Please click on a section or department to find out more about them, or you can view the whole staff structure from the link at the bottom of the page.
The Finance Section has identified its core purpose as to provide information that will assist all other departments make the financial decisions needed to develop and implement their visions.
This translates as their being responsible for reporting on the financial performance of SUSU, to achieve this they obviously manage all the transactions and in addition take responsibility for ensuring solid systems and procedures exist for the protection of our assets.
A team of eight people oversee the accounts function, handling some £4,000,000 in cash and over £1,000,000 in card payments. All purchase and staff wages are processed through this busy department, the payroll is split between monthly paid core staff and 4 weekly support staff. In the last reported 12 month period we had 650 different people on the payroll. All SUSU’s finances are processed on Sage 200 and together Business Intelligence reporting package reports can be generated at any time.
Management accounts are prepared for submission to the Finance Sub Committee of the Board on a monthly basis. These are presented alongside monthly phased budgets with a narrative from the Head of Finance – who heads up this section. In addition each Board meeting receives latest information soon to be presented the form of the Charity SORP along with the management accounts.
The Finance Section also manages SUSU’s transport fleet. We own and contract hire 6 vehicles for clubs and societies use and also provide a successful safety bus on club nights which allows affordable transport home from our late night events to their home.
Lead by our Director of Engagement, this section exists to develop involvement and engagement amongst our members. Whether we are removing barriers in their lives, negotiating and campaigning for improvements or supporting student led activities, our goal is to enhance their experience at university. All of this involves the closest working relationship with our elected officers.
Our Union Plan to 2015 sets ambitious aspirations for our work towards our mission. Leadership of these goals is taken on by the senior leadership team, with a large share falling to our Head of Membership & Community Engagement. We are keen to make substantial improvements to the support we are able to give to our students in developing and delivering their activities, campaigns and representation.
Recent areas of work priority include leading our changes to register as a charity, updating our student group practices with regard to safekeeping and updating all of our rules to conform to our new Memorandum and Articles of Association. In the future we are anticipating a focus on developing over-arching strategies to deepen and broaden our membership engagement, develop our provision to students based at various sites and strengthen our participation within local communities.
There are 3 departments within the section: Democracy, Student Activities, Advice & Representation
A core aspiration in our Union Plan to 2015 is to maximise involvement in our decision making processes. A central plank of this is to make sure these activities are transparent to all our members and that all students have access to our leadership, voluntary and representative opportunities.
Our democracy team aim to ensure all students are able to unlock their full potential through accessing, understanding, and engaging with SUSU democratic opportunities and decision making throughout their student-cycle. In their departmental plan for this year, we have identified these three core goals:
- Develop and maintain a strong reliable foundation of democratic systems and procedures
- Ensure all students have access to our leadership and representative opportunities
- Engage students within a culture of influence through participation throughout their student life cycle
This department is still relatively new. We employ a co-ordinator and an assistant in the team. As there is no manager within the structure a good deal of direction is provided by the Head of Membership & Community Engagement.
The Student Activities Department exists to encourage and support all students to engage in an exciting programme of innovative student-led activities, projects and events. Student Activities is very much at the heart of student-led activity in SUSU and plays an essential role in maximising the benefits our members gain from their non-academic life.
Elected officers, through their committees, decide which activities will deliver the best possible engagement opportunities for student members. The Student Activities staff team supports and provides continuity for these committees both by providing knowledgeable advice and experience and by providing administrative support. Currently the staff team of nine are based across two sites and support the following activity zones of SUSU
- Sports: supporting and developing our sports-focussed student groups within this activity zone
- External Engagement: including community action, student fundraising and enterprise and liaison with external bodies to the joint benefit of our members and our local community
- Student Communities: this zone includes our Junior Common Room (JCRs) supporting students in Halls of residence, International, Postgraduate, Site-based and other communities of students
- Creative Industries: supporting and developing our creative industry-focussed student groups (e.g. media, performing arts etc.)
Advice & Representation
As the legitimate voice of our members, it is critical that SUSU consistently and effectively represents student interest and delivers on well thought through campaigns and other representation activity that has a positive impact on students’ lives. The Advice & Representation Department was created to act as the students' watchdog, constantly identifying barriers to the student experience and campaigning for positive change, whilst continuing to deliver an excellent advice service.
This year’s departmental plan identifies three core goals:
- We will ensure that all key audiences are aware of, and that all students can access, a first class Advice Centre service wherever they may be
- We will be the students' watchdog, consistently identifying and acting on any issue detrimentally affecting the student experience
- Making change happen by supporting our elected representatives to campaign effectively
In more detail, the department delivers the following:
- Development and maintenance of a strong platform on which our representatives are fully supported and inspired to carry out their role with courage and conviction, leading to real change
- Provision of an independent and confidential quality advice and support service which is easily accessible to all students, wherever they may be, firmly placing students at the centre of everything we do
- Proactively support our representatives in the research, creation and implementation of policy
- Understand and promote change for better student life
- Development and provision of a system to ensure tight and efficient cross referral of issues across the Union
- Plan and deliver effective campaigning for change
- Deliver a pro-active and responsive service, dedicated to overcome barriers to success
The A & R Department is headed up by the Advice & Representation Manager. In addition we employ four Student Advisers who give individual information, advice and representation service to students and monitor, research, analyse and advise on relevant local, national and global policy. Our Policy & Representation Co-ordinator provides and co-ordinates support, advice and training for student officers and representatives. The team is supported by two Administrative Assistants with Student Staff as required
Our People Development section delivers our aspiration to unlock the potential of ALL our people. So unusually, they are responsible for all the usual HR functions and ensuring our elected officers and volunteers are given the support and skills they need to excel.
It is made up of three staff teams: Personnel, People Development and Office Support.
The Head of People Development is responsible, in essence, for the recruitment, retention, development and departure of our people.
The Personnel team enable staff to unlock their potential and enrich their working life through developing and implementing a range of policies, processes and procedures to manage the people of the organisation. Their work is guided by policies established by the Staffing Sub-Committee of Trustee Board.
Their core coals are to unlock the potential of all staff through the implementation of appropriate people development strategies; to enable managers to recruit, retain and develop the best possible staff to support SUSU in its work; and to develop an inclusive environment that welcomes, supports and values diversity and the contribution of individuals.
The People Development team invest in and offer support to all our people which allows them to develop to their full potential. Their core goals are to unlock the potential of all volunteers and staff through training; to recognise and celebrate excellence and celebrate both within SUSU and beyond; and to develop an inclusive environment that welcomes, supports and values diversity and the contribution of individuals.
The Office Support department provide an effective administrative and reception service to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Sabbatical Offices, supporting the leaders of their organisation in their work.
We recognise our commercial and trading services as critical to the success of SUSU. In particular they offer the first or main point of contact for many of our members. They bring visitors to our spaces and generate revenue for us to invest in our other core activities. We are working to ensure our customer service standards are second to none and that our values are reflected throughout our operations. The demands on our operations continue to grow as legislation increases, competition remains tough and our members are ever more demanding. We are also keen to diversify our income streams and improvements commercially form an important part of this strategy.
SUSU currently operates bars, entertainments, shops and catering outlets across our main Highfield Union location, halls bars in Southampton and entertainment from within the WSA Café in Winchester. Recently we have opened the SUSU Letting Agency which is situated within our main buildings at Highfield. This is anticipated to be fully operational within weeks and we are currently registering interests with both our students and local landlords.
Total trading turnover projected for the current year is £4.3m, with a surplus approaching £333k.
In addition this section includes our facilities operation, which currently has a revenue expenditure budget of over £600,000 including building rent. We have aspirations to develop a master plan and an annual investment plan in our facilities in order to deliver the outlets and spaces relevant to our members needs and aspirations. Finally this team is home to our Health & Safety work.
We continually invest in our physical space that has seen over recent years extensive projects as diverse as our entrances and concourse area, a new catering seating area and a totally refurbished shop. At Highfield we recently invested £500k to extensively refurbish our Bridge Bar that now delivers high quality cuisine with an extensive range of wine, spirits and beers in arguably the best surroundings on campus. We have also worked closely with the university on delivering the new WSA Café at Winchester which has seen investment of over £750k on a new shared facility providing both services from SUSU and university catering. We are keen to ensure our facilities remain attractive and relevant to our members by establishing a rolling programme of investment.
Each commercial department within the section is headed up by an experienced operational manager.
- Health and Safety
- Sales & Sponsorship
The whole section is headed up by our Director of Union Services.
The Facilities team are focused on providing excellent facilities ensuring that all of the spaces SUSU occupies are safe, clean and ready to accommodate all the activities, around the clock. The maintenance and physical refurbishments are handled in conjunction with the University Estates & facilities team who offer guidance and support on array of technical matters. Over recent years we have completed a £250k refurbishment of the main concourse and reception area, £500k on completely refurbishing the Bridge Bar and last summer completed a £120k project creating The Hub for our advice centre and student support services. We have also carried out numerous other projects both large and small scale and will continue with this capital investment programme whilst working on the Master Plan for SUSU facilities in conjunction with the University.
The Facilities team also manage the reception area and are responsible for all room bookings, transport requests and additional services required by our student groups. We also provide specialist services for Graduation and open days throughout our facilities.
The Bars Department aim to be the hub of social life providing good times, friendships and memories throughout a variety of licensed venues on the Highfield Campus and various halls of residences throughout Southampton. With a turnover of £893k the main aim of the department is to enhance the student experience by providing a wide variety of safe venues where the Union’s members and guests can socialise both on campus at Southampton and within four of the University Halls of Residence. Bars also look after Bubble Tea which provides a Taiwanese tea-based concept of fusion type drinks and cocktails situated on Bar 3 in building 42 on Highfield Campus. Our two main bars are The Stag’s Head which has a more traditional type feel to it providing a venue for live music, karaoke, ale festivals and showing live sports on both Sky and BT. The Bridge provides a more relaxed atmosphere with a fine selection of beers, wines and spirits in a highly quality venue that plays host to the Laughter Lounge (our comedy club) conferences, live acoustic music and also plays host to a wide variety of needs to all our student groups. The excellent food offer is provided by a very own catering team and is well worth the visit.
The Catering team deliver a high quality competitive catering service within SUSU whilst aiming to generate a trading surplus. They are responsible for the Café; open 7 days a week in term time and 5 days a week in vacations. This service offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wide variety of refreshments and snacks. Located on level 3 of the main Students’ Union building it is the largest of our catering outlets. The Bridge Bar plays host to our freshly cooked to order menu which provides high quality food at unbelievable prices. This increasingly popular venue provides a service throughout the day and into the early evening. Open similar days to other catering outlets it also provides an excellent Sunday Carvery most week-ends which again are always well attended. The team also staff the Coffee Shop located within the concourse for those of us who like to quickly grab and go! Serving Fair-trade barista coffee with a fine selection of locally produced cakes at a price aimed at the student purse. The team also provide vending facilities and catering for functions and meetings throughout the Union and University. Total catering turnover is currently over £782k.
The Entertainments Department aims to be at the heart of delivering great nights out throughout our venues and facilities. The current programme includes regular weekly events on the Highfield campus such as The Laughter Lounge in association with Comedy Central UK, Karaoke, Quiz & Curry, Post Grad Quiz, Under the Bridge, Live Music, Open Mic and Fine Dining events. In addition to regular events the Entertainments team produce our annual major events, presenting an excellent Freshers programme and making all of our prestige events the most anticipated within the social calendar. These include Freshers Ball, Graduation Ball, Christmas Ball, Christmas Lights Switch On, Excellence in Volunteering Awards, Excellence in Teaching Awards and the AU Ball. A regular programme of live events is also planned in conjunction with a range of external promoters. We currently host the annual Takedown Festival in association with one of our promoters that sees over 2,000 people using our premises. In addition the team programme bespoke events at our halls bars and in Winchester for our site based students.
Many of the events at the Students’ Union are promoted by student groups. The Entertainments team is also responsible for ensuring they have all the information, knowledge and support they require to ensure their events reach the same high standards expected of all of our events. The annual turnover is currently over £326k with the aim of financially contributing to SUSU. Our specific goals for the coming year are to increase attendance and satisfaction at SUSU events. This may be through review of the current programme or by adding new events.
Situated on the Highfield campus The Shop caters for all our members’ consumer needs. The shop aims to deliver a customer focused dynamic retail experience to the highest possible standards whilst providing a diverse range of high quality, competitively priced and ethically sound products. The shop has an annual turnover of £2.23m and is open 7 days a week in term time and 5 days a week in vacations.
Led by the Director of Operations, this Directorate is comprised of all support areas to include Finance, Marketing, Communications, Technology and Personnel. This innovative and effective team provides streamlined, timely, targeted and effective support services throughout the organisation to allow the Union to engage with more members more often
. They are tasked with continuously working to find innovative solutions across the whole range of support functions to deliver a cost efficient and high impact service that is building capacity for the future.
The Marketing team aims to drive SUSU forward by knowing our key audiences better than anyone else and engaging with them proactively. They lead on the implementation of our brand, and maximising opportunities to grow our involvement
The Technology team is responsible for developing innovative software solutions to serve our business needs, along with the provision and maintenance of our IT hardware and software. They also provide the technical support for our venues and events, including staging and lighting to ensure that our members receive a professional quality entertainments experience.
Sales & Sponsorship
This department is responsible for securing sales & sponsorship opportunities for the whole organisation. Whilst ensuring we maintain our commitment to having high ethical standards when dealing with our clients, we expect this area to provide significant support to our major events such as the Freshers’ Fayre, the Graduation Ball, Varsity and projects within both our Union Services and Engagement directorates. This area will also be responsible for our Weekly Market trading, liaising with company promotions and bringing in exciting interactive displays via sponsorship support.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety is at the heart of everything we do. The Health & Safety Manager / Advisor is responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of the Health & Safety Policy within SUSU. The post is key to bringing about a positive H&S culture by embedding processes and ensuring that our workplaces and events are safe, healthy and effective for all our staff, student members and visitors throughout SUSU.
Recently opened we are determined to ensure we create a business that will be a real legacy for SUSU in the way we support and assist our students throughout their journey whilst at University. We will focus on the welfare of our members by playing our part on providing quality housing and influencing the market to continue to work to standards set under the SASSH accreditation scheme.
This newly opened business is situated in the heart of our main SUSU building and we believe has unrivalled access to our students in delivering their accommodation needs locally.