Talk:Students' union

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 7 January 2021 and 8 April 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Brenlow74.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 10:20, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Surely Students' union is the best place for this? A Student council is often just an organ of that. Timrollpickering 10:21, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

3d paragraph[edit]

I think the 3rd paragraph from the top is quite biased, especially towards the end. And I agree that student uion is the more correct place for this page...

Article name[edit]

Student unions, student governments, and the like are all types of student councils. The title reflects the broader and more inclusive term, and also avoids any ambiguity with a student center building, which is also often called a "student union".   –radiojon 02:30, 2004 Oct 17 (UTC)

Students' union is the general catch-all term in use - a student council implies something much narrower, usually just a decision making body of a type which many students' union do not have. Timrollpickering 08:57, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The term "students' union" is not in general usage in the Southern or Western United States (to my knowledge). I think councils is better, based on that fact alone. Sahrin (talk) 03:57, 1 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1994 Education Act[edit]

The Act did not initially focus on "voluntary membership". It was first all about restricting what unions could spend money on. It was only after the gov backed down from this that they changed it to vol memb. Also, the Act was fought probably most effectively by the two Oxbridge unions, since the gov put the Act through the House of Lords first, which was/is dominated by their grads.

The article says "All universities and further education colleges must have a students' union which is independent of the educational institution. All students are automatically members of their students' union unless they resign their membership, and the ultimate purpose of students' unions is to democratically represent the interests of their members. Students who resign their membership may still use Union social facilities provided (often the main or only such facilities available) since they are for the benefit of the students of the institution, not just Union members." This is not true. I read the Education Act 1994 (it's quite short) and there is nothing about "must have a Student's Union. The article implies that, by law, there must be an official SU, of which everyone at a university is automatically a member. Not true. (talk) 20:53, 27 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move to Students' union[edit]

I'd like to propose moving the page back there. "Student council" is simply not a clear definition - many, many SUs have no council for one think. SU is the standard term.

If there's no objection, I'll move it next week. Timrollpickering 23:51, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

UK listed first?[edit]

why is the UK listed first? what's with the ordering of the countries listed here? (Written by

Probably just the way the article grew; alphabetical order is just as valid if someone wants to do it. --Daveb 08:54, 26 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


from the article:

"That is, students may opt out of membership if they wish, for example on ideological grounds, although this is rare. Such students may still use the social facilities provided by the Union (often the main or only such facilities available) since they are for the benefit of the students of the institution, not just Union members."

Is this correct? My understanding of the opt-out procedure was that you then certainly would not be allowed in the Union as of right (although you can still get members to sign you in) -- this going so far as for my university (Edinburgh) to have a differently-designed matric card for those that have opted out. Mendor 21:08, 12 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My understanding is that the law says the facilities must be available to all students. Since more and more universities are building students' union membership into the identification card then variants will be needed for opt-outs - this is so they cannot vote in elections and meetings. Timrollpickering 21:38, 12 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From the text of the Act: "(c) a student should have the right— (i) not to be a member of the union, or (ii) in the case of a representative body which is not an association, to signify that he does not wish to be represented by it, and students who exercise that right should not be unfairly disadvantaged, with regard to the provision of services or otherwise, by reason of their having done so;"
Don't think there's any test case, so the interpretation could go one way or the other. However, if the union building concern license means only member or member's guest could be inside, then the opt-out'd member couldn't enter . -- KTC 17:30, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was under the impression that the "members" in the context of the licence are the students at the university (plus others like reciprocals, associate and honorary members) and that the opt-out refers to political representation and participation. Timrollpickering 18:52, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not sure since never seen a copy of such license. However, since the union (building & license) if is wholely owned by the student union / association, then such permise is probably treated as a member only club. In such case surely, the member is membership of the union & any other people the union deem fit (reciprocals etc.). Remember (in most case), it's someone at the union that's the licensee, not someone from the university. I could be very wrong though, have to look it up. -- KTC 21:19, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm confused. I tried to look up the equivalent of the Dutch word Studentenvereniging, which would translate as Student Union, and indeed my dictionary also gives that translation. What I mean is what I would rather call a student association, a grouping of students for fun basically ('society' might also be a good word). But this article is about something akin to labour unions. The fraternity article is only about the US. Is that article horribly lobsided or did I just get the word wrong? DirkvdM 10:24, 28 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A students' union is akin to a trade union or proffessional association (and different in many ways). Student organisations and clubs could be described as societies (or "a grouping of students for fun" and shared interests/hobbies/beliefs). A fraternity, inasmuch as I can understand them, are student organisations that perform some of the functions a students' union would perform in other countries. Fraternities (and sorieties) are still often managed/regulated by student unions (or "governments"). --Cyberjunkie | Talk 10:38, 28 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, I now see there is a Student society article, but that isn't linked to either here or in the Fraternities and sororities article. That needs to be fixed, but I have to get some things straight first. On the one hand there seems to be a regional division, with Student Unions in the British Isles (or the UK?), Student societies in northwestern continental Europe and fraternities in North America. Logically, one might say that Student Society is a more generic term, with Student Unions and Fraternities being specific instances. But in practise, you suggest, fraternities are a specific case of student unions. Neither of these is likely to go down well in the Fraternity article, I'm afraid (...what, the US do not provide the standard that other countries follow?... :) ). DirkvdM 07:56, 31 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To make matters worse, in the United States, 'student union' is usually used to refer to a particular building where most campus activities (i.e. non-academic) take place. They usually contain a number of student-specific offices (e.g. residential support services, career counseling, student development, community service, etc.). sebmol 21:06, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Australian part[edit]

So that everyone is aware, a substantial, seemingly interminable dispute about what to call the current modus operandi of Australian student unions. The matter was resolved by shifting from the name of that MO to the more neutral Student unionism in Australia. At the moment it essentially consists of a lift from the former sub-entry in this article. Because of that, and because there is now a more detailed page available, I compacted the Australian section of this article. El T 08:00, 9 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

DISCUSSION - Current & Ex Union sabbs name on individual union's page[edit]

In recent days, Chriscf decided to delete the names of any list of current & former Student Union's exec. off individual union / association's page. In response, as I (and some others that have also commented) believe it should stay, I took a discussion to his Talk page. There he commented the discussion should be somewhere else as Talk page is for personal discussion. While I disagree with why it shouldn't be in his Talk page, (since he took the unilateral action to delete content of multiple pages so it concern him), I have moved it away at his request, and decided the best place for it at the moment is here. -- KTC 03:29, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Why have you deleted the lists of past and current officers of this Institution? Personally, I think that these sort of lists serve as useful content on certain pages. Wikipedia seems to be full of lists of people who held various offices, from important things such as the high political offices of nations, all the way down to things like this. Furthermore, people on lists such as these might become more famous - for example you have deleted a mention of a current UK MP who appeared on that list. Additionally, a comparable list for Cambridge University Students' Union has 3 such instances. UK Students' Unions are often a training ground for future political leaders. So, I think it would be a shame to remove these sorts of records from Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I second the comments above. I had considered moving the list to a new 'list of...' page, possibly leaving the present officers information on the page itself, and linking across. Jamse 12:38, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Absolutely. The information on present (major) officers can be very useful. Previous officers should perhaps be moved to a seperate page if so long as to unbalance the main article. Many student union officers go on to other notable professions and a list / table format is useful for identifying comtemporaries. Paulleake 16:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps it's not clear because the previous correspondent didn't sign his comment, but I only actual wrote the one paragraph above ("I second the comments..."). Whilst I can see the benefit of removing the list of officers from the page to a separate 'list of' page, I don't see the point in throwing away useful information altogether. It seems to me that a great benefit of this medium is that we have a lot more 'space' available to us than print-publications. I had already tracked down one or two of the officers from further back who had gone on to greater things and had their own articles elsewhere. I suspect that as the list gets bulked out with more officers from further back that we would find more. The list as it stands is quite light on information more than a few years back; it seems inevitable that most of the recent officers are unlikely to have achieved much yet. Jamse 16:34, 11 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I say I have to agree with all the above comments. I've just found my way to this page after discovering this user has deleted the list of Presidents of York University Students' Union without any explination at all. I'm going to revert the changes and wait for an expliantion as to why such information should be removed from wikipedia. Evil Eye 14:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On my talk page Chiscf has posted:

"You're missing the point. These lists do not belong in a general encyclopaedia."

Surely this encyclopaedia is 'big' enough to be a 'specialist encyclopaedia' (as opposed to being limited to a 'general encyclopaeia') in any field where the knowledge is available? Now, thinking of the average user, this information may get in the way if it's in the middle of the main students' union article, but if it's moved to a separate 'List of...' page (suitably linked) it will not slow down the 'generalist' user at all, but could add significant value to a 'specialist' user. Jamse 18:24, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See comments above under the heading "University of Nottingham Students' Union". I think we could use this as an opportunity to improve the situation. I disagree with throwing the information away (for the reasons I've stated above) but can see that in some cases the articles could be made clearer if the information were moved to a separate 'List of...' page. Jamse 18:29, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personally I think it's interesting and useful information (although I recognise I may be unusual in this). I certainly don't think it's harmful. Student Unions are heavily influenced by their sabbatical leadership. The party and personality of particular student union presidents can be an interesting indicator of the times. People sometimes keep quiet about their student union associations (which makes it even more interesting) Archie Norman for example. And it can often throw up interesting connections[1] (as with the Oxford Union connections associated with David Cameron). Mpntod 22:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't see what's wrong in listing a) current leaders in key positions only (i.e. president/treasurer/welfare rep) and b) any people who held such positions that went on to be famous for other reasons Robdurbar 23:20, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I quite like the idea of having a sperate List of ... page for (all if information is available) former sabbs as I do realise how long the list can get quickly. This conform to the standard Wikipedia behaviour of having a List of page for things that people might want to look up, but can get in the way of the article. Regarding whether current sabbs are relevent to the article. Yes!. They are generally morally, and legally responsible for the union. If it get sued (as was threaten to by a senior member recently in Edinburgh), the current officer can go down with it. Of course, they also run the place, so what better place to mention who they are than in an article on the union itself? -- KTC 23:40, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bear in mind that 15 years down the line those people could be extremely famous and we may never know where to look for their sleezy past because it was deleted before they ever had a chance to be notable. The only people who could benefit from such a thing would be, erm, them (the hacks) 19:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed with Mpntod. Moreover, such information is surely encyclopedic - you'd find information on the executive officers, directors and top management in an entry for a company or any other organisation worthy of its own page, so why not a Student Union? SimonMenashy 16:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC) - member of Birmingham University Guild of Students.Reply[reply]

IMO, being on the Union exec does not in any way equate to being on the board of a multi-million multi-national company. Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Because some officers go on to great things does not mean that they all will, and an encyclopaedia is for recrding what is and what has been, not what might be. That they might be notable in future is not a reason to include them now. Chris talk back 16:25, 19 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about being on the board of a £5 million turnover multi-site charitable organisation that provides an unprecedented range of services, campaigns on behalf of 20,000 members and is a leader in national politics? I can describe several students unions that are similar to this?

Reasons for not listing every single executive officer, current and past, in any article on Wikipedia at all:

  • Being elected to Parliament is notable. You need a huge number of supporters and £5000 to get on the ballot paper - no small task if you're not with one of the major parties. You then need to convince a plurality of some 50,000 voters to vote for you. The only requirement for candidacy to a union executive is that you're at the institution in question. Effectively, any idiot can get on the exec (and frequently they do - just look down the candidate list for presidency).
  • Being on the board of a multi-billion company doesn't necessarily make you notable in and of itself, and by no means should any company article be listing all the executive managers and directors wholesale. As a result, being on the union exec certainly isn't notable in and of itself.
  • A small proportion of executive officers at students' unions go on to bigger and better things. However, they have all become notable for something other than being an executive officer. In many cases, their role on the exec had nothing to do with their future fame. Some of the current crop may go on to become famous, but Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, it records the here and now. Yes, they may become famous in later life, but until then the doors are closed.
  • I get the feeling that many of the people weighing in are the people that are actually adding the lists in the first place, and are probably students at the relevant institutions, so this is essentially an extension of vanity - adding pages about oneself, one's friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, etc.
  • Wikipedia is not a propaganda machine, a mirror or repository of links, a free webspace provider, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a crystal ball.
  • None of the current officers, and the vast majority of the past ones, meet the criteria in WP:BIO by any stretch of the imagination. For an article I'd expect someone to meet those criteria, and for a mention I'd expect them to at least come close. Past officers listed should really be restricted to those with articles. Listing the current exec in a main article or a List Of doesn't change the fact that to the vast majority fo the outside world, this information is no more than trivia.

Is that enough, or should I reel a few more folks in? I would normally take the opposition of a half-dozen people to be telling, however you all seem to be speaking with the same voice here. Chris talk back 04:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually it only takes £500 and 10 supporters to stand for Parliament - and what is actually more notable, the name of a micro-party candidate in an election or the identity of someone who is legally responsible for a large or influential union (and also a holder of a major office under the Education Act)? Yes, this information is pretty specialized but it is noteworthy enough in a specialist sphere to be published commercially. Paulleake 15:37, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More importantly, I'm not going to recognise any form of consensus here until we have some wider (believe it or not, being connected with the unions involved might make you biased ;-) participation, so I'll just plug this on the Pump to get a few more people involved. Chris talk back 04:14, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a total outsider to this, I agree with Chris: Simple lists should be avoided in the vast majority of articles, and several of the student organisations that have articles here are only borderline notable anyway. If a former of exec has achieved notability in some way, then by all means mention it, but a list is unnecessary, in my opinion.--Sean|Black 04:38, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Personally I'm not connected to any member of the SU at York univeristy (other than that I lived on the same corridor the year after someone who was a sabatical officer during my first year, but that is it), so I doubt that I'm really biased on this issue. I just feel the lists have a usefulness and informative element which makes then good to include. Evil Eye 22:34, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For me, any past officer who has become notable might be worth mentioning; and perhpas a list of current positions that would be updated yearly, if people really incist. I'm not a fan of list pages and don't think them necessary. Robdurbar 11:16, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh and I think that there should be no removing of tehse lists until this discussion is finished by the way - would it help if this was put to a vote (knowing that Wikipedia is not a democracy etc. blah blah blah)) Robdurbar 11:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It appears that this is all getting a little heated. KTC had added the lists back in at Uni of Nottingham and Chris has twice reverted this, in spite of the current ongoing discussion. I second Robdurbar's suggestion that these lists should not be removed while there is this quite active discussion going on.
I would also note the way in which this matter has been plugged at the pump is along the lines of:
"Recently, I removed some lists of non-notable people that I considered to be trivia from articles on United Kingdom Students' Unions , and apparently some folk object to this. Does anyone want to drop in to Talk:Students Union (though it should probably be in Wikipedia: space rather than article space) to talk some sense into them?"
I understand that Chris probably just meant this as humour, but unfortunately it doesn't create the impression of encouraging open participation in the debate. I'm sure this wasn't Chris' intention, but perhaps a more neutral call to this discussion would help. I won't change Chris' entry at the pump myself, but I think it would be good if he did.Jamse 14:16, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The smae repeated removal and reverting has been occuring on the York SU article. I did ask that the list remains while the discussion tkaes place for others to see what the fuss is about, but this request seems to have been ignored... Evil Eye 22:34, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One further point on why these people may be notable (in the context of the Union) - in most SUs the officers will be Trustees of the students' union, with considerable legal obligations. My understanding is that they also remain liable for seven years after their term of office, making several years of past officers notable too.

In response to Chris' list of points above, they very well illustrate why these people are not by-and-large notable enough to warrant their own articles. However, in my opinion the barrier of notability for being mentioned in a list can afford to be considerably lower than the barrier for deserving your own article. Jamse 14:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is in response to mainly Chris' points, but contain general comments as well.

  • Encyclopaedia for recording what is and what has been, not what might be => The what is, is that they are currently the executive of the union. Same with the what has been, they have been the heads of the union in question.
  • Comparsion to election to Parliament => You must not have noticed how many joke or non-serious candidates are in parliament election as well. Any idiot can get on the union exec sure, esp. if elected unopposed, but idiots have gotten themselves elected to UK council seats as well. Just cuz there's feq. silly candidates for union sabbs position does not devalue those that actually get themselves elected, similarly to non-serious candidates for UK parliament election does not devalue those that does get themselves elected.
  • We are not talking about an article in and of itself regarding the persons. Rather a mention in another article (the union) where they are relevent, being the trustee etc.
  • Vanity => It is natural that the editors that are adding or reverting the lists are at least somehow associated with the institution in concern. We are talking about article where the majority interest (the target audience) are with students at the institution, other students, or prospective students. It is rare, though obviously not exceptionally rare, for someone else not in those groups to be going through all the articles in question. While I can't speak for any indivudal editor who have actually added such a list, surely you cannot accuse with a wide brush all of them to have done it out of vanity. For example, while I'm a member of EUSA, I didn't add the list in, somone else who thought they are interesting information did. I actually deleted some of it from the article when it starts mentioning people that's not executive. The name of the people I've deleted contain people I know and like, and I've also reverted many articles where I've never heard of the people in question, nevermind not met them, and are unlikely ever to. Again, we are not talking about individual article that promote the person, but a mention of fact that they are the executive office holder under the Education Act 1994 of the union in concern. WP:VAIN actually states lack of fame does not necessarily make an article (or mention of a person / product in edit) to be vanity.
  • Wikipedia is not => We're not talking about propaganda about how great some of those people are or are not. We're not talking about links to their personal page. We're not talking about letting those people use wikipedia as a webspace provider. An we're not talking about predicting the future. Rather, we're talking about verifiable facts. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information sure, but "minor characters may be mentioned within other articles".
  • WP:BIO => To say that for even a mention, someone needs to come close to WP:BIO guidelines is contrary to Wikipedia is not policy as mentioned above.
  • Wikipedia:Trivia => I'm sorry, but let's not start using a proposed policy/guideline that can't even be agreed upon as justification or arguement.
  • Pump => More opinion the better, that's why I started the discussion.
  • Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. Wikipeida don't have size limits. "There is no reason at all why Wikipedia should not grow into something beyond what could ever possibly be put on paper." In case you haven't noticed, wikipedia already contain lists of a lot of things that are borderline interesting to most people. However, someone will find such information useful & interesting, and there's no reason why we can't include them.

-- KTC 20:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some belated responses (not to mention a little cookie trouble):
  • Non-serious election candidates are not in general notable, with a few exceptions.
  • They are not relevant to the articles as trustees, because they hold their position for a year and move on. Supposedly people may hold a position for two terms, though I've not heard of anyone actually doing so. Charities typically have trustees who hold the position for many years, and in general I wouldn't mention them in the article related to the charity, since it has very little relevance.
  • Having legal liability does not make you notable outside the organisation.
  • If people outside the field concerned aren't looking at the articles, it's something of a sign that perhaps the articles shouldn't be here. After all, space limitations (or lack thereof) is not an excuse to add anything that might be connected to something.
  • In the context of the entire history of Students' Unions, one individual executive officer does not even come up to the point where I'd consider them a "minor character" for mentioning in an article.
  • As for WP:V, please find be two reliable sources outside of its own publications which could verify the name of the member of the executive at Cardiff University union responsible for women's affairs.
  • Citing m:WINP as a grounds for including trivial information is a sure sign that one has not read and understood it properly. For instance, that same document includes the line "On the other hand, Wikipedia is not a general knowledge base of any and all information, full of railroad timetables and comprehensive lists.". Lists of current and former excec officers is something that might belong in a knowledge base, and not even general knowledge at that. A short list of individuals who have held an executive position is useful, particularly if constrained to those who (should) have articles. Wikipedia is not purely about pseudo-infinite space. An infinite number of articles is worth nothing if usability begins to suffer.
I'm deliberately not responding to the rest of your points as they are essentially an attempt at Wikipedia:Wikilawyering, and therefore not valid in any way whatsoever (particularly your point re: trivia - the status of that document does not change the common-sense meaning of the word trivia). As much as I might normally support keeping disputed content in the article, remember that Wikipedia is widely and frequently mirrored, with Wikipedia's name on it. Since such information is rarely verifiable with reliable sources, the information should be retained in history only, where we can all get at it but the mirrors (who should really only see content we're all happy to put out) can't. User:Chriscf, currently away from home suffering cookie trouble, 23:15, 25 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Supposedly people may hold a position for two terms, though I've not heard of anyone actually doing so.
A lot of unions have the provision in their constitution for two years' sabbatical (and even more years on the Executive in other posts). Off the top of my head two or more year officers that I've worked with personally have included Kate Heywood (Kent - 2000-2002); Laura Blomley (Queen Mary 2003-2005); Mustafa Arif (Imperial 2003-2005); Chris Piper (King's 2000-2002; also ULU 2003-2004); Benson Osawe (Manchester 2003-2005) and many others. There is a distinction between "trustee", "major office bearer", "executive officer" and "sabbatical", though these terms often get mixed up in their understanding. Timrollpickering 00:09, 26 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By law (Education Act 1994), any person may only be in a paid position (sabbatical) within any union for a maximum of 2 years. There's some places (e.g. Edinburgh) where it limits itself to one, but most of them actually have people taking two years. -- KTC 02:33, 26 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True (it's when you take non-salaried executive members into account). On a pedantic point "sabbatical" is not always an accurate term - some full-time paid officers are also still studying, especially if they were part-time students before being elected. A number of Birkbeck Presidents have fallen into this category, whilst a good number of research students have continued writing-up during their period of paid office. There are also some officers who are paid but only a part-time rate.
Also that part of the law only applies to Great Britain. It is possible to od more than two years paid office in a Northern Irish Students' Union (one NUS-USI convenor once worked out that a student at the right campus of the University of Ulster could do 21 years continuous paid office in the student movement, combining their own university, sites & federal posts et al, the Union of Students in Ireland, NUS-USI and the National Union of Students!). Plus if there are legally separate college/site unions or Athletics Unions/Sports Federations or if a merger legally disolves the SU and creates a enw one, then I think it's possible to do more years as the two year rule seems to only apply to the individual organisation. Timrollpickering 00:08, 27 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • You have a strange idea of whether something related to an institution is relevant or not in an article about that institution.
  • Are we taking about an article that's not talking about the organisation?
  • Have I said people outside the field is not looking at the article? I said people outside the field is less likely to look at it. If you think most people that look at Wikipedia do so by clicking on the Random article link, then you must be living in a different planet. I'm going through Portal and clicking on random article. Let see, how likely people outside Maths look at Liouville function? How many people outside mythology / regligion look at Papa Legba? How many people outside geography / politics use the term Pacific Rim, nevermind end up at that article? I could go on and on. Are you suggesting we should be deleting all those articles, or possibly 95% of wikipedia, because people don't necessarily look up an entry unless they come across it somehow and want to look it up?
  • Nice try picking a (I believe) non-executive position as an example. I have never intend or suggest people in those position be mention. Maybe you forgotten the part where I deleted such name mention from EUSA.
  • Are we now saying an organisation own publication is not a reliable source? I'm not talking about going down to their office and asking in person and then filling it in here.
  • Actually, I read that part. I just disagree with your interpertation of it.
  • I'm not the one doing Wikipedia:Wikilawyering. You're the one referring to this policies, and that guidelines. Common sense would suggest that if the community can't form a consensus on the general guidlines you're referring to, then you can't use it to suggest that's what the community has decided upon. Common sense would also suggest to you that you're actually in the minority here in this discussion. Common sense would also suggest that I just completely disagree with you on this matter and we're just going to end up going have arguements and counter-arguements back and forth without agreeing.
-- KTC 03:01, 26 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Incidentally, most of the entries in "List of trivia lists" are those which some people consider trivia but are actually relevant to the encyclopaedia as a whole, by virtue of most of them being lists of things which have their own articles, or have prominent mention in other articles. The main exception to this seems to be the word lists, where entries are pointless (they should have links to Wiktionary anyway). These lists are not appropriate for "List of trivia lists" since their subjects do not, and in general should not, have articles. User:Chriscf (Note to self - sign properly later) 23:35, 25 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notwithstanding the compromise mentioed below for serving members, I think there is also call for a list of notable former student leaders - along the lines of List of Vietnam War veterans, and for exactly the same reason: this background is something that ties these people together, and it tells the punters something about them. --Deoxyribonucleic acid trip (talk) 01:39, 2 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Presidents inclusion[edit]

Further to the discussion above, (and from which I pretty much agree with everything which has been said in favour of including the lists), I feel that at the very least any list of Presidents of student Union's is worthy of inclusion. In any year the President is the highest ranked student at any university. That is out of anything up to 25,000 or more students in any one case. Evil Eye 22:24, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is possibly Off-Topic a bit, but thought I'd point out that this is not always the case. The Students' Union at the University of Nottingham, for example, has a 'flat level' executive - the President is on a par with the other officers, and doesn't "out rank" them. (In fact this extends to the fact that the Non-Sabbs are on a level with the Sabbs - they are all counted as Major Officers for the purposes of the Act). I apprecitate that this varies from Union to Union, but I thought I'd point out that you can't assume that the president is necessarily always higher ranked. Jamse 11:43, 21 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While for the purpose of the Education Act 1994, & union's constitution, several of the office at the top are equal. President are the de facto head of the executive in people's mind. And sabbs in general are also de facto rank higher than non-sabbs in people mind. -- KTC 20:03, 21 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


While I'm aware editor can be aware at times, especially during the holiday season, it's been long enough time with no response from the major editor on the other side of the debate. I've decided to Be Bold and offer and implemented a compromise to part of this situation. I've made an infobox for students' union Template:Infobox Students Union which contain various (some optional) fields.

I have tested this at Edinburgh University Students' Association and am planning to implement it at the other unions after I have time to find out the necessarily info. -- KTC 03:38, 3 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Not a bad idea on the whole. The infobox would include just the names of the current sabs, which would be replaced when the next lot comes in. I do not subscribe to the view that all and sundry should be listed in an encyclopaedia entry such as wiki. Although [[WP:PAPER|wikipedia is not paper, it should contain notable facts (and not just useful information), relevant and be sourced. We should also bear in mind that endless lists of non-notable individuals would tend to violate WP:NOT#DIRECTORY, and the argument for keeping on the ground that "one day, so and so may be notable by which time this info would be lost" is fundamentally flawed. Firstly, it would violate WP:CRYSTAL, and moreover, if it cannot be sourced now, or in future, it clearly does not belong in an encyclopaedia. Ohconfucius 03:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Capitalisation of "Student Government"[edit]

User:Boxendine has re-capitalised "Student Government" - I feel this is not correct usage in English - typically only proper nouns are capitalised in English (I believe this is not the case in German). "Student government" is not a proper noun; there exist many student governments. Conversely, the name of any given such organisation is likely to be a proper noun (e.g. "MIT Student Government"), as will be the name of the unifying organisation ("American Student Government Association"). This is equally applicable to other countries, viz:

"The University of Warwick Students' Union is the students' union of the University of Warwick."

I hope this clarifies matters. If you feel the need to revert back, please explain the justification here. Jamse 09:50, 13 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The following information was at the above page, which I've redirected here. I believe all of the information is already included within this article, but I'm copying this stuff here in case anyone can spot anything else that needs to be merged in. Jamse 10:30, 14 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A Student Government Association is a body of students in a high school, college, or university who are elected by their peers and serve on a type of council that advises the education administration on matters affecting students and desires which the student body wishes to see come about.

Known commonly as SG, a Student Government Association typically has a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and a Treasurer. In some schools, each class has its own set of elected officers while other schools have one body for all students or a mixture of both.

In some schools, SGAs are quite powerful and in some cases may even have a vote on funding for certain programs or the appointment of professors and teachers to certain positions. This is, however, more often than not found on the college level with SGAs in high schools having very little authority or power. Some high school SGAs are seen as little more than popularity contests with the officers elected deemed to be the most popular students in the school.

In recent years, elementary schools have started electing SGAs; however such bodies are hardly ever taken seriously by school administrators in particular due to the very young age of the children involved (often 10 or 11 years old) and the lack of any real knowledge on school funding, programs, and other such matters that a more senior SGA would be expected to monitor.

List of Students' Unions[edit]

Most of the 'External Links' were just links to American students' unions; I've shifted these under the US section. We have articles on some of the other things that were under the 'External Links' section, so I've moved those to 'See Also' and linked to the correct articles accordingly.

I'm not entirely happy with this yet - I'm proposing a List of students' unions page, which would list umbrella organisations (National Unions of Students) as well as individual students' unions; where we have articles on the organisation it would link to our article, where we don't it could link to their site. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Jamse 21:33, 18 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, move the list of students' unions to a 'List of...' page. The list hasn't quite yet, but may start to unbalance this article. -- 01:25, 30 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Largest SU building in the UK?[edit]

Who has it? University of Bristol Union says it is the biggest, University of Sheffield Union of Students also claims to be...?

Are Students' Unions notable?[edit]

I have been writing the SOAS Students' Union page. Yet most users want to delete it on the grounds that it is not notable. However there are a number of students' unions on this site. Most of them could easily be described not being notable. They include deptmental students' unions. City and Guilds College Union which is just really part of Imperial College Union and Barts and The London Students' Association which is just really part of Queen Mary Students' Union. Also it would be hard to argue that the following are notable students' unions:

Thames Valley University Students' Union


Union of UEA Students

University of Plymouth Students' Union

University of Kent Students' Union

Keele University Students' Union

Coventry University Students' Union

University of Chichester Students' Union

The Wiki community clearly hasn't resolved whether students' unions are notable themselves just by being a students' union. --ExULstudent 12:13, 1 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As we've been discussing on RHUL's talk page, many of these Students' Unions are simply generic, and have little notability outside the context of the universities in which they based, although I recognise that they maintain independence from the university itself. As such, is it not possible to incorporate the SU articles into those of their host institutions? Zverzia 15:55, 12 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

indiana university[edit]

Oklahoma is listed as having the largest student union building, is that including the Indiana Memorial Union building in Bloomington, Indiana? At the time I attended (fairly recently) it was billed by the university as the world's largest. Anyone know for sure?

Yes, The OSU (OKState) Student Union still remains as the largest Student Union.
On what qualifications? the OSU's claim? has a independent 3rd-party made a determination? see further comments on this talk page below at section "image of Oklahome State University building"-- (talk) 23:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opening paragraphs[edit]

The opening paragraphs of this article are frightfully muddled and US-centric. They seem to assume that the US arrangement of student unions being mainly social bodies is the norm, and that other countries, where they are political or campaigning organisations, is a variant. Any suggestions for cleaning this up and making it a bit more global? DWaterson 13:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In a moment of slight inspiration, I've been bold and rearranged it somewhat. Thoughts? DWaterson 14:02, 25 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


See Talk:Students' association for reasons why students' association should be a part of students' union. OCNative 07:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recall, impeachment and discipline in U.S.[edit]

Does anyone know of how SGAs in the U.S. handle disciplinary matters? I heard of a ratehr large group of 20 some odd students who were recalled in 2001 or "02 somewhere but cant find much information on that incident. It might be interesting to note the incident as an example of democracy in action in america on the student level. I would keep it short, tho. 21:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Great idea, and I think you may be talking about my alma mater! I'll dig up some info for ya. Creton4 04:01, 10 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Student council[edit]

I have moved the K-12 content on this page to a new article entitled student council. The content on this page is almost exclusive to student unions, and the two bodies serve different purposes. • Freechild'sup? 21:04, 29 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wrote these two articles almost four years ago, and they have not shown much potential since. Thus, I am proposing we merge them both into this article. If there is significant objection to this, I will send them to AfD instead. Lovelac7 04:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I merged the info from these 2 articles. In moving the information, I erred on the side of inclusion. Perhaps the info can be trimmed down to fit with the rest of the article.--RedShiftPA (talk) 06:21, 6 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
email or call 2317259434 at any time for more information

image of Oklahome State University building[edit]

the capiton makes no sense. it reads "The largest Students' Union building at Oklahoma State University, which doubles as a student activity center ("student union" in the USA)"

1. which campus? OSU-Stillwater? OSU-Oklahoma City? OSU-Tulsa? another OSU campus?

2. on what qualification is the building considered the largest? square footage? by whom? OSU's prounouncement?

3. refers to the building as "Student Union." In my experience (age 50+) i've generallhy encountered the student building on various campuses called a "Student Union" (in the singular and non possessive) or "Student Activity Center" or "Student Center" but NOT "Students' Union"; there is always an exception. I suspect that "Students' Union" is pretty much exclusively used to refer to a political/orgnizational group of a student body and not to a building.-- (talk) 22:58, 17 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

4. does the image even have any business attached to the article (that is on an organization of a student body)?

Canadian section POV[edit]

At least the part of this section, without citations, was clearly written by Tory hacks and I've deleted it, because it's an obscene violation of POV and there were no sources. --Jammoe (talk) 08:30, 24 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Philippines section[edit]

Please help create the page "Student Government in the Philippines". The Philippines has a complex student union, especially in secondary schools, so that I could update it. (talk) 02:10, 5 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Remove 5th paragraph of summary? Seems highly POV.[edit]

The current 5th paragraph, reading "Student Unions are made with the basic aim to educate and guide students to take part in the politics at smaller levels and to learn the basics of politics so that in future they could pursue their career as politicians and could effectively deal with the running of the nation as well as effectively understand the inner politics involved in the running the state affairs as well as at international level. " strikes me as highly POV, or perhaps just narrow sighted and considering only a subset of Student Unions around the world. Sure, many of them may serve as training grounds for politicians, but arguably any sizable institution with a democratically selected leadership will do that? The primary aim of a Students Union should be to represent the students, and provide governance over assets that have been built up over time for the purpose of supporting students at that institution. --Sethop (talk) 11:14, 27 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It could be labelled as a POV but is most likely just a misunderstanding of what Student Unions are all about. "Representing students" and generally making things better for students is what Student Unions are all about. Student Unions were never intended to be incubators for politicians although the experience would be useful for a political career. Nipsonanomhmata (talk) 16:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article has gown very large, I would like to propose to create sub articles by continents. This article would provide short explanations and link to articles such as Student unionism in Asia, Student unionism in Europe, Student unionism in North America... and so on. Any thoughts? Pwojdacz (talk) 20:54, 18 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hong Kong[edit]

I do not disbelieve that the Open University has a Student Union, however the text has been stable, and no "proof" has been brought forward. If there is some "proof", please update bring that, and update the text properly, in English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Notwillywanka (talkcontribs) 17:04, 15 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]