UWE Students' Union
|Motto||Enhancing the Student Experience|
|Institution||University of the West of England|
|Location||F Block, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, UK|
The University of the West of England Students' Union, often abbreviated to UWESU, is the students' union of the University of the West of England. Formerly known as Bristol Polytechnic Students' Union (BPSU), and founded in 1971, it changed name in 1992, in line with the parent institution becoming a university. In the 2011-2012 academic year, UWESU celebrated 40 years as UWE Students' Union and unveiled a new logo.
The union has a turnover of some £2 million per annum, aside from the university's block grant contribution, although it suffered a deficit in 2006. It operates representational and support services, including the "JobShop" (a casual agency for student-friendly employers), a student advice centre and various bars and shops.
The union affiliates with the NUS; in 2006, an 89% majority voted to retain this affiliation, despite a history of criticisms the union shares with other UK universities. The university maintains a large number of enrolled students, contributing to the student union's status as one of the larger such institutions, and it enjoys a reputation for running one of the largest "fresher's fairs" annually.
Role and constitution
The main purpose of the union is to represent student interests within the university. It is presently organised such that a trustee-level responsibility lies with five individual members of the union, elected by their peers. The most recent election was held in March 2013.
In 2011, a new constitution was adopted, creating a new fifth Sabbatical role, an adoption of Officer roles and a change of committee structures. These committees include: The Student Representative Committee, the Sports Committee, Community and Welfare Committee and the Societies and Communications Committee. Committee meetings are convened by their respective presidents at least three times a year, and are the highest-level decision making body before the Annual General Meeting, which all students may attend.
The Students' Union is led by 5 full-time officers: President, Vice President Education, Vice President Sport and Health, Vice President Community and Welfare, Vice President Societies and Communication. There are also a number of part-time unpaid officers, and elected executive committee members, who play vital roles assisting their respective Vice President in their duties whilst also acting as another point of contact for students.
While largely based at the university's main Frenchay campus, there are site offices at the Bower Ashton, Glenside, St Matthias and Hartpury campuses. The union also operates facilities such as bars and shops at the Frenchay, Bower Ashton, Glenside and St Matthias sites, with the intention of providing students with better value for money, and as a platform for developing social programmes.
Sports, Societies and Networks
UWESU has a wide range of activities for students to participate, from Sports to Societies to Networks.
UWESU was one of the first Students' Unions to give faith, culture and campaign based groups the title of 'Networks' rather than categorising them as Societies. UWESU has a range of Networks from Mature Students, to Welsh Students to Christian Union, to Mental Health Campaign.
UWESU has over 50 societies which range from Good Food, to Forensic Science, to Hide and Seek. Societies are ideal way for students to meet people, get more out of university, and learn new skills.
There is also a wide range of sports including Snow Sports, Polo and Netball. UWESU's Sports Teams have had many achievements over time including Women's Football winning the BUSA Shield Final in 2006, and Netball who gained a place in the BUCS Trophy final in 2006.
While the union has a primary role in representing student interests, it also seeks to provide extracurricular opportunities for its members, which are aimed at enriching student experiences and responsibilities. For example, there is a strong commitment to encouraging volunteer work among the student community.
The union has a long history of organising events and entertainment for its members, including the popular "Crunchie", a themed night held in the main "Red" bar on Frenchay campus until its closure in early 2009, having been since replaced with similar events depending on what week of the month it is.
UWESU produce a monthly newspaper entitled WesternEye, created by an in-house team of students with a full-time paid editor.
A student radio station, Hub Radio, was launched in September 2004. The station is run by and for UWE students and is a part of the SRA. Hub Radio is currently broadcast via the Internet and across Bristol on 1449 AM.
- Solomon Hare Audit LLP, UWE Students' Union Financial Statements July 2006
- Students' Union, UWE. "Constitution". UWE SU. Retrieved 05/09/11.