Aston Students' Union is a student-led democratic organisation that represents, supports and provides opportunities to its members: all Aston students. We're led by a team of Officers who are democratically elected Aston students. Elections take place during Term 2 (usually March), and these decide who will run the Students' Union for the following academic year.
The only exception to this is the Postgraduate Officer, who is elected at the beginning of the academic year (usually October), to ensure that Postgraduate students on one-year courses are given an opportunity to get involved.
What do the Officers do?
The Officer team is made up of 14 Officers: four Full-Time (or Sabbatical) Officers, and ten Part-Time Officers. The Full-Time Officers work in the Students' Union as a full-time, paid job. They're also trustees (external link) of the Students' Union, meaning they contribute to managing the Students' Union in accordance with Charity Law.
Part-Time Officers undertake their role alongside their studies. They're not paid, but they have access to a budget, and to SU staff and resources to help them plan and deliver their projects. As they need to be a student during their year in office, this means that you must be a student during the 2020-21 academic year to be able to run for one of these roles.
Let's go into detail about each role...
All Full-Time Officers work in the Students' Union Monday to Friday, and are paid around £19,000 per year. They get extensive training throughout the summer after their starting date (1st July), and generally spend their time after that running projects and campaigns to improve the student experience, attending meetings with senior University staff, and overseeing the strategic direction of the Students' Union. What exactly an Officer works on depends heavily on their priorities and pledges they set out in their manifesto, but each Officer has a broad portfolio of issues they are elected to represent. If you want to gain experience of running a multi-million pound charitable organisation, as well as contributing to strategic work within the University, the region, or perhaps even nationally, then consider running to become an SU Officer!
The President is the figurehead of the Students' Union. They lead & manage the Officer team, and chair the Students' Union's Board of Trustees. They represent the student body in meetings with the University, to ensure that students' opinions are taken into account when important decisions are made, and they engage with students from all demographic groups. Alongside the CEO, the President oversees the day-to-day running of the SU. Just like all other officers, the President will also work on the pledges they made in their election manifesto.
If you'd like to find out more, email the current President, Danielle, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President Education
The Vice President Education is the Union's leader on all things related to the academic experience. They attend - and often chair - key meetings within the University that affect how teaching & learning works at Aston, and are a key point of contact for Student Representatives of all kinds across the University. The VP Education also runs campaigns & projects that have the goal of improving students' academic experience at Aston - whether that's to do with learning resources, study space, assessment and feedback, or something else. As with all the other Officers, the VP Education also works on the pledges that they included in their manifesto when they were standing for election.
If you'd like to have a chat with the current VP Education, email Pawan at email@example.com.
Vice President Welfare
The Vice President Welfare's main job is to promote wellbeing among Aston students. With exam stress, the difficulty of balancing work, study and your social life, and worries about your future life and career, being a student can be tough. The VP Welfare works hard to alleviate these issues for students. They run projects and campaigns aimed at promoting mental and sexual health, healthy living, and community, to ensure that the Aston experience is as positive as possible for students. They also make sure that students' welfare is considered in Union & University decision-making.
If you're interested in this role, get in contact with the current VP Welfare, Ellie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President Student Activities
Your time at University is about more than just getting a degree; it's a time for making new friends, new experiences and finding new passions. The Vice President Student Activities aims to promote the extracurricular activities that the Students' Union has to offer - including Societies, Sports Clubs, social events and more. The VP Student Activities also runs projects and campaigns to promote sports and an active lifestyle, and ensures that our extracurricular activities are accessible to all groups of students.
If you'd like to have a chat with the current officer about the role, email Annas at email@example.com.
Part-Time Officer Roles
In addition to the four Full-Time Officer roles, there are also ten Part-Time roles. These are all voluntary roles, and they are responsible for a particular area of the student experience. They are:
Represents Postgrad students at Aston
International Students' Officer
Represents Aston's International Community
Disabled Students' Officer
Ensures that students with disabilities have a voice in the Union
LGBT+ Students' Officer
Represents the interests of students who identify as LGBT+
Promotes Women's issues at Aston
BAME (Black & Minority Ethnic) Officer
Represents BAME students at Aston
RAG (Raise & Give) Officer
Runs charitable activities at Aston SU
Is the secretary of all key Union activities
Runs Union Council, and the Union Executive Committee
Runs sustainability projects on campus
All Part-Time Officers are also members of the Union's Executive Committee, and attend regular meetings with their fellow Officers
to give updates, discuss strategy, and collaborate on their work. Like the Full-Time Officers, they are also scrutinised by the Students' Union Council.