We are aware of an online article published today which, because of the way it’s written, has caused some of you to worry and be concerned about the future of our Students’ Union.
I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the Students Union is in good shape, and performing exactly the same as all other Students’ Unions across the country. For some reason, we have been chosen by this journalist to write a non-story. She has raised a number of points in her article about how we are run, which I’d like to explain in greater detail to you:
Quote: “The University of South Wales has added rules that would allow it to charge its members, as well as those who have previously been members, in the eventuality that its union collapses financially.”
This has been in place for the past five years. It was added in to the constitution when the Students’ Union became a company in 2013, and it’s a clause we have to have by law. You’ll find this clause in a number of other Students’ Unions constitutions, so no news there.
Quote: “Students at the university are automatically opted in to be members of University of South Wales Students’ Union (USWSU) even if they are not aware of their membership.”
Yep, totally correct, because the 1994 Education Act bestows membership of a Students Union (or equivalent) to everyone that enrols in a University. This is the same across the UK, and as a member you have access to representation, events and activities, and so really this is good news!
Quote: “USWSU made losses in the two years that they have made public. An annual report for the year ending 30th June 2015 saw the union announcing a loss of £998. In the annual report for the year ending 30th June 2016 they reported an additional loss of £7,284”.
Yes, we did make a small loss which we reported on at both Annual General Meetings. The students who attended were happy with the accounts and voted to accept them. These have been available on our website since 2015, so this is not new. Again, this is happening in Students’ Unions across the UK, so really not anything to worry about.
Dare I say it……FAKE NEWS!
What is good about this article, is that it does correctly state we’re reviewing the constitution this year. We’ve started the process already, and would welcome your input on it. If you would like to be part of this exciting process, please get in touch, and I’ll let you know what we’ve done so far, and what we need to do next.
Students' Union President