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Your Sabbatical Officers


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Day in the life of an LSE student



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  • Fri 23 Sep 2016 13:12

    So what is a UGM?

    The Union General Meeting (UGM for short) is a weekly meeting which serves as the main way our elected officers are held accountable, and the main way students can change union policy. 


    Any student can come along and get involved in the meeting, either by asking questions, getting in involved in debate or even proposing a motion  

     If you want to know what your elected student representatives are doing and ask them anything, or you want to change something about student life at LSE and LSESU, the UGM is the best way to do this.

    What happens at a typical UGM?

    A typical UGM usually consists of our elected sabbatical officers (Busayo, Jasmina, Julia and Riham) giving a report about what they’re currently doing in their roles, and then taking any questions from students who want updates or answers on anything specific. Imagine a much, much friendly version of Prime Minister’s Questions, because this is what this section is like! This also happens at the end of the meeting with our elected part-time officers, as long as there’s time.

    The other main section of the UGM consists of a debate on a motion submitted by a student proposing a change to the Union’s policy. The proposer and seconder of the motion get to talk about why they think the motion should pass, and any opposers get to talk about why they think it shouldn’t. Audience members then get the chance to question both sides, who will each have an equal chance to continue to make their cases. In this instance, think of Question Time, but less adversarial!

    What kind of motions can I submit?

    Motions can be submitted on anything ranging from decisions the School or Union has taken to wider national and even international concerns. Motions from last year covered topics ranging from when exam timetables were released to UK intervention in Syria, the EU referendum to the Free Speech society at the SU. For examples of the kind of motions submitted over the past couple of years, visit

    In short, for almost any change you would like to see happen on campus passing a UGM motion is one of the best ways to achieve this. It allows you to start a conversation across campus and gain support for anything you want to achieve, as well as mandating the SU to act on any proposed changes you have laid out if the motion passes.

    How does a motion get passed?

    After a motion is debated at a UGM all students can then vote for this motion online, by logging on to Voting is typically open from the moment the meeting ends until Friday at 5pm. In order for the vote to pass, a simple majority is required once a minimum of 250 people have voted for or against the motion. Therefore if the vote is won 126-125 it passed into policy as over 250 people have voted, but if the vote is won 245-0 it wouldn’t have received enough votes and would not become SU policy.  

    How do I submit a motion ?

    Any full member of the Union (unless you have opted out of membership you will be a full member) can submit a motion. Motions can be submitted either via email to or on the online form at the bottom of the page on

    Motions must be submitted before 5pm on Friday to be discussed by our elected Democracy Committee (whose job it is to scrutinise and prioritise motions) the following Tuesday. If the Democracy Committee approves the motion, it will then go onto the order paper for at least one week, before being debated and voted on. Therefore, if you wanted your motion debated in week 5 of term, the latest you could submit the motion is on the Friday of week 3.  

    How can I find out more?

    If you like to find out more please email our Democracy Committee at, or check out the UGM section of our website at Alternatively you can get in touch via our Twitter (@lsesu) or Facebook (, who can then direct your enquiry on this.  

  • Fri 23 Sep 2016 09:16

    The postgraduate experience at LSE is one of the hardest to understand. As a student population, we’re divided into Masters and PhDs - PhDs stay on for four years, but Masters students only stay for a few months, before getting a degree and moving forward.


    The question is, how do we ensure that postgraduate voices are being heard? One of the key ways we can do this is through democracy at LSESU. We have a Postgraduate Officer, a Postgraduate Research Students’ Officer and a Mature and Part-Time Students Officer. Between these four positions and additional postgraduate representation on the Trustee Board, the Student Union tries to integrate the opinion of postgraduates into our institution.

    But the question always needs to be asked - while it may be great that the institutional culture of LSESU depends on the involvement of postgraduates, how do postgraduates benefit from participating? First, it is a unique opportunity to run an organization. As the Postgraduate Officer, you will be one of five sabbatical officers to determine how the Union can accommodate the needs of postgraduate students. Trust me, as a postgrad last year, the concern of whether you’ll have enough time is understandable - particularly for Masters students, the eight months-one year you have for your course flies. 

    But with some time management, you have the opportunity to make real and significant change for postgraduates, while becoming part of an incredible and engaging community that reaches out directly to students. Not only that, but you will have the platform and support of an entire Students’ Union to help you express the views that you want to get across. And for a year, it’s a pretty incredible opportunity to do so. 

    Consider it the coolest part-time job you could ever have, with flexible hours, accommodating staff, and most importantly - a great audience to support, your fellow students.

    Your’s faithfully,

    Riham Mansour, Community and Welfare Officer

  • Thu 22 Sep 2016 16:03

    So you’ve finally made it to LSE, Welcome Week is about to begin and you’re currently a bit confused about what you’re going to actually study. So we’ve compiled the quick and easy way to make sure that you get the best value out of your fees here at LSE.


    First of all, the best thing to do is to check your programme regulations which can be found here for your level of study:

               Undergraduate Taught         Masters         Research (MRes/PhD)

                            Research (MPhil/PhD)        General Course

    These little beauties will tell you which classes you must take, those you are not allowed to take and which you are allowed to decide between. After you’ve done this it’s time to get into the hard work deciding which of these classes to choose.


    Our advice begins with deciding on a shortlist of classes that you like the look of, this includes the content of the lectures, how the teaching is organised and finally the assessment method. Once you have your shortlist it’s time to start shopping for your favourites in Week 1! To find out where every lecture is and what time, LSE have a timetabling system which you’ll have to login to using your LSE username and password: TIMETABLES.

    Classes don’t start until Week 2 and your course choices have to be submitted by Monday of Week 3 on LSEforYou, so you have a bit of time to decided on what you want to actually take and experience a lot of lectures, if you’re still stuck there is plenty of information out there to help.

    First of all there is the course guides which are linked in your programme regulations on the LSE Calendar, which lists all the information such as class & lecture sizes for the previous year, content, indicative reading, assessments whether the course is capped (a limit of students taking the course) and the value of the course.

    Secondly there are existing students which should be able to help you, whether they are 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates, PhD students (previous masters’), whilst the course could change slightly year to year, they are often the best bet to get a honest review of the course itself. And finally there are the grade breakdowns for each course which can be found just below, although you’ll have to login again using your LSE username and Password: Grade Breakdowns.

    But we’d advise that you take a closer look at everything else before looking at grade breakdowns and seeing what your new friends are taking; as if you study what you think is interesting, you’ll have a far better time and probably get better grades!

    Our last piece of advice is that don’t worry if you find out that you hate the lecture, or the content of the course…


    … as course choices don’t have to be confirmed until the Monday of Week 3 on LSEforYou, you should be able to find something that you’ll fall in love to study for the year! Just make sure that if any courses you want to take are capped (ones which have a student limit) you get in there ASAP as once they are full, they’re full and you don’t want to be these cats at the door to that lecture.