De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) has pledged to expand #ReviewDSU and undertake a full governance review to ensure that it best represents students at De Montfort University (DMU).
Dan Winney, President of DSU and chair of the Trustee Board, updated the union’s Annual General Meeting last night on the progress of the National Union of Students (NUS)-led Officer Team review.
“In students’ unions, it is good practice to carry out officer role reviews every three to five years,” he said. “Here at DSU a review had not been conducted for over 15 years.
“At the end of the last academic year, the Trustee Board approved a review of the DSU officer roles, to be carried out by an external organisation. The National Union of Students (NUS)’ Strategic Support Unit conducted the review.
“#ReviewDSU was our main focus during the first term of 2016/17, and a survey sent out to students asked questions about understanding of the current officer positions and the students’ union as a democratic organisation.
“We are massively grateful to the more than 1,500 students who completed the survey and to those who attended the focus group on Wednesday 16 November, held after Education Council, which allowed students to discuss their preferences for possible future structures of the elected Officer Team.”
The review also included focus groups with senior members of the university and union staff teams, as well as the current Officer Team.
Last night's AGM was the biggest ever for DSU, with 216 DMU students attending to hold their students' union to account.
A final report from NUS was then presented to Trustee Board on Tuesday 22 November, which predominantly provided information about student opinions of the current officer team structure, and also proposed a number of alternative recommendations for how our elected Officer Team could look in the future.
Dan continued: “During the meeting the Board noted that the report did not provide enough evidence to show which of these recommendations our members favoured.
“There were reservations over the size of the student focus group, with concerns that not enough students had been present to accurately represent what students want their elected Officer Team to structure to be.
“The Board concluded that the research would provide a useful starting block for further changes to the governance of DSU.
“However, the Board determined that more needed to be done to measure student preferences concerning the future structure of our Officer Team, and that this could not be suitably completed before the opening of nominations in January 2017.”
The Board has now directed DSU to undertake a full governance review, including recommendations for a new Officer Team structure, which will be brought back to the next Annual General Meeting in 2017/18.
Dan concluded: “This will allow us to make sure that our Officer Team represent all students at De Montfort and ensure that your time at university is the best it can be.”
You can read the full Officer Team review presented by NUS to the Trustee Board here.
The meeting – the biggest democratic meeting in the DSU calendar – was the first to be held in DMU's new Vijay Patel building.