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We need to start caring about the Student Union

By River Reporter Oct 25, 2011

By Myriam Dijck

Anyone notice the Students’ Union by-elections a few weeks back?
A mere 400 students took a moment to tick a few boxes and vote.
Out of every 60 students eligible to vote, only one did, which shows how few people knew what was going on with our union.

Why don’t we care?
Ask any student at Kingston about the SU and you’ll find that few will be able to tell you anything beyond the president’s name. And all the while it is  representing every student at Kingston.

So why don’t we care? Being part of the SU is something you can proudly put on your CV.

Anything that sets you apart could mean the difference between being on state benefits and having a full-time job. It’s such an easy win, especially during a recession.

Grey office
However, last year only 15 per cent of students were part of a society or a sports club.

Which means that the other 85 per cent were paying for something they didn’t take part in.

The SU has a grey, stuffy office, tucked away in an outer corner of Penrhyn Road campus, where it seems to ignore the other 15,000 students who don’t go to that campus.

The bars are in desperate need of a make-over and it takes ages to find what you are looking for at

And yes, the union should do more to support and motivate students.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t even bother.

Tough job
Our union has a pretty tough job compared to some others in the UK, like having to work across four campuses and being close to London where there are much better clubs, bars and pubs. Even Kingston itself has a busy nightlife and lots of community events that a lonely SU can never compete with. Moreover, with a student body as diverse as ours, and many students living outside Kingston, it is challenging for any union to bring students together and create a close community. 

Get involved
However, instead of blaming the SU for not connecting with us, maybe it is time for us to start caring more about life after uni.

If there isn’t a society you like to join, just start one yourself. If you think the SU should be doing something it isn’t, go and tell them. More involvement from our side will only push the SU to step up and improve itself.

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