The Trustee Board
Why do we have a Trustee Board?
In 2010 the Union set up its first ever charity-law compliant trustee board, in line with our charity status application to the UK Charities Commission.
It is an essential part of becoming a charity, that a Trustee Board is there to help oversee governance and scrutinise performance of the charity to ensure it is compliant with the charitable objectives. There are many types of objective that make a charity - you can more detail around charity objectives here.
Later, in 2015, the Students’ Union incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee and became a new charity. The Articles of Association is the governing document of our Trustee Board. This outlines all of our structures and procedures, along with how they should be operating.
What is the Trustee Board?
The Trustee Board is the Students’ Union’s governing body. They must meet no less than four times a year. This brings together a group of people internally and externally that use their experience and expertise to help set the Students’ Union’s strategic direction and ensure the longevity and sustainability of the Students’ Union. Alongside this, the Trustee Board is responsible for holding the senior management team to account on their performance in fulfilling the Students’ Union’s charitable objectives.
What does the uea(su) Trustee Board look like?
The Trustees shall appoint a Full-time Student Officer to be the Chair of the Trustees. The Chair of the Students’ Union Trustee Board is Hamish Williams, who has held the position since 2021. The Trustees shall appoint an External Trustee to be Deputy Chair of the Trustees and may at any time remove him or her from office. The role of the Deputy Chair will be to support the Chair. The Deputy Chair is there to support the chair.
Guests or observers can attend meetings of the Trustees at the discretion of the Chair.
The make-up of the Trustee Board for 20-21 is as follows:
Five full time Officers
These students are the democratically elected (and paid) officers that represent students on a full-time basis for the Students’ Union.
- Taylor Sounes – Undergraduate Education Officer
- Aaron Campbell – Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer
- Evie Drennan – Activities and Opportunities Officer
- Serene Shibli-Sexton – Campaigns and Democracy Officer
- Elise Page – Postgraduate Education Officer
Two Part-Time Officers
These Students are the democratically elected officers that represent students on a part-time basis for the Students’ Union.
1. Patrycja Poplawska – Women’s Officer
2. Serene Shibli Sexton – People of Colour Officer
Six External Trustees
The External Trustees are experts from outside the Union who are appointed for the skills they can bring to the work of the Board.
- Martin Jopp
- Jeremy Clayton
- Frances Fay
- Dev Aditya
5 Student Trustees
The Student Trustees cannot sit on Council or hold major Union Office. They, alongside the External Trustees, provide a voice on the Board that is independent of the Officers. These students are also elected. One of these students is elected a Postgraduate Assembly and three are elected through our normal elections process.
- Lucy Hawker – Student Trustee
- Adrian Ashby – Student Trustee
- Vacant – Student Trustee
- Vacant – Student Trustee
- Bradley Foster – Student Trustee (PG place)
What is a Student Trustee?
Student Trustees sit on the Trustee Board for uea(su) and have the same rights and responsibilities as the other members of the Trustee Board (including full-time officers). Student Trustees are not involved in the day to day running of the Students' Union, but take an overview of how the Union is performing, both financially and in delivering services to students.
As a Student Trustee you will work alongside the rest of the board of trustees. You will be expected to:
- Attend approximately 6 Trustee Board meetings across the academic year.
- Attend any sub-committee meetings to which you are appointed.
- Read through materials and papers in advance of Trustee Board meetings.
- Keep in regular contact by email and phone with the Chair of the Trustee Board and other Trustees to be able to provide real-time feedback when queries and issues arise.
- Participate in Trustee Board meeting debate and discussion, using your knowledge and experience to represent the views of the student body. At these meetings you will;
- Contribute to the strategic leadership of the union.
- Ensure uea(su) is operating in the best interests of students.
- Monitor uea(su) progress against strategic aims and objectives.
- Monitor the financial performance of uea(su) to ensure it remains financially secure and accountable.
Being a member of a charity board of trustees is an excellent opportunity to have oversight of the organisation and to take on some key responsibilities. As a Trustee, you must ensure uea(su) is carrying out its purposes for the students benefit.
The objects of uea(su) are:
- ensure that the diversity of its Ordinary Membership is recognised and that equal access is available to all Ordinary Members of whatever origin or orientation;
- pursue its aims and objectives independent of any political party or religious group; and
- pursue equal opportunities by taking positive action within the law to facilitate participation of groups discriminated against by society.
The Trustees declare any interests they have that might impact on the work of the Board; these are in the Register of Interests which you can find here.
Powers of trustees
The following powers of the Trustees is set out in the Articles of Association:
- The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for the management and administration of the Union and (subject to the Education Act, these Articles and the Bye-Laws) may exercise all the powers of the Union. A meeting of the Trustees at which a quorum is present may exercise all powers exercisable by the Trustees.
- The Board’s powers under Article 52 shall include but not be limited to responsibility for:
- the governance of the Union;
- the budget of the Union;
- the strategy of the Union;
- monitoring the performance of the Chief Executive.
- The Board of Trustees shall only have the power to prevent the implementation of Policy or amend or prevent the publication or dissemination of motions, Referenda, or decisions of the Union Council, Student Officer Committee, Returning Officer, Democratic Procedures Committee or any subsidiary committees or bodies on the following grounds:
- serious financial risk;
- legal requirements;
- and the Trustee Board shall seek appropriate advice before exercising its power to overrule and shall report every exercise of its power to overrule to the Union Council.