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SU Elections

Sabbatical Officers

RHSU is a not for profit organisation which exists to make student life better at Royal Holloway. With a turnover of approximately £4m, a permanent staff team of 40 and student staff team of 250, the organisation is led by five student leaders, who share responsibility for the organisation: the President, Vice-President Education, Vice-President Societies & Media, Vice-President Sport, and Vice-President Welfare & Diversity.

Those who are successfully elected by their fellow students serve full-time in their role for a one year “sabbatical” period, taking a break from their studies, or after completing their studies, to do so. Sabbatical Officers receive a full salary during their time in office.


Each Sabbatical Officer has two distinct roles to fulfil:

  1. President or Vice-President of RHSU, a role in which they are in a position to shape the strategic direction of the organisation, and influence University strategy as the principal representatives of students.
  2. Officer Trustee, a member of the Board of Trustees (in the case of the President, Chair of the Board of Trustees), which oversees the strategic direction, financial stability and legal observance (including charitable objects) of the organisation.

The role of each officer carries with it different responsibilities. You can read more about the specific duties of each sabbatical position in the detailed job descriptions, but they all share broad duties which include:

As a Sabbatical Officer:

  • Represent student views to the Students’ Union, University and external stakeholders.
  • Contribute to and influence the University’s strategy both through committee activity and more informal meetings with key staff, to ensure that student interests are effectively represented.
  • Work closely with the Sabbatical Officer team on RHSU priority campaigns.
  • Lead and facilitate student engagement with Committees and Councils (Education, Welfare and Student Opportunities).
  • Provide support for and help organise student campaigns on campus.
  • Help shape the way RHSU provides services to its members and ensure the student voice is heard in determining future direction.

As an Officer Trustee:

  • Help to give the organisation strategic direction.
  • Ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the organisation and ensure sound risk management.
  • Ensure the organisation complies with its constitution, charity law, education act and other relevant legislation.

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