Student Representation - Know Your Rights!



Every student has the right to be represented in every aspect of their university experience (your academic studies, your social life, your identity and culture). Your SU is here for you for tough times with our free and independent Advice Centre right through to those amazing celebrations which we all can’t wait to get back to! 


Every right comes with responsibilities  


There are certain things you need to do to make sure that your SU is representing your best interests at uni. It is your responsibility to use your voice and vote for who will speak on your behalf in the coming year – It is in your best interest to choose who best represents you. The Sabbatical Officers set the direction and lead on all representation at UPSU and so they will be influencing every part of your university experience. From sitting on University Teaching and Learning Committee, the Board of Governors, Fitness to Study meetings, Senate and Student Forums, your Sabbatical Officers are there for you. Only you can choose who represents you and your interests so make sure to vote! 


Now is your time to change things in your Students' Union - Vote Now


If there isn’t a candidate you feel best represents you, you can vote to re-open nominations (RON) - this tells us that you don’t feel like your interests are being represented by the current candidates and gives the opportunity for nominations to be re-opened and the election for that position re-run with other candidates.   



Holding your representatives accountable 


You have the responsibility to hold your elected representatives accountable – they work for and represent you! So, If you don’t feel that these reps are upholding their manifesto pledges that you voted for, then there are processes in place. You can raise your issues with your Accountability Board whose role is to scrutinise the reps work and decision making, ensuring it is in the best interest of the students they represent.  

If elected reps are really not doing something they should be, or they have acted in a way they should not have, the process of Censure can be invoked. Censure is a formal statement of disproval (basically a telling off) but if a rep has two censures against them upheld, a vote of no-confidence will be automatically triggered. 

A successful vote of the no-confidence motion, either as a result of two censures, triggered by a petition to call an all-student vote on the matter, or passed at Union Council (a meeting of elected representatives) will result in that elected rep being removed from the post.  

The processes for removing a representative or questioning their activity are all students led so it is important that you speak out if you are not happy.  



Accountability Board 


Your Accountability Board is a group of students, chosen by you to uphold the standards you expect from your SU representatives. The responsibilities of the Accountability Board fall into 4 main areas: 

  • Holding meetings with the Sabbatical Officers to hold them to account 

  • Observing and scrutinising Representative led meetings to make sure they stay democratic and that members of the community being represented are being listened to and treated fairly. 

  • Observing the Union Council, and making sure the decisions made are fair and representative. Making recommendations about the most appropriate course of action 

  • Questioning the representative work of reps on behalf of students and investigating any claims that reps are not acting in the best interest of students they represent.  

The Accountability Board is essentially a critical friend to the elected positions at UPSU, and are here to make sure that the student body is being represented properly by the best people for the job. It is within their power to suggest improvements and feedback to individual reps and bring up issues at the Union Council.  


Got a question? Contact the Student Voice team -


Have your voice heard in your SUVOTE HERE