Student life is more than just your degree.
It's about what you do with the rest of your time - the activities you take part in, the causes you fight for, the people you meet, the experiences you have. We encourage all of our members to make the most of their time at Imperial from their very first few weeks - and the Leadership Elections 2018 are your biggest opportunity to take a leading role in student life here in London.
Sometimes, students worry that they won't be able to fit extra-curricular activities around their studies. We recognise that Imperial's a tough place to study, and we know you've all worked incredibly hard to get here. We know that you're expecting - and expected - to maintain academic excellence and hard work through your time here.
In the last few weeks, over one thousand Imperial students have put themselves forward in the Leadership Elections.
Britain's biggest student democracy
We believe in leadership - that in a university, students should have the democratic freedom to create the community that they want. That's why we're led by our Officer Trustees - students elected by their peers to take a year out of their studies to work full-time on behalf of all Imperial students. That's why Imperial College Union's biggest political decisions and opinions are made by Union Council, a body consisting entirely of democratically-elected students. It's why our social activities, such as our Clubs, Societies & Projects, are all run by students, and that any group of students can create a new activity if they want. It's why our social enterprises - our bars, nightclubs, shops and events - are responsive to student needs and desires, and constantly seek new products and ideas to better serve our members.
We also believe that students should have a meaningful role in how College operates and makes decisions. That's why we have our Academic & Wellbeing Representation Networks, Liberation & Community Officers and Student-Led Campaigns. On a wide range of topics, we have set the agenda and successfully lobbied College to make decisions that improve students' lives. College themselves recognise the importance of taking on volunteer roles - highlighting the student experience and Imperial College Union as a strategic priority and an indicator of College's quality.
From student club funding to mental health, learning resources to liberation, ethical investment campaigning to fundraising for charities, our elected student volunteers have made fundamental and sustainable changes to how Imperial operates - and we will continue to do so.
Volunteers make Imperial
None of the above is possible without our volunteers, and we have over 2,500 every year. Nearly every single thing done by Imperial students through their time here - their welcome events in Hall, their favourite societies, the Constituent Union Balls and club nights they attend, the Representatives they go to with problems, the mascots they support, the sports they play, the study sessions they attend, the summer trips and tours, the Graduation Ball, and the alumni nights they come back to - all of them are organised by Imperial College Union's volunteers.