Elections and the Students' Union

Englishnewsstudent living
Source: Aberystwyth University website

As university students, the Students' Union plays a huge part in our campus life. From deciding the number of hours of classes per week to appealing against grades, the SU creates all the policies that involve students.  

When I arrived in Aberystwyth, I had to go into quarantine because of COVID. During that time, I received an email about standing in elections. Though I was new here and had no idea what it was about, I filled in the form for Academic Representative of the Computer Science department. 

I had always wanted to try out this experience, but I had never had the opportunity. After filling in the form, I was instructed on how to campaign for the role, and I was told what the budget would be. This process made me realise how organised the SU was. I felt grateful for their help and began campaigning. When I checked the results, I had won!  

As a rep, I had access to an email which I could use to communicate with fellow students. Then, I was then given a list of the postgraduate courses I’d be representing and provided with the training for the role.  

The next step was to introduce myself to the students, so I wrote an introductory email and urged them to contact me with any issues. A few days later, I was told to attend the Staff Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) meeting. It was held by a staff member, and I was amazed at the host’s attention to detail. We discussed various problems regarding student life and everyone’s opinion was valued. 

In total, I attended 8 SSCC meetings, as I was the Academic Representative of two departments. My job was to write the minutes of the meeting in an email and make the students aware of any decisions. 

The next time there was a standing announcement, I decided to get involved in society committees, so I stood for Treasurer of the Feminist Society. Since I was part of the society and wanted to be more involved, it was perfect for me. 

After becoming the Treasurer, I was given training on fundraising and budgeting. We organised socials for the members and even manned the fresher’s fair stall. 

I feel that these experiences boosted my confidence and improved my social skills, attributes which have really helped me in my career.