UPSU is a membership-led organisation and it’s important that our members (University of Plymouth students) know exactly how the Union runs, and through this, how to get involved. We are governed by Memorandum and Articles of Association, which sets out the rules and processes behind everything that we do.
Although we’re part funded by the University of Plymouth, and are located on the campus, we’re also a completely autonomous organisation. This ensures that we remain entirely focused on our members with one purpose in mind: to make student life better.
UPSU is its own legal entity, which means that the assets of the charity are held directly by the company, with company number 10676070, (and not the holding trustees). UPSU’s governing document is the Memorandum and Articles of Association, which became effective on 1st August 2017. The Memorandum and Articles of Association have been modelled very closely on the NUS model and approved by the Charity Commission, Companies House, the University of Plymouth’s Governors, the University of Plymouth’s students (by referendum on 3rd March 2017) and UPSU’s Trustees.
We're led by students
They are at the heart of everything that we do. They sit out on our Student Forums, which determines our campaigning and political priorities. They make up the largest share of our Board of Trustees, which is legally responsible for hiring the staff team and making sure the Union remains financially viable. They deliver most of our services through our large staff team. And they have the power to shape everything the Union does through our Union Council, Annual Student Members’ Meetings and referenda.
We're a charity
Our charity number is 1172830. Like all Students’ Unions in the UK, we’re also a registered charity. This means that: We’re not-for-profit: any income we gain from our commercial services goes straight back into providing services for students. We’re governed by charity law: which has some implications on how we can spend our money – making sure it’s spent on students, for example. We’re accountable to our members: which means we’re constantly looking to help students better understand what we get up to, and how we spend our money. As a charity we have a Board of Trustees that ensures the Students' Union has the necessary financial and structural stability to carry out its aims effectively.