Why do students need a union? 0

Unions are funny things. I grew up in the 80s when you couldn’t turn on the tv(all 5 channels of it) without hearing about unions doing this and that and, in my young eyes, just causing trouble. That perspective only really shifted after I went to my first college and met two guys who had not only been in unions, but one had headed their one up. My word, it seemed like they actually wanted to makes changes so that both them and their companies worked more efficiently, whodathunk it! But these are companies, not universities, what could a union made up of students do?

Quite a lot as it turns out!

On a basic level, for any of you who read my tweets and hasn’t immediately blanked them out(your cheque is in the post), you’ll have heard me mention the drama society that I helped set up. In a nutshell, in First Year I wanted to get involved in more drama related things outside of the course itself but found that, while we had a great Dance Society, we had nothing in the way of just drama. Rather than showing off my best “hippo on ice” impression, I resigned myself not doing outside drama while in uni. Before Second Year started, both myself and my friend got talking to the SU, lamenting the lack of Drama Society, when they stopped our lamentations, asked if we wanted to set up one ourselves and went through what we would need to do and how and, lo and behold, we set up our society and even got a spot at the Freshers Fair! Then we bribed people with lollipops but that’s another story.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games and sometimes students have real issues that need sorting out. The merger has been great for the uni, with lots of new opportunities for students and a real sense of purpose that has been built up between campuses but, given the vast, vast task it is to merge in this way, it can present a few issues. One such issue was that my year didn’t know how our final grade would be calculated, meaning that people were really worried they might miss out on a classification if they were marked different than they had expected to. With us all being in a tizzy, I asked the SU(here’s looking at you, Sarah!) to help us out. So without fuss, the SU went and got the information we were looking for and, in the space of a few days, our minds were put at ease. Trust me, when you’re in your final term of Third Year, you need as little stress as you can get because the slightest unneeded worry could end up costing you dearly.

I guess what I’m getting at is that the SU is there for you to help you through and support you when you need it most. Equally, it’s also important for the university itself as it provides a channel for them to get feedback on things that have gone well and things that need improvement. If you’re not getting feedback then you’re not evolving and that’s only going to lead to major problems in the future. Heck, for those of you brave enough, why not try and join the SU and be part of that change!

Oh and because I don’t like to have just texts to my post, here’s a kitten pile: