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Representative Networks ensure under-represented voices are heard and can make change
We've listened to your feedback and understand that not all student groups feel fully represented. This is why we've introduced
. As our diverse student body, you'll have different experiences at University, and sometimes when things need changing, voices get lost in the crowd. We will support these groups in setting up their own campaigns to make positive change, get involved in focused research opprtunities, and it's a great way to meet other students who can relate.
If you're interested in joining or leading on our networks,
please sign up to hear more information
What is a Network?
Networks are an exciting way for students to build communities of underrepresented groups and create change through collective action. They are bodies that lead campaigns to represent students that identify with that specific group, hold forums and ultimately hope to bring about positive change by giving a platform to students.
What is the primary focus of a Network?
The primary goal of networks is to ensure that our under represented students have the opportunity to be better represented within the university, networking with those in a similar situation, feeling empowered to campaign for change and improving the student experience.
What is the Network representative committee?
The committee are responsible for running the network, applying for funding, the contact for the Students' Union and the University and coordinating the students within the network. Is made up of the Network lead and at least two other committee members the position of which will be elected through the election process. They are the main point of contact with the SU, and will chair/ facilitate the monthly meeting for the members Note: Only students who identify within this group can run in the elections and can vote.
What Networks are we encouraging this year?
Due to current research, we are particularly encouraging Networks from the following groups:
Postgraduate Students, Student Parents, Disabled Students, International Students, Black Students, Women, Mature Students.
However, if you have a passion for a different Network that you would like to start, then please get in touch!
What makes networks different to societies?
Societies are like mini communities that bring together students with similar interests. We have more than 100 societies ranging from social, academic, active, cultural and faith. Being part of a society is a great way to try something new, make friends for life and open yourself up to many different opportunities. Whilst networks are also a good place to meet those in a similar position, they are made up of a group of passionate students who lobby for change to make the university a better experience for other students. Also, networks are only for students who identify with that group, which makes them a safe place to share experiences and opinions.
Funding Information for Networks
We have a pot of money available for networks to assist them in carrying out their top campaign(s) for that year. Network committees will bid for funding through the Network funding form. Funding will be awarded at the discretion of the Student Voice Manager and the Head of Student Services. The funding bid must be signed off by the Network Lead and one other committee member.
Why should I start/join a Network?
• You'll have the opportunity to meet other students who identify in the same group you do, and work together to create positive change within the university.
• If you're on the committee, you'll have access to our Student Leaders Development Programme. This is a training programme with a range of workshops that will help with your personal and professional development.
• You'll have a team of staff within the Students' Union who are there to offer guidance and advice to your group. This includes a Campaigns Coordinator who will be able to assist with any queries about creating a campaign.
• You can use the engagement within the network to go towards your GoHerts award!
• Access to funding to help you carry out a successful campaign of your choice.
• Recognition of your successes! We will have a brand new award at our annual Students' Union Awards for the best campaign.
• To assist your networking and building a community, you will have access to spaces within the university such as our brand new Forum bars, Hutton Hall and many more.
• The SU will help to promote your network which can include sharing posts on social media and having a stall at our Freshers' Fair.
• You'll also gain so many transferrable skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership, problem solving and many more!
What support is available for Networks?
• Networks will be supported generally by the student voice team, further support will be offered to the wider union staff team when more than four networks are established to manage workload.
• Mentors from within the union or university staff networks. The staff support will be there to help with the logistics, like help them with campaigns, meeting university staff, understanding processes etc. The mentor role will be a person who identifies within the demographic or with the Network, this will then give the Network someone who stands with them and understands the issues that group of students face. They can support the development of ideas and identifying possible issues too. They cannot however influence the network for their own personal gain.
• The Network committees will also have an elected officer support. Each officer will support at least one Network. If the officer doesn’t identify with the Network, the Network has the right to deny them access to meetings. However, the Network will need to meet with their staff support to show the minutes of the meeting and discuss any actions that have arisen, this may be when the officer will need to come in and support too. It is suggested that if the elected officer and staff member cannot, or are not permitted to attend, that the staff mentor attends.
• Network leads and their committee will receive Network specific training and basic student leader training.
• At least one meeting with SU staff a semester, where committees can give feedback on their experience to develop networks going forward and seek any additional support they may need for the following semester.
How to get involved
If you are interested in becoming a committee member get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, who can support you to get your network off the ground and start to grow your membership!