What does a students’ union do?

If you’ve been researching universities, you’ve probably already heard quite a bit about students’ unions – and probably most of what you’ve heard relates to bars, club nights and entertainment. While it’s true that putting on events is a big part of what a students’ union (or SU, for short) does, they also have roles far beyond making sure you can have a great night out on campus. At Roehampton, the Roehampton Students’ Union (RSU) helps provide the complete university experience.


Students’ unions put on a whole range of events, to match the tastes of all students. So, yes, if you like clubbing, we’ve got you covered with our (in)famous Friday club night, The Bop. But we also run a huge variety of other activities, including Growhampton, our food-focused sustainability programme; and also has a thrift shop. They also run events like Theatre Tuesdays, where you can get discounted tickets to shows in London’s world-famous West End.

Then there are the big-ticket calendar events, from Freshers’ Week to Summer Ball, where things really kick up a gear, with the campus becoming a hive of activity. Summer Ball, in particular, features a full-on music festival, with past performers including the Sugababes, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32 and Wiley.

In addition, the RSU helps organise sports teams, including the College Cup, which, much like the House Cup at Hogwarts, pits our four colleges against each other in an annual super-friendly deathmatch for immortal sporting glory.

Help and support

The RSU also provides a place to turn when you need help. Whether you need health advice or academic support, the RSU can provide support and suggestions to ensure that you have the best possible university experience. 

Clubs and societies

Clubs and societies are a huge part of university experience for many people, providing an opportunity for you to explore your hobbies and passions, or develop new ones. Roehampton has dozen of societies, focusing on hobbies, faiths, the arts, fitness and more. Current societies include the award-winning Universal Black Minds society, as well as societies focused on everything from Anthropology to Yoga. And, if you don’t find a society to suit your interests, the RSU can support you to set up your own.

Clubs and societies put on their own events alongside those of the RSU, so there’s always plenty happening on campus.


At Roehampton, giving back to the community is part of our ethos. The RSU provides a variety of volunteering opportunities, allowing you to gain skills, meet new people and contribute to causes you’re passionate about.

Representation and student voice

The RSU also represents students on various University bodies, including Senate and Council, as well as numerous committees. The President of the RSU, elected by students, is a full member of both Senate and Council, which means that they have a say in the direction of University policy. This means that student voice is embedded right at the heart of the University’s decision-making, something you don’t get at most other universities.

Elections to the SU are held on an annual basis. Any Roehampton student can run for office, with every student getting a vote for the President, Vice Presidents of Education, and Welfare and Community, and Officers that make up the Student Council. Additionally, each college has its own President and Deputy President, elected by the members of the college. The RSU also organises Department Reps for each academic department and Programme Reps, so that you have representatives at every level of the University.

The RSU is also a member of the National Union of Students (NUS), which means that all of our students are automatically part of the NUS. The NUS represents students across the UK and Northern Ireland, campaigning on issues that affect students, helping to shape government policy and providing a range of support services, including those all-important student discounts.

These are just a few of the ways in which the RSU provides support, entertainment and representation for all Roehampton students. If you’d like to find out more, visit the RSU website. For more ways we work to support all our students, check out the student life section on the Roehampton website.


The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.

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