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Getting involved with your student union

Getting involved with your student unionStudent unions are entirely student-run, which means there are lots of opportunities to get involved.

Meetings and events

The simplest way to get involved is to go along to meetings. At union meetings, you'll get updates on information that affects students and have the chance to discuss and vote. You should be able to find details of meetings on your union's website.

Your union might also run other events, such as protests, which you can go along to or help to run.

Running for elections

If you want to get more closely involved, you could run for a position on your union's committee. This could mean organizing events, representing the views of disabled students or managing the union's budget.

Some of these will be sabbatical positions, which means that they are a full-time job. Sabbatical officers, or 'sabbs', take a year off from their studies or work for a year after graduation and are paid by the union. Union presidents are usually sabbs, and a variety of other positions will be run by sabbatical officers too.

These positions are all decided by elections, so you'll need to convince your fellow students that you've got what it takes, which often means having been closely involved with the union already.

If your union is affiliated with the National Union of Students (NUS), you could run to be one of the people it sends to the annual NUS conference to represent the views of students at your university. You can also stand in the NUS elections and represent students at a national level. You don't need any particular experience to do this, but you will need to be nominated by students from various different institutions.