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Our Governance Structure logo

Our Governance Structure

Where power, accountability and scrutiny are situated in our organisation



Abbreviations in Diagram

SOC: Student Officer Committee

DPC: Democratic Procedure Committee

DOBs: Development and Oversight Boards

The details: how the components are made up

Trustee Board

The Trustees:

  • Hold the Union’s management to account.
  • Performance manage the Chief Executive.
  • Scrutinise the Union’s operations.
  • Oversee the Union’s finances.
  • Uphold the Union’s missions and values.
  • Uphold the law and oversee the operations and management.

The Trustees are:

  • Accountable for all that happens in the Students’ Union.

The Board is made up of: 4 External Trustees, appointed; 5 Full Time Officer Trustees elected in a general election, 2 Part Time Officer Trustees elected in in a general election, 4 Student Trustee elected by Union Council.

The Board has two specialist sub-committees, Finance Committee and Nominations and HR Committee which both have 2 elected Union Councillors as members.

The Board devolves supervision of the Union’s day to day operations to the Management Committee which is made up of the 5 Full Time Officers who meet with senior staff.


The democratic structures:

  • Set the policy framework within which the Union operates.
  • Inform and guide the work of the Students’ Union and elect the Student Officers.
  • Pass policy that sets out how the Union’s work is carried out.

We have:

Referendums: where all students can vote on a single issue

Union Council: makes policy, scrutinises work of the Trustee Board and Student Officer Committee (SOC). Made up of elected representatives from Schools of Study, Union Clubs and Societies, Assemblies and Caucuses and the Student Officers, approves budget estimates.

Assemblies and Caucuses: group of students from a particular demograph or a specific group subject to structural oppression that meet as autonomous bodies with the power to set their own policies. Each group elects 5 representatives on Union Council. Makes policy recommendations. Meeting open to all self-identifying members

Student Officer Committee: provides political leadership, implements policy, runs campaigns in line with policy, and manages campaigns and representation budgets. Made up of 5 elected salaried Full Time Officers and 14 elected non-remunerated Part Time Officers.

Democratic Procedures Committee: advisory group, tasked with taking a strategic view of democratic and governance processes and making recommendations to Union Council. Made up of up to 9 members elected by cross-campus ballot.


Staff advise and support the Trustees in governance and the democratic arm in the making and implementation of Union policy.

Development and Oversight Boards: there are two of these, one for each of the Union’s areas of social enterprise, the retail operations and the bars and live music operations. The Boards receive finance and trading updates and work toward developing a long-term strategy for each area. The Boards are made up of student managers, student staff reps elected by their peers, Union Council and SOC reps, also elected by their peers.