Hi, my name is Ben Knowles and I am your RUSU President for 2021/22.
I’ve just finished my Chemistry degree and am now looking to grow the
opportunities that RUSU can offer. Having started my time as a student
here in Reading in 2017 in Windsor Halls (and pretty much lived in
Park Bar for most of my first year), as well as being a long-term
member of the RUSU Bars team, I know how much we all miss what our
union offers; from trips and career fairs, to the much beloved Union
nights that thousands of you have sadly yet to enjoy.
During my four years here, I’ve experienced halls restructures,
changes to private housing and COVID, meaning I’ve gained a rather
in-depth understanding of what student’s need, want, and expect from
their time here along with knowing what can realistically be achieved.
Like the other officers I’m excited to see all of our campaign ideas
implemented over our tenures however this year is a little different,
so I’ll be looking to make sure the way we operate evolves rather than
going ‘back to normal’. Having missed out on personal interactions for
many months this is something I’m keen to implement in everything we
My role as President involves anything related to democracy,
sustainability or communications. Currently, I sit on many groups and
committees relating to COVID and handling the pandemic crisis, which
can take up to 10 hours a week. The President is responsible for
ensuring all decisions reached or made by RUSU have gone through the
democratic process as laid out in Constitution and Bye-Laws. This
officer is also responsible for leading on external affairs, liaising
with the National Union of Students and will lead on RUSUs democratic
processes and Student Fora.
Check out my manifesto
My remit includes:
- Co-chairing the RUSU Board of Trustees.
Liaising with members of Students’ Union staff through the line
management of the Chief Executive.
Maintaining a working relationship with the University of Reading’s
Vice Chancellor and the University Executive Board.
Leading on democratic processes such as student officer scrutiny,
referenda, ‘Change It!’ and ‘Student Voice’.
Leading on campaigns that fall outside the remit of other Officers.
Leading on development of RUSU’s Commercial Services through
actively canvassing student feedback.
Leading development of the RUSU brand, marketing and communications
Working with the Environment and Ethics Officer and leading on
sustainability issues and projects.
- Representing students and issues from London Road campus.
Some of the committees and groups I sit on include:
- RUSU Sustainability committee.
- Estates and Environment.
- Planning and Change Board.
- MIT - Major Incident Team.
- MRT- Major Recovery Team.
- Finance committee.
- RUSU Elections Committee.
- RUSU Ideas Feasibility group.
- RUSU Student Voice.
- RUSU Trustee Board.
- Student Experience Committee.
- Fees Sub Group.
- Halls Accommodation Committee.
- RASG- Recruitment and Admissions steering group.
- SSCER- Senate Standing Committee of Exam Results.
- SAC- Student Appeals Committee.
- Welcome week task force.
- and a variety of different task forces and working groups.