University of Sheffield Students' Union

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University of Sheffield Students' Union
Logo of the University of Sheffield Union of Students
Institution University of Sheffield
Location Western Bank, Sheffield, England
Established 1906
President Yael Shafritz [1]
Other sabbatical officers
  • Activities Officer: Clio Symington[1]
  • Education Officer: Malaka Mohammed Shwaikh[1]
  • International Students' Officer: José Joaquín Díaz de Aguilar Puiggari[1]
  • Sports Officer: Jonny Block[1]
  • Union Development Officer: Jack Wyse[1]
  • Welfare Officer: Tom Harrison[1]
  • Women's Officer: Miriam Miller[1]
Members 25664 student members[2] (2013)
Affiliations National Union of Students, Aldwych Group, National Postgraduate Committee, Nightline, UKCOSA, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce
Website Sheffield Students' Union

The University of Sheffield Students' Union is the representative body of students at the University of Sheffield. It is run by a team of eight elected sabbatical officers.

Aims and policies[edit]

The Students' Union aims to "advance the education of Students" by "representing the students of the University locally and nationally, organising services and activities to meet their needs" and "taking positive measures to encourage and build a student community which respects and celebrates the diversity of its membership".[3]

The Students' Union, its officers and staff are bound by democratically chosen policies and are reviewed every three years (unless circumstances warrant a more frequent review).[4]

Education policies[edit]

The Students' Union campaigns for the abolition of all tuition fees, introduction of financial support for postgraduate students, reinstatement of public investment in education as a social good, and against cuts to education.[4]

Environmental and ethical policies[edit]

The Students' Union maintains an environmental policy, undertaking the Students' Union to: educate its members on the issue of climate change, implement an Environment Code of Best Practice, call on the University to reduce its environmental footprint, lobby local authorities to work towards a sustainable Sheffield.[4] Nestlé products are banned within the Students' Union and its commercial services and the Students' Union has no dealings with the company due to its "unfair exploitation of third world countries".[4] As the result of a referendum in 2012, the Students' Union has introduced a 'strong anti-arms trade policy', and has consistently lobbied the University since to divest itself of any involvement with the international arms trade.[5] In a referendum in 2011, students of Sheffield Students' Union approved a policy to stop selling bottled water and replace it with a series of free drinking fountains and affordable, re-usable bottles.[6] The bottled water ban was upheld following a referendum in October 2014,[7] and will remain in place until 2017. The Student's Union council gave its support to the Go Fossil Free campaign by passing a motion in spring 2014.[8] This global divestment movement, initiated by, encourages investors to remove their financial support for companies involved in the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels; activities which must be stopped in order to limit anthropogenic global warming.

Representative policies[edit]

The Students' Union has LGBT friendly policy, ensuring that all activities, facilities, services, organisations and events are LGBT friendly.[4]


The Union is run by a variety of working, representative and standing committees, presided over by the Student Union Council (SUC) and eight elected full-time sabbatical officers. These elected officers are supported by a number permanent staff led by the General Manager Steve Hubbard, who took over the reins from Paul Blomfield in late 2010. It is a constituent member of the NUS.


Concourse during Intro Week

The Union has turnover of around £11,000,000. It provides for over 270 student societies,[9] and contains a student employment service, two bars, four club venues, and outlets for food, drink, clothing and stationary.[10]

'Bar One' is a traditional student bar, while 'The Interval' is described as a "continental style cafe/bar".[by whom?] Both bars hold pre-club nights with music and special events, and serve food and drinks. 'Bar One' was previously the longest union bar in the country. The union contains one of the largest beer gardens in Sheffield.[citation needed]


The Union holds a variety of student club nights throughout the week at the Fusion and Foundry and the Octagon Centre. These include pop music nights ROAR! (Wednesday) and Pop Tarts (Saturday), Drum and Bass/Dubstep night The Tuesday Club and chart/dance night Space. Space is held in the Octagon on Fridays as the Fusion and Foundry hosts monthly nights such as Climax (LGBT night) and Cuba Libre. Several times a year, large, multi-venue events, such as Freshers Mania and Carnival, are held, attracting over 3000 students. Other one-off events include the International Cultural Evening, World Food Festival, Intro Fiesta, Christmas Cracker, Big Night Out, Summer Social, Scary Tarts and Freshers Ball.

The Union, under its obligation as part of the NUS to provide 24-hour support for students, funds Sheffield University Nightline, a telephone and email based listening and information service run by student volunteers from the University.

Societies and clubs[edit]

The Union has a list of approximately 300 societies and clubs, all run through a section of the union named "The Activities and Sports Zone".

Film Unit, the Union's Film Committee, shows three films a week during term time on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Films are played in a cinema with a capacity of nearly 400, equipped with commercial 35 mm film projectors and a Dolby Digital sound system. suTCo (Sheffield University Theatre Company) produce nine plays a year at the Drama Studio, a studio theatre converted from a church, as well as the biennial 24 Hour Charity Musical - rehearsed, choreographed, designed and produced within a 24-hour period. The Technical Services Committee (TSC) are volunteers responsible for the setting up and running of equipment at the aforementioned club nights and live events at the Union.

Publications and broadcasting[edit]

The union's publication and broadcasting is branded under the name of Forge Media.

The Forge Press newspaper (formerly The Steel Press) is published fortnightly, while Forge Radio is the union's own radio station which broadcasts throughout the Union building during term-time and over the Internet. Forge TV - the newest part of Forge Media - is the Union's own television station, broadcasting online and around campus, as well as producing on-demand content. A fourth group maintains the web presence, Stiletto is the Union's Women's magazine written and produced by students. It is currently published three times a year and distributed for free around the Union.

In May 2010, students founded Canvas, a politics-based society that publishes monthly issues on politics, usually based on a theme. It also interviews politicians, academics and other political commentators, and analyses current affairs. It has also begun to undertake original research. The society is entirely run by students.

As of September 2010, former Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs joined the Forge Media team.


The union supports a large number of sports teams, which compete in the BUCS championships. The annual Varsity Challenge takes place between teams from the University and its rival Sheffield Hallam University in over 30 events.


It has won a succession of prestigious awards, including best Higher Education Students' Union in the country at the first ever NUS awards ceremony in 2008,[11] Top UK Student Union: in the 2001 Virgin Alternative Guide to Universities, and #1 Students' Union in the UK in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 to the Times Higher Education reports.[12]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°22′50.2″N 1°29′14.6″W / 53.380611°N 1.487389°W / 53.380611; -1.487389