Loughborough Students' Union

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Loughborough Students' Union
Loughborough Students' Union Logo.png
Motto The driving force behind the UK's best student experience
Institution Loughborough University,
Loughborough College,
RNIB College Loughborough
Location Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK
Established 1975
President George Etherington
Members 20,000
Affiliations BUCS
General Manager Andy Parsons
Website www.lsu.co.uk

Loughborough Students' Union (otherwise known as LSU) is the students' union serving members from Loughborough University, Loughborough College and the RNIB College Loughborough.

The Union is unique amongst British universities, in that its premises are owned by the students themselves.[1] The union building sits in the North-Eastern corner of the campus, and consists of two floors. The Union is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Executive, with scrutiny from the Union Affairs Committee.


The union has somewhat unusual origins. Dr Hebert Schofield (q.v.), Principal of Loughborough College from 1915 to 1950, was closely associated with the Students’ Association, even serving as its President despite being the College Principal. He was far-seeing and accumulated land to the East of Loughborough for the College. However, when he could not persuade Leicestershire County Council to pay for the land, he used student monies. Thus, land became vested in the name of the Union of Loughborough Colleges. In the early 1970s, The Union of Loughborough Colleges was relatively asset rich, whereas it had low income. Conversely, Loughborough University of Technology Students’ Union had relatively high capitation fees and income, but few assets. Both unions wanted to develop student facilities on the campus, but there was a dispute as to how best to do this. A scheme was devised whereby the University bought most of the land from Union of Loughborough Colleges and agreed on a land swap so the students would own an area of land adjacent to the Ashby Road on which a new student building was subsequently built. Both student groupings agreed to this and voted to adopt a new joint constitution. Elections were held in March and Loughborough Students’ Union was founded on 1 August 1975. Its founder President was David S Dixon, who held the position in 1975-76.

The Union of Loughborough Colleges[edit]

Established as an umbrella body to represent the students of Loughborough College of Technology, Loughborough College of Education, Loughborough Training College and Loughborough College of Art and Design, The Union of Loughborough Colleges operated from Rutland Lodge. Over the first half of the 20th century, the ULC acquired land which has continued to place its successor unions in a unique position.[2]

Loughborough University of Technology Students Union[edit]

With the splitting of Loughborough College in 1965, and the College of Technology's subsequent application for University status, LUTSU was created to represent the students of the University. At the time the legislation which enabled the creation of the University was understood to require an autonomous Union. LUTSU was created with the approval of Loughborough University of Technology's Royal Charter by the Privy Council in 1966.[2]

LUTSU operated from the Edward Herbert Building (EHB) at the centre of the campus, and hosted concerts with artists such as the Rolling Stones.[2] During the first 3 years of the new institutional arrangements there were various disputes over who owned the land acquired by ULC, which the continuing ULC wanted to sell to fund their own new building. Negotiations led by the University resolved the dispute in August 1975, when LUTSU and ULC merged to form Loughborough Students' Union.

Loughborough Students' Union[edit]

Following the merger the construction of a new students' union building began, although this project was placed in jeopardy by the liquidation of the building firm employed, almost leaving the building unfinished, however the building was completed and opened by Terry Jones and Michael Palin on 20 February 1979


LSU Executive[edit]

The LSU Executive (frequently known as 'The Exec') are the leading representative body of the Students' Union. They are composed of eleven sabbatical officers. In recent years, this has comprised one President, two Vice Presidents or 'VPs', nine Executive Officers or 'E.O.'s' and 3 Development Officers or 'D.O.'s', who each lead a specific sector within LSU. In February 2016, it was announced that the LSU Executive Vice Presidents will be renamed to 'Executive Officers'. 'Exec Elections' occur each year in February and March, whereby a new executive is voted in by the students. Candidates release manifestos, compete in 'Bubble Debates' against each other and promote themselves across campus and on social media in hope of being elected.

The current team is made up of the following:

  • The President (currently George Etherington) is responsible for leading the Executive, and upholding the reputational management of the organisation.
  • VP Affairs and Development (currently Elliya Gemili) is responsible for promoting the union and a democratic system within it. They are to encourage accountability and relevance and develop a strategic plan for the Union.
  • VP Finance and Development (currently Sam Hanys) is the primary member of the executive responsible for the Union's finances and its commercial services including the Venue, Shops and Nursery.
  • Education Executive Officer (currently Anna Holt) is responsible for supporting and improving academic representation for all students represented by LSU.
  • College Executive Officer (currently Josh Thompson) leads the representation for students studying at Loughborough College.
  • Sport Executive Officer (currently Ashlea Prescott) leads the Athletic Union, and represents all students within it.
  • Media Executive Officer (currently Gafyn Donald) ensures high quality, quantity and consumption of LSU Media output.
  • Welfare and Diversity Executive Officer (currently Hannah Keating) concentrates on educating Loughborough Students on Welfare and Diversity issues, and leads multiple campaigns to develop this awareness.
  • Action Executive Officer (currently Anna Milewska) leads the volunteering sector of the Union, and organises all voluntary opportunities available to students across the world.
  • Societies Executive Officer (currently Sam Hill) is responsible for running, supporting and the development of the Societies Federation.
  • Rag Executive Officer (currently Olumide Ojagbemi) leads the Union's charitable sector, RAG.
  • Enterprise & Employability Executive Officer (currently Leo Yang) seeks to inspire and aid students in starting their own business whilst at University.
  • Postgraduate Executive Officer (currently Ian Mararo) works to establish a strong relationship between LSU and the wonderfully diverse postgraduate population

Alongside the full-time sabbatical officers are three Development Officers, who work part-time alongside their studies at the University.

  • Community DO (currently Lizzie Beale) works to develop the welfare of students, involvement of all students in Union activities, and improve the equal opportunities of all in the Loughborough Students' community.
  • International DO (currently Salome Dore) works to further improve Loughborough University and LSU as diverse and multicultural environments by ensuring all students receive the best possible 'Loughborough Experience'.
  • Ethical and Environmental DO (currently James Jones) leads initiatives to develop students' awareness of Ethical and Environmental issues.

The Board of Trustees[edit]

The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for governing the affairs of the Union, but has a duty to consult and take full account of matters referred from the Student Forum as a student representative body whenever appropriate. It makes key decisions on the Union’s financial strategy, assets and delegations, as well as many other important aspects which affect students. It also monitors and directs the objectives and performance of staff members and ensures legal and regulatory compliance within the Union.

The Union Affairs Committee[edit]

The Union Affairs Committee works together as a regulating and procedural body for the union’s activities, sitting below the Board of Trustees in terms of Union Governance. They are responsible for ensuring that any activities such as elections or appeals are completed in accordance with the Constitution, whilst also keeping the Constitution under review to make sure that it is operating effectively. The committee is split into four subcommittees: Governance and Procedure, Discipline, Finance and Management, and Elections.

Student Department Committees[edit]

Loughborough Students' Union has established student run committees in all of Loughborough University's academic departments. The role of these committees is to aid academic-student liaison, enhance academic feedback, increase course involvement and to enhance the Loughborough experience within the departments.

The academic departments committees at Loughborough University are held responsible to the Department Students' Federation.

Sections and student involvement[edit]

The students' union is a constant hive of activity. Along with Loughborough University's numerous sports clubs the union hosts and organises many other activities, clubs and societies catering for a wide range of interests. At the beginning of each academic year the Union Bazaar is held to allow students, especially new arrivals, to talk to existing members of these clubs and societies and to provide an early opportunity to sign up.

Loughborough Students' Athletic Union[edit]

See also Loughborough Students RUFC, Loughborough Students' Men's Hockey Club.

Loughborough Students Athletic Union is steeped in history and has a tradition of sporting excellence, exhibiting a history of dominance across a number of specific sports such as rugby union. Loughborough has dominated the University sport for 30 years and having won the Men's British Universities and Colleges Sport championships for the last 35 years, and the women's competition for the last 28 years.[3]

This success is celebrated through a number of channels, not least the weekly Wednesday Hey Ewe event and Lufbra WOW (Walk On Water) which is a monthly sports publication documents Loughborough's sporting success. The Athletic Union has four full-time staff members and one sabbatical officer, the incumbent for 2015-16 is Luke Thomson.

Loughborough Students' Action[edit]

Action is the main volunteering section of the Union and is a vital in improving the relationships with the local community. Approximately there are 2,000 active volunteers a year, undertaking a wide range of activities, such as going away to a Kids Camp for a week, assisting in special needs schools, running one day sports events for 200 children and helping conserve Outwoods, the local forest, by chopping down trees. The Chairperson, a sabbatical position, is elected in a campus wide ballot, with the VP Action 2015/16 being Rosie Harvey.


LSU runs numerous clubs and societies catering for many different tastes including hot air ballooning, Computer Society, SCOGUI (Scout and Guide club, affiliated to SSAGO) and Labour Students. One of the oldest clubs is the university Motor Club LSUMC. In 2007, Sabrina Johnson, the first Sabbatical Officer with overall responsibility for this section, was elected.

Since then, Societies has been set up, which is the collective group of societies, similar in nature to what the AU is to Loughborough Sport.

Loughborough Students' Rag[edit]

The Rag office is responsible for organising, encouraging and supporting charity fund-raising amongst the union's members, and is the largest of such organisations in Europe, raising over £1,000,000 each year for a variety of charities. In 2013-14, RAG raised £1,411,510. The Chairperson of the organisation is elected via a campus-wide ballot as part of LSU's Spring Term exec elections. He or she is tasked with co-ordinating the busy Rag calendar, which includes Rag Raids, Annual Events and Challenge Events; activities every weekend.

"Choose a Challenge" evening, in LSU building, offers students a chance to sign up to charitable events, including a Sky Dive, A trek to Morocco, London to Paris Cycle, Istanbul Marathon and Rag Raids - bucket shaking in different parts of the country

Further information can be found at http://www.lsu.co.uk/rag/

Further information can be found at http://www.lsu.co.uk/rag/

Loughborough Students' Media[edit]

LSU Media logo

The students' union has its own purpose-built multi-media centre, opened in 1999, it is home to union's media activities which are coordinated by an annually elected sabbatical officer. Previously to this £1.4m development media was spread in various locations, including LCR which was for almost 30 years based in a small set of studios in the Student Village. The Media section provides a number of services for the students on the campus and gives volunteers the chance to experience media work. Since the role's creation in 2007 the Head of Media's responsibilities are aiding the station managers of LSUTV and LCR and being Editor in Chief of Label. The four production outlets are:

Label Magazine is the magazine of Loughborough Students' Union. Evolving from a previous newspaper format inventively titled The Newspaper, Label was launched in 1997 and is distributed around campus and town with 2,500 copies printed each issue. Previously a weekly publication, since 2007 it has been fortnightly, when the role of editor changed from a paid sabbatical officer to a student volunteering position. The magazine launched its website in 2010 at [www.lsu.co.uk/label].

Loughborough Campus Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day during term time on its website [radio.lsu.co.uk]. One of the oldest student radio stations in the UK, LCR started as pirate radio broadcasts from a suitcase in Hazelrigg Hall of residence, during Rag Week 1970. Known as Radio Mule - a small station with a kick it had become so popular after 3 years that the students voted to turn it into a legitimate station, over a student magazine. URL (University Radio Loughborough) was born, and went live on-air in 1973, the name was changed to LCR in 1983. Initially broadcast through induction loops on the roofs of each hall of residence, it was one of the first UK student stations to move to the new free radiating low-powered AM licence in October 1999, with webcasting starting later the same academic year. In 2007 the AM transmitter was severely damaged in a fire, and LCR have continued to be a solely internet station since. At the 2010 Student Radio Awards, LCR picked up the Silver award in the Best Student Station Category. LCR has had some fantastic shows over the years, notably, The Official Start to the Weekend, BUCS Live, The Saturday Sports Show and Good Craic with Tom and JT (radio show of the year 2015/16). 2011/12 saw The J-3-O Show take the prestigious Best Entertainment Show award. Dick Heath's The Alternative Alternative Show (ALT2), has been broadcast since the mid 80's, making it the longest run show on UK student radio - its monthly jazz chart is published in the Jazzwise magazine. Famous voices that once used to be a regular feature on the LCR airwaves include Ore Oduba and Jules Purnell.

LSUTV was established in 2001 as an expansion of the Media Centre, broadcasting online and via SUBtv plasma screens. It works at a professional level and as an independent production company, and produces news, sport and documentaries alongside what The Independent describes as one of the best student programmes, Totty TV.[4] LSUTV has been extremely successful on a national level at the NaSTA Awards. In recent years, Ore Oduba and Sam Darcy have collected Best On-Screen Male, Loughborough Gold has scooped Best Sport and Best Title Sequence and LSUTV's coverage of the Real Varsity in 2008 picked up Best Live. In 2011, LSUTV was the host station for NaSTA. Held in the Piazza area of Loughborough Students' Union, LSUTV scooped Best Sport Programme for a second year, for Loughborough Gold and their coverage of the Dan James Memorial Match in May 2010 won Best Live Programme. In 2016, at the NaSTA awards held by Leeds Students Union Television, LSUTV picked up three awards, winning Best Freshers' Coverage and being highly commended for Technical and Sport.

Match Report is the new flagship brand from LSU Media which aims to showcase all Sport on campus using all four media sections. Co-created by Jack Connor-Richards, Jamie Lynch, Chris Moore and Jennifer Taylor. The show picked up 3 NaSTA Awards in its debut year including Best Sports, Best Live, Mars El Brogy Award for multi-platform content and also highly commended for Technical.

More details can be found at http://media.lsu.co.uk/

Lens, the photography section of LSU Media, was founded in 2014, with the first Head of Lens being Isabella Piggott. Lens was introduced into LSU Media as part of VP Media Bryn Wilkes' manifesto. There is currently a committee of six people. Lens exists to cover as many events involving or affecting Lougborough University and College students. The team also collaborate with Label, LCR and LSUTV to provide photography when necessary.

Facilities and events[edit]

There are a range of retail outlets in and around the Student Union building. The first floor incorporates the Administrative parts of the Student's Union. The ground floor of the Union building consists of three bars.

Weekly events[edit]

At night, Loughborough Students' Union hosts various nights suitable for all students.

Happy Mondays

Stupid Tuesdays is the union's 'silly' night, offering cheaper drink deals and cheesy music for a relaxed evening.

Hey Ewe, on a Wednesday evening, is traditionally the night to celebrate Loughborough's sporting successes from BUCS Wednesday. Three rooms of music are open all night with different events and performers frequently on offer throughout the night. Previous events include a Fifa Tournament and a Darts Competition.

Fresh is LSU's youngest nighttime event, opening for the first time in February 2016. It focusses on fun activities in a none drink lead environment. Fresh offers games and other activities such as a roller disco for students who would prefer something new.

FND has, for over 20 years, been Loughborough's premier night out. Every Friday, the Union opens its doors to thousands of students and frequent performers. FND is considered to be the biggest student club night in the UK.

Subversion is LSU's fortnightly alternative night. Every other Saturday, Rock, Emo, Punk, Metal music and everything in between are provided by LSU's Rock Society DJs.

International Party is a monthly event aimed at Postgraduate and International Students. Global music is played all night and there are games on offer.

Further information about these events can be found at http://www.lsu.co.uk/ents2/

LSU trips[edit]

LSU run frequent trips at weekends, visiting various parts of the country. Recent trips include London, Leeds, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Manchester. Trips are frequently fully booked and offer a chance for students to explore the country.

Free Fest[edit]

Free Fest is an annual free-to-attend outdoor music concert originally organised by the Union's Musicians Society (known as Musoc), which takes place all day on the May Day bank holiday weekend. Originally conceived in 1996 by the then editor of the student magazine Label, Emily Dubberley, as a simple May Day music festival with professional acts, it was enhanced in 1997 when Musoc began to use it as a showcase for student bands. It is now organised by the Technical Department's student production crew.Competition for inclusion in Free Fest is always high, as such it has become necessary to hold Auditions and a Fringe Festival has been added to encompass more acts, this takes place during the penultimate weekend before the main Free Fest. In 2006 around 10 bands performed at Free Fest, including the only non-student act Carlton Cole (who has become something of an institution at FreeFest) and guitarist Dave Rogers. In 2006 Post Fest, an alternative music club night held in Room 1 following the bands, which was originally conceived and run by LSU Rocksoc, was taken over as an official part of the event and featured a wide variety of music from one of LSU's resident DJ's.

From 2009 FreeFest, now a considerable venture, became a two-day event starting on the Sunday, the 2009 event was also the first FreeFest to restrict attendees to drinks purchased from the Union. However, in 2011, due to a desire to save money, the event was toned down, back to being more like the original stage-on-the-back-of-a-lorry event as well as only being held on the one day.

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • Best Students' Union - Whatuni? Student Choice Awards 2015 and 2016
  • Highest Rated Students' Union - Whatuni? Student Choice Awards 2014
  • Best International Experience - National Union of Students Internationalisation Awards 2012
  • Best Student Experience 2006-2012 - Times Higher Education League Table 2006-2012
  • Best Student Experience 2016 - Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey

Internal awards[edit]

  • Loughborough Experience Awards recognises students and staff of Loughborough, all of whom have made an exceptional contribution to the Loughborough Experience.
  • Loughborough Academic Awards celebrate staff and student excellence in learning, teaching and academic representation across the campus. Over 200 people attended the event at the Students' Union, including Deans, Heads of Department and other University staff, student volunteers, union executive members and union staff.[5]
  • Welfare and Diversity, Societies, Rag and Action Awards recognise individuals and teams who make a considerable impact to their section throughout the year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/may/01/universityguide.highereducation71 Loughborough University | Education | Education Guardian [Accessed 26 July 2008]
  2. ^ a b c http://lufbra.net/clubs_RenderPage.asp?clubid=4844&pageid=18087 Loughborough Students' Union, President's pages, A bit of history!!, accessed 20 June 2006
  3. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/sunday_times_university_guide/article2496178.ece Loughborough University - Times Online [Accessed 26 July 2008]
  4. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/analysis-university-tv-stations-467819.html Analysis: University TV Stations - Media, News - The Independent [Accessed 22 July 2008]
  5. ^ "Current Students and Staff". www.lboro.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 

External links[edit]