Beds SU is independent from the University: we exist under the Education Act 1994 to represent the interests of all students of UoB during their time studying with the institution (our student members) and in recent years became a registered charity (1173887).
In order to aid Beds SU’s work in the interests of our members, Beds SU also trades as a company limited by guarantee to financially assist our work and provide employment opportunities to members in a number of roles.
Beds SU’s vision laid out in our Strategic Plan - Our 2020 Vision - is that “Every UoB student will identify themselves as a member of Beds SU”.
Currently Beds SU resides in office/entertainment spaces on the M floor in Luton and in the P block in Bedford, kindly provided by the University of Bedfordshire.
A number of Unions have their own standalone buildings, such as UWE Students’ Union, Nottingham Trent Students’ Union, Bristol Students’ Union and Cardiff Students’ Union.
Unions with standalone buildings have been able to tailor spaces and services to better provide for student members and the activities that they undertake to enhance the experience of their fellow members, be that acting as an academic rep, or leading a student society.
Sitting alongside offices for University departments, students often mistake Beds SU as an University department: this can cause confusion for students that are seeking support and advice, especially in instances when they require advocacy in a matter with the University.
The Union’s brand is diluted by this physical merging on campus, making it more difficult to achieve our vision - “Every UoB student will identify themselves as a member of Beds SU”.
Student experience enhancing work undertaken by/with the Union (e.g. additional skills training, student-led society meetings, etc) is organised through and restricted by space/timetabling and room bookings available on campus, with few spaces designed specifically for student activities.
With an ever-increasing geographic spread of campuses, Beds SU has more need than ever for fit for purpose facilities including the ability to bring Study Centres together, allowing members to take part and interact with the Union and one another in order to maintain our representative democracy.
A standalone building - physically separate from the University main building, but on campus – would manifest and underpin the message that Beds SU are independent from but working in partnership with UoB to enhance our members’ interests.
Beds SU will:
lobby UoB to provide a standalone building for Beds SU and its members
continue to gather memberfeedback onthe impact and desired functions of a standalone building
commit to engaging members throughout the design and delivery of any new spaces to ensure that student-owned spaces meet student requirements
lobby UoB to engage student throughout the design and delivery of any new spaces to ensure that they meet student requirements.