People & Planet Student trustees
Students make up over half of our governing body, the Board of Trustees, which oversees the work that People & Planet does. The board of trustees guides the long-term planning, finances and legal existence of People & Planet and oversees all the work the organisation does to make that sure it’s working in the best interests of student campaigners.
2023 Student Trustee Elections
Every year in February we hold student trustee elections to vote for our new student trustees. Any student involved in People & Planet can nominate themselves to be a student trustee, and all students involved with the network can vote in the elections.
The 2023 student trustee elections took place from the 23rd February to 3rd March. This year there were 6 candidates from groups across the network standing for two positions, one of which was designated for a Black* student. If you are interested in being a People & Planet trustee look out for information about the 2024 elections here and get in touch if you have any questions!
*Black is an inclusive term P&P uses to denote people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage.
"Joining P&P as a student trustee has been a brilliant experience. Working with the team here is so much fun. Being a trustee has given me a whole new perspective on environmental activism and deepened my understanding of what it takes to win a campaign. Not only has it given me a behind the scenes view, it has provided opportunities to learn and upskill myself to be able to take on a more organisational responsibility in the future. It's a commitment and does require some time investment but its so worth it to work with amazing people and keep fighting for a better world."
Pete Ferguson, Current student trustee
'I have been a part of Bath university People & Planet since my second year at university, and became a trustee in my third year. As a trustee I got to see the organisation work at a deeper level, have a direct say in an organisation I care about, and gain the satisfaction that I am having a positive contribution. It is a fulfilling role as I get to be a part of People & Planet as an organisation and also be involved with the campaigns in my university. In my time as a trustee, I have also met amazing individuals who share my passion for a sustainable and peaceful future and who continue to motivate me."
Mueez abdurrahman, former student trustee
Elected student trustees
People & Planet strives to be student-led by:
supporting campaigns that our student network has democratically chosen;
providing skills training to empower students to run the campaigns of their choice;
having over 50% elected student representation on our Board of Trustees and;
having a student Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees guides the long-term planning, finances and legal existence of People & Planet. The BoT works to oversee all the work the organisation does, and to make sure that it’s working in the best interests of student campaigners. This is why having a majority of student trustees around the table is so important: you know what’s affecting activism in your universities first-hand.
Board meetings are held four times per year. We are currently meeting remotely by Zoom, but we are planning to hold at least one in person meeting in 2023/4. In the past these have been in Oxford, London or in the North, varying locations to improve accessibility for trustees, so having the ability to travel to these is necessary. Office staff are also invited along to meetings in an informative capacity and to present and get feedback on our campaign strategies and movement building initiatives. We like to socialise casually after meetings too as we’re a friendly and welcoming bunch.
Who can nominate themselves to be a student trustee?
Any student involved in People & Planet on their campus can nominate themselves to be a student trustee. You don’t need to be part of an official People & Planet society on your campus. If you help run the Fossil Free, Fossil Free Careers or Divest Borders campaign on your campus (even if part of a different society) then you can nominate yourself. You have to be a current student when you nominate yourself but not for your three years as a student trustee (eg. you can nominate yourself to be a student trustee in your final year of university and be a student trustee for the next two years)
What does being a student trustee involve?
As a student trustee you are expected to attend 4 Board of Trustee meetings each year that take place over Zoom or in different locations around the UK. BoT meetings normally take place on a Saturday from 11-4pm. People & Planet cover your travel expenses to and from these meetings. You are expected to support with overseeing the work the organisation does, and to make sure that it’s working in the best interests of student campaigners. As a student trustee you are expected to participate in working groups which complete tasks outside of Board meetings, and maintain good communication with the rest of the Board and P&P staff. You can additionally choose to support different bits of work that People & Planet do, whether your interest is in fundraising, campaign strategy or growing the network.
How do the elections work?
Anyone who is currently a student at a UK university and is involved in People & Planet on their campus are eligible to vote. Voting is done online via the online voting and elections website http://www.opavote.com.
Voting is done using proportional representation, using the Single Transferable Vote system which is a system of ranking candidates in order of preference so that the candidates with the broadest support win. Check out this short video from Southampton Students' Union which explains the Single Transferable Vote system in 2 minutes with Homer Simpson!
When will I find out the results?
The results will be available to see on our social media, normally the day after the voting closes.
What happens if I win?
People & Planet will be in contact with you soon after to talk about your induction, which will be set of online training sessions about P&P and your responsibilities as a trustee. You will also be notified of the first Board of Trustees meeting that you are expected to attend.
"I really enjoyed and learnt so much from being a People & Planet student trustee, including spending a year and a half as Chair of the Board. It's a great opportunity to strengthen links between grassroots campaigning and governance of the national network and provide student leadership on the strategic direction of P&P's campaigning and organising. It also gave me the skills and confidence to apply to P&P's internship program through which I then coordinate the Fossil Free campaign nationally."
Chris Saltmarsh, former student trustee and co-director at People & Planet