Loughborough Students' Union Code of Practice

The University is required to publish of a Code of Practice on the Students’ Union which makes explicit to students their rights and sets out how the University and the Union fulfil their responsibilities.

1. Preamble

This Code of Practice is approved by the University Council in fulfilment of the requirements of Clause 22(3) of the Education Act 1994 which Act requires that Council shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that Loughborough Students' Union operates in a fair and democratic manner and is accountable for its finances. The Code of Practice should be read in conjunction with Statute XVII and Ordinance XVI. It is drawn to the attention of students on annual basis as part of the registration process.

2. Requirements of Charity Law

Loughborough Students' Union is governed by the law relating to educational charities. In particular, whilst it may engage in political debate, it may not support political or other causes which have nothing to do with its members' education or welfare as students.

3. Constitution

There shall be a written constitution for Loughborough Students' Union, approved by the University Council and reviewed by the University Council at intervals of not more than five years. Any amendments to the constitution shall be approved by the University Council on the recommendation of Senate.

4. Elections

Appointment to major Union offices shall be by election in a secret ballot in which all members of Loughborough Students' Union are entitled to vote. The University Council shall satisfy itself that the elections to major Union offices are fairly and properly conducted by appointing a member of the University staff to observe election arrangements.

The Secretary to Council will nominate a member of University staff on an annual basis to oversee the LSU executive elections. They will ensure the Returning Officer is independent and the whole process is free and fair. This nominated person will also provide an annual report to Council on the elections.

5. Sabbaticals Offices

No person shall hold sabbatical Union office, or paid elected Union office, for more than two years in total.

6. Membership

All registered students of the University shall have the opportunity to be members of the Union and they will be given the opportunity to opt into membership on initial registration at the University. Relevant data about students who opt into membership will be shared by the University with the Union to enable the Union to provide services to its members. The data sharing agreement between the University and LSU can be read here: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/privacy/student-privacy/.

Continuing students will be reminded annually through the re-registration process of their right to choose not to be a member of the Union but they may change their preference for membership at any time if they wish.  The University’s on-line registration system will provide students with information about the consequences of not choosing to be a member of the Union. A student opting-out of Loughborough Students' Union shall not be unfairly disadvantaged with regard to the provision of services or otherwise.

The consequences of choosing not to be a membership of the Union shall be: 

  • a student may not participate in any of the democratic processes of the Union.
  • a student will have the status of guest at Union events.
  • a student may join Union clubs and societies as an associate member.
  • a student will not be represented by the Union.

For the purposes of membership of the Union, the definition of a registered student is as follows:

  • They have completed the on-line registration or re-registration process and confirmed they wish to opt into Union membership.
  • Their registration has not been suspended for disciplinary reasons.
  • For taught students, the decision of their final Programme Board has not yet been published.
  • For doctoral researchers, their final corrected thesis is still to be uploaded to the Library system.
  • Students taking leave of absence or who are resitting part of a year of study with or without attendance or doctoral researchers who have not yet submitted their thesis are considered to be registered students.

7. Finances

The financial affairs of Loughborough Students' Union shall be properly conducted and shall be the subject of a financial memorandum between the University and the Union which shall specify the financial relationship between the Union and the University. This is produced annually from LU as part of the annual budgeting process. Quarterly financial reports are also reviewed by Finance Committee, on behalf of Council.  The annual accounts of Loughborough Students' Union shall be made available to the University Council and to all students.

8. Allocation of Resources to Clubs, Societies and Groups

The procedure for allocating resources to clubs, societies and groups shall be fair and shall be set down in writing by Loughborough Students' Union and freely accessible to all students on the Union website: (Societies - Loughborough Students' Union (lsu.co.uk).

9. Affiliation to External Organisations

If Loughborough Students' Union decides to affiliate to an external organisation, it shall promptly publish a notice in all its major channels of communication with members of its decision stating the name of the organisation and details of any subscription or similar fee paid or proposed to be paid, and of any donation made or proposed to be made to the organisation and any such notice shall be made available to the Chief Operating Officer who shall inform the University Council.

The Annual Report of Loughborough Students' Union shall contain a list of the external organisations to which the Union is currently affiliated and details of subscriptions or similar fees paid or donations made to such organisations in the past year, and the report shall be made available to the University Council and to all students.

The Union's Board of Trustees shall keep under review the list of affiliations. The list shall be approved annually as part of the elections ballot. Five percent of the members of the Union may at intervals of not less than one year, by a signed requisition delivered to the Union President, call for a secret ballot of all members on the continuation of affiliation to a particular organisation.

10. Freedom of Speech

Loughborough Students' Union and its members are bound to observe the University's Code of Practice in relation to Freedom of Speech drawn up pursuant to Section 43 of the Education (No. 2) Act of 1986.

Refer to the relevant external speaker policy for more information.

11. Complaints

There shall be a complaints procedure available to all students or groups of students who are dissatisfied in their dealings with Loughborough Students' Union or claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by reason of their having exercised the right referred to in paragraph 5 above. Complaints will be dealt with promptly and fairly and where a complaint is upheld there will be an effective remedy. The complaints procedure shall have three stages and can be viewed here: Union Complaints Procedure - Loughborough Students' Union (lsu.co.uk).

Every attempt will be made to deal with the complaint informally in accordance with Loughborough Students' Union's internal complaints procedures, copies of which are available from the Union President.

If the student or group of students is or are still dissatisfied, the matter will be considered by the Chief Operating Officer.

If on receipt of the Chief Operating Officer's decision the student or group of students is or are still dissatisfied, they shall inform the Chief Operating Officer of this within fourteen days of receipt of his/her decision. An independent person shall be appointed by the Chair of the University Council. The independent person shall carry out such enquiries as he/she considers necessary and shall normally report within twenty-one days of appointment. The decision of the independent person shall be final and shall be delivered in writing to the complainant and to the Chair of Council.


June 2023