When you enrol at Manchester Met University you automatically become a member of The Union. The Students’ Union is a separate organisation to the University that works alongside it. The Union is there to make sure you have the best experience you can while you’re at uni and doesn’t focus on academic results. It’s about helping you with everything in life while you’re studying — it has an Advice Centre which you can go to for help with things like funding, childcare or landlord issues, a Voice team to make sure that the students’ views are listened to when the University makes decisions, and loads of opportunities such as societies to join or volunteering projects.
The Union is a charity and any money that it makes goes back into its services. If you buy a pint at the bar or a new sketchbook from the shop, the profit from that could be reinvested as a society grant, added to the campaign fund, or used to buy the free sanitary products that are in the bathrooms.
The Union building is in the heart of campus on Higher Cambridge Street. It’s on the same street as the Manchester School of Art, just up the road from Geoffrey Manton. It’s right opposite Victoria Halls and you’ll probably walk past it regularly if you need to get to Brooks for your lectures.
The unique thing about The Union is that its direction and goals are set by students. There are five Student Officers that work full-time to represent all MMU students. They decide The Union’s political direction, run campaigns, and hold the University to account when they make decisions which will impact students. You can get in touch with them any time to ask them what they’re doing, or let them know if something needs to change. The Officers are supported by a team of staff who keep The Union running on a day-to-day basis and make sure that students get the most out of their membership.
Around March time every year you’ll hear loads about ‘elections’. Every member of The Union (so all MMU students) can vote for who they want the Student Officers to be the next year — including postgraduates and people on foundation courses. Members of societies can also vote for who they want their new committee members to be.
All-in-all, The Union and its services exist to make sure that all students have a great experience at Uni. So, if you want to meet new people, maybe have a look at student societies. Or want to have something different on your CV? Check out the volunteering opportunities or the student staff vacancies. Is there something happening that just isn’t right? Make a change by talking to campaigns, or lobby a Student Officer. Need somewhere to buy lunch? We have a cafe, bar and shop that cater for all kinds of dietary requirements. Want a post-lecture pint? There’s the bar and the Salutation, which to loads of good beers.