What is the Student's Union?
The University of Surrey Students' Union is not-for-profit charity, independent from the University that represents all University of Surrey students on a local and national level. As the sole representative body for students at Surrey, the Union is led by a team of 5 full time sabbatical officers and 21 part time student officers who are all elected annually by Students' Union members through an online ballot - #SurreyDecides. It is important to note that ALL University of Surrey students are a member of the Students' Union by default, so you don't have to worry about membership fees.
Full-time Officers, Part-time Officers, & Union Zones
The Union is split into four zones; Voice, Activity, Support, and Community, and each zone is led by a full time officer that is a Vice-President and Trustee of the Union. Trustees have responsibility for the direction and for overseeing the Students' Union, and the President as the Chair of the Board of Trustees, is line manager to the Vice-Presidents, and the Students' Union's Chief Executive Office (CEO).
Alongside the Vice-Presidents, there are 5 part-time Zone Committee members within each zone as shown in the diagram below.
Vice-President Voice & The Voice Zone
The Voice Zone is led by the elected Vice-President Voice and is responsible for obtaining student opinions on issues that have an impact on student life at Surrey and for keeping democracy at the heart of what we do as a Union. This involves taking a lead on feedback surveys, ensuring all our election processes are fair and accessible by all students, and supporting students by raising awareness about the causes that they are passionate about'.
Vice-President Activity & The Activity Zone
The Activity Zone is led by the elected Vice-President Activity and is responsible for developing new student activities, increasing participation, and ensuring that any student wanting to take part in student activities can do so without any barriers. This involves campaigning for individual development through involvement in sports clubs & societies, taking a lead on promoting our Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, and running activities that students can get involved in.
Vice-President Support & The Support Zone
The Support Zone is led by the elected Vice-President Support and is responsible for running support campaigns, ensuring the Union has student support in mind in all its activities, and for collating & acting upon student feedback on University support services. This involves supporting students with wellbeing campaigns and ensuring that the feedback given by students on University support services is acted upon accordingly.
Vice-President Community & The Community Zone
The Community Zone is led by the elected Vice-President Community and is responsible for bringing the student community together, integrating the student community into the local community, and ensuring that there are volunteering opportunities available for all students. This involves taking a lead on the entertainment & social activities on campus, welcoming new students and creating opportunities for students to participate in the local community.
All officers within a zone are equally accountable for fulfilling the responsibilities of their Zone, and any decisions on what the Zone's budget should be spent on will also lie with these officers. Zone reports will be put together detailing each Zone's activity and their budget spend for the Union Executive team to review and comment upon.
The Union Executive is the senior body for student representation within the Union and is responsible for reviewing and discussing the work within the Zones, passing Union policy, and holding the officer trustees to account. The Executive Team (Union Exec) consist of 1 Vice-President from each Zone, 2 Zone Committee members from each Zone, the Union President, and the Union Chair as shown in the diagram. Only members of Union Exec can vote on anything discussed during Exec meetings, but any student can attend and even participate in discussion with the permission of the Union Chair.
This is the only full-time Sabbatical officer that is also a member of University Council, the governing body for the University. This means that the President is the number 1 student representative amongst senior members of staff within the University, and the link between the University and the Union. This officer, as well as the Vice-Presidents, sits on various committees within the University to ensure that the student experience is kept in mind at all times by the University. The President also works closely with the CEO to ensure that the Union is working effectively as an organisation overall.
Other Part-Time Officers:
This officer is the lead full-time student representative as they are the only part-time officer that is a member of the Board of Trustees. This officer is responsible for chairing the Union Exec, ensuring that policies passed by the Executive Team are delivered and making an impact, and ensuring that the Union's byelaws are adhered to at all times.
The Raising and Giving (RAG) Chair is responsible for leading the Union's RAG Committee and coordinating the fundraising activity of the Students' Union, giving students the opportunity to raise money and awareness for causes that matter to them. The RAG Chair attends the Students' Union Executive Committee as a non-voting member.
It is important for you to remember that as member of the Students' Union all of the Union officers whether part-time or full-time, are here to represent you. You can question them on the work that they do, and go to the relevant zone to discuss any issues you have, that fall within their remit. Visit the zone pages to find out information on how to contact your elected officers.
The University of Surrey Students' Union is a private limited company, registered in England & Wales with registered number 07470232, registered at the address above. The University of Surrey Students' Union is a registered charity, registered with charity number 1142479