EXPLAINED: DSU’s new full-time executive roles for 2019

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De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) is run by students, for students. But what does that actually mean?

Every year, we invite the 27,000 students at De Montfort University (DMU) to vote for the student leaders who will guide DSU over the new 12 months – including five full-time executive officers.

And after our Annual General Meeting (AGM) voted in a 95% majority back in December to update the responsibilities of those five roles, we thought now was as good a time as any to explain what each role actually does.

All five sit alongside each other in an equal structure, and each has an area of expertise to ensure that DSU is representing the academic interests of our student members.

Full-time executive officers (sometimes called ‘sabbatical officers’) either take a break from their studies to take up the position, or immediately after they’ve graduated. They’re elected for a term of one year, and can hold the position for a maximum of two years.


Mollie Footitt, Deputy President (DP) Education at DSU, and Derrick Mensah, Vice President (VP) Student Activities at DSU, have both been on DSU’s Officer Team for two years – but must step down from their roles at the end of June.

The Union Development Executive is responsible for exactly that – developing the students’ union. They oversee our democratic functions (like Student Councils), finances and other policies. They’re also responsible for promotion (including things like Open Days and our work with partner colleges) and working on our Commercial Services to ensure that we can reinvest as much money as possible back into your student experience at DMU.

Our Academic Executive oversees the Course Rep and School Rep Coordinator (SRC) system to make sure we’re effectively representing your academic interests. They’re also responsible for supporting academic societies and related campaigns, as well as lobbying the university on stuff like timetabling plus assessments and the quality of feedback you receive.

The Equality and Diversity Executive is tasked with making sure DSU is as inclusive as possible, and to develop equality and diversity strategies to hear the views of all 27,000 students at DMU. They’re our lead on reducing the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) attainment gap, and are committed to tackling discrimination in all forms. Elsewhere, they’re also responsible for mentoring, plus supporting liberation groups and cultural societies.

It’s the job of our Student Opportunities and Engagement Executive to take a lead on supporting our student groups – all of our societies, Demon Media, plus sports clubs in conjunction with DMUsport – and to work with the university on initiatives such as #DMUglobal. They’re also in charge of DSU’s engagement in the local community, and our initiatives to make you more employable.

Finally, the Welfare Executive is responsible for campaigns to improve the health of our members – whether that be physical, mental or sexual – as well as student accommodation and the safety of students at DMU. They also take a lead on our volunteering strategies, Raise and Give (RAG) and community relations.

If you’re a current student at DMU, you can put yourself forward for any of the five full-time positions – or one of seven part-time roles – during the DSU Elections 2019.

Nominations open on Wednesday 30 January, and close at 11:59pm on Sunday 17 February. Voting will then take place across campus in early March, and next year’s Officer Team will take up their roles at the start of July.

You can find out more about our Elections – including how to nominate yourself – here.


Have you got what it takes to lead your students’ union? Find out more about our Elections season here.

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