‘What is the Union for?’ we hear you ask. The answer is simple: YOU! The Students’ Union is a charity whose primary purpose is to support students at the University of Sussex and to enable you to maximise your opportunities whilst you study, plus contribute to your community and fight for the causes you believe in.
All students are welcome to participate in the Union in whatever way is most helpful for you. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of the Students’ Union whilst you are part of it:
Exploring your interest and trying new things
There are over 240 societies and sports clubs listed on the Student’s Union website. Whether you have a cause that you are passionate about, or possess a professional skill that you would like to share with others or are learning something for the first time most societies are open to everyone and all you need to do is have an explore to find your favourite group and where you feel you most belong.
Representation and Running in Elections
Decisions in the Student’s Union are made by students – you can be at the forefront of making decision when you run in elections.
Elected roles can be very demanding but massively rewarding and worthwhile, and are a fast track to gaining large amounts of experiences across a range of areas.
There are currently 6 full time officer roles that any student can stand for: You can stand in elections which take place in March every year and all students have the opportunity to use their voice and vote.
The Part-Time Officers roles exist specifically to represent students from various liberation groups. If you face discrimination on the basis of your identity your representatives are here to help combat this injustice. Part-Time Officer roles include LGBTQ Officers, a Students with Disabilities and an Ethnic Minorities Officer amongst others. This means that representation is easily accessible to those who may need it.
Student reps are there to represent you on academic matters in your school and elections are in October of each academic year.
Support and Advocacy
Ever encountered a huge roadblock in your studies, made a mistake that you regret, or have been treated unfairly by the university? Do not fear, you are not alone. The dedicated and highly experienced support and advocacy team at the SU can help you in a strictly confidential and non-judgmental manner. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to tell them about your problem.
Community and Volunteering
Are you community minded? Want to contribute to society and the world? Sussex is a great place to start as there are many opportunities to get into volunteering and community activism.
A great starting place is to join the Community Organiser team, volunteer with the Buddy Scheme, or come along to the Language Cafe on Tuesday evenings from 6 until half 7. All opportunities can be found here.
Make change happen
Historically and still today the student movement is an important platform for change in society. If you are on a mission to end the gender pay gap or decolonize the education system, we are here for you. Alongside the many student led and union lead campaigns that are currently in progress there is a student campaigns team, with a budget in place to support the things that matter to you! So just bring yourself, your ideas, and get going.