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Launch of our Annual Members’ Consultation 2024

Each year Beds SU opens a consultation period that provides an opportunity for our student members – that’s you! – to find out about, question, and have your say on the past, present, and future of Beds SU. This article seeks to offer insight in all these areas.

Beds SU

By Beds SU

Thursday, 6 June 2024

Launch of our Annual Members’ Consultation 2024

It’s that time of the year again – the official launch of our Annual Members’ Consultation.

This article comprises three core elements:

The past - what the Union has been up to,

The present - our progress and ‘wins’ achieved for you, our members, to date and

The future - (exciting!) ideas for potential developments moving forward.

To ensure this consultation is accessible to all and tailored to your interests, we've moved it entirely online. This allows you to ‘jump’ to sections using the links attached in the section outline above, which in turn gives you more time to look at the information that matters most to you, at a time and in a place that suits you.

Similar to the last couple of years, we’re also running it alongside our annual Beds SU Survey (terms and conditions apply to prize draw) so you can also provide live feedback on our performance, as you’ve read about it here. We hope that this will provide us with lots of information that we can use in planning for the next academic year.

So please, have a read of as much or as little as you like, get in touch if you have any questions, and have your say on our performance so far and our ideas moving forward.


The Past: what has Beds SU been up to?

2022/23 - catch up on what you missed last year:

View our Impact Report for 2022/23 (pdf, 20 pages)

View our Financial Overview for 2022/23 (pages 16-17 of Impact Report)

Read the full version of our Audited Accounts (pdf, 49 pages)

Any questions? Use this link to ask a question. You can take a look at what other people have asked further down this article.


The Present: the year so far...

2023 saw the second full year of delivering our latest 4-year strategy (2021 – 2025). As our Co-Presidents, Ryan and Chidinma, mention in the Impact Report,

This consultation shares “…statistics that support the progress we are making against the ambitions of our strategic plan and our vision for the year ahead.”

By 2025, Beds SU aims to deepen its connection with members to ensure students benefit from engaging with their students’ union in their educational journey, whilst being visible and accessible throughout all aspects of the student experience. We are also committed to taking risks on issues that matter to our students, on your behalf.

Our strategy will continue to ensure that we empower your voice and advocate for a fair, equitable and rewarding student experience:

• in your course,

• in your student life,

• in creating positive change, and

• when you need support.

You might wonder how we are going about to achieve this. Well, have a look at the links below to find out more about how each of these areas of work have been contributing towards a number of positive changes in your student journey so far:

• Your Exec ‘Win’: Cost of Living

• Communities

• Student Voice

• Events

• Advice

Any questions? Use this link to ask a question. You can take a look at what other people have asked further down this article.

How are we doing? Provide feedback on our services in the Beds SU Survey and get entered into a prize draw where you could win one of five £100 cash prizes.

YOUR EXEC 'WIN': Cost of living

The cost-of-living is an issue affecting most people in the UK right now, including our student community. Your Exec Team wanted to ensure that as your SU, we could play our part in offering short term support to students, experiencing extenuating circumstances and unforeseen hardship. We have put together a number of projects which we believe give students the support they need.

Discounted Food

Following intense lobbying, we secured discounted lunch and breakfast options at the Luton and Bedford campus cafeterias. £2.50 for lunch and £1 breakfast is a good money saving way to get a healthy meal.

Period Poverty Scheme

Launched a scheme providing free period products on the Luton and Bedford campuses, with plans to expand to other campuses. In Luton free period pads can be found in all first floor and accessible bathrooms.

*(Lobbied the university for more affordable food options) £2.50 lunch, £1 Breakfast, Opened Bedford Community Pantry

Bedford Community Pantry Launch

We launched a community pantry on the Bedford campus, with donations from the Vice Chancellor, United Nations Association Luton, and Stopsley Church. This initiative included our first food bag giveaway to support students during the cost-of-living crisis. Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00-15:00 this gives students a safety net in an emergency.

Parking Price Reduction

Secured a price reduction for students parking in Bedford. £10 for the week is a significantly better rate than most students are able to get to park on or near any campus.


Societies have always been a key element to the extra-curricular opportunities on offer and we have loved seeing so many of our societies offer new and existing members the chance to come together in our social spaces. There were regular meets throughout the year arranged for Fresh Start 24 – Christian, Islamic Sisters, Nigerian societies with other well attended sessions from the Law, Computing, South Asian, Beer and Conversation, Aviation and Tourism and the AFE societies. We were also delighted to hold both a societies 'Meet and Greet' early in the term and farewell end of term event in May.

*59 Societies, 1218 unique members

Beds SU hosted several campus events to celebrate International Nurses Day and International Day of the Midwife.

The events were held across three campuses, from Luton, Bedford and Aylesbury and our student nurses and midwives tucked into the biscuits, tea, coffee and hot chocolate on offer. In total we had over 100 students attend and it was great to see so many of you share what being a nurse and midwife meant to you.

It feels fitting that one of penultimate events this year was our annual Beds SU Awards evening. Over 45 students joined us with family and friends to celebrate. This was the biggest awards ceremony post pandemic and we were delighted to see so many students attend and offer a live stream to those further afield.

* 3193 unique engagements in Social Opportunities programme

Although our events calendar is quieter over the summer months we will for the first time be offering some of our early evening activities such as Film Night and Toast/Games Tuesday on our Luton campus in support of the students just starting their academic year or staying on campus for the summer. We will also continue to welcome students whose block starts from June to join us for tea, cake and a taste of what we can offer. To date we have welcomed 251 new students to these gatherings!


Feedback Online

Student Voice enquiries via the online form come through to the Voice team and The SU worked in partnership with the University to ensure that your feedback was sent to the most appropriate place and that you get a response as soon as possible. We have also done some work on the back end of the form so that the process becomes more automated.

Talk to Your Reps

This year, a total of 485 Course Reps acted as key partners between Beds SU, UoB, and the student body, championing your academic views and ideas. These students dedicated a significant amount of time to collate and act on student feedback alongside their studies, that in turn aimed to influence and enhance the student experience across courses.

We saw a number of wins for our individual campuses, with Campus Reps working hard to support and empower students on those campuses. Patrick our Aylesbury Campus Rep engaging students on the Aylesbury campus and signposting them to support when needed. Bela the Birmingham Campus Rep working to make sure that students were able to break their fast together with some Eid-Iftar food packages.

* 47% course rep engagement, 94% of course rep positions filled, 75 student inductions attended

Attend a Meeting

Feedback from these Reps – alongside our other feedback routes above – feeds into committees across the University, influencing change at all levels. We also hold a number of our very own forums, spread between Campus conversations, Chats for Change and some specific issue forums like the accommodation forum and Bedford Parking forum. This ensures a diverse offer of platforms to which students can attend and discuss both individual and broader themes impacting their student experience.

As a result of these, we were able to hear from students, report their feedback, and achieve a number of positive changes, Multiple Microwaves on the ground and Mezzanine floors in G block, vending machines at London Bridge and Milton Keynes


We have continued to work hard to provide facilities and entertainment that caters to our diverse membership, paying close attention to student feedback and demands on services that, together, inform our commercial direction.

Since we opened our doors for Welcome in September approximately 10,983 students have joined us at one or more of our 241 events, across campuses.

Our late night and club events have included the popular UV parties, Afrobeats, Desibeats and Karaoke and the launch of new evenings from Your Music Your Night, Old Skool Favourites, Frat Sport Special and Battle of the Decades where you came, danced, sang and made memories.

We listened to your calls for earlier evening events launching weekly Film and Toast Tuesday/Games Nights which quickly established themselves as must attend events and now regularly attract 35 to 100 students respectively in Luton. Word of these events spread and in December and February respectively they launched in Bedford. In Bedford students also asked us for an earlier evening social on Wednesdays and Mid-Week Madness was born, offering drinks and music to get you ready for a night out!

Afternoons have become the home to celebrating our cultural events and sampling culinary delights. From the hugely successful Bhangra event in February where a staggering 340 students, danced, ate and celebrated together, to the South East Asia Social, Diwali, breaking fast together at our Eid-Iftar event and our St Georges Day Street party. We also saw the debut of cheese and wine and curry and rice events, where students queued in their numbers to sample a variety of dishes.

*10,983 students, 241 events

Events for families and inspiration

We have also been keen to celebrate our parent/carer students by offering free Christmas and Easter family events for adults and children alike to enjoy. It was lovely to see so many take up these opportunities!

We acted when you asked for more educational and speaker sessions. Your Sabbatical Officers passionately delivered panels sessions that bought together inspiring individuals to share their career and life journeys, from ‘Her Story – Celebrating Inspiring Black Women’ as part of our Black History Month campaign, a Nigerian Independence Day panel session with individuals including Afrobeats regular - DJ Holy and finally an ‘In Conversation with former student Megan Murphy’ for International Women’s Day.

Smaller sessions have included Budget workshops, a Domestic Abuse session as part of No More Week, dance and drum workshops to guided meditation, mental health walks and Tai Chi sessions.


We are pleased to confirm that we have continued to deliver a fully blended support service.

With a simple click of one (red-coloured) 'Get Help' button, you can contact Beds SU through one single email address – – and our enquiries service does the hard work for you, tracking down the right person to answer the question!

*2,221 student enquiries received so far

As stated on our website, we do hope attending university will be one of the best experiences of your life! But, we also know it has its ups and downs and we have a dedicated team on advisors on hand to help.

Our online drop-ins have been continuously utilised and valued by many students. Supported by the enquiries team, they are designed to help you get quick access to an Advisor from wherever you are. We additionally offer a Drop-in on Wednesday & Thursdays from 4:30pm - 6:00pm, especially for those with work or caring commitments that prevent them from joining Drop-ins during the day, launched this year on the back of student feedback.

We have continued to offer support to students from all UoB campuses on topics such as Academic Appeals, University complaints, Finance, and Housing. One major outcome of a recent appeal we had allowed our student the opportunity to re-submit their work, uncapped, which meant they had the opportunity of getting a higher grade.

Our Advisors alongside the wider Students’ Union team are also creating more self-help articles, including ‘How to Complete an Academic Appeal’ to ‘How to Claim Money Back for Delayed Trains’, to offer students help and support in an easy and accessible format. In this academic year we published 79 articles, with many more planned for the coming year.

*271 hours of online Drop-ins offered, 79 self-help articles published for students, 497 cases supported by our advisors so far

Every student who uses the enquiries and advice services are given the opportunity to feedback on the service that they receive and we’ll be using this feedback to ensure that we continue to improve what’s on offer.

Any questions? Use this link to ask a question. You can take a look at what other people have asked further down this article.

How are we doing? Provide feedback on our services in the Beds SU Survey and get entered into a prize draw to win one of five £100 cash prizes.


The Future: what's coming next?

All student unions are established via a legal document referred to as a Governing Document (e.g. a constitution).

As a charity, Beds SU is required to have a committee of trustees, who are legally responsible for ensuring we are achieving our purpose for students.

The committee of trustees is made up of students who are elected and appointed, and by experienced non-students who are appointed through a selection process.

The elected student trustees comprise your Full-Time Sabbatical Officers and the appointed student trustees are current students who are appointed as part of a selection process where all current students are eligible to apply.

From July there will be two fewer Full-Time Sabbatical Officers and therefore two fewer elected trustees.


In light of the above changes the current board of Trustees have set out the following proposal for consideration by students here at UoB.

The proposal aims to ensure student participation in the governance of the students’ union and increase the number of trustee positions open to students; offering additional opportunities for students to engage with their students’ union in a voluntary capacity and develop their experience as company members of Beds SU. As well as, enhancing the SU’s connection with Luton and Bedford communities.


The number of appointed student trustees increases from two to four;

New provisions to extend the term of office of student trustees from one to two years, and stagger terms to enhance experience among the trustees; and,

To create a new, optional trustee category for a Community Trustee who is a member of a recognised community group in Luton or Bedford.


Current Board of Trustees:

• 4 x Sabbatical Trustees (1 year)

• 2 x Student Trustees (1 year)

• 4 x External Trustees (3 years)

• 1 x University Trustees (3 years)

Proposed New Board of Trustees:

• 2 x Sabbatical Trustees (1 year)

• 4 x Student Trustees (2 years)

• 4 x External Trustees (3 years)

• 1 x University Trustee (3 years)

• 1 x Community Trustee (3 years)


Students had the opportunity to submit amendments or alternatives to the proposal before Thursday 6 June.

Beds SU is constantly changing based upon the needs of our members, and each year we collect feedback to better our services and activities for students. We are very grateful for everyone who has taken part in this Annual Members’ Consultation 2024.

Got an opinion on how we’ve performed this year? Provide feedback on our services in the Beds SU Survey and get entered into a prize draw and a chance to win one of five £100 cash prizes.

Your Questions

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch with questions. Click on the questions below to see the answers already provided or ask your own question here

Where do my questions get sent?

It depends what your question is about – we will seek to get it to the person who knows the most about it. For example, if you have an operational question about our Campus Reps, we would ask the staff member responsible for supporting Campus Reps. However, if you were seeking information about the strategy behind the Union, we might ask one of our Board of Trustees to get back to you.