UWE Students' Union

UWE Students' Union

Infobox Students Union
name = UWE Students' Union

motto = Enhancing the Student Experience
established = 1971
institution = University of the West of England
president = Dom Passfield (SRC President), Katy Phillips (SRC Vice President), Alice Bouquet (Activities President), Lily Priggs (Sports President) ,
location = F Block, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, UK
members = 30,000
affiliated = NUS, BUCS
free_label =
free =
homepage = [http://www.uwesu.org/ http://www.uwesu.org/]

History and Background

UWESU (University of the West of England Students' Union), formerly known as BPSU (Bristol Polytechnic Students' Union) until it changed its name in line with its parent establishment becoming a university in 1992, is based at Frenchay campus on the outskirts of South Gloucestershire and was established in 1971.

The union has a turnover of over £2million each year aside from the block grant contribution from the university, though in 2006 found itself going into a deficit for the first time in 7 years.Solomon Hare Audit LLP, UWE Students' Union Financial Statements July 2006] Its facilities include representational and support services such as the JobShop and advice centre, as well as trading facilities such as numerous bars, shops and print shops.

The students' union affiliates to NUS, in 2006 voting with an 89% majority from 975 voters to remain affiliated to the organisation despite the history of criticisms the students' union at UWE has shared with other universities around the country.

UWESU, by the nature of the universities number of enrolled students, is one of the larger students' unions in the country. In keeping with this it also runs one of the largest Freshers' Fairs in the country, catering to up to 15,000 students that are interested in joining new clubs and societies as well as sampling what local and national student focused businesses offer.

UWESU is home to over 80 sports clubs and societies, the most successful being the UWE Boat Club consistently winning medals at BUCS competitions and more recently the Varsity Boat Race (formally known as the Bristol Boat Race) that takes place between Bristol University and UWE rowers.

Other clubs and societies worth a mention are the women's netball club that achieved a place in the BUCS Trophy final, held at the Sheffield Institute for Sport in 2006, but lost to University College Chichester 27-41, [http://www.busa.org.uk/fl/cup06.asp?divisionid=5026 BUSA Archived Results for Netball Trophy 2005/06] ] and women's football who won the BUSA Shield Final 13-0 against Liverpool Hope University College in 2006 [http://www.busa.org.uk/fl/cup06.asp?divisionid=5041 BUSA Archived Results for Football Shield 2005/06] ]

The students' union is currently organised so that a trustee level responsibility lies with four individual student members of the union that are elected by their peers. The last election, held in March 2008, saw a record of 3,229 members voting for 19 candidates.

abbatical Team History

2005 Academic Year-present day

"In 2005 a new constitution was adopted by UWESU that changed the traditional structure of a students' union president leading vice-presidents or executive officers, as well moving from one "Union Council" to three Councils with specific remits for Student Reps, Sports and Activities."

[*] These officers did not complete a full year for one reason or another.

From the founding of the Frenchay campus in 1977 (then called Coldharbour Lane) the BPSU had 7 sabbatical officers. Records for this period are incomplete.

1978/79 President – Andrew (Jeff) Barlow; Treasurer – Alan Barrett; Secretary & Services Officer – unknown; Transport, Clubs & Societies Officer – Ray Chalmers; Arts & Entertainments Officer – unknown; Education & Welfare Officer – unknown; Publicity & External Liaison Officer - unknown.

1977/78 President – Steve Crowther; Treasurer – John Dawes; Secretary & Services Officer – John Eastham; Transport, Clubs & Societies Officer – Pete Finch; Arts & Entertainments Officer – Steve Murphy; Education & Welfare Officer – Sue Robertson; Publicity & External Liaison Officer – Steve Sherratt.

1976/77 President – Al Hanagan; Treasurer – John Dawes; Arts & Entertainments Officer – Steve Murphy; Transport, Clubs & Societies Officer - Ian Atkinson;Education & Welfare Officer – Sue Robertson.

Location and Facilities

UWESU, the students' union at this university, is largely based at the Frenchay Campus though has site offices at Bower Ashton, Glenside, St Matthias and Hartpury campuses. UWESU also operates trading facilities such as bars and shops out of Frenchay, Bower Ashton, Glenside and St Matthias with the principle aim of giving students better value for money at university and as a platform that students can use to develop their own social programmes.

UWESU runs a shop, jobshop (employment advertisement centre for student friendly employers), launderette, advice centre, two bars and provides students with a place to print out and bind dissertations and hire a snooker table at Frenchay Campus.


UWESU operates through three councils which its four presidents are named after, SRC (Student Representative Council) dealing with Academic issues, Sports Council dealing with university sport issues, and Activities Council dealing with extracurricular issues that aren't sports related. These meetings are convened by their respective presidents at least 5 times a year, and are the highest level decision making body before the Annual General Meeting.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

UWESU has a primary function of representing students' during their time at University using the above described democratic processes, facilities and services offered. In line with the UWE's current strategic aims, and general practice within the students' union since at least 1990, another key role of UWESU is to provide extracurricular opportunities for its members. The responsibility and experience that comes with exploring these alternative activities can be essential parts to a graduates CV in an increasingly saturated graduate job market.


UWESU has a strong commitment to encouraging volunteering amongst the student community, the employment of a permanent staff member to deal with encouraging volunteering solidifying this fact. Offering accreditation from the Millennium Volunteers Scheme, UWESU awards students that volunteer to fundraise, run clubs and societies, as well as volunteer in more traditional sense with status that is recognised by employers nationally.

Events and Entertainments

Events and entertainments have been common place as a part of student participation in their union at UWE for the length of its existence. One of the longest running events of recent history is "Crunchie" which takes place every Friday night during term times at Frenchay campus.And Vodbull every monday at the Syndicate Superclub.


The student magazine, Westworld, is published four times a year and the newspaper, Western Eye, every month. Both publications are produced by the SU student media team, of which Sarah Pusey is currently the chief editor.


The student radio station, The Hub, moved to Frenchay campus in 2006 from The Rackhay in the centre of Bristol. The radio broadcasts around twelve hours a day on the internet and on 1449AM across Bristol. It was started in September 2004 in conjunction with UWE and now survives through the support of the Students' Union.

ee also


External links

* [http://www.uwesu.org/ez/ Official UWESU Homepage]

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