Election week kicks off tomorrow, with Sabbatical hopefuls competing for six places on Swansea Union’s Council. But what exactly is it they’re competing for? Sammy Siddique went and found out…

Six different positions. Six full time jobs. The coming week will see the election of six new Sabbatical Officers – these are the people directly responsible for representing us. But what exactly do their jobs entail, and how are they relevant outside of the union bubble? Here’s our beginner’s guide to the  Sabbatical Officers… (and we’ve added their contact details too, so you can personally bug them if you need to)


As the lead Union officer, the President acts as the key contact for the university, representing us in various capacities outside of Swansea, from NUS to the general community in Swansea. The President leads the Sabbatical team and helps co-ordinate any campaigns conducted by the Executive Committee as well as chairing the Union’s General Meetings, where major Union decisions are made. The President is responsible for the management of the Union staff as the official Union spokesperson and the chair of the Trustee Board. In summary: they are there to promote and represent our Union to their full capacity.


Tel: 01792 295468

Societies and Services Officer

The role of Societies and Services Officer is a versatile one indeed! Their main role is to deal with the University’s societies, all 80 of them! Previously named as Treasurer, they deal with the monetary side of the Union, which means invoices, pay packets and numbers!  Far from being just a number cruncher, Societies and Services Officer personally engages with the Union’s many societies, ensuring that they all get exactly what it is they need to provide the best quality student experience to the students of Swansea.


Tel: 01792 295469

Women’s Officer

Swansea University aspires to be diverse in everything from activities to societies and so we’d need officers that can be there for you when you need their help or just a chat.  The role of Women’s Officer does what it says on the tin. The Women’s Officer serves to represent the women of the university and act as their voice within the union. It is a role which requires ensuring that equal opportunity policies are upheld and effective, both within the union and on a national level. While the campaigns they run predominantly concern women’s issues, they also represent all liberation campaigns in the union.


Tel : 01792 295770.

International Officer

With the university being as diverse as it is, there are many International students that study here and also students who have gone to study abroad for a year. Any international students who face problems adjusting here at Swansea can turn to the Education Officer for support Additionally, they promote the concept of Internationalisation as much as possible, which means bigging up studying abroad programmes such as the Erasmus scheme as much as possible!


Education Officer :

Education is the first and foremost reason we’re studying, so it seems only right that we have an officer in place who is there to defend our right to have such an education. The Education Officer deals with any issue directly affecting our education here at Swansea, whether it involves departmental cuts, exam problems or even rubbish air conditioning in the Library! These are the kinds of problems the Education Officer encounters daily, and is always there to provide advice and support in these cases.

Tel : 01792 295465

Welfare Officer

The welfare of students is  a big concern for the union, so it’s only fitting that there is an Executive position dedicated to this issue. The Welfare Officer’s role is to make sure that the welfare of the student body is always considered. From safer sex, to housing and community issues, the Welfare Officer is the one who co-ordinates campaigns revolving around such problems. Basically, they’re there to make sure we’re happy, healthy and  not living in smelly dumps!


This is all well and good… but how does this affect me?

You may not realise it, but these six officer are who determine some key aspects of your lives at Swansea University. As it says on the event page for campaign week : “The decisions made by sabbs concern all students at Swansea University. Did you take advantage of the 24 hour library during exams? Do you enjoy 80p coffee from JCs? Watch Florence and the Machine at the Summer Ball? If so then your university life has been influenced by  the Union and sabbatical choices.”

Recent campaigns such as the Library Amnesty and the success of the Student Experience fund highlight exactly how important the Sabbatical officers are to our day to day student lives. With turbulent times ahead for students, we need a strong frontline in our Union representatives. What better reason is there to vote on the 22nd/23rd/24th of March? Look out for our election coverage over the coming week, including our Live Blogs at hustings and on Results day!

Got any burning questions about the election? Comment below, Tweet, Facebook or E-Mail us, we’re all ears! In the meantime, check out the Union’s election page for information on all candidates and voting.