So you have an idea for change?

Select the area that you are interested in below.






Where do you want to make a difference?


Chat to your course rep!

Course reps are the elected students responsible for gathering opinions from you about your course on everything from class sizes, to course content and the academic resources available to you. They act as your spokesperson to create change within your department.

If you don’t know who your course rep is, contact Emma your Education Policy Coordinator at emma.l.watson@durham.ac.uk.

Benjamin Malz - PG (LLM) Law

"Due to the structure of our programme, which has relatively few contact hours but is assessed by extensive essays, we changed the Law School's policy of only giving out a topic six weeks before the respective deadline. Over Christmas break, this led to heavy workloads for most students as 2 or 3 topics might have been released at almost the same time. Now students can start on their summatives during term time, thus making deadlines in quick succession in March more manageable."

Select your level of study


Drop your UG academic officer an email!

Your Undergraduate Academic Officer represents undergraduate students' academic interests. Sam takes academic concerns to a University level and directly to staff members.

Find out more about Sam and how they've been making Durham better here.

Last year, your previous Officer Saul found out that students in Law were being allocated seminar groups rather than being able to choose them. Despite assurances from the University that departments would help them switch group if they needed to, Law was requiring students to find someone to swap with if they wanted to change groups.

Saul raised this the relevant University staff member and the issue was resolved.

Email Saul at su.ugacademic@durham.ac.uk.

Drop your Postgraduate officer an email!

Your Postgraduate Academic Officer represents postgraduate students' academic interests. David takes academic concerns to a University level and directly to staff members.

Find out more about David and how he’s been making Durham better here.

A postgraduate emailed David with a timetabling issue – they had three lectures straight after each other that were at opposite ends of Durham. David looked at the timetables and found this affected quite a few students, so emailed the timetabling staff asking for a swap.

They were reluctant, so David got in touch with the Business School administrators who understood the modules involved. They identified a lecture that could swap location, solving the problem, and making the schedule easier for all students and the lecturer involved.

Email David at su.pgacademic@durham.ac.uk.

Where do you want to get involved?


National Union of Students (NUS)

The NUS has a long history of championing students’ rights through campaigning and influencing politics in the UK and worldwide. Whether it’s tackling student fees, protesting the environment or promoting equal rights NUS can be a way to get your issues heard on a national level.

Take action right now by getting involved in current campaigns or you can represent Durham on a national scale and run to be an NUS Delegate. To find more, visit our NUS Hub or contact our Campaigns Coordinator.

Submit your idea online through Raise Your Voice

This tool allows you to submit your idea, no matter how big or small, to receive the support of students. Your idea will be shared, and if it reaches 50 likes, it will be taken on by the SU to be run as a campaign with you.

A student wanted to change the process of how students without a UK-based guarantor had to pay large sums of money up front to be able to rent from private landlords in Durham. They submitted their idea to Raise Your Voice online, where it quickly gained the support of students. We then helped the student get the idea supported by student representatives at Assembly, and an Officer successfully lobbied the University to introduce a pilot rental guarantor scheme, which should start soon!

How do you want to make a difference?




Associations

Associations bring together students from underrepresented groups to provide safe spaces to meet, make friends, lobby for change and make sure that everyone feels at home in Durham.

If you want to find out what they’re up to and take part in their campaigns and events, you can follow them on social media or drop them an email.

Assembly

If you want your idea supported by lots of student representatives, consider taking it to assembly!

Students from all across the university sit on ‘Assembly’ representing your voice. They vote on suggestions you have submitted to influence what the SU will focus on and what changes should be made. Once an idea has been approved the SU will work with you to make it happen.

Any student can submit an idea (policy) to Assembly and any student can attend to speak for or against an idea. So come along and be part of the conversation!

If you’d like to find out more about how you can submit a policy to Assembly, get in touch with your Policy Manager: rebecca.henderson@durham.ac.uk

An international student wanted to change the process of how international students, estranged students and students without a UK based guarantor had to pay large sums of money up front to be able to rent from private landlords in Durham. Working with our Policy Manager to develop their idea, the student then asked Assembly to mandate the SU to lobby the University to set up a rental guarantor scheme. The university has agreed to run a pilot of the scheme starting this term!

Apply for the money through our campaigns fund

There’s up to £100 available to help you run a campaign/event you really care about. Just fill in the form here, and our Campaigns Coordinator will be in touch with ways we can support you.

Amie Key applied to the campaign fund with the idea of doing something to raise the awareness about estranged students in Durham. Having never run a campaign before, she was unsure where to start, but with the support of our Campaigns Coordinator she ran a successful awareness week highlighting what University life is like for students who are estranged from their families, and also creating a network of estranged students through social events put on in that week.

Drop your Welfare and Liberation Officer an email

Your Welfare and Liberation Officer makes sure student life is fairer and that every student has the same opportunities. Amelia can take issues to a University level and directly to staff members. Find out more about Amelia and how she’s making Durham better here

There are lots of options for support and spaces that can help students’ wellbeing in Durham, but Meg recognised that there was no resource bringing all these options together.

To address this issue, Meg created the Wellbeing Map that allows students to make an informed decision on how to reach help when they need it.

Do you want to be a future leader?



Run to be an Officer!

Each year five Sabb Officers (President, Opportunities Officer, Welfare and Liberation Officer, UG Academic Officer, PG Academic Officer) are elected into office here at the SU. Together they set the future direction of the Students' Union and make lasting changes. It’s their job to ensure students' voices are heard at the highest level. Any student, whether this is your first or final year in Durham, can run to be a Student Officer. There are five Student Officers each looking after different parts of student life. These roles are full-time and paid. Officers lead the Students' Union, deciding how to make the future better for students.

For more information, contact our Campaigns Coordinator charlotte.lawson@durham.ac.uk

Consider running to be an Officer

Every year we ask you to vote for the students you think should be elected as our full time Officers. These Officers direct and shape the future of your Students' Union. They make lasting changes to improve the lives of students and ensure your voice is heard at the highest level. We have five Student Officer positions that you can run for, each one covers a specific area but you can shape the role dependent on your own interests. Lots of different people have run to be Officers with varying levels of involvement in the SU and their Common Rooms. All you need are ideas for change.

If you have concerns you’d like clearing up, email Charlotte, our Campaigns Coordinator, at charlotte.lawson@durham.ac.uk. You can view a video on some mythbusters below:

Get funding for your idea

There’s up to £100 available to help you run a campaign/event you really care about. Just fill in the form here, and our Campaigns Coordinator will be in touch with ways we can support you.

Amie Key applied to the campaign fund with the idea of doing something to raise the awareness about estranged students in Durham. Having never run a campaign before, she was unsure where to start, but with the support of our Campaigns Coordinator she ran a successful awareness week highlighting what University life is like for students who are estranged from their families, and also creating a network of estranged students through social events put on in that week.

How do you want to make a difference?


Apply for the money through our campaigns fund

There’s up to £100 available to help you run a campaign/event you really care about. Just fill in the form here, and our Campaigns Coordinator will be in touch with ways we can support you.

Amie Key applied to the campaign fund with the idea of doing something to raise the awareness about estranged students in Durham. Having never run a campaign before, she was unsure where to start, but with the support of our Campaigns Coordinator she ran a successful awareness week highlighting what University life is like for students who are estranged from their families, and also creating a network of estranged students through social events put on in that week.

Submit your idea online through Raise Your Voice

This tool allows you to submit your idea, no matter how big or small, to receive the support of students. Your idea will be shared, and if it reaches 50 likes, it will be taken on by the SU to be run as a campaign with you.

A student wanted to change the process of how students without a UK-based guarantor had to pay large sums of money up front to be able to rent from private landlords in Durham. They submitted their idea to Raise Your Voice online, where it quickly gained the support of students. We then helped the student get the idea supported by student representatives at Assembly, and an Officer successfully lobbied the University to introduce a pilot rental guarantor scheme, which should start soon!

How do you want to make a difference?



Drop an Officer an email

For an idea relating to student well-being: contact Amelia, your Welfare and Liberation Officer: su.welflib@durham.ac.uk

For an idea relating to education: contact Sam, your Undergraduate Academic Officer: su.ugacademic@durham.ac.uk

For an idea relating to postgraduate education: contact David, your Postgraduate Academic Officer: su.pgacademic@durham.ac.uk

For an idea relating to student activities and the SU bar and café: contact Jess, your Opportunities Officer: su.opportunities@durham.ac.uk

For an idea involving all sorts: contact Kate, your SU President: su.president@durham.ac.uk

Get backing from student representatives!

If you want your idea supported by lots of student representatives, consider taking it to assembly!

Students from all across the university sit on ‘Assembly’ representing your voice. They vote on suggestions you have submitted to influence what the SU will focus on and what changes should be made. Once an idea has been approved the SU will work with you to make it happen.

Any student can submit an idea (policy) to Assembly and any student can attend to speak for or against an idea. So come along and be part of the conversation!

If you’d like to find out more about how you can submit a policy to Assembly, get in touch with your Policy Manager: rebecca.henderson@durham.ac.uk

An international student wanted to change the process of how international students, estranged students and students without a UK based guarantor had to pay large sums of money up front to be able to rent from private landlords in Durham. Working with our Policy Manager to develop their idea, the student then asked Assembly to mandate the SU to lobby the University to set up a rental guarantor scheme. The university has agreed to run a pilot of the scheme starting this term!

Submit your idea online through Raise Your Voice

This tool allows you to submit your idea, no matter how big or small, to receive the support of students. Your idea will be shared, and if it reaches 50 likes, it will be taken on by the SU to be run as a campaign with you.

A student wanted to change the process of how students without a UK-based guarantor had to pay large sums of money up front to be able to rent from private landlords in Durham. They submitted their idea to Raise Your Voice online, where it quickly gained the support of students. We then helped the student get the idea supported by student representatives at Assembly, and an Officer successfully lobbied the University to introduce a pilot rental guarantor scheme, which should start soon!