The University of Southampton Students’ Union (SUSU) is the representative body for all of the 23,000 students who study at the University of Southampton. Our work is extensive and is guided by the following five aims.
The Students' Union is an autonomous organisation, with its own governances, finances and employees. We work independently of the University, although we receive invaluable grant income from them each year. The Union has recently registered as a charity and been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. Seven full-time student officers (sabbaticals) are elected annually from the student body to work full time to lead and direct the organisation and to represent the students. They in turn support 30 Student Leaders who directly lead various activity areas of the Union. Our trustee board is made up of 6 sabbaticals, 6 students and 4 external trustees.
The wide range of services the Students’ Union runs includes the well-established Advice Centre, which provides comprehensive and professional advice and advocacy for all University students. The Union supports over 70 sports clubs and more than 150 societies covering a whole spectrum of sports and special interest societies and has developed a significant number of opportunities for students to undertake volunteering work with the local community. Students run various campaigns through the Union on issues such as Higher Education Funding cuts, tuition fees, health awareness and housing advice. We also support a highly successful course representative scheme.
Our commercial operations provide important services to our members and generate valuable funds to allow the Union to fulfil its purpose. Trading turnover is more than £4m pa, so it is a significant part of our activity. The range is also substantial with 10 bars (including our own nightclub), a large shop, a cinema, 3 catering outlets and a range of tenants, including a hairdressing salon.
To support all of these activities and areas, the Union has an established staff team of over 100 and more than 300 temporary and student staff. The Students' Union recognises its responsibilities as an employer. This means that our basic employment practices are designed to provide a rewarding environment for everyone who works within the Union. Significantly, the Students' Union is a genuinely student led organisation. As well as our trustees more than 1,000 of our members are active in leadership roles within our various activities.