Since 1st August 2010, the University of Brighton Students’ Union has been a registered charity. Because of this, the Students' Union must have a Board of Trustees to oversee the running of the Students' Union, in order to meet the requirements of the Charities Act 2006 and the Charity Commission. The Board is made up of the five full time elected officers, up to four student trustees (one of whom must be a Postgraduate student at the University of Brighton) and up to four external trustees.

If you are thinking about nominating yourself to be a full-time officer, you must check that you meet the below requirements as part of your role will be as an Officer Trustee.


  • Are under 18 years of age
  • Have been convicted at any time of any offence involving deception or dishonesty, unless the conviction is legally regarded as spent
  • Are an undischarged bankrupt
  • Have made compositions with your creditors and have not been discharged
  • Have failed to make payments under the County Court Administrators’ orders
  • Have at any time been removed by the Commissioners or by the Court in England, Wales or Scotland from being a trustee because of misconduct
  • Are disqualified from being a company director

If you are in any doubt about your eligibility to act as a trustee you should either seek your own legal advice or contact the Charity Commissioners.

Why does the Students' Union have a Board of Trustees?

The Students' Union adopted charity status in August 2010, thereby meeting the requirements of the Charities Act 2006 and the Charity Commission. The Union has a constitution in line with this, which includes having a Board of Trustees.

Who sits on the Board of Trustees?

The Board has a maximum of 13 voting members, made up of the 5 Student Officers, not more than 4 Student Trustees, and not more than 4 External Trustees. The student trustees are all students currently studying at the University of Brighton. The external trustees are professionals who can bring expertise in key areas to the Board. Senior members of the Union, who are there to report on key Union activities and advise the Board on important issues, also attend board meetings, as does the Chair of Union Council. ThePresident of the Union is also the Chair of the Board.

How are Trustees appointed? 

The 5 Officers are elected into their roles by you, the student body, and automatically become Trustees at the same time. The Union advertises within the University for new Student Trustees, and outside for new External Trustees. Once a shortlist of trustee candidates has been made, they are invited to attend an appointments panel day, where they are interviewed and take part in a group discussion. The appointments panel, made up of existing Board members, then sends its recommendations to the Board. The Board will then ask Council to approve their recommendations.

What does the Board of Trustees do? 

Student, Officer and External trustees recruited to the Board work to ensure a sound, healthy and legally compliant organisation, thereby empowering our elected Council of students to concentrate on campaigning and representing students with confidence and integrity.

How does the Board operate?

The Board meets at least four times per year. There are also three sub-committees of the Board, which meet with more regularity. These sub-committees are made up of some of the Board members, and each sub-committee reports back to the main Board meetings. The three sub-committees are:

• Finance, Audit and Risk Committee – this committee deals with, among other things, Union finance and health and safety
• Employee Resourcing and Development Committee – this committee deals with things such as staffing, disciplinary matters and employment procedures.
• Trustee Appointments Committee – this committee only meets when new trustees are being appointed.

Does the Board of Trustees have the power to make any decisions it wants to?

The Board of Trustees make all decisions with the best interests of the Students’ Union in mind. They will only overturn a decision passed at Union Council or the AGM if they think it will severely harm the Union’s reputation, bring the Union into disrepute or harm the Union financially. Alternatively, they may choose to send a decision to a referendum, allowing the whole student body to vote on the issue.

How can I get more involved with the Students' Union?

You can check this page to see if student trustees are being recruited. You can also get involved by standing for election, either for an officer role or an executive role. You can also become a Course Rep, a School Rep, or a Zone Committee member. Basically, there are numerous ways for you to get involved with the Union, and have a positive impact on your fellow students!