Student unions: what do they do?
The student union at your university is run by students for your student needs. As such, they offer a variety of services, not to mention fun events throughout the year, which you can make the most of. We’ve taken a look at some of the services your union is likely to offer.
Student union bar
Every university’s got to have a student bar, right? Well, you’ve got your student union to thank for that. The student bar where you can meet friends on a Friday night (or a Monday, or a Wednesday, or a Thursday!) after you crawl out of yet another lecture, is supported by your SU. We’ll raise our glasses to that!
Fresher’s Week activities
Yes, we know. The real reason you’re going to uni is so you can party hard during fresher’s week. Well, you wouldn’t be partying if it wasn’t for the student union. They’re the ones who put all the activities on. So as you cheer your mate on in the sausage eating competition, or have a go at jelly wrestling; it’s all thanks to those guys on the student union committee.
Although student unions can organise some great parties and fun events, there’s a serious side to them as well. They also offer student services, such as job shops, advice centres, health centres and general advice and support about life on campus, such as your safety and security. They’ll also organise campaigns for a good cause. They are they if you’re having any problems at university – whether academic or personal; and can help you with anything from a disputed exam result to sexual health advice.
One of the awesome things about university is the diverse group of people you will get to meet and hang out with on campus. All sorts of people go to uni after all. And it’s the student union that makes sure the voices of the minority get heard. The union committee will have an elected member dedicated to different groups on campus. For example, there’ll be someone representing the gay and lesbian students, those with a disability, mature students and female students. They’re also there to offer you guidance and support, so if times are a little bit tough, rock on up to your union and they’ll be able to offer you some much needed help and advice.
Want to try your hand at journalism? Or do you harbour secret desires to be the next Chris Moyles? You could try it out on your university’s student newspaper or radio. Yep, that’s another service the student union offers. It’s also where you’ll find out about all the events happening on – and off – campus, and the latest student deals and discounts to be had. You gotta love that!
So, if you want to get involved in your union, get a good understanding of how they are run, then head along to their offices. They usually have a separate building on campus and you can find out more about them there.