Student Unions provide students with a diverse range of engagement opportunities throughout their studies, and our experience has shown that “hard to reach” can mean very different things for these different activities. Bristol SU, for example, has seen significant numbers of BME students taking up leadership positions in the SU over the past few years, despite this being a group generally considered by the sector to be “hard to reach”.
Networks are a new democratic model launched at Bristol SU in 2016, which provide a variety of ways for students to engage with their Student Union. Recognising that not every student will want to stand in an election, student networks are spaces that bring together representatives, club and society members and interested students to work on issues which matter to them. To do this, networks incorporate elements of club and society activities with community organising techniques.
Their overall aims are to:
- Build communities
- Support students to develop through those communities
- Support students to organise and make change together
For more information on SU Networks, contact Helen Hoogewerf-mccomb