Complaints against the union

As most complaints can usually be easily and amicably resolved it is expected that in the first instance, a complainant should contact the students' union staff member who is most immediately relevant to the matter in hand for complaint resolution.

  • Students who feel unable to approach the relevant person directly should invoke the procedures outlined under formal complaints.
  • Any student who feels dissatisfied following this process can proceed to making a formal complaint.
  • Anonymous complaints will not be investigated.
  • No complainant shall be victimised for raising a complaint.

The union has a Bye-Law governing its formal complaints procedure. You can view a copy of the Byelaw here. Members seeking to make a formal complaint should follow the procedure outlined in the byelaw to the relevant person as specified below.

  • Any student member with a complaint concerning any aspect of the union, JCR or any registered Club or Society, or any other students' union body, should initially raise the matter with the students' union Complaints Manager Chris Cottam at
  • Opted-out students shall initially take any complaint regarding the services provided by the students' union to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement
  • Complaints regarding union staff should be made directly to the Chief Executive to be dealt with via university procedures
  • Complaints regarding the Chief Executive shall be made to the President and Vice-Chair of the Trustee Board who, if they cannot resolve the complaint internally, shall have the power to refer the matter to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement
  • Complaints regarding electoral processes will be dealt with via the Deputy Returning Officer in accordance with the Democracy Byelaw
  • Associate members also have full access to this complaints procedure with respect to any publicly distributed or broadcast media produced by the union

Complaints should be made in writing and clearly define:

  • The reason(s) for complaint
  • The evidence to support the complaint (please attach any relevant documents)
  • Any action(s) taken so far to resolve the issue
  • The complainant’s desired resolution(s) of issue(s)
  • Name(s) and contact details for the complainant.

The relevant investigating officer will ensure:

  • The formal complaints are acknowledged on the date of receipt and are dealt with in a timely manner.
  • The complaint is to be dealt with confidentially except where there is a need to involve third parties for investigative purposes.
  • Full records of all complaint investigations will be kept.
  • The complainant receives a fair hearing and due consideration of their complaint.
  • Any complainant has the right to be accompanied to any hearing by another full member of the union.
  • Findings are communicated to the complainant within a timely manner.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the result of the internal complaints procedure, they shall take the matter to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, who will receive all the relevant reports and minutes from the Chief Executive, shall have power to act appropriately, and shall normally deal with the matter within twenty one days
  • If either the complainant or the Pro-Vice-Chancellor is still unhappy, the matter shall be taken to the University Secretary who will arrange for investigation and decision by a person independent of the university
  • The Chief Executive shall keep full records of any complaints upheld and shall share with the Union Executive the responsibility to ensure circumstances wherever possible are not repeated

The complaint mechanism created by Education Act 1994 does not interfere with licensees obligations to the courts concerning the running of licensed premises. A licensee has the right to exclude persons from the premises in appropriate circumstances.