The Student Union: What is it like?

Hello and happy summer!

Today’s blog focuses on the topic of being an officer within the Student’s Union as well as a sneak peek of what it is like to be in the Community Zone. My hope is that with this somebody decides to run or at least encourage people to take part and vote.

In March 2021 I ran for a position within our Student’s Union called Community Zone Part Time Officer which is a voluntary role within the Community Zone. This zone focuses on events as well as volunteering for students in the university. It is an elected role, and I was overwhelmed with the number of votes I got placing me for Exec which is reserved for those who had the highest votes in each zone. This year the uni has decided to remove exec and right now everyone gets an equal say and voting rights in those decisions.

Within the zone, I managed to organize many fun events such as a Thorpe Park visit which is happening tomorrow as well as going into talks about expanding the food options and reducing food waste within the university. I also managed to volunteer on many occasions such as Freshers and at outreach events for Vet Students. As a zone, we organize nightclub events at Rubix our student club as well as other events such as Free-Fest. Our role extends way past events, however, as we also have the chance to make life-changing contributions to student life and the community. Examples include lighting up our campus lake to promote safety as well as making sure we do not cause detriment to the wildlife around it.

The voting and campaigning season is known as Surrey Decides and It runs for approximately 2 weeks with live interviews of each candidate and debates so students can come and watch. 2021 was unfortunately conducted online only but this year’s debates were in person. For this year I ran for RAG Chair (Raising & Giving) and my position commences in a few weeks’ time! The whole experience was really nice as I got to meet like-minded people and make new friends along the way. Not to mention the Annual Awards Dinner is very good and there is plenty of wine to go round.

There are plenty of positions to run for within the Student’s Union and they span across 4 zones; Activity, Community, Support, and Voice. In those, you have Vice Presidents which are paid full-time roles, and then Part-Time Officers who are voluntary part-time roles. At the top of the pyramid is the Union President who oversees the entire SU and is also a paid full-time position. There is a fun quiz on the Union website which suggests which zone would suit you most and is quite accurate as it placed me in Community!

As always even if someone does not win the overall experience is well worth doing and in such a high-demand role anybody who applies is already a winner!