Sir Donald Walters
Sir Donald Walters, a member of Cardiff University’s Council, praises the students and the Union that supports them.
Sir Donald Walters
I have been a member of Council for some time and have been involved with a large number of the affairs of the University and so it is not easy to decide on which of my many experiences to highlight. In the end I decided to write in praise of the Students’ Union, considered by those who know of these matters as one of the best in the UK.
The constitution of the University provides that there shall be a Students’ Union which subject to that constitution shall have the power to manage its own affairs and funds, shall be a democratic organisation to which all students are entitled to belong and answerable to its members. For its part the University has always been generous with its financial support.
A vibrant and successful Union is one of the important ingredients that together make Cardiff so attractive to potential students. By now dear reader you are probably wondering why particularly I am such a fan of the Union. The answer is that I have enjoyed a close relationship with the Union but particularly for a number of years as a director of Cardiff University Service Limited where I have had the opportunity of working with the sabbatical officers. Each officer serves for one year and so has little time to make his or her mark.
When twenty years ago the framework of the present constitution of the Union was set up it was decided to hive off all the commercial activities of the Union into a company, that is to say Cardiff University Service Limited. There are eight directors, namely the sabbatical officers and two nominated by Council, myself and one other who at present is Gethin Lewis. All profits are covenanted to the Union.
As if being responsible for Cardiff University Service Limited were not enough the student officers produce Gair Rhydd, the award-winning student newspaper and operate a TV and a radio station. The quality of work in these areas has been the subject of much favourable external comment through the years. However all this is by no means the end of the activities supported or provided by the Union. The Athletic Union facilitates a myriad of sports; the Union has numerous societies, assists students to find part time work with reputable employers, organises voluntary work in the community involving over 1,000 students and so on.
It is a great pleasure to see and be involved with successive teams of student officers who always impress me with their enthusiasm, dedication and hard work in the cause of helping their fellow students to enjoy their stay at Cardiff University.