By Charlotte Jude

With the presidential elections coming up thick and fast, it is important to know exactly what it is that the people who you vote in are going to be doing during their year in the job. As with any election, it is important to be clued up on why elections are taking place, what those roles entail and how they will affect you as a result. Therefore, to help debunk some of the myths and clear up exactly what it is that the presidents do, we’ve put together this little guide explaining exactly that, and when you get to have your say.

These role descriptions have been updated so that they cover exactly what the Presidents will be working on from June 2021 to June 2022, and what you, the student body will be able to hold them accountable to.

President of The Students’ Union

Leading the team is the President, who has an amalgamation of responsibilities that ensure they uphold the values of the Union and take an active role within HUSU (Hull University Students’ Union) for students. They serve as a Sabbatical Trustee (as do all of our presidents) and are lead representative for welfare-related issues within the Student body, working with the University and the HUSU Advice Centre to advocate for and support students with mental and sexual health, safety, harassment, finances, housing etc. They take a lead on campaigns, spend a minimum of 12 hours a month (which is the same amount for all of the roles) speaking to students directly so that their voices are heard and create accessible opportunities for students to become involved. Alongside all these general responsibilities, the president must attend a range of governance, strategic and operational meetings, hold committees, manage Development Zone finances, and ensure legal compliance in numerous areas, which they are, of course, given training for. They act as our spokesperson, holding a membership with the University Council and University Senate. In short, our president works hard and values students’ voices above all, so it’s incredibly important that somebody trustworthy and easily approachable is in charge so that you can help them engage in change.


President of Education

Also serving on the board of Trustees, the President of Education is responsible for taking an active role in leading the Education Zone, organising meetings, responding to feedback, and taking a lead on recruitment for faculty reps. They will consult with the student body on education and take a lead on campaigns to ensure the integration of academic representation. Working with Academic societies and programme level feedback, this role is all about making sure students are listened to in regards to the education that they receive whilst at the University, and the person upholding this role will also understand and act on political and governmental changes within Higher Education and how these impact Students.


President of Activities

Head of the Activities zone, this presidential role entails promoting and engaging in student opportunities throughout the Union, working closely alongside the President of Sport who has a similar role. Acting as chair of the Societies Executive Council and the Societies Awards committee, this person will actively promote recruitment and engage with societies, facilitating initiatives that enhance the development of students. They are lead representatives for the student media groups, student led volunteering, community volunteering opportunities, student employability and are the representative for RAG (Raising and Giving), meaning that they assist with volunteering and fundraising events that are in the best interest of all student groups. Overall, this role covers a lot of the activities run by the Union and is very similar to the President of Sport role which we will debunk next.


President of Sport

Leading the Sports Zone, this person is also the head of the Athletic Union. Responsible for representing and liaising with all of the sports teams within the Union, the President of Sports works to deliver the best possible facilities, support and opportunities for all sports teams and members. In charge of the Trophy Presentation committee, Colours committee and the AU Trophy Ball, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot going on for this president, who is in charge of all faculty level sports engagement initiatives. Working with our Team GB student panel, with HUSU members to deliver varsity home and away, and being the Students’ Union’s main representative to British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and any sporting competition where teams are representing HUSU and the University, this role covers multiple areas surrounding all things sport at the University.


President of Inclusivity and Diversity

This Presidential role encapsulates numerous areas and initiatives within the Union, and they are the lead representative for all matters related to the Protected Characteristics as set out in the Equality Act of 2010. They are also the lead representative on matters relating to social mobility and equality, sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination, in collaboration with the President of the Students’ Union and take a lead on events for HUSU Students not studying on Campus. They are also responsible for taking an active role in national and international awareness-raising and celebration campaign days, weeks and months for example Black History Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, Disability History Month, and liaise with local, regional, national, and international organisations on issues of education social justice. Essentially, the core focus of this role is to help bridge the gaps of equality within the student body and Union and work with the relevant HUSU staff on all issues pertaining to equality, inclusion, and diversity within the Union.


Now the Important Part – How Can You Vote?

This year, voting will run from Monday 12th April till 5pm on Friday 16th April. Before you vote, there will be numerous events and information releases so that you can gather as much insight as you can into the people you can vote for, starting with their manifesto releases on Friday 9th April – which we will be publishing in The Hullfire on Monday 12th April, ahead of Question Time that same evening. Question Time will be live-streamed this year and is a crucial event to enable students to see where candidates stand on certain issues and hear a little more about their campaigns.

On the Union website, there is a page that details all the ins and outs of the voting process and how you can go about it, so to read more about that, click here.

Hopefully, this article has been useful in assisting you with understanding exactly what those people we see all over our social media do on a daily basis, and how they help enhance our student experience. Following this, we encourage you to use your voice and vote from Monday 12th April.


Cover Image Credits – Tom Parker and the HUSU marketing team.