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- (Closes 06/01/14 09:00)
SUSU has over 100 full-time staff, and nearly 300 support staff with a range of different roles, responsibilities and skills.
Please click on a section or department to find out more about them, or you can view the whole staff structure from the link at the bottom of the page.
Head of Finance
Head of Comms, Marketing & Technology
Head of Membership & Community Engagement
Head of People Development
Head of Commercial Development
Health & Safety
(Shared with university)
The Finance Section has identified its core purpose as to provide information that will assist all other departments make the financial decisions needed to develop and implement their visions.
This translates as their being responsible for reporting on the financial performance of SUSU, to achieve this they obviously manage all the transactions and in addition take responsibility for ensuring solid systems and procedures exist for the protection of our assets.
A team of eight people oversee the accounts function, handling some £4,000,000 in cash and over £1,000,000 in card payments. All purchase and staff wages are processed through this busy department, the payroll is split between monthly paid core staff and 4 weekly support staff. In the last reported 12 month period we had 650 different people on the payroll. All SUSU’s finances are processed on Sage 200 and together Business Intelligence reporting package reports can be generated at any time.
Management accounts are prepared for submission to the Finance Sub Committee of the Board on a monthly basis. These are presented alongside monthly phased budgets with a narrative from the Head of Finance – who heads up this section. In addition each Board meeting receives latest information soon to be presented the form of the Charity SORP along with the management accounts.
The Finance Section also manages SUSU’s transport fleet. We own and contract hire 6 vehicles for clubs and societies use and also provide a successful safety bus on club nights which allows affordable transport home from our late night events to their home.
Membership & Community Engagement
Lead by our Head of Membership & Community Engagement, this section exists to develop involvement and engagement amongst our members. Whether we are removing barriers in their lives, negotiating and campaigning for improvements or supporting student led activities, our goal is to enhance their experience at university. All of this involves the closest working relationship with our elected officers.
Our Union Plan to 2015 sets ambitious aspirations for our work towards our mission. Leadership of these goals is taken on by the senior leadership team, with a large share falling to our Head of Membership & Community Engagement. We are keen to make substantial improvements to the support we are able to give to our students in developing and delivering their activities, campaigns and representation.
Recent areas of work priority include leading our changes to register as a charity, updating our student group practices with regard to safekeeping and updating all of our rules to conform to our new Memorandum and Articles of Association. In the future we are anticipating a focus on developing over-arching strategies to deepen and broaden our membership engagement, develop our provision to students based at various sites and strengthen our participation within local communities.
There are 3 departments within the section: Democracy, Student Activities, Advice & Representation
A core aspiration in our Union Plan to 2015 is to maximise involvement in our decision making processes. A central plank of this is to make sure these activities are transparent to all our members and that all students have access to our leadership, voluntary and representative opportunities.
Our democracy team aim to ensure all students are able to unlock their full potential through accessing, understanding, and engaging with SUSU democratic opportunities and decision making throughout their student-cycle. In their departmental plan for this year, we have identified these three core goals:
- Develop and maintain a strong reliable foundation of democratic systems and procedures
- Ensure all students have access to our leadership and representative opportunities
- Engage students within a culture of influence through participation throughout their student life cycle
This department is still relatively new. We employ a co-ordinator and an assistant in the team. As there is no manager within the structure a good deal of direction is provided by the Head of Membership & Community Engagement.
The Student Activities Department exists to encourage and support all students to engage in an exciting programme of innovative student-led activities, projects and events. Student Activities is very much at the heart of student-led activity in SUSU and plays an essential role in maximising the benefits our members gain from their non-academic life.
Elected officers, through their committees, decide which activities will deliver the best possible engagement opportunities for student members. The Student Activities staff team supports and provides continuity for these committees both by providing knowledgeable advice and experience and by providing administrative support. Currently the staff team of nine are based across two sites and support the following activity zones of SUSU
- Sports: supporting and developing our sports-focussed student groups within this activity zone
- External Engagement: including community action, student fundraising and enterprise and liaison with external bodies to the joint benefit of our members and our local community
- Student Communities: this zone includes our Junior Common Room (JCRs) supporting students in Halls of residence, International, Postgraduate, Site-based and other communities of students
- Creative Industries: supporting and developing our creative industry-focussed student groups (e.g. media, performing arts etc.)
Advice & Representation
As the legitimate voice of our members, it is critical that SUSU consistently and effectively represents student interest and delivers on well thought through campaigns and other representation activity that has a positive impact on students’ lives. The Advice & Representation Department was created to act as the students' watchdog, constantly identifying barriers to the student experience and campaigning for positive change, whilst continuing to deliver an excellent advice service.
This year’s departmental plan identifies three core goals:
- We will ensure that all key audiences are aware of, and that all students can access, a first class Advice Centre service wherever they may be
- We will be the students' watchdog, consistently identifying and acting on any issue detrimentally affecting the student experience
- Making change happen by supporting our elected representatives to campaign effectively
In more detail, the department delivers the following:
- Development and maintenance of a strong platform on which our representatives are fully supported and inspired to carry out their role with courage and conviction, leading to real change
- Provision of an independent and confidential quality advice and support service which is easily accessible to all students, wherever they may be, firmly placing students at the centre of everything we do
- Proactively support our representatives in the research, creation and implementation of policy
- Understand and promote change for better student life
- Development and provision of a system to ensure tight and efficient cross referral of issues across the Union
- Plan and deliver effective campaigning for change
- Deliver a pro-active and responsive service, dedicated to overcome barriers to success
The A & R Department is headed up by the Advice & Representation Manager. In addition we employ four Student Advisers who give individual information, advice and representation service to students and monitor, research, analyse and advise on relevant local, national and global policy. Our Policy & Representation Co-ordinator provides and co-ordinates support, advice and training for student officers and representatives. The team is supported by two Administrative Assistants with Student Staff as required
Our People Development section delivers our aspiration to unlock the potential of ALL our people. So unusually, they are responsible for all the usual HR functions and ensuring our elected officers and volunteers are given the support and skills they need to excel.
It is made up of three staff teams: Personnel, People Development and Office Support.
The Head of People Development is responsible, in essence, for the recruitment, retention, development and departure of our people.
The Personnel team enable staff to unlock their potential and enrich their working life through developing and implementing a range of policies, processes and procedures to manage the people of the organisation. Their work is guided by policies established by the Staffing Sub-Committee of Trustee Board.
Their core coals are to unlock the potential of all staff through the implementation of appropriate people development strategies; to enable managers to recruit, retain and develop the best possible staff to support SUSU in its work; and to develop an inclusive environment that welcomes, supports and values diversity and the contribution of individuals.
The People Development team invest in and offer support to all our people which allows them to develop to their full potential. Their core goals are to unlock the potential of all volunteers and staff through training; to recognise and celebrate excellence and celebrate both within SUSU and beyond; and to develop an inclusive environment that welcomes, supports and values diversity and the contribution of individuals.
The Office Support department provide an effective administrative and reception service to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Sabbatical Offices, supporting the leaders of their organisation in their work.
We recognise our commercial and trading services as critical to the success of SUSU. In particular they offer the first or main point of contact for many of our members. They bring visitors to our spaces and generate revenue for us to invest in our other core activities. We are working to ensure our customer service standards are second to none and that our values are reflected throughout our operations. The demands on our operations continue to grow as legislation increases, competition remains tough and our members are ever more demanding. We are also keen to diversify our income streams and improvements commercially form an important part of this strategy.
SUSU currently operates bars, entertainments, shops and catering outlets across our main Highfield Union location, halls bars in Southampton and entertainment from within the WSA Café in Winchester. Currently scheduled for a January 2014 opening will be the SUSU Letting Agency to be situated within our main buildings at Highfield.
Total trading turnover projected for the current year is £4.2m, with a surplus approaching £335k.
In addition this section includes our facilities operation, which currently has a revenue expenditure budget of over £600,000 including building rent. We have aspirations to develop a master plan and an annual investment plan in our facilities in order to deliver the outlets and spaces relevant to our members needs and aspirations. Finally this team is home to our Health & Safety work, which we do in close collaboration with the University of Southampton.
We continually invest in our physical space that has seen over recent years extensive projects as diverse as our entrances and concourse area, a new catering seating area and a totally refurbished shop. At Highfield we recently invested £500k to extensively refurbish our Bridge Bar that now delivers high quality cuisine with an extensive range of wine, spirits and beers in arguably the best surroundings on campus. We have also worked closely with the university on delivering the new WSA Café at Winchester which has seen investment of over £750k on a new shared facility providing both services from SUSU and university catering. We are keen to ensure our facilities remain attractive and relevant to our members by establishing a rolling programme of investment.
Each commercial department within the section is headed up by an experienced operational manager.
- The Union Shop
- New developments
- The Letting Agency (January 2014)
The whole section is headed up by our Head of Commercial Development.
The facilities team are focused on providing excellent facilities ensuring the all of the spaces SUSU occupies are safe, clean and ready to accommodate all the activities, around the clock. Maintenance and physical refurbishments are handled in conjunction with the University Estates and Facilities team who offer guidance and support on an array of technical matters.
We have recently completed a £250,000 refurbishment of level 4 within the main SUSU building (building 42) providing enhanced welcoming facilities to our members in this increasingly popular hub within SUSU. We have also recently engaged a dedicated Health & Safety and Environmental Health Officer to continue to develop our Health & Safety needs throughout the organisation. We are committed to being environmentally aware and to reducing our operational costs throughout our operation, in particular our utilities and waste management processes.
A new room bookings system will soon be introduced with a view to developing our internal booking systems along with increasing a conferencing and external markets. Responsibility is centred around the University’s Highfield campus and extends to our spaces in Winchester and other outlying sites.
The Bars Department aim to be the hub of social life providing good times, friendships and memories throughout a variety of licensed venues on the Highfield Campus, halls of residences throughout Southampton and the Union at Winchester. With a turnover of £880k the main aim of the department is to enhance the student experience by providing a wide variety of safe venues where the Union’s members and guests can socialise both on campus at Southampton and Winchester and within four of the University Halls of Residence.
The Catering team deliver a high quality competitive catering service at SUSU whilst aiming to generate a trading surplus. They are responsible for the Café, open 7 days a week in term time and 5 days week in vacations it offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wide variety of refreshments and snacks. Located on Level 3 of the main Students' Union building it is the largest catering outlet. This team also provides the food menu for the Bridge Bar whilst operating vending facilities and providing catering for functions and meetings for the Union and university. Total catering turnover is currently over £700k.
The Entertainments Department aims to be at the heart of delivering great nights out throughout our venues and facilities.
The current programme includes regular weekly events on the Highfield campus such as Friday Nights, The Laughter Lounge comedy club, Karaoke, Quiz Night and the open-mic night ‘The Living Room’. In addition to regular events the Ents team produce our annual major events, presenting an excellent Freshers programme and making all of our prestige events the most anticipated within the social calendar. These include Freshers Ball, Graduation Ball, Excellence in Volunteering Awards and the AU Ball. A regular programme of live events is planned in conjunction with external promoters.
In addition the team programme events at our halls bars and the Winchester campus.
Many of the events at the Students’ Union are promoted by student groups. The Entertainments team is also responsible for ensuring they have all the information, knowledge and support they require to ensure their events reach the same high standards expected of all of our events.
The annual turnover is over £290k with the aim of financially contributing to SUSU. Our specific goals for the coming year are to increase attendance and satisfaction at SUSU events. This may be through review of the current programme or by adding new events.
Situated on the Highfield campus the Shop caters for all our members’ consumer needs. The shop aims to deliver a customer focused dynamic retail experience to the highest possible standards whilst providing a diverse range of high quality, competitively priced and ethically sound products. The Shop has an annual turnover of £2.2m and is open 7 days a week in term time and 5 days a week in vacations.
Communications, Marketing & Technology
The Communications, Marketing & Technology Section (affectionately referred to as CMT) has the simple task of making sure our members know what is going on. It ensures that communications is firmly on the SUSU agenda, as well as delivering marketing services for our activities across the organisation. Responsibility for Technology also falls within this team. This is a clear recognition that technology is not just about IT.
Our aim is to know our membership and to unlock the potential and enrich the lives of our members through SUSU. We do this by employing innovative, engaging marketing methods, communicating in a relevant way, ensuring two way conversations through various channels, delivering at the cutting edge of technology and media and maximising revenue generation through media sales to external clients.
We work to high standards. We seek to provide the processes, systems and shared enthusiasm to support all SUSU departments and officers in achieving their goals and plans.
The CMT Team focuses on the following 7 areas:
- Design & Print
- Market Research
- Advertising Sales and Sponsorship
- IT and Technology
- Technical Support
This work is managed through the three teams of Communications, Marketing and Technology which are headed up by the Head of CMT.
The Communications Team
The Communications team shape and inform the direction and content of our website, whilst ensuring that we are on trend and up to date in our use of social media. They embrace technological solutions to enable our members to engage with us, working closely with other teams in the department to do this.
The Marketing team aims to drive SUSU forward by knowing our key audiences better than anyone else and engaging with them proactively. They lead on the implementation of our brand, and maximising opportunities to grow our involvement
The Technology team is responsible for developing innovative software solutions to serve our business needs, along with the provision and maintenance of our IT hardware and software. They also provide the technical support for our venues and events, including staging and lighting to ensure that our members receive a professional quality entertainments experience.
Advertising & Sponsorship
Advertising and Sponsorship is a fundamental element of the Communications, Marketing and Technology section’s work. This new role is crucial to delivering the objectives identified in the Advertising & Sponsorship Development Plan which include:
- Creating a clear SUSU advertising and sponsorship proposition / media pack
- Introducing a sponsors and key prospect engagement programme
- Identifying new prospects
- Agreeing and implementing key policies regarding permitted advertisers / sponsors; destination of income generated; data protection; and protocols for student officers, student groups and other SUSU departments.
The Advertising and Sponsorship Co-ordinator will lead on these activities, with occasional assistance from support staff. Their work will be central to achieving the objectives outlined above.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety is at the heart of everything we do. The department is responsible for the development and implementation of all health and safety policy in SUSU. The department is key to bringing about a positive H & S culture and to ensuring that workplaces and events are safe, healthy and effective for use for the benefit of all Union ad venue users.
In May 2010, Union Council mandated sabbatical officers to respond to the increasingly prevalent issue of students in Southampton being taken advantage of by landlords. The policy stated that a business case for a SUSU-run letting agency must be written to explore the feasibility of such a scheme, which would see SUSU affording control over an element of student life that has proven to be severely troubling.
Almost three years later and what the Union noted at the time is not only still true but seems to have worsened; international student numbers have multiplied, resulting in a higher percentage of our students being particularly vulnerable, and the indefatigable profligacy of rogue landlords, as acknowledged by recent government measure to tighten regulations on Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).
It is therefore the intention to open a Lettings Agency early in 2014.
You can view our whole staff structure by clicking here
*structure current as of 1st June 2013