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Code of Practice for the Students' Union (SU)

The Code of Practice provides information on the responsibilities of the Students' Union


This Code of Practice is issued by the Council of the University of Bath in fulfilment of the requirements of the Education Act 1994. Under the Act, the University must ensure that its Students' Union operates in a fair and democratic manner and is financially accountable, and publish a Code of Practice on the manner in which these requirements are to carried into effect. This Code of Practice should be read in conjunction with Ordinance 24 on the Students' Union.


The SU has a written constitution which is subject to approval by the membership of the SU and the University Council. It is reviewed by the Board of Trustees of the SU and the University Council at intervals of no more than five years. The constitution is available to all members of the University on request from the Students' Union Reception or the Secretary to the Council, and is also available on the Students' Union website


Unless he or she elects otherwise, each person who is a registered student as defined by the University of Bath automatically becomes a member of the SU. Such persons have the right not to belong to the SU and may decide to opt out by notifying the SU President and the Secretary to the Council in writing of the decision. To ensure the students who opt out of the membership are not unfairly disadvantaged in terms of access to the provision of services or otherwise, the University is required to make any necessary alternative arrangements for such students.


The SU Officers of the SU are elected by secret ballot of the members of SU.

Guidelines on the conduct of elections are contained in the election rules set by the SU. SU Officers are eligible for re-election provided that they are still a member of the SU at the time of their election and provided that they do not hold office for any longer than twenty four months.

Affiliation to external organisations

Affiliation to external organisations includes any form of membership of or formal association with an organisation, the purposes of which are not confined to purposes connected with the SU.

If the SU decides to affiliate to an external organisation, it will inform the University and will inform students by publishing an annual notice of such decisions, stating the name of the organisation and details of any subscription or similar fee paid, or of any donations made or proposed to be made, to the organisation. Affiliations can be found on The SU Governance Webpages. This also includes details of the external organisations to which the SU is currently affiliated, and details of subscriptions or similar fees paid, or of any donations made or proposed to be made, to the organisation.

The annual notice of new and current affiliations to external organisations will be made available to the University Council and to all students by being published online.

The question of continued affiliation to any particular organisation shall be decided by (a) the current list of affiliations being submitted for approval by members annually or more frequently, and (b) secret ballot, in which all members of the SU are entitled to vote, if called for by 5% or more of the members of the SU. Such a ballot in respect of any particular organisation may be requisitioned at intervals of at least one year.


The financial affairs of the SU are conducted in accordance with arrangements laid down in the Articles of Governance, Bye-Law 2 and Regulation 2 of the SU and the University's Financial Regulations.

The budget of the SU is formulated as part of the University's standard annual planning exercise for non-academic departments and approved by University Council.

The procedure for allocating resources to Students' Union groups, clubs or societies is set out in Bye-Law 2 and Regulation 2 of the SU.

The Finance Committee of the University is responsible to the University Council for receiving the financial reports and the annual audited accounts of the SU. The audited annual accounts are approved by the SU Board of Trustees and published. Details of donations to external organisations during the period covered by the accounts will be included in the year end accounts.

The SU Head of Finance shall report any matter of significant financial concern to the University's Director of Finance, who shall draw it to the attention of the University Finance Committee at its next meeting.

Complaints procedure

Any student or group of students dissatisfied in their dealings with the SU or claiming to be unfairly disadvantaged by reason of their having exercised the right to opt out of membership of the SU may invoke the complaints procedure. An independent person shall be appointed by the University Council to investigate and report on such complaints promptly and fairly. Where a complaint is upheld, the University Council shall ensure there is an effective remedy.

Approved with effect from 1 July 2009 by the University Council (21 May 2009).

Revised by the University Council 16 May 2013, 22 May 2014

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