When you hear the word council, what do you think of? Stuffy old rooms filled with ageing bureaucrats, piles upon piles of papers and minutes, and six hours of drudgery? Councils don’t exactly have a reputation of being sexy, but let us tell you about RHSU’s councils in all their glory.
But what exactly are councils? Put simply, they’re a body of students who care about the university, about other students, and about life here at Royal Holloway. More specifically, they’re part of our democratic structure, and are divided into three areas – Education, Equalities, and Student Opportunities. They meet once a term, along with their respective committees and Vice Presidents to discuss issues, submit and vote on motions, and hold Officers accountable. So, what’s each council about?
Bit of a no brainer this one, Education Council deals with all things education including your academic reps. It’s there to represent your academic interests, giving you the chance to feed in on important issues (like the library plans last year), and get updates on what’s going on at the college. Chaired by the VP Education, it’s a great chance to meet course, department, and faculty reps, and to ask questions to your VP Education.
A little bit more confusing, but still fairly straightforward, Equalities Council addresses issues to do with equality, liberation, and diversity. It represents historically marginalised groups such as women, BME, LGBT, disabled, and international students, as well as mental health. Equalities Council plans campaigns, feeds in on policy issues, and discusses the issues surrounding marginalised groups on campus.
Finally, Student Opportunities Council takes on all things societies, sports clubs, and media outlets. Queries, questions, and motions as well as officer accountability are always up for discussion. The council also often discusses key issues that come up through the year, such as funding and communication.
Every council has its own committee, comprised of students elected at the end of the previous year. They represent certain key groups – it might be disabled students, the Science faculty, or culture and faith societies, depending on their specific position.
Interested in taking part? As a member of the Students’ Union, you can come to any council meeting, and have speaking rights. You can find more information, and dates here.
Is attending not enough for you? We have some open rep positions that we need to elect! Equalities Council are looking for an LGBT Representative, and an International Student Representative, and Education Council are looking for a Postgraduate Taught Representative. If you’re interested in any of these roles, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
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