Student Trustees are members of the Trustee Board of RGU:Union responsible for the governance, strategy and financial wellbeing of the charity. Being a student trustee is a unique opportunity to be a part of the highest governing body for a charity and helping represent the views of tens of thousands of members. RGU:Union is run for students, by students and the students on the Board are given the chance to make key decisions on how their Union operates. The Board has a range of members with a variety of backgrounds and skills, this includes four external trustees, and one university trustee, along with that the three student Presidents and two appointed and three elected student trustees.
What does the Trustee Board do?
The Trustees of the Union are responsible for the strategy, governance and finances for the organisation. The Board hold meetings four times a year, where they recieve updates on what activities the Union staff and officers are doing, consider key documents such as financial accounts and strategic and operational plans and discuss and debate key issues affecting the Union. There is also a Finance Sub-Committee which consider the budgets, accounts and regulations around the finantial activities of the Union.
If I was a Student Trustee, what would I have to do?
The role is voluntary, so you can easily work it around your studies, placement or part time work. All you'd have to do would be to come along to a few meetings a semester. You would read the updates and documents that get sent and then attend the meetings. If you had any questions or thoughts then you'd discuss them with the Board. Your role will be to make sure student feedback is listened to and that all the decisions the Board makes are in the best interests of students. If you were appointed or elected, you'd be given an induction and training to help you get to know the role and answer any questions.
How long would I be a Student Trustee?
All students appointed or elected must be current, maltriculated students at RGU. They can serve as a trustee for a maximum of two years, or until they graduate or finish from their course.
Why should I become a Student Trustee?
If you want to help make student life better, or are passionate about RGU:Union, or perhaps you want to develop your CV, being a student trustee is a great way to do that. In terms of developing your skills and employability for after you graduate, then being on the governing Board legally responsible for running a charity is a great way to do that. You'll get to learn a huge amount about the way a business worth hundreds of thousands of pounds works, looking in detail at strategy, finance and risk. It is also a fun and interesting way to be involved with the Union, find out what is going on and influence the way the Union works.
How do I become a Student Trustee?
There are two ways to join the RGU:Union Trustee Board; be appointed or be elected. The Executive Committee of Presidents and Vice Presidents nominates two students to be considered and appointed by the Trustee Board. These students often provide a variety of expertise and backgrounds to bring the right skills and experience to the Board. You can contact the President (Communication and Democracy) if you are interested in finding out more, or being appointed.
The other method is through election, where three students get the opportunity to be voted by the student body to places on the Board. Elections take place annually in March, which By-Elections for vacant positions in November. Students wishing to run in elections should pick up nomination packs from RGU:Union once the call for elections has been sent out, they then have to get thirty students to support their nomination, after which they shall participate in the election and should work to get as many votes as possible. The candidates with the most votes are elected to positions on the Board.
What is the role descriptor for Trustees?
- Ensure that the Union operates in accordance with its charitable purposes and activities;
- Ensures the views and policies of the Union's democratic bodies and processes are enacted to their fullest;
- Determine and ensure strategic plans are in place, including developing measurable targets to assist the Union in achieving its promise and purpose;
- Where appropriate, look to delegate powers and authority to appropriate Union committees and forums, including Sabbatical Executive Committee, Standing Forums and others;
- Aid the Union in maintaining a relevant and appropriate Constitution and associated Regulations;
- Ensure that the Union operates in accordance with all applicable charity legislations, and statutory and regulatory regulations, in particular the Education Act 1994 and RGU Code of Practice;
- Oversee and approve the finances of the Union, including annual budgets and plans of both the Union as a whole and individual departments, ensuring the Union remains sustainable and relevant;
- Monitor the achievement of targets to ensure the Union is satisfactoraily performing to its own goals and to the expectations of key stakeholders;
- Provide expertise in an appropriate area of finantial, industrial, commercial, education, student experience, sports, or other;
- Promote the interests of the Union, including student body and staff, both internally to the Union/University and externally to the local community;
- Prepare fully for and attend all scheduled meetings, being thoroughly aware of all issues and situations prior to the meeting, as well as any other scheduled events (such as strategy planning days, student award ceremonies, e.t.c)
- Undertake in full all duties and responsibilities expected of a Trustee member, including those defined within the Union's Constitution and associated Regulations;
- Recognise that, as a Trustee of a Scottish charity, you should act (both personally and professionally) in ways that do not bring disrepute to the Union or University, and that reamin within legal guidelines;
- Declare any conflicts of interest as they arise in a transparent and open manner;
- Work together with other Trustees in a supportive and helpful manner, ensuring the Board's effectiveness;
- Represent your personal thoughts and opinions to the Board and not those of other orgaisations (either internal or external), based on your own conclusion of the information provided;
- Oversee and abide by the Union's policies and regulations relating to Equality and Diversity, Community, Health and Safety, Corporate Social Responsiblity, e.t.c.