Opinion: No more meetings bloody meetings?

In students’ unions, General Meetings and Union Councils have been the staple of policy making for decades; and before mass electronic communication became common place, these meetings were the easiest way of gathering opinion, debating topics, and voting on policies. In this piece a former MMU sabb argues that Q26 and technology may mean that […]

Opinion: We’re surrounded (by excellent people)

Here NUS Development Consultant and Governance Expert Al Powell explains why he thinks that career staff in students’ unions should be charity trustees. Trusteeship and governance are talked about a lot in the student movement- and for all the right reasons. Students’ unions set an excellent example of how to run charities, but we don’t […]

Student Misconduct Guidelines- Unintended Consequences?

UUK has launched work from its taskforce on Sexual Harassment and Assault, and the new guidance on a code of practice for disciplinary processes may be needed and welcomed with the changes in legislation over the last twenty years. Just as interesting is the explicit mention in the materials of students as ‘customers’ and the […]

Our Sector: Sabbs- what can we do to help them?

So the proposition here is – should sabbatical officers continue a tradition of representing the operations and services of the students union or give voice, amplify and join together the issues of students.

Our sector: Should unions run bars?

It’s now a year since I took over as Chief Exec at UEA, so I thought I’d do my bit for ChangeSU and write something about what it’s been like moving into the CEO role in a Students’ Union. Before I came to Norwich I worked for NUS for 11 years (and worked for an […]

Our sector: Crisis what crisis?

Mark Southwell (former Education Development Worker) & Bill Howe (former Student Advice and Development Manager); both worked at Leeds Metropolitan University Students’ Union in the late 90s and early 00s. In this classic article from the AMSU Agenda archives, Mark and Bill reflect on the past and predict the future. Did their predictions come true? […]

Our Sector: So how do we compare?

The team at ChangeSU asked me to write an article with some observations on what Students’ Unions do well and not so well in comparison to the wider world of organisations. You will appreciate that this is a little daunting, be too praiseworthy and it may appear sycophantic; be too critical and it may prove to […]

NSS 2014: Don’t judge me. Or do.

UWE, November 1995. I’ll never forget the moment. I was getting my first undergraduate essay back, all sweaty palmed and full of feverish expectation as I snatched the folder from the administrator to see how I’d been judged. Marked. Assessed. Ranked. 45 was the mark. And the comment? “Spend less time working in the bar […]

Our Sector: Elected officers- strategic problem or strategic solution?

There has begun to be some movement within students’ unions and the wider charitable sector around the need for strategic plans. In other sectors they are indeed beginning to lose their tyrannical grip, being replaced with risk registers and beanbags. This of course is nothing new as management fads wax and wane as they always […]