The Role of a Trustee: Trustees Week 2021

As part of Trustees Week, President and Deputy Chair Sarah discusses what the role entails, and how she handles the responsibilities attached to being a Trustee.

As President of The Association, I have the responsibility of acting as the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Students Association. I started in this role in August 2020, and I will continue being on the Board of Trustees throughout the term until July 31st, 2022 when someone new will take my place.

The role of a Trustee is split into many parts. It is the role of the Trustees to be responsible for the governance, the budget, and the strategy of the Association.  As such, I have spent time understanding the Strategy is more detail, so I work closely with Strategic Projects and Change Co-ordinators, who collects all the data for our Key Performance Indicators to measure how well we are achieving our strategic aims. 

One of the responsibilities of Trustees is to be responsible for the Governance of the Association. In 2019/2020 the Association went through a culture review and one of the recommendations from this was that a governance review was undertaken. This work was commissioned and commenced in early 2021. In my previous role, as Association Representative for the faculty of WELS, I was heavily involved in the culture review so to see the governance review take place has been a privilege. There have been several recommendations that have been made to the Trustees and we have had consultations with the student membership about these recommendations. The Trustees recently made the decision, based on the feedback, to recommend some of these are taken to the Association’s Conference to be decided by the student body. 

The governance review and recommendations to conference have been the culmination of nearly two years of work. To see that the final decision is made by the student membership shows how collaborative every cog in the Association’s wheel has to be. As a Trustee this makes me feel proud and shows that as a Trustees we are listening to and heeding advice from our membership. 

I take being a Trustee very seriously and recognise that we need to be a strong body that steps back and takes a more strategic view while ultimately keeping the needs of the Association and student membership at the forefront of our decision-making. 

It is an exciting role, and if you aspire to impact change throughout the Association, keep your eyes open for Student Trustee roles being advertised in the near future. Although the responsibility of making the right decisions weighs heavily on me, I am not alone, and having the other Trustees around means we all have a responsibility to support one another while holding each other to account. 

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Sarah P Jones


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