Hello all! I hope you are well and keeping safe. All of us at the SU has been busy working behind the scenes over the past month, updating and editing our constitution, making improvements to the Basement Bar and future-proofing the Union so it can run as smoothly and most effective in the years to come.

One of these significant changes that we have made is restructuring the SU Executive team. After discussion with Student Representatives, a vote took place a couple of weeks ago to remove the Vice-President Role for Welfare, add in a Marketing & Communications Officer and change the Vice-President’s titles to ‘Officer’ roles; all of these changes will come into place from the 2022-23 Academic Year.

The Welfare VP position is a role that has proved to have many issues in the past few years, including safeguarding and mental health issues. We believe that it’s unfair for an un-trained student-elected into the position to have these responsibilities alongside studying for a full-time degree. This removal of the Welfare role was widely discussed amongst Elle (VP Welfare), the SU Executive team and myself. We wholeheartedly believe this is the correct decision for the Union moving forward in years to come so that students get the proper professional advice and help regarding welfare and well-being, and in addition that the Union are safeguarding the other Executive Union team members.

We are very excited about adding a new officer role for Marketing & Communications to the Union Executive team; this is a role that is perfect for anyone who is tech-savvy and fancies working on their marketing and communication skills whilst earning some money along the way!

The new SU Executive structure for 2022-23

President (Full Time)

Events & Societies Officer (Part-Time)

Marketing & Communications Officer (Part-Time)

Academic Affairs Officer (Part-Time)

Finance Officer (Part-Time)

Diversity Officer (Part-Time)

The last significant change that was voted upon by student reps was the decision to disaffiliate with NUS Main Body, officially leaving at the end of this year in December. 

What will we lose from disaffiliating from the full NUS Membership? As a student, you will not see any difference from what it is now; it is as simple as that. As part of the full membership, we receive legal advice, in which in the unlikely situation that we did need this, we already have advice from School, City and CUKSN legal teams. They also provide election support; as a small union and institution, this is not something we have ever needed or will need, as it is purely designed for larger universities with thousands of students. Previously being affiliated with NUS meant you had access to discounts via the NUS Student Card; however, a couple of years back, the NUS card was replaced by the TOTUM Card and is very much a separate thing now. This means that as a Guildhall Student when we disaffiliate, you will still have access to buy the TOTUM Student Discount. Finally, we will be able to use the sizable membership fee that we spent on our full NUS Membership on things that actually matter to our student body. We will remain affiliated with the NUS Charity, where we still reap the benefits from a trading aspect, such as our bar discounts. Our membership with the NUS charity is only 0.5% of our block grant.

So yes, we have been busy behind the scenes future-proofing the Union and ensuring that we have the most efficient and forward visioning Union going forward in years to come.  

If you have any questions going forward regarding this, please do ping me an email at union@gsmd.ac.uk. Other than that, I hope you have a lovely rest of your week and stay safe.

Harry Plant (He/Him)

Guildhall SU President

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