Students’ Unions work in exactly the same way that government does.
In terms that fans of Yes, Prime Minister will be able to understand, here’s why…
- The President of the Students’ Union (who is elected) is the figurehead of the union – but in reality (s)he has no power at all. They are just the union’s PR officer.
- The Chief Executive of the Students’ Union, who unelected, is akin to the Cabinet Secretary. It is the Chief Exec who is the one with all the power.
- Students’ Unions are run by a number of permenant, full time staff. As Sir Humphrey said in the latest series of Yes, Prime Minister, “with permenance comes power“! The permenant SU staff are the equivilant of the Civil Service.
- Every year, there is an election. We all know Sir Humphrey’s opinion on elections: He is not against them, as long as the right people do the voting.
In summary, Students’ Unions are exactly the same as governments.
Never trust a politician.
Hopefully, this has been of some use to someone.