The Union MMU

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The Union MMU
InstitutionManchester Metropolitan University
LocationOxford Road, Manchester, England
Established1970 (as Manchester Polytechnic Students' Union)
PresidentAmie Atkinson
TrusteesSabbatical officers plus 3 external trustees
Membersc. 37,500[1]
AffiliationsNUS, NUSSL, AMSU

The Union MMU is the students' union of Manchester Metropolitan University, an institution of higher education and research in North West England. Named MMUnion until August 2014; Manchester Metropolitan Students' Union (MMSU), until July 2005; and Manchester Polytechnic Students' Union (MPSU) before the institution gained its university status in 1992.

The union has buildings on the All Saints campus in Manchester and also the Crewe campus in Cheshire. The union is affiliated to the National Union of Students (NUS).

The union has an independent advice centre available for all students at the University as well as an activities centre for the sports clubs and societies at MMU.


The Union MMU

The union is controlled by the Union Officers Group formed of 6 current students and graduates of the university, elected by the students to control the Union on their behalf.

Structure pre 2008 Governance Review[edit]

Prior to the 2008 review of the Union's governance structures, there were 17 Executive Officers each with their own areas of responsibility in addition to acting in the interests of the Union as a whole.

Seven of the officers were sabbaticals. Two sabbaticals based in MMU Cheshire and the other five in Manchester. The ten remaining officers were based across both campuses, were non-sabbaticals and studied during their term in office receiving no payment.

The Union's sovereign body was Student Council, to which all committees, representatives and officers, either directly or indirectly, were answerable. The Student Council, chaired by an independent non-executive student, was composed of the Executive Committee and students elected from each faculty of the university. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Athletic Unions, and one representative of each Societies Union were ex officio members of the council.

Structure from 2009[edit]

Board Of Trustees[edit]

From the start of 2009, the highest level of governance has been the Board of Trustees, composed of the sabbatical officers and up to 3 external trustees, and 1 co-opted trustee.;[2] The Trustee Board has the ability to call binding referendums on issues and motions as it sees fit, referendums may also be called by students directly by secure petition.

Union Officers Group[edit]

Policy decisions are made by the Union Officers Group, which meets fortnightly. The Union Officers Group consists of six sabbatical officers, and no non-sabbaticals, as of the 2009/10 academic year. The Union Officers Group is held accountable to and must prepare a report to Student Forums.;[2]

The Union Officers Group is structured as;[3]

  • President: Amie Atkinson
  • Vice President (Cheshire): Andy Young
  • Education Officer: Lucy Follon
  • Sports Officer: Ross Sharmon
  • Wellbeing Officer: Andy Harmon
  • Societies and Development Officer: Anna Welsh

Student Forums[edit]

Student Forums are open to all students, held 5 times a year to discuss any pertinent topic relating to the student experience or Union provision in order to receive feedback and shape the Union’s work in that area. Student Forums are based around 3 Areas

  • Better Union - a Forum for discussion of opinions, ideas and plans based around improvements to the union
  • Better University - a Forum for discussion of opinions, ideas and plans around improvement to academics and university related issues
  • Better Manchester / Crewe - a Forum for discussion of opinions ideas and plans around improving student lives and reputations in the community.

Forums will be run both in meeting form and online via Twitter and email submissions. Any student will be able to submit ideas and changes to these forums and they will then be put up for debate. If a consensus of agreement is reached then the union will pass the policy to the Trustee Board for final approval. If this motion is turned down by those present, it will be rejected and sent back to the owner.

If a consensus cannot be reached the decision will be put to a whole student referenda to allow larger debate and discussion and voting on the issue.

Student Groups[edit]

Student Groups are to be chaired by elected Student Reps. They fill the criteria of aiding to represent hard to reach, less engaged and under represented groups of students ranging from Mature and Postgrad, International and LGBT.

Sports and societies[edit]

The union supports current students to manage and run all the official sports clubs and societies at the University. With separate clubs and societies run at Manchester and Cheshire campuses. There are a range of societies on offer, ranging from LGBT to Sci-fi.

Media & Music[edit]

Student Media is an expanding area of the union. Hive Radio, MMU's student radio station, is a very active society, using its resources within the university and their technical ability to help promote their own activity, as well as expand into other areas of interest, such as sports commentating, radio dramas, and online journalism through the Hive Radio website, reviewing music events & performances in Manchester and surrounding areas, films, and other issues of interest.


The main campaign for the union in 2012 has been 'The Real Cost' campaign. This is based around students being given the real cost upfront of being a student at MMU and revealing everything considered a 'hidden cost' this included things such as work books, club and society memberships, printing and technical supplies. The union is currently looking at working with MMU to banish these to allow MMU students better control of their finances.

In recent years the students' union have successfully campaigned against Business School exams being held in a tent,[4][5] and supported Shane Ward on his way to winning The X Factor.[6] It also started a scheme of co-operative housing for students in Manchester.[7]

The union also successfully lobbied for access privileges to be reinstated, for students of MMU, at the John Rylands University Library of the University of Manchester.[8][9]

The union is currently campaigning on the £2.7 million of bursaries that the university predicted to, but hasn't, paid out to its students in the last year.[10] This is part of a wider campaign on education funding and the union is supporting and promoting the National Union of Students' Broke & Broken campaign.[11]

The union won a campaign in 2008 to extend the library hours until midnight and is currently working on to make 24-hour computer drop-in-centre available for students.

The union, together with the MMU LGBT society and the National Union of Students,[12] are running the Please Give Blood Because I Can't campaign, lobbying and demonstrating against the National Blood Services lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men from giving blood. They are running a series of demonstrations in Manchester city centre to raise awareness and encourage people to give blood on behalf of a healthy gay man who cannot,[13] in which the President of the union and Chair of Student Council gave blood. Debates are also being held on the issue.

Late Campaign[edit]

In autumn 2008 the union launched the Late Campaign[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] after consultation with Course Reps, who expressed concern that students were suffering because of late and cancelled lectures that were never rearranged - The Late Campaign was organised to find out how many students across MMU were finding this to be the case.

The University Student Agreement (the statement that the University agreed would be the principles of an MMU education) says that “staff will give reasonable notice of changes to the teaching timetable and will arrange for classes to be re-scheduled or for alternative delivery of the content, or will explain why this is not possible”.

The Students' Union have stated they "think that this is the best way to test whether that's actually happening and to help identify where there are problem areas."

"This is a variation on traditional course rep activity, collecting information in a way that is easier for modern students. We fully understand that lectures may need to be cancelled and re-arranged for legitimate reasons and believe that it is crucial to establish a means of measuring the impact of cancelled lectures. We have faith that the results will demonstrate the professional approach adopted by the majority of staff" Nicola Lee, President

Union Buildings[edit]

The Union has a presence and buildings on all MMU campuses


Originally occupying the Righton Building on the corner of Cavendish Street and Lower Ormond Street, the union moved in 1982 to a purpose built building at 99 Oxford Road. The new building was opened by Bobby Charlton and in 1984 it was named the Mandela Building after Winnie Mandela, during the ANC Year of the Woman. Following the death of Stompie Moeketsi in 1989, an event with which Winnie Mandela was linked, moves were made to change the name to something less controversial and for a time it was named the Bruce Forsyth building after the popular entertainer. The name was dropped shortly after.

A Barclays Bank mini-branch was opened in the building shortly after the bank had cut its links with apartheid South Africa, following an NUS lead campaign.

The Union's facilities were arranged over 4 floors and included;

  • Ground Floor; Reception, Barclays ATM, The Union Shop, Icycle and the Student Officers Office.
  • First Floor; "The met" union bar and club, opened in September 2009, formerly K2 nightclub.
  • Second Floor; Student Activities Centre, the VP Student Activities office and a campaigns, societies and students open space.
  • Third Floor; Student Advice Centre, accredited as a Community Legal Service. Union Administration, Finance Office, Committee Meeting Rooms and Conference Facilities.

In January 2015, the union moved to a new purpose built building on the All Saints campus, directly adjacent to the university's Cambridge and Cavendish Halls of Residence, on Cambridge Street, next to the Salutation pub, which the Union now runs.[21] The new building incorporates a dance studio, radio studio, media suite, and conferencing facilities, as well as a new large open multi purpose space which is used for club nights, fashion shows, a games lounge, and stalls and campaigns where required.


The Union Building was greatly expanded in 2009 using large studio space given by the University to the Students' Union.[22] The New union building now has a prominent position at the centre of the Crewe campus. The new Union Building has a large retail area, a new Student Advice Centre office, accredited as a Community Legal Service, Student Activities centre, Finance Office, Committee Meeting Rooms, Internet Cafe and the Offices of the Vice President (Cheshire) and Vice President (Student Activities Cheshire).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Archived from the original (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet) on 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  2. ^ a b "MMUnion Constitution Articles Of Governance" (PDF). MMUnion. 2009-02-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Student fury over tent exams". Manchester Evening News. 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  5. ^ "Students take final exams in tent". BBC News Online. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  6. ^ "X Factor: Shayne's got the student vote". Manchester Evening News. 2005-11-11. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  7. ^ "Housing co-op plans for students". BBC News Online. 2004-03-03. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  8. ^ "MMU Student use of the John Rylands Library Reinstated!". MMUnion. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2008-11-09.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Students banned from university library". Manchester Evening News. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  10. ^ Curtis, Polly (2008-01-24). "12,000 students miss chance of bursaries worth up to £12m". London: Education Guardian. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  11. ^ "Broke & Broken". National Union of Students. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  12. ^ "Donation not discrimination". National Union of Students. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  13. ^ "Who can't give blood". The National Blood Service. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  14. ^ "Late". MMUnion. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  15. ^ "Students can 'snitch' on teachers". BBC News Online. 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  16. ^ Qureshi, Huma (2009-05-16). "Snitch on a tutor? It's your call". London: Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  17. ^ "Students' union accused of snooping on lecturers". Times Higher Education. 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  18. ^ "Lecturer Late? Send The Union A Text". Student Direct. 2009-04-12. Archived from the original on 2011-03-12. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  19. ^ Sugden, Joanna (2009-04-30). "Students 'spying' on lecturers who turn up late". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  20. ^ "Texting highlights teaching delays". Financial Times. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  21. ^ "MMUnion On The Move". MMUnion. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  22. ^[permanent dead link]