Talking Points

A rear view of a line of diverse people with their arms around each others' waists.

Everything you need to know about student unions

While many are familiar with student unions, their purpose and activities can be shrouded in mystery.

Student unions exist separately from the university — solely for the student body — forming the vibrant core of campus life.

You’ll come across them during Fresher’s Week for event wristbands and freebies. Your student union will also act as your advocate, mentor, and event organiser.

Join us in unravelling the multifaceted role of student unions within and beyond the university.

What is a student union?

Student unions are student-led organisations that represent the students of a university or college.

Nearly all UK universities feature an on-campus student union building, including those in Leeds.

Explore your university’s union further online:

What is the purpose of a student union?

Student unions are dedicated to supporting and representing student communities in educational environments.

They provide essential assistance, guidance, and representation while curating various events, activities, and societies.

Giving students a voice

Unions serve as powerful platforms that amplify students’ voices and champion their concerns on local and national levels. These organisations tirelessly advocate for the rights and well-being of their fellow students.

At university level, student unions are at the forefront of actively campaigning to shed light on critical issues that impact the student body. They spotlight many concerns, from financial affordability and campus safety to diversity and inclusion.

By organising awareness campaigns and demonstrations, student unions bring these matters to the forefront of campus discourse, ensuring they receive the attention they deserve.

However, the impact of student unions extends far beyond the confines of campus. These organisations possess the unique ability to bridge the gap between students and the broader community.

Through initiatives and partnerships, they work to address campus-related issues and those affecting students across the country — making them valuable to society at large. Student unions are more than just vocal advocates — they are agents of change.

Students can drive policy changes and spearhead initiatives with the union’s backing and resources. Through collaboration with university administrators and government officials, student unions serve as catalysts for positive transformation, striving to improve the quality of student life in the UK.

Offering help, advice, and support

Your student union is a multifaceted support hub, offering various resources and services to address student concerns.

Whether you’re facing financial hardship, navigating the complexities of coursework, seeking housing solutions, or wrestling with mental well-being issues, your student union is a reliable partner throughout your academic journey.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your union about your mental health. Union officers understand that anxiety and stress can be part and parcel of the university experience. They provide a compassionate and understanding ear, offering guidance and access to resources to help you manage your mental well-being.

Whether it’s counselling services or information on stress reduction techniques, your union can offer you the tools you need to thrive.

Financial challenges are a common concern for many students, and your student union is also well-equipped to assist you with these.

Likewise, union staff can help you to identify job opportunities that align with your skills and schedule. Whether it’s on-campus positions, internships, or jobs within the local community, they can provide valuable insights and connect you with potential employers.

Contact information for the student unions of Leeds:

Organising events and activities

University unions are a treasure trove of diverse and vibrant clubs and societies catering to various interests and passions.

If you’re eager to continue indulging in a beloved hobby or venture into uncharted territories, there’s likely a group waiting to welcome you with open arms.

The student union for the University of Leeds boasts an astonishing array of over 300 clubs and societies — this vast selection ensures something for everyone.

If you’re keen on health and fitness, you could join The Barbell Club to sculpt your physique. Alternatively, strap some skates on with The Rollerskating Society for an exciting journey on wheels.

For those with leadership aspirations, The Leeds Women in Leadership Society offers a platform to empower and connect with like-minded individuals.

Of course, traditional sports enthusiasts can find their place in clubs like football, rugby, or tennis, where the camaraderie on and off the field is unparalleled.

Fear not if your passion is not yet represented among the existing societies — you have the power to spark a new movement by establishing a dedicated community.

Your student union can provide enthusiastic assistance and guidance, ensuring your vision becomes a reality. Reach out to them for invaluable support with logistics, funding, recruitment, and even promotion, making starting a society an accessible and rewarding endeavour.

A diverse group of people sat on a floor with their arms around each other, representing the concept of unity and support.

What is a student union bar?

A student union bar is an exclusive on-campus social hub managed by the student union, with every sale contributing directly to union initiatives.

Enjoy affordable drink prices, delectable food options, and a bustling schedule of activities from day to night. It’s a guaranteed hotspot for students to unwind and socialise at university.

What is a student union card?

While universities issue campus-access student cards, the student union card is separate.

Among various options, the National Union of Students endorses the TOTUM card, which UK retailers widely accept.

It ranks as the UK’s premier student discount card and app, offering an expanding array of local and international discounts and deals.

With a TOTUM card, you can expect to save money on essentials such as food, travel, and health. Plus, you’ll have funds left to indulge in fashion, beauty, tech, and mobile bargains.

What is the NUS?

The NUS, or National Union of Students, automatically enrols every UK student as a member.

This active union champions nationwide student interests with a primary mission of ensuring accessible education for all.

Current NUS initiatives include tailored cost-of-living crisis support packages, free transport for students and apprentices, and advocating for student IDs or young person’s travel cards as valid electoral identification.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *