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WHY WE EXIST? (A.K.A. OUR MISSION STATEMENT) Our Mission Statement has been the same for a while: “To have a positive impact on the lives of all our students”. We like this and want to keep it, because we think it’s easy to remember and is quite broad. For example, the way that we have a positive impact on your life might be that you are a volunteer, or that our Welcome Team helped you move into Halls or just that you love the coffee in Habita and spending time with your mates.

WHERE WE WANT TO BE? (A.K.A. OUR VISION) We are an ambitious organisation and by 2012 want to be the best Students’ Union in the country at improving your student life and offering an excellent all round experience. This is quite aspirational and we know it might not be achieved and would be hard to measure anyway, but the point is that by striving to get there it will make us better.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO US? (A.K.A. OUR VALUES) DEMOCRATIC All key decisions will have your input and will be open to scrutiny. All elections will be conducted fairly.

INCLUSIVE We will take positive action to try and make all our activities, services and opportunities open to all students.

WHAT DO WE WANT YOU TO DO? If you want a better Union and a better time at University we need you to let us know your thoughts on our priorities and the things within this leaflet. Email us at su.democracy@northumbria.ac.uk or fill in the feedback form at www.mynsu.co.uk/yourdecision Any feedback or suggestions will be really helpful in letting us know whether or not we’re on the right track.

www.mynsu.co.uk You can also look out for one of our roadshows, between 10am and 4pm on the following dates:

YOURUNION YOURFUTURE YOURDECISION Tuesday 3rd November in City Campus East 1 (NBS and Law) Monday 9th November in Coach Lane Students’ Union

ETHICAL We will conduct ourselves and make decisions based on principles of good ethical practice.

INNOVATION We will strive to be creative in all our work and will always look for new ways of doing things.

QUALITY Providing a quality experience for you will be central to all of our planning.

PARTNERSHIP Officers, departments and staff will work together as a team. We will work closely with the University and other external companies where this will benefit you.

Thursday 12th November in Ellison Reception

AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE... Finally -

from Monday 16th until Friday 20th November, we will be holding a vote on our plan and if you agree with everything in this leaflet, then we want you to go to www.mynsu.co.uk/yourdecision and vote YES to our new plan. It will make a difference to us if you vote and therefore make a difference to you - it just takes 2-minutes.


WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? The Students’ Union is a membership organisation - that means that you and every single other student at Northumbria is automatically a member (check the back of your library card!). We think it’s really important that our members have a say in how the Union is run in the future. That includes our priorities, values, aims etc.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Simple... We think the things contained in this leaflet and our plan will help us to improve. This will mean we provide a better experience and more support for you and other students. But we need to know whether we’ve got it right and we can only find this out if you tell us.

A BIT ABOUT THE UNION... Some things that you may or may not already know about the Students’ Union: WE’RE A CHARITY. Any money that we make over the bar or through other services is reinvested to improve what we do for you. This might be funding for societies, paying for a full-time student advisor or the costs of training all of the Course Reps across the University.

WE’RE RUN BY STUDENTS. There is a team of 5 Sabbatical Officers (President and 4 Vice- Presidents) who are either in the middle of their course or just graduated. Basically they oversee the day to day workings of the organisation. Every March there is an election to decide next year’s Sabbatical Officers and every student (including YOU) can stand.

WE’RE INDEPENDENT from the University. This is important for loads of reasons, but mainly it means that if you have a problem in Uni - whether that is your course, fees etc you can come and talk to us. And you can do this in confidence that we can take up your issue with the University and help to resolve it.

WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE? (A.K.A. OUR GOALS) Over the next three years, there’s a lot we want to do to make your Union better for you. Here’s a summary of the things that we think will make a big difference to you as a Northumbria student: We want to be recognised by NUS and other Students’ Unions for being great at supporting and representing you. This means constantly looking to improve how Course and School Reps work and fighting for your rights in the University. We need to develop greater loyalty from students to the Union. Unfortunately, we don’t do enough to let you know how much we do for you and why you should care whether we exist or not. We recently carried out some research and found out that only half of you felt that we had a positive impact on your life. Whilst we’re glad that we engaged half of you, we plan to increase that number to 70% by 2012.

YOURUNION YOURFUTURE YOURDECISION There are 8000 students at Coach Lane Campus and we know that because they don’t study at City Site, they don’t necessarily get the same access to our services and activities as we’d like. As part of our plan, we’ll make sure that Coach Lane students are a focus and we will do more to involve and engage them.

WE REPRESENT YOU. The Sabbatical Officers sit on University Committees and meet with the local Council and NUS to tell them what students at Northumbria think on certain issues. We also run Course Rep, School Rep and Community Rep Schemes all of which help you to tell the University what is good and not so good about the place.

Probably our biggest challenge and problem is that too many students don’t know enough about us. Although we communicate with you in a variety of ways we need to make sure that we do more to get our key messages across. Based on our research, we will get in touch with you more in the ways that you have asked us to - sending more targeted emails on the topics that you’re interested in. By 2012, we want over two-thirds of you to be aware

We offer a great range of societies, volunteering and Course Rep opportunities, One Planet trips etc. But we want more people to benefit from these amazing activities. Every year for the next three years we’ll increase the number of students involved in these by 10%. Probably our biggest challenge and problem is that too many students don’t know enough about us. Although we communicate with you in a variety of ways we need to make sure that we do more to get our key messages across. Based on our research, we will get in touch with you more in the ways that you have asked us to - sending more targeted emails on the topics that you’re interested in. By 2012, we want over two-thirds of you to be aware of our values, services and opportunities open to you as a student. Students are an important part of the local community - contributing massively to the regional economy. We’ll continue to be effective in supporting and representing you locally and raising problems or concerns, such as security and quality of housing. Financial stability is really important. We want to achieve this over the next three years, by increasing the amount of money (by 10% every year) we take through our bars and shops etc but also looking to hire our facilities out of term time when they go largely unused. We pride ourselves on being a good employer and this year achieved Investors in People status. We will continue to make sure our staff are happy working in the Union and will achieve the IiP Silver Award in the next three years. Over the next year, there will be a massive £5 million redevelopment of the Students’ Union building, making the Union a state of the art facility. It will be a big priority to use this as a “launch pad” to get more students involved, improve our reputation, be more culturally representative in the events we hold and maximise our profits.

Your Union Your Future Your Decision  

The Students' Union is launching its plans for the next three years and wants feedback from students as to whether we're on the right track.

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