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What do full-time Officers do?

  • Full-time officers are Sussex/BSMS students who are elected to work in a paid position in the Students' Union for an academic year.  
     
  • Students can either take a year out from their studies, or final year students can stand for office for the year following their graduation
     
  • Full-time officers are members of many Students' Union and University committees such as Union Council and Executive Committee.
     
  • All officers are responsible for the overall direction of the Students' Union, but each officer also a particular area of responsibility - there are six different positions available, so it's likely that there'll be something to grab your interest.

What roles are available, and what are they about?

There are six brand new full-time Officer roles open for the Spring 2020 elections:

  • International Students' Officer
  • Education and Employability Officer
  • Wellbeing Officer
  • Sports, Societies and Events Officer
  • Diversity, Access and Participation Officer
  • Student Living and Sustainability Officer

International Students' Officer 

To apply you must be an international student - defined as not from the UK.

Main purpose of the role

  • This Officer represents and supports all international students at the University (this includes EU, non-EU and exchange students). They will work on issues relevant to international students, such as helping them settle in, academic issues, language skills, housing, activities and cultural events. This Officer will support international students and lobby for concerns and issues relevant to them.

Key responsibilities

  • To assist in the smooth transition of incoming international students’ to the University and assist in initiatives to help them settle in. 
  • To represent international students and international exchange students on campus.
  • Encourage and support international students to organise activities and cultural events for their communities.
  • To assist in providing academic support to international students.
  • To support international students to campaign for change in order to improve their time at University.
  • Take a lead on issues related to housing for international students, e.g. guarantors, deposits, viewings, quality, availability and price. 
  • To assist with international student living issues such as banking, healthcare and transportation.
  • Lobby the interests and demands of international students at the University, e.g. to reduce the cost of education for international students, more international scholarships, etc. 
  • To attend disciplinary panels, academic misconduct panels, various University committees, 1-2-1 meetings with senior management at the University, to lead/chair on relevant Union committees/meetings e.g. the International Students’ Working Group and attend relevant University committees/meetings such as the Brexit Steering Group.
  • To talk to international students electronically and face-to-face and share their concerns and ideas.
  • To promote and bring about change based on manifesto promises.
  • To act as a responsible Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Education and Employability Officer

Main purpose of the role

  • This Officer represents and supports the student body in terms of their education, ensuring that student views are heard by those making key decisions that affect students’ academic learning experience. They will support both undergraduate and postgraduate students and elected representatives, and assist with improvements to learning, teaching and employability initiatives. They will ensure that the curriculum is inclusive for all students.

Key responsibilities

  • To proactively champion the learner voice throughout the University's academic structures and acting as the main point of contact for the University on matters relating to student education and employability.
  • To oversee the work of the undergraduate and postgraduate Student Reps in the Student Representative Scheme; reporting on impact and successes achieved by students for their peers.
  • To oversee the entire academic experience; ensuring that the learning spaces and necessary resources are available for all areas of the student body.
  • To talk to students electronically and face-to-face and share their concerns and ideas.
  • To be in contact with the Part-time Postgraduate Taught Officer, Part-time Postgraduate Research Officer, Students’ Union and University staff.
  • To campaign for change using student ideas and concerns as a focus.
  • To attend relevant committees at the University as required. (be a member of Senate, to Chair the Student Experience Forum.)
  • To work closely with the Library and University Schools.
  • Leading on the employability agenda within the Union; ensuring student views are heard by Careers & Employability Centre.
  • To promote and bring about change based on manifesto promises.
  • To act as a responsible Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Wellbeing Officer

Main purpose of the role

  • This Officer will be predominantly working on issues regarding student mental health, wellbeing and safety. They will aim to ensure that each and every student has adequate support for issues that they might encounter as a student at Sussex. They will represent and support students’ wellbeing on and off campus, working to support student initiatives linked to these issues. 

Key responsibilities

  • To proactively champion student rights and safety, in the University and on the campus.
  • To act as the principal point of contact with external and internal support services and agencies.
  • To lead on the student support, health and well-being agenda within the University, ensuring the student voice is heard within the numerous departments of the institution providing support for our members.
  • Using information from student contact and the Union’s Support & Advocacy service, to generate initiatives which support students’ well-being.
  • Encourage and support student groups to campaign and create initiatives to enhance student wellbeing on campus .
  • To be responsible for the promotion and implementation of the Students’ Union’s mental well-being work.
  • To talk to students electronically and face-to-face and share their concerns and ideas.
  • To lobby mental health services at the University in order to gain improvements for student mental health support.
  • To promote and bring about change based on manifesto promises.
  • To act as a responsible Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Sports, Societies and Events Officer

Main purpose of the role

  • This Officer represents and supports students in matters relating to active involvement within the Students’ Union, specifically in sports, societies, events, volunteering and other student-led activities. They will ensure Sussex students have a fair and equal access to these student-led activities.

Key responsibilities

  • Promoting and championing involvement in, and the success of student Societies, Sport clubs, events and student Media.
  • To ensure Sussex students have a fair and equal access to student-led activities.
  • Championing wider engagement within the Students’ Union through talking to engaged students to develop their participation within the Union and reaching out to unengaged students to demonstrate the potential benefits of participation within the Union.
  • Reducing any barriers to participation through listening and reacting to students’ feedback
  • To talk to the club and society members, Students’ Union and University staff. 
  • To talk to students electronically and face-to-face and share their concerns and ideas.
  • To actively promote student involvement and support student-led initiatives and campaigns to combat any issues affecting the students you represent. 
  • To attend relevant committees at the University as required (e.g. Chair of Sports Reps/Societies Committee, and Complaints and Mediation for Sports and Societies Students).
  • To promote and bring about change based on manifesto promises.
  • To act as a responsible Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Diversity, Access and Participation Officer

Main purpose of the role

  • This Officer will represent and support students from marginalised groups, such as BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) students, students of faith, LGBTQ+ students, women students, trans and non-binary students, students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students with disabilities. They will work towards removing barriers to participation and success for students from these groups and backgrounds, and promote a more diverse and inclusive experience while at University. They will ensure that all students have a dignified, supportive and inclusive university experience irrespective of their background or identity.

Key responsibilities

  • To be responsible for the promotion and implementation of the Students’ Union’s equality and diversity work. (To implement the recommendations from the BAME Attainment Gap Report.)
  • To lobby and work with the University to create training for staff that effectively tackles racism, sexism, ableism, classism and homophobia.
  • To promote a more diverse and inclusive Students’ Union and University experience for all students.
  • To work on removing barriers to participation and success for students from marginalised groups.
  • To be at the forefront of the development of equality, diversity and inclusion activities within the Union as well as undertaking work to embed these values in the student experience.
  • To communicate and work with the Part-time Liberation Officers, Students’ Union and University staff. To see the part-time Liberation Officers regularly; once every two-three weeks.
  • To campaign for change using student ideas and concerns as a focus, especially those from marginalised groups.
  • To lobby for more diversity of staff within the University and also work towards improving diversity within the staff of the Students’ Union.
  • To talk to students electronically and face-to-face and share their concerns and ideas.
  • To work with the student liberation campaigning groups. (Campaigning to protect specific student minority groups.)
  • To ensure campus is a welcome, open, inclusive and accessible environment for all students to live and study in.
  • To attend relevant meetings and committees at the University as required (e.g. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, REC etc). 
  • To promote and bring about change based on manifesto promises.
  • To act as a responsible Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Student Living and Sustainability Officer

Main purpose of the role

  • This Officer will work towards improving the day to day issues which students face in relation to housing, transport, community, campus facilities and affordability. They will also work on ethical and environmental issues, and support student initiatives which promote sustainability across the University. They will create more awareness of sustainability and the climate and ecological crisis, as well as lobbying the University to respond appropriately to the urgency of this crisis.

Key responsibilities

  • To work towards ensuring affordable and good quality housing for students.
  • To lobby for a rent reduction strategy in University accommodation which continues to protect quality of service, with affordable options for students.
  • To lobby the University to put students first when making decisions that would affect them.
  • To ensure affordable, accessible and high quality transport for students (including meetings with the Bus Company).
  • To lead on any issues relating to student affordability, campus prices and improvements.
  • Leading on issues within the local community, including promoting and championing student involvement in local and national elections.
  • To create more awareness of sustainability and the climate and ecological crisis, within the Students’ Union, the University, students and staff.
  • Lobby University management to create a comprehensive sustainability policy and strategy.
  • To educate all students about the diverse nature of sustainability and the urgency of climate breakdown, and help to mainstream sustainability across the university.
  • To work on issues regarding waste management on campus.
  • To be responsible for ensuring that the University and the Students' Union operates in an ethically and environmentally sound manner.
  • Represent the interests of students at the Students’ Union on issues relating to the environment and sustainability.
  • To be an active member of the Sustainability Committee.
  • Taking a student lead on Students’ Union Commercial services.
  • To work alongside relevant student initiatives and campaigns.
  • To promote and bring about change based on manifesto promises.
  • To act as a responsible Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Who can be a Full-time Officer?

Any current Sussex or BSMS student can nominate themself.

Students who have Tier 4 immigration permission (leave) can undertake a full-time sabbatical officer post. You can read this article for more information on the specifics of this.

As Full-time Officers are trustees of the Students' Union there are certain categories of people who may not legally be a trustee or company director. So that the Union can be satisfied that you will be able to carry out the role if elected, you need to complete a charity trustee declartion and return it to the Returning Officer before the nomination can be confirmed.

Full-time Officer candidates should use this Manifesto Template  to understand their roles and how they should structure their manifestos. 

What support do Full-time Officers get?

You can expect support and advice from the other officers and Union staff. Full-time Officers are allocated staff members to support them during their time in office and work closely with other staff members and officers on relevant projects.

Full-time Officers receive an extensive induction training programme and take part in a leadership course accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Managerment.

You may also wish to be involved in specialist training or make use of online material that may be available through national organisations such as the NUS or the Charity Commission.

What is it like to work full-time for the Students' Union?

We're a friendly bunch of people to work with and offer a supportive work environment.

Full-time elected officers get paid a basic wage (currently around £20,000), and are still classed by the Students' Union as students whilst they are in office. Full-time Officers, like other Union staff, have 20 days of annual leave plus University closure days. There is scope to work flexibly.

Students finishing their course, e.g. taught postgraduate students, are entitled to paid study leave over the summer (half a day a week plus three additional days).