The Students’ Union and Student Societies: what are they and how can you get involved?
I’m Seniz and I’m studying Ecology and Conservation BSc. In this blog, I’ll explain what the Students’ Union and student societies do and how you can get involved.
What is the role of the Students’ Union?
What is the student union? What a perfect question! The student union here at the University of Brighton is a fully independent charity that both supports and represents students – and is also run by students!
They are a fantastic team, with varying roles from the president to education officer to activities officer and lastly postgraduate and international officer. From that description alone, it really shows off all of the different parts of university life that is supported.
What does the Students Union do?
They are an invaluable team that listens to students, and get results! In previous years when the covid pandemic was greatly affecting us all, the student union worked hard to get students mitigating circumstances.
Such as benchmark grades, so the mean grade for our first semester before the pandemic hit would act as a benchmark so any grades in our second semester would not fall below that mean grade.
The year following from that they then worked again to allow students to drop their lowest graded modules from their final grade. These were such relieving changes, that I can say even just for myself were massively appreciated by students during such a tough time.
Student Societies : what are they?
Within the student union, there are over 100 different societies! Student societies are different groups that enjoy a particular hobby or shared interest. This ranges from anime and manga society to LGBTQ+ society to Pharmacy society and Tamil society to so many more.
My experience in student societies at uni
I was at different times Charity & Fundraising Officer, and President of the Debating society! I organised charity events during the pandemic such as a five-hour radio show featuring lecturers and debates to raise money for the mental health charity called Mind.
In addition to jointly helping to organise collaborations with the fantastic Ecological society and Geography society! After returning from a placement year I am now a fully dedicated member of the Ecological society who for me, as a fully biased ecologist myself, are the absolute best!
They organised a fantastic camping trip to Knepp estate where we saw white storks, and fallow deer and even got to use a pizza oven! So what this goes to show is you can really explore all of your interests with many different societies to find the one or several societies that you enjoy most!
How many student societies should I join?
My recommendation is to try as many as you like till you find the society for you! This can be facilitated at the start and middle of every year when the university holds society fairs, and societies will have stands where you can chat with them and sign up for their events!