Become a Student Trustee | Get Involved

 


Hannah Blackburn

I know that being 'part of a board of trustees' sounds scary, but trust me it really isn't. Our team want to hear your thoughts and ideas on where our Students' Union should focus it's strategy to best meet student needs. You don't need to be an expert in business management, just an expert at being you and being part of our community.”


Hannah Blackburn

President and Chair of Board of Trustees
Staffordshire University Students' Union

 

Guide the work and future of your Students' Union in the voluntary role of Student Trustee

Your Students' Union is a charity (a CIO to be precise, click here to learn more), which is a legal way of recognising that we only exist to benefit our student members. To make sure that we're being a charity correctly, there are a few specific things we have to do, which includes having a Board of Trustees. 

A Trustee Board is a friendly and supportive group of people just like you; individuals who care about University life here at Staffordshire University. Our board is made up of non-students (called lay trustees), elected officers (officer trustees) and students (student trustees), all of whom bring a range of specific experiences, knowledge, skills that support our group to make decisions.

The overall role of our board is to ensure that our Students' Union is the best it can be, ensuring that we continue to be well managed in a safe and legal way that can help us achieve our long term aims.

Your Students' Union is always looking to meet students who might be interesting in joining our trustee board. We know that every student here at Staffs has the essential skills we need and if you're interested, we'd love to arrange a time for you to have a coffee with a member of our team to talk about the role.

 

Want some more detail? 

Take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions?

What would this involve?

On your CV, you might describe being a Student Trustee as 'guiding a £3 million pound charity in decision making and governance as part of a multi-skilled executive board.'

Sounds amazing right? And we'd agree that this is an important role that will have a real long-term impact on the work of our Students' Union, and by extension our University community. But, the skills you need are the ability to ask questions, review proposals and plans and a deep interest in our community here at Staffs.We promise, that's all you need!

Routinely, you'll join our board 4 to 5 times a year, reviewing papers in advance of a meeting before coming together to talk through the progress and plans of our Union. You'll be asked for your genuine opinions, based on your time at Staffs. That's it!

In terms of your time, you'll need to put aside 2 to 3 hours for each meeting (some time to prepare and some time at the meeting itself).

What does a day in the life of a Trustee feel like?

Trying to imagine what being a Trustee would be like? Fantastic! A normal day as a Student Trustee might involve:

  • A week before a meeting of the Trustee Board, you receive an email including all of the items for discussion and some papers for the meeting.

  • Taking some time, you look over the attachments learning about the exciting progress we're making as a Union and hearing about our plans and aspirations too.

  • As you read, you keep a note of things you don't understand and questions you want to ask.

  • On the day of the meeting, after you last leture in the new Catalyst building you head over to the Student's Union

  • As you're greeted by your fellow trustees, you grab a freshly made drink from Squeezebox, before settling into our meeting room

  • Led by Hannah, as a team you begin to work through each item, discussing each element and asking the questions you jotted down before.

  • A couple of items include choices for the board to make, and you take a vote on those papers, offering your thoughts and suggestions.

  • A few days later, you receive a summary of the decisions your Trustee Board team made and the discussion you had.

And it's genuinely that simple!

Are there any Eligibility Criteria?

Yes, there are some eligibility criteria that you must meet to be able to hold this position. These are simply because you would be taking on a role as set out in law to support our work.This isn't something to worry about! We support students to become amazing trustees every year and our team will support you through every step of the process.

To summarise the main points:

  • You have to be passionate about our Students' Union and ready to accept the responsibility

  • You must be a current Staffordshire University student whilst holding the role of Student Trustee

  • You cannot be employed by the Students' Union in any capacity

  • You cannot have been previously excluded from being a Trustee or director for another organisation

The legal stuff

Don't worry, there isn't any tricky small print here! There are a range of checks we will complete with you if you ultimately join our team of trustees. If you want to read ahead (remembering that we'll work through all of this with you anyway!) you can take a sneak peak online here.

 

Sound interesting?  

Unfortunately, we aren't looking for trustees at the moment - check back later in the year!