have an issue with their course.
Power to the liberation groups
We currently run four liberation groups to empower our most marginalised students. These are women’s, BME, LGBT+, and Students with Disabilities. At the moment, these are structured in a standard way. I’m giving power to these groups to re-structure and re-organise as they see fit. BME students will face different issues to LGBT+ groups, and will therefore require different kinds of representation – students should be able to define their representation not have it enforced upon them.
These are just a few of the changes that are coming in under the leadership review – to find out more about the changes to the SU structure, click here.