“ Aberdeen / Scotland „
If you're a student of Aberdeen University then the AUSA is going to be like a treasure trove for me. Whether you've just started first year and are new to the city, or you've lived in Aberdeen your whole life and are coming to the end of your course, there's something here for you.
The Students' Association is run by students for students and although their are full time staff members who work for the organisation, it is run by 6 sabbatical officers who are elected in each year by the students of the university.
***Very brief history***
The concept of students helping to run aspects of the university is certainly not new, although the structure of the organisation is different now to how it was in the past. Traditionally there were three seperate groups - Union Management Committee, Student Representative Council and Athletic Association. In 98/99, the presidents of the three groups started to look at how they could all work together to better help the student body and in 2000, the three combined to make up the Students' Association. Interesting fact - the three arrows underneath the crown in the logo represent the three groups coming together. (For more inofrmation on the history see the website)
The organisation has changed over the past few years and is focusing much more now on the welfare, support and representation of students along with offering more and more student activities, and moving away from the commercial activities which it concentrated on in the past.
The General Council of the Students' Association is all of the students who are on the various committees and it is this group which essentially makes all the decisions regarding the SA and its direction.
The Executive Committee is made up of the 6 sabbatical officers, and 7 non-sabbatical officers who have all bveen elected by the student body to represent their views and opinions.
The 6 sabbatical officers are Student President, President for Societies and Student Activities, President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities, President for Education and Employability, President for Sport and President for Charities.
This person basically helps to tie everything in the Association together, and also liases with EVERYONE from media, through various national student organisations to the principal of the university and even members of parliament. The student president also chairs various meetings including student council, executive council, entertainments committee, communications and marketing committee, finance committee and others! They're very busy!!
***President for Societies and Student Activities***
The main responsibilty for this officer (as the name suggests) is to promote the various societies and student activites of the university and encourage participation. They also have to make sure that the various socities have the necessary support to run themselves and help to provide information on safety and finance issues.
***President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities***
As a student, things can happen that means you may need extra help from time to time. The President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities can provide assistance with anything from money issues and health problems, to academic appeals or complaints against the university. They also organise awareness days on various welfare issues, and liase with many different groups outside of the university to provide information and advice to students.
***President for Education and Employability***
Now this position requires someone who doesn't switch off during meetings because they have a lot to go to! This president spends much of their day talking with various university committees or departments on all aspects of education, and how university degrees can make individuals more employable. They are also responsible for the class representation system which is university wide, but in their spare time they also raise awareness of education issues which might affect students.
***President for Sport***
I'm sure you can guess, this person is responsible for the various sport clubs for the University. This includes helping them run effectively, booking training and match facilities, promoting the clubs both within the university and outwith, organising tours and matches, plus they also organise large competitions throughout the year trying to involve all students whether sporty or not!
***President for Charities***
The Aberdeen Students' Charities Campaign is made up of students from all three higher education establishments in Aberdeen although it is run from AUSA. The Charities President is responsible for all fundraising events through the year and ensures that the charities committee has the correct support to execute these events. They are also in charge of the budgets for the campaign and help the committee to decide where the money is going to go.
There is so much more that I could write about the Association and in particular the various events that are run and the committees that operate. I would strongly reccommend every Aberdeen University student, whether old or new to find out more and get involved.