SU releases new three-year plan

The Students’ Union has released an ambitious new three-year strategy, outlining the future of the Union’s services and structure.

The new plan is designed to be representative of students’ needs and views and is built on a series of feedback exercises including the Big 5 survey and Rant Week earlier this year.

“It’s completely driven by what students have said. It’s a sensible approach to the problems that are facing the student movement at the moment,” said Democracy and Communications Officer Chris Luck.

The strategy includes five overarching themes: representation and campaigning; promoting a strong community; supporting and informing students; transforming students’ lives and enhancing employability; and ensuring the SU is sustainable.

However, it was unclear whether the Union would be able to deliver on some of the promises laid out in the document. A financial crisis last year led to a number of staff layoffs, reducing the Union’s workforce.

Although Luck assured students that “we will do everything we can to deliver,” he acknowledged that “there’s no denying that the redundancy process was a difficult process to go through”.

He added: “This [document] is saying what the most important things are to students at Warwick and how we’re going to deliver on it. The staff at Warwick SU absolutely buy into that.”

The plan also expresses hope that the SU will be able to successfully lobby the University. Luck denied that SU lobbying would be ineffective: “Every word of this comes from the members. It means we can confidently go to the University and say, we’re lobbying on this for reasons, it’s in our strategic document, that’s why we’re here. For me, that makes lobbying much more powerful.”

The SU will also aim to increase involvement from groups it feels need to engage more, particularly international students and postgraduates. “We’re acknowledging [their] needs are different, and we need to do some research to develop a clear action plan,” said Luck.

The new strategy was welcomed by some students. “Postgraduates feel isolated, and I think [the strategy] will definitely go towards representing [them],” said Yvonne Kay, a postgraduate History student. “The test will be the summer, when everything closes down and we’re still here,” she added.

“All the aims seem good; they’re what an SU should be doing. It’s just a shame that it’s taken them so long to realise that. Hopefully this won’t be another meaningless stunt and the sabbs will actually act on it,” said final-year undergraduate Megan Fortune.

Postgraduate student Rory Kinane commented: “The Strategy itself seems like a good thing to have published and available for students. However, the vast bulk of it is stuff the SU should already do or is already doing. There are some good ideas in there such as mobile phone signal booster in the Copper Rooms, an officer handbook and fundraising event ideas, but there are few measurable targets or new ideas.”

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