Meet our Student Trustees

With recruitment underway for a new Student Trustee, President Kate Roberts caught up with our current incumbents to hear a bit more about what the role means to them and why you should consider applying.

One of the things that we pride ourselves on at the Students’ Union is getting you involved in as many experiences as possible – and this includes at all levels of the organisation. One of the ways in which students can get involved is by becoming a Student Trustee.

With applications open as we look to recruit a new Student Trustee, I spoke to our current incumbents to hear a bit more about what the role means to them.

What is a trustee?

The Charity Act (2011) defines trustees as ‘Persons having the general control and management of the administration of the charity’. Our Board of Trustees are legally responsible for the organisation and help set the path for the organisation moving forwards within our strategy. The Board is chaired by the President of the Students’ Union and its membership includes the other Sabbatical Officers, Student Trustees and External Trustees, so that we can receive guidance and expertise from other areas. The Board seeks to receive assurance that the organisation is financially sound, meeting its charitable purposes and is sustainable, both financially and in accordance with the mission of the organisation.

Milo Dack

"Hi, my name’s Milo Dack. I study History, Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway. I’m very involved within the Students Union', as a Student Trustee, President of the mental health society Mentality, and also a member of the AST John Ambulance LINKS Unit. I love reading, writing, being involved within campus life, and have a particular interest in first aid and pre-hospital care."

A headshot of student trustee, Milo Dack

Why did you want to become a Student Trustee?

"As a student of politics and having grown up with a father in the financial industry, I’ve always been interested in the notion of accountability and responsibility. When, in my first year, the SU Elections were announced, I was interested in getting involved but didn’t necessarily want to run or be involved with a high-pressure election against a number of other candidates.

"I was recommended to check out the role of Student Trustee and thought “why not?” and threw my hat in the ring. I should also mention that I thought this would be a great opportunity to check out how the elections worked in the event that I considered running for a sabbatical position one day! However, as some of you will know, this is my second term as a Student Trustee and I reapplied to the Trustee Board for a second term because I was fascinated by the internal operations of a charity that I was an active part of, and I really wanted to be involved in steering the organisation towards its goals and making sure students were always at the heart of every decision - as they always are!"

What do you like most about being a Student Trustee?

"I think for me, the thing I like most about being a Student Trustee is being involved within the internal organisation of a charity where I can see and experience the changes being made. It’s fascinating to understand all of the different aspects involved within the Trustee Board and the brief glimpses that I get to from within of the other parts of the organisation. Going back to my answer to the previous question, I also really enjoy playing an active and integral role in steering the charity towards its goals and making sure that students’ interests always remain at the heart of every decision."

Remi Gruszka

"Hey, my name is Remi, a current second year law student as well as legal advice centre manager. I have lived in Kent the majority of my life with Polish roots. If I find time I love a good book or a good TV series. However, most of my time is spent volunteering either in our very own Advice Centre, charities or the NBSN."

A headshot of student trustee, Remi Gruszka

Why did you want to become a Student Trustee?

"I chose to be a Student Trustee as I thought this was the best way to make change, especially in these challenging times. Being a Student Trustee allows me to make changes that impact the whole student body as well as many students nationally and internationally especially with Royal Holloway being a largely international college.

"Life is challenging for many of us at the moment and institutions like the Students' Union are trying their hardest to support their students. I think becoming a Student Trustee not only opens your eyes to the operation of larger institutions but puts you perfectly in a position to make large and most importantly meaningful change. It comes with its challenges like every position but they are well worth it!

"I think that we not only need more transparency from the institutions that are around us, we also need the institutions around us to be more aware of their service users and their needs. Universities and the students' unions need to do more for their students like such as the recent joint letter to the government. We need more action like this and it is my mission to have more transparency and match our actions to the needs of those who we are serving."

What do you like most about being a Student Trustee?

"The students, ultimately everything that we do at the Students' Union is run by students for students. Being a Student Trustee brings students to the table and allows us to make meaningful changes and have a true voice that impacts all students at Royal Holloway. With our SU being in the top 10% of all charities by size it really puts into perspective how meaningful the work that we do is especially to those around us. I think the best thing about being a Student Trustee is seeing the changes happen on the very campus that we support!"

Tom Ridge

"Hi, I’m Tom and I’m in my second year studying physics here at RHUL. I am an active member of the student staff tech department and enjoy being part of the team that puts on events for students. I am also the District Youth Commissioner in Scouting which gives me many responsibilities, and opportunities to shape the development of young people."

A headshot of student trustee, Tom Ridge

Why did you want to become a Student Trustee?

"I have experienced the ways in which the SU has benefitted students with the introduction and implementation of new agendas and policies like the Wellbeing Strategy. I decided to learn by participating in furthering this excellent work by applying to the Board of Trustees.

"As the first trustee of my generation for Scouts UK, I was experienced in creating and promoting innovative youth-led ideas and have knowledge of the legal responsibilities and general operations of a board. In relation to the SU, I appreciated the requirements to include and consider the views of everyone, to work with integrity to push the boundaries and achieve an exceptional standard for all students."

What do you like most about being a Student Trustee?

"It’s hard to pinpoint one particular facet. I enjoy being involved with and influencing a charity that brings so much to students and their community, and it is a joy to work alongside people who are as passionate about RHSU as I am."

Become a Student Trustee

Like what you've read and fancy becoming the next Student Trustee? Applications are now open!

Download the recruitment pack

Find out more