University of Nottingham Students' Union

University of Nottingham Students' Union
University of Nottingham Students' Union
University of Nottingham Students' Union logo.gif
Motto N/A
Institution University of Nottingham
Location Portland Building, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD[1]
Established 1928
President Alex Corck-Adelman[2]
Other sabbatical officers

Simon Murphy
Sarah Williams
(Athletic Union)
Julia Seal
(Accommodation and Community)[4]
Danny Barry
(Democracy and Communications)
Elizabeth 'egg' Goddard
Sarah Joy Lewis
(Environment and Social Justice)[6]
Rosie Tressler
(Equal Opportunities and Welfare)[7]

Sam Le Pard
(Finance and Services)[8]

Aldwych Group,
National Union of Students,
British Universities Sports Association,
Universitas 21 Student Network,

National Postgraduate Committee

The University of Nottingham Students' Union is the students' union at the University of Nottingham, England. The Students' Union is housed in the Portland Building on University Park campus a building shared with some non-Student Union activities. The Union receives a block grant from the University of over £ 2 million although the Union also raises money though income streams such as the Union Shop and a Bar. All members of the University of Nottingham are automatically members of the Students' Union unless they use their right to opt out of membership.[9]



The Students' Union is a charitable organisation, enshrined by legislation such as the Education Act 1994, and responsible for a number of areas of work: Student Representation, Student Activities, Student Advice on Education and Welfare, and Campaigning. Prior to 2000, the University of Nottingham Students' Union was known as the University of Nottingham Union, abbreviated to UNU. The renaming was intended to clarify the Union's status as a Students' Union. Its current full name is the University of Nottingham Students' Union, shortened to the Students' Union or simply 'SU' where appropriate.


The Union's activity started in the 1880s when a cycling club was formed. At the old University College Site in the city centre the 'RAG' started in 1923. The Gong Magazine (now Impact, having been Gongster and Bias at various points) initiated in 1939 was an early sign of developing Union life. In 1928 the expanding college moved to the new out-of town Highfields Estate and here the Union's first permanent residence was in the lower corridor of the Trent Building. By 1956, the Portland Building had been opened, and was originally designated as a Union building, but although the Union is the major user, the management of the building has always rested with the University.

In the 1960s, the Union rationalised its representative system into a series of guilds, mostly based on halls of residence as 'constituencies'. This systems worked well for over two decades, before a critical mass of students came to live outside halls, at which point the strong communities on which the Guild system was based lost their universality. During the 1970s the Union took on a more militant air, with sit-ins and student strikes. This did lead to some positive results, such as student representation of many University committees - an opportunity openly satirised by the 1980s as less of a revolutionary shift than expected. The pace of change in the Union accelerated after the Robbins Report, as rises in student numbers drove it towards a bigger capacity, more permanent staff and sabbatical officers, more rooms and offices and bigger turnovers and budgets. Income rose from £250,000 in 1982 to £1,480,000 in 2006. Membership rose by 23,000 in the same period, whilst staff numbers more than trebled. Recently, the Union has started to address a number of pressing challenges presented by the dynamism and growth of the University under Sir Colin Campbell - such as provision of Union services to members at East Midland sites beyond the main Nottingham campuses.


Elected student officers play a role in the governance of the students' union. This poster was used to advertise for candidates for the 2010 elections.

The Students' Union is governed by its Constitution and Regulations. This 150 page document[10] is informally known as the 'Big Red Book'.[11] The Students' Union also maintains a Policy File, which outlines its stance on various issues.[11] The Students' Union is established by the Statutes of the University, which provide that "There shall be a Union of Students of the University" and that "Ordinances shall prescribe the constitution, functions, privileges and other matters relating to the Union of Students." Ordinance XI: Union of Students fulfills this role. The Students' Union is, naturally, subordinate to the law of the land; one of the most relevant pieces of legislation is Part II of the Education Act 1994, which specifically deals with students' unions. Changes to the Constitution, Regulations and Policy File are typically made by Students' Union Council; however, the whole membership can vote on a policy in a referendum. Referendums are generally fairly infrequent, and on major issues.

Students' Union Council is the highest regularly meeting decision-making body of the Students' Union.[12] It meets around eight times per year. For Council to make any binding decisions it has to be quorate; the quorum for Students' Union Council is set at 50% of voting members of Council. Members of Students' Union Council can be either voting or non-voting members. The voting members are designed to be representative of the membership of the Students' Union as a whole. Most non-voting members sit on Council to represent various views that it is felt important to have represented at this level, but where they do not represent a clear constituency of students; each Student-Run Service, for example, has a non-voting seat on Council, since it is felt that there will be issues that it useful to have their input on, but that those involved in their organisation are already represented through a Council Rep.The Constituencies for Voting Members of Students' Union Council are, for the most part either residential or subject-based. Generally, first year undergraduates are grouped into constituencies determined by their residence (e.g. Hall of Residence)., with students in subsequent years represented through their subject or faculty.The remaining Council positions are held by the Executive Officers, JCR and Association Heads, and Student-Run Service Heads. In 2011 democratic reforms were announced that would in effect abolish Council and replace it with a new democratic structures.[13] The previous democratic structures had only been quorate 15% of the time in the past 10 years and it was widely felt that they were inaccessible.


Candidates attending a Candidate Question Time held on Sutton Bonington campus

There are currently nine Executive Officers of the Students' Union.[14] Four of the Executive Officers are also trustees of the Union: Education Officer, President, Finance and Services Officer and Democracy and Communication Officer.[15] There is currently only one Non-Sabbatical Officers (Environment and Social Justice Officer) and eight full time Sabbatical Officers.[14] Non-Sabbatical Officers (both Executive and Representational) hold their position alongside their studies, whilst Sabbatical Officers hold the position full time, either taking a year out from their studies, or for a year after they finish their course. An individual is only allowed to hold the office of the Sabbatical Executive positions for one term (equal to one year). Individuals are allowed to hold non-Sabbatical Office for multiple years, or multiple Executive years of office - providing the one Sabbatical term rule is adhered to. The Executive Officers are elected by a cross-campus ballot of all students.

As of January 2011 there are currently 9 positions on the Students' Union Executive Committee:

  • President[14]
  • Democracy and Communications Officer[14]
  • Activities Officer[14]
  • Education Officer[14]
  • Environmental and Social Justice Officer[14]
  • Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer[14]
  • Financial Servies Officer[14]
  • Athletic Union Officer[14]
  • Accommodation and Community Officer[14]

Representational Officers are non-executive officers of the Students' Union. The Representational Officers are elected by a cross-campus ballot of students who self-define into the constituency of the respective officer. These roles were established in 2008.

  • LGBT Students’ Officer[16]
  • Postgraduate Students’ Officer[16]
  • Mature Students’ Officer[16]
  • Disabled Students’ Officer[16]
  • Women’s Officer[16]
  • International Students’ Officer[16]
  • The Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Students’ Officer[16]


Residential Associations

Broadgate Park (pictured) has a residential Association which represents over 2000 people.

More commonly called JCRs (Junior Common Room) these committees are elected from students in halls to put on social events throughout the year.[17] There is also a Regional Students Association for students who are not living in halls.[18] There is a President's Committee ('Pres Com') where Presidents of halls can share best practice. The JCRs are supported by a member of staff called the JCR Development Worker. There are currently 20 Residential Association committees:

  • Willoughby Hall[30]
  • Newark Hall[31]
  • Melton Hall[32]
  • Southwell Hall[33]
  • Broadgate Park Residents' Association (BPRA)[34][35]
  • Raleigh Park[36]
  • Regional Students' Association (RSA)[18]
  • St Peter's Court[37]
  • Sutton Bonington[38]


There are seven representation networks headed by Representation Officers.[39]

  • Disabled Students' Network[40]
  • International Students' Bureau (ISB)[40]
  • BME Network[41]
  • LGBT Network[42]
  • Mature Students' Network[43]
  • Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA)[44]
  • Women's Network[45]

Student-Run Services

The Nightline Bear (pictured) is a mascot used to promote awareness of a confidential student listening service available to all students

The Student-Run Services are set apart from societies since they exist for the benefit of the wider student body. Each Student-Run Service is run by an elected student committee. As of January 2011 there are 9 Student Run Services. Summer Party was dissolved as an SRS after making a substantial loss in 2010.[46] Forum, a public speaker series was dissolved as a student run service but was relaunched (though not as an SRS) in 2010.[47]

  • TEC PA & Lighting (Sound and Lighting Company)- provide 'tech' support for SU events[48]
  • CD & Record Library - A CD library[48]
  • Impact is the official magazine for students at the University of Nottingham.[49] It is a monthly, glossy magazine that can be picked up free from distribution boxes across Nottingham campuses.[48]
  • Karnival Europe's largest student-run charitable organisation [50] and the UK's biggest[51] - A rag group which raises money for charity[48]
  • New Theatre (Nottingham) - Student Theatre company which is England's only student run theatre[48]
  • Nightline - Welfare-based telephone listening and information service)[48]
  • URN - Student Radio for Nottingham (Radio Station)[48]
  • NUTS - Student Television station[48]
  • Week One - Put on events in freshers week to welcome students.[48]

Societies & Volunteering

The University of Nottingham Students' Union has one of the largest ranges of student societies and volunteering opportunities in the UK. There are nearly 200 societies that cover a wide range of interests from bell-ringing to chess to gliding.[52] There are also extensive local and international volunteering opportunities at the Students' Union, notably the InterVol project which works in Uganda on health and sanitation, Golden Futures which works to support children in Cambodia as well as local initiatives to support the British Red Cross and Oxfam.[53]

Athletic Union

There are over 70 sporting clubs affiliated to the Students' Union, which fall under the Athletic Union.The Athletic Union competes at the highest standard within university sport, finishing 5th in BUSA in 2007, and on course to do the same in 2008. It contains numerous international competitors, and the plays at some excellent facilities which are run by the department of sports & physical recreation.As well as the Sports Clubs, the Athletic Union also runs one of the largest Intramural sporting programmes in the country with hundreds of teams competing each week in 6 sports: Rugby, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis and Netball. The winners of each sport then compete in our annual intramural varsity match against Loughborough university. Held annually, the Varsity Series is a series of sports matches against Nottingham Trent University over the Spring term in ten different disciplines: rugby union (men's and women's), hockey (men's and women's), basketball (men's and women's), football (men's and women's), ice hockey (men's), Netball (women's), cricket (men's), swimming (men's and women's combined) and rugby league (men's). This is one of the best attended series in the UK, with over 6,000 watching the ice hockey, and 3,500 watching the football and rugby. The games are held at the top sporting venues in Nottingham; both the football and rugby at Meadow Lane (home of Notts County), and the ice hockey at the National Ice Arena. There are over 70 AU clubs.

  • Aikido
  • American Football
  • Archery
  • Athletics and Cross Country
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (Ladies')
  • Basketball (Men's)
  • Boat Club
  • Boxing
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Budo Taijutsu
  • Canoe
  • Canoe Polo
  • Caving
  • Cheerleading
  • Cricket (Ladies')
  • Cricket (Men's)
  • Croquet Club
  • Cycling
  • Diving (Spring & High Board) Club
  • Dodgeball
  • Explorers
  • Fencing
  • Floorball Club
  • Football (Ladies')
  • Football (Men's)
  • Gaelic Football (Men's)
  • Gliding
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Hockey (Ladies')
  • Hockey (Men's)
  • Ice Hockey Club
  • Ju Jitsu
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Kite Surfing
  • Korfball
  • Kung Fu
  • Lacrosse (Ladies')
  • Lacrosse (Men's)
  • Lifesaving
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Motorsport
  • Mountaineering
  • Netball
  • Orienteering
  • Polo Club
  • Rambling Society RAMSOC
  • Riding
  • Roller Hockey
  • Rugby (Men's)
  • Rugby (Women's)
  • Rugby League
  • Sailing Club
  • Skydive
  • Snooker and Pool
  • Snowsports
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Sub Aqua
  • Surf
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Ten Pin Bowling
  • Tennis
  • Thai Boxing
  • Trampoline
  • Triathlon
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball Club
  • Wakeboard & Waterski
  • Waterpolo
  • Windsurf
  • Wing Chun Kung F

Education Network

The Education Network exists to represent students on issues relating to their education while at University. The Network is chaired by the Education Officer.[54] There


The Students' Union has run a number of campaigns over the years on a wide range of subjects affecting students. These include B-EAT aimed at helping those with eating disorders[55] and an Exam Stress campaign aimed at helping students get through the exam period.[56] Around January when students begin to consider housing options for the next year a campaign is run to help students look for housing.[57] The Student Advice and Representation Centre are also available to check housing contracts free of charge.

Easy Tiger

Each year a campaign run to coincide with Week One, to promote safe sex amongst freshers arriving at university. The campaign previously also promoted alcohol awareness, but in 2011/2012 Easy Tiger was stripped unceremoniously of this duty. The campaign mascot is a person in tiger suit; the tiger itself often has helpers with tiger facepaints.[58]

Your Hall! Your Call!

In 2011 the Students' Union ran a campaign called 'Your Hall! Your Call!' aimed at protesting cuts to the number of wardens and the number of tutors in halls which it was argued would be detrimental to the welfare of students living in halls.[59] Over 3000 students signed a petition against the cuts.[60] The campaign succeeded in its demand for student consultation over the proposed changes.[61]

HMO lobby

In 2011 a campaign was launched to protest against HMO legislation being planned by Nottingham City Council which would require planning permission to be obtained in order to convert houses into HMOs (House of Multiple Occupancy).[62]

Parking Charges

In 2011 a campaign was run against proposals by Nottingham City Council to introduce parking permits for students which would not apply to residents who were not students.

Prizes and Awards

There are currently three levels of awards granted by the Students' Union to graduating students:

  • Ordo Caligulae[63]
  • Honorary Life Membership [63]
  • Union Prize [63]

The Students' Union makes the following awards to non-students:

  • Don Varley Award
  • Golden Jubilee Award

The Ordo Caligulae is the highest award of the Students' Union, and includes Honorary Life Membership of the Students' Union, and consequently members of the Ordo Caligulae enjoy those benefits detailed under Honorary Life Membership. Membership of the Ordo Caligulae (literally, "The Order of the Boot") is granted to those "who have given outstanding contribution to the University of Nottingham Students’ Union." It is probably named after Jesse Boot (later Lord Trent), who was a great benefactor of the University. Members entering the Ordo Caligulae are presented with a cast metal boot on a pedestal at the Union's Annual General Meeting. This is at a substantial expense to the Students' Union when compared with the cost of the other awards. The existence of the Ordo Caligulae is laid down in the Ordinances of the University (Ordinance XI: Union of Students), which are themselves approved by the Privy Council.Honorary Life Membership is conferred on those who have furthered the achievements of the aims of the University of Nottingham Students’ Union.

The Students' Union Constitution lays down certain rights of its members (including Honorary Members):

  1. Take part in functions organised by the Students’ Union.
  2. Become members of all Clubs and Societies affiliated to the Students’ Union.
  3. Attend Union Council, Executive Committee and Standing Committees
  4. Wear official University colours.

(Further rights, such as the ability to stand and vote in Students' Union Elections, are reserved for "Full Members" - those registered as students at the University).In recent years typically five to eight new Honorary Life Members have been created in any year. With typically thirty recipients each year (from a graduating class numbering around 8000) the Union Prize is presented to graduating students of the University of Nottingham in recognition of their contribution to the benefit of the students.


  1. ^ Contact
  2. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » A Right Corcker For President
  3. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » Simon Proven the Papa Smurf
  4. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » Julia Seals the Deal
  5. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » ‘Egg’ucation For All as Goddard Triumphs in SU By-Election
  6. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » ‘Joy’ for Sarah Lewis at Environment & Social Justice Win
  7. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » The Future’s looking Rosie for Equal Opps
  8. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » Sam Le Pard Pounces into the Exec
  9. ^ Tuition Fees - Frequently Asked Questions - The University of Nottingham
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Constitution
  12. ^ A cross-campus referendum is the only decision making process higher than Council
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Exec
  15. ^ Trustees
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Representational Officers
  17. ^ As Melton Hall is solely for postgraduate students and others such as Broadgate Park contain sizable numbers of postgraduate students the term 'Residential Association' is often used in place of JCR
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ Ancaster Hall
  20. ^ Cavendish Hall
  21. ^
  22. ^ Derby Hall
  23. ^ Florence Boot Hall
  24. ^ Hugh Stewart Hall
  25. ^ Lenton and Wortley Hall
  26. ^ Lincoln Hall
  27. ^ Nightingale Hall
  28. ^ Rutland Hall
  29. ^ Sherwood Hall
  30. ^ Willoughby Hall
  31. ^ Newark Hall
  32. ^ Melton Hall
  33. ^
  34. ^ Broadgate Park
  35. ^ Albion House and Cloister House also come under this committee's remit
  36. ^ Raleigh Park
  37. ^ St Peter's Court
  38. ^ Bonington Hall
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b
  41. ^ Black & Minority Ethnic Students
  42. ^ LGBT Network
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ Women's Network
  46. ^ Summer Party 2011
  47. ^ Forum
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i Services
  49. ^ "Activities: Impact Magazine". University of Nottingham Students' Union. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  50. ^ "Record-breaking year for Karnival". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  51. ^ "Karnival Website". University of Nottingham Students' Union. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  52. ^ University of Nottingham Students' Union - Societies
  53. ^ University of Nottingham Students' Union - Volunteering
  54. ^
  55. ^ B-eat @ Nottingham Uni
  56. ^ Exam Stress Campaign
  57. ^ House Hunting
  58. ^ Easy Tiger
  59. ^ Your Hall, your Call!
  60. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » ‘Your Hall, Your Call’
  61. ^ Your Hall, your Call Success!
  62. ^ Powered by Google Docs
  63. ^ a b c SU Prizes and Awards

External links

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