Collectives: Drive Change Right Here, Right Now

Following the passing of the new constitution for our Democracy Review, you may be wondering what the future holds for the Students’ Union. So let me tell you a bit about one of changes that we are really excited about – the creation of Student Collectives.

Collectives are groups of students that provide opportunities to support various communities on campus. They can drive change by working on policies as well as coordinating campaigns and events relating to their group.

What are the different Collectives?

There are eight Collectives in total:

  1. Women
  2. LGBT+
  3. Disabled
  4. BAME
  5. International
  6. Commuting
  7. Postgraduate Research Students
  8. Postgraduate Taught Students

How do they differ from societies and sports clubs?

Well, many of the processes surrounding the Collectives will be similar – for example, guest speakers and socials policies will be the same. However, one of the primary differences is that there is no membership fee! So you won’t need to pay a Student Opportunities membership or student group fee. Additionally, we have dedicated greater resource to supporting the Collectives – as a fundamental provision by the Union, we have committed funding to support the activities of the Collectives, and dedicated staff support separate to those available to student groups.

Ultimately, the purpose of the Collectives is different to societies and clubs. While there may be overlap, the Collectives are designed to feed directly into the work that the SU does, what we dedicate time and resource to and how we run our Union. This also means that they will indirectly be able to inform the work of the College!

The Collectives will be able to run campaigns and coordinate events such as Black History Month or Pride Month. Rather than letting us dictate what happens, we want students who have the genuine experience in these areas to lead the discussion.

Why should I get involved?

Put simply, if you want to get involved in helping improve the world around you, or if you’re passionate about improving your education, your environment and representation, then this is the space for you. If you want to work directly with the Union, learn more about representation and leadership, and have direct impact on student life, then you should sign up. As an added bonus, this could look really good to future employers!

How can I be part of a Collective?

You will be able to sign up directly from the Students’ Union website from Friday 20 September.

If you self-identify with this group, you are eligible to become a member, which will give you full access allowing you to take part in any democratic decisions and to stand to be a leader of the group. If you would like to support the work of the group but do not self-identify as a member of the group, then you can become a supporter which will mean you are still eligible to take part in their events and activities, just not vote.

How can I lead a Collective?

If this is something you feel passionate about, you can also stand to be a leader of a Collective. They are called conveners, and each Collective has their own set of conveners. One of these will also sit on the Wellbeing, Community and Diversity Executive and help to steer the work that I do, as well as to hold me accountable, and many other important things.

These elections will take place at the beginning of the first term, so make sure you watch this space.

Nominate someone

Lucy Simpson // Vice President Welfare & Diversity