Everything you need to know about working in, being an officer in or being involved with students' unions.

SU Governance

The way in which SUs govern themselves vary from union to union, therefore this guide is not definitive.

  • Trustee Board – The leadership of the union is carried out by a Trustee Board in a similar way to how charity and third sector boards are constructed. The board may meet up to 6 times per annum. A trustee board is often made up of student trustees who are elected on a yearly basis, external (or lay) trustees who often serve 2, 3 or 4 year terms, elected officers (see the officers page) and sometimes a senior manager representative from the institution. The management and staff of a union report to and work with the Trustee Board to deliver the unions strategic goals.
  • Strategic planning – This is usually formulated by the management of the union and presented for approval by the board with input from the student membership, elected officers and trustee board.
  • Sub committees – The board has sub committees and working groups which focus on and often audit key areas or functions of the organisation such as finance, audit and risk, HR and remuneration etc.
  • Student elections – take place yearly around February / March to elect students who will work in either full or part time capacity representing student members. All students can vote, although voter turnout is typically up to 25%.
  • Annual General Meeting – There is a yearly full member annual general meeting which reviews the performance of the union and takes votes on key issues and direction for the union.
  • There are a large range of representatives who work voluntarily on behalf of the student body to represent views on academic courses, halls of residence, communities and activities.