InQuire's guide to Kent Union
A Students’ Union is a central part of university life. From running the on-campus nightclub, to tackling sexual harassment, it is the voice of students. With elections for the Union upcoming this year, InQuire seeks to explain everything that you need to know about Kent Union.
What is Kent Union?
Student-led and independent of the university itself, Kent Union aims to represent the views of all 20,000 students across Kent’s Canterbury and Medway campuses. Their aim is to provide an inclusive range of activities and services that enrich student life.
Kent Union has a vision of working with every Kent student to enhance their university experience. Operating as the democratic voice of students at the University of Kent, Kent Union also seeks to make sure students have “one of the best student experiences on the planet.”
What does Kent Union do?
Amplify the voice of students
Kent Union ensures that the student voice is heard across the University, within the local community and in wider society. They do this by supporting a broad range of student representatives within the Union.
As the recognised voice of students at the University, Kent Union campaigns regularly about the issues important to them, such as financial support or sexual harassment.
Facilitate and support a wide range of student activities
Kent Union provide the support, facilities and other resources to enable students to set up and develop their own societies, sports clubs, volunteering projects and other student interest groups. Kent Union supports over 150 student societies and 50 sports clubs that boasts nearly 6,000 members.
Provide services and facilities for students
Kent Union delivers a wide range of services that supports students whilst they study, preparing them for their future careers and helping them to have fun and make friends.
All the money spent by students across the various outlets on campus – such as the SU Shop retail outlet and the Venue nightclub - gets reinvested by Kent Union, helping to fund all the different services offered to students across campus, like the Student Advice Centre and Job Shop.
Who runs Kent Union?
Full Time Officers
The organisation is run by a team of full-time paid sabbatical officers who are elected annually by students for a one-year term to support your academic interests whilst you study. Sabbatical years are either taken in between years of study or else immediately after graduation.
Kent Union's current Full Time Officers, from left to right. Omolade Adedapo (VP Welfare), Stuart Lidbetter (VP Education), Aaron Thompson (President), Emily Window (VP Sports) and Sasha Langveldt (VP Activities).
As well as five Full-Time Officers, you also elect various Part-Time Officers who work alongside them. Part-Time officer roles include a Women’s Officer, an Environmental Officer and more.
Board of Trustees
Registered charities in England and Wales like Kent Union are governed by a Board of Trustees. Made up of the 5 elected Full-Time officers, 4 external trustees and 4 student trustees, Kent Union’s Board of Trustees ultimately has responsibility for directing the affairs of Kent Union, ensuring that the organisation is solvent, well-run and delivering on its objectives.
Student Reps act as the link between the student body, Kent Union and the University. They are volunteers which are elected into the position by their peers to represent them and act as the first port of call for any suggestions, comments or queries about the course/s they represent.
In addition to your Student Reps, there are also elected School Reps. Their role is to represent all students in their academic school and work closely with Student Reps within their school to get opinions from all years and all courses.
As a membership organisation, YOU have a say in the way Kent Unions runs, so get involved and help shape your University experience for the better. One such way is: ChangeIt, a website where students can apply for changes they want to see made during your University experience.
Alongside ChangeIt, there is Digital Rep, a feedback tool which Student Representatives use to improve student academic experience. You could also run for a Part-Time or Full-Time officer role during the academic year.
To find out more visit