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The perfect Students' Union? It's all about service

The perfect Students' Union? It's all about service

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Published by DHL Express UK
Feature in May's issue of Spotlight Magazine, describing the perfect Students' Union.
Feature in May's issue of Spotlight Magazine, describing the perfect Students' Union.

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Published by: DHL Express UK on Jul 18, 2012
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11/13/2014

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SERVICE
THE PERFECTSTUDENTS’ UNION?IT’S ALL ABOUT
Everyone, from students tosupport sta and elected o cers,has their own vision of ‘unionutopia’. For some, it’s a place toescape the stress of exam seasonwith a few cheap pints and ahalf-decent pizza. For others it’sa space to study in peace andquiet, away from the hustle andbustle of campus life.But ask students what they need, and there’s one wordthat crops up time and again.Services. Services matter. ey matter for an academically fruitful experience. And they matter for supporting the kindof life-changing experience yougo to university for in the rstplace.Want to know why? Read on,and nd out how you can makethe most of the services your SUoers…
DESIGN WITH SERVICE IN MIND
A great SU is a place you wantto be, the hub of your daily life.But the very best are vibrant, versatile and inspiring too.Places you’d be happy to holdyour weekly sports club meeting,hang out with friends, or burnthe midnight oil on another last-ditch essay attempt.So where does service comeinto it? Simple! Great SU design isall about making services – fromcareers advice and counselling toshops and IT – accessible.Accessibility is key. So muchso that innovative SU’s havebeen taking a leaf out of thebooks of high street megabrands– working closely with ‘space’experts to create social hubs andeasy-to-access services.Keep your social spaces open-plan to encourage sports cluband society meet-ups, and keepyour quiet study spaces away from those boisterous SU barshenanigans. And think visibility.Student advice services should beeasy-to-nd and welcoming, butprivacy is also critical.Most importantly, ask studentswhat they want. Aer all, they know what they need from theirSU better than anyone!
EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN ONE PLACE
No SU would be completewithout somewhere to grab asarnie. Or a bank to get cashout for a big night out. Or abookshop – they really comein handy when you’re trying toget hold of another hard-to-ndset text. Printers, conveniencestores, laundry facilities, ITrepairs, newsagents – they’re alluseful too. And come to think of it, life without somewhere tosend letters and parcels fromwould be pretty unbearable.But your SU’s list of shopsisn’t just about giving studentsthe day-to-day services they need on their doorstep. It’salso about advertising youruniversity. Remember: shopsand services can be the decidingfactor for prospective studentstrying to gure out where tospend the next three or fouryears of their life.Big global brands are amassive draw. ey’re instantly recognisable, world-renownedand implicitly trusted by millions of students everywhere.Having a great service is onething. Having a great serviceprovided by a global megabrandhelps boost your SU’s image by association. Given the choice, it’sa simple selling point not to bemissed!
 What makes for a bloomin’ brilliant students’ union? Ask thequestion five times and chances are you’ll get five differentanswers. But look closely and you’ll find one factor that stands out …
OUR ADVICE? ADVICE MATTERS
is one really goes withoutsaying: the ideal student union isabout more than just shops. It’sabout supporting every aspectof student life. Whether it’s helpnavigating the tricky world of careers, or academic counsellingto get students through thatdi cult nal year, adviceservices are key. ey can liyour SU above the rest – becausethey’re the dierence betweena forgettable few years and funtimes on the rich and rewardingroad to success.
REINVEST FOR SUCCESS
Student unions may technically be classed as ‘not-for-prot’. atdoesn’t mean you shouldn’t belooking to maximise the cashavailable to reinvest in studentservices.Simply, a good SU providesthe services you need. Buta truly great SU is run likea business – always on thelookout to generate income andmaking the most of commissionopportunities from thebusinesses (banks, newsagents,parcel delivery companies) itworks with.
COME TO THINKOF IT, LIFE WITHOUTSOMEWHERE TOSEND LETTERS ANDPARCELS FROM WOULD BE PRETTYUNBEARABLE.
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