News Article

What is the Group Chat?

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For those of you who started as a student here before September 2018 might remember Student Council. This was a meeting held 3 times a year, where students were able to submit policy, hold their elected representatives to account and find out updates from their Students’ Union and ARU.

We have made the decision this year to change in line with our new articles and bye-laws (the terms and conditions your SU follows) to make Student Council more representative, more accessible and more student-led.


These are the main changes;

  • Changing the name – Student Council sounds old fashioned and boring. We wanted to find new ways to communicate with you both inside and outside of the meeting, so have invited you to The Group Chat (also known as a Student Members’ Meeting). An on-campus meeting, but with opportunities for you to get involved from the comfort of your own mobile phone as well.
  • We are holding the meetings twice a year – students are busy, and we really struggled to get a representative number of students to come along to three meetings, so will be putting more effort on making these two meetings more effective and more interesting.
  • We are holding campus-specific meetings – unless there is something we feel would strongly benefit joining them all together, we will be holding a Group Chat on each campus to keep the content relevant.
  • We are putting students at the heart of all policy – we want students to be more involved in the creation and development of policy. Any ideas for policy will be bought to the first meeting for students to give feedback on and be involved in its development and how it should move forward. This means all our policy will be properly student-led and representative of a wider student body. We want to put a stop to simply clicking vote up or vote down on really important decisions that could affect you.


  • We are taking policy proposals in the second meeting of the year – once policy ideas have been developed with students at the first meeting, they will be taken to the second meeting to be passed (or not). In extreme circumstances the Executive Committee and Trustee Board are able to call an emergency meeting, should an urgent policy need to go through before this date.
  • We will be electing a student chair – The Group Chat is the place for students to hold their elected representatives (the Executive Officers and Campaign & Faculty Reps) to account. To do this more effectively we have decided to elect students to chair (or lead) these meetings, as opposed to the President.


  • We have added a space for any student feedback/discussion – feedback from Student Council was that students felt they didn’t have a space to bring issues, suggestions or questions to the meetings, as our agenda was too prescriptive. We are now including a separate item where you can raise any questions or issues that affect Anglia Ruskin students. You will then either receive the answer to your questions, be told the best course of action or we can open it up for a wider debate.
  • All students can now vote! – Hurray! Previously only Course Reps and Committee Members could cast their votes at Student Council on behalf of their course and/or societies. We believe that all students should have the power to influence their Students’ Union and the decisions we make, to ensure we are as representative of the entire student body as possible.


Find out more about getting involved in The Group Chat here


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