students sat outside vernon square

Students’ Union

The Students’ Union is the representative body for the students of The Courtauld Institute of Art. We run alongside but separate to the University. We spend our time advocating on behalf of students in all matters including academia, welfare support and the student experience. Please follow us on Instagram @courtauld_su and check our emails from for regular updates on events, activities, campaigns, and election information.

On joining the Courtauld students automatically become members of The Students’ Union and are thereby entitled to the use our services, to vote in our elections and to run for positions within the Union.

Students are represented by:

  • The President: a full-time sabbatical officer
  • Vice President: a part-time student officer
  • Executive Officers: elected student volunteers who form the Executive Committee along with the President and Vice President
  • The Students’ Union Parliament: elected course reps and officers for student groups

All representatives are democratically elected by the student body and always work with the student body’s interests at heart.

The Executive Committee meets weekly, and the SU Parliament meets monthly. Both groups discuss all matters currently affecting the student experience at The Courtauld. Please get in touch with your course rep with any concerns or queries that you’d like to raise at these regular meetings.

The Parliament

Here you can find out who your 2022/2023 elected representatives are, they’re all happy to help with any queries or concerns so please feel free to get in touch!

SU President – Olivia Cheney

  • VP for Education – George Batzanopoulos
  • VP for Welfare – Victoria Strickland
  • VP for Student Environment – position not currently filled
  • VP for Activities & Development – Francesco Pierangeli
  • VP for Widening Participation – Hannah Snyder


  • LGBTQ+ Students’ Officer – Eric Meese
  • Disabled Students’ Officer – Amara Mountford
  • International Students’ Officer – Sophia White
  • BAME Students’ Officer  – Position not currently filled
  • BA1 rep – Position not currently filled
  • BA2 rep – Eleanor Murn
  • BA3 rep – Amy-May Brand
  • MA History of Art rep – Prune Engérant
  • Graduate Diploma rep – David Bussman
  • MA Conservation of Easel Paintings rep – Catherine Dussault
  • MA Conservation of Wall Paintings rep – Position not currently filled
  • MA Art History and Conservation of Buddhist Heritage rep – Position not currently filled
  • PhD reps (teaching and non-teaching) – Positions not currently filled

All reps are friendly and helpful so do not hesitate to get in touch and ask any questions you may have. If we cannot help directly, all reps are able to help point you in the right direction. All officers are obliged to be confidential and sensitive towards all matters.

If you need to know more about what each officer does or how to run for the position email us at


The Courtauld has a number of societies each of which are run by our students.

All societies have a welcome stall at Freshers’ Fayre at the beginning of term, so come along and see what we have to offer. Alternatively, take a look at the societies listed here and you can get in contact by following them on social media or contacting their committees for more information on how to get involved.

Architecture Society: // @courtauld_architecture

Art Law: // @artlaw.courtauld

BAME Society: //@courtauldbame

Business Of Art // @businessofart_courtauld

Fine Arts Society: // @courtauld.fineart

Feminist Society: // @courtauldfemsoc

Film Society: // @courtauldfilmsociety

LGBTQ+ Soc: // // @lgbtq_courtauld

Off-Colour Society: // @offcoloursoc

Quiz Society: // @courtauld.quiz.soc

The // @thecourtauldian //

VS1 Society: // @eastwingbiennial

Medieval Society: // @courtauld.medieval.soc

Conservation Society:

Pub Society: // @courtauldpubsoc

If you don’t like the look of any of the societies already on offer we encourage you to set up your own!

If you’re interested in setting up your own society please get in touch with the SU President who will be more than happy to discuss it with you.

Alternatively you can look into join the societies at Student Central or try at some of London’s other universities such as KCL or UCL.


Please read the constitution below.

If you need the document of the constitution explained or are unsure of where you stand, please feel free to contact the President via email.

The Student Union constitution is all the rules the Union has to follow.

If you feel these rules have not been adhered to and you wish to file a complaint, please follow the procedure outlined.

Read the constitution

Students’ Union Constitution

This constitution shall take effect from 15 March 2017 and invalidates all former constitutions of this Union.

This constitution shall be subject to review by the Union Parliament and the Governing Board at least every five years, in accordance with the Education Act 1994.

Part II of the Education Act 1994 requires institutions to ‘take steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that any students’ union for students at the established operates in a fair and democratic manner and is accountable for its finances’.

The Governing Board recognises Courtauld Students’ Union as a democratically run organisation, committed to serving and representing the students of the Courtauld Institute of Art. The Governing Board will endeavour to ensure that the activities of the Union do not contravene The Courtauld’s equal opportunities policy nor bring the Institute into disrepute.

The constitution is a legal document that sets out the activities and procedures of the Students’ Union. It provides a framework for the operation of the Students’ Union by:

  • Defining what the Union can or cannot do
  • Indicating how the Executive Committee can act on behalf of Union members
  • Outlining how members can air their concerns

The constitution is made up of three sections:

Section 1 – The Articles This section defines the aims and objectives of the Union as well as setting out what can or cannot be done.
Section 2 – The Schedules This section gives further details in relation to how the Union operates.
Section 3 – The Appendices This section includes other regulations that the Union has to follow.

1.0 Name and Status

1.1 There shall be a students’ union at the Courtauld, named the Courtauld Students’ Union (for the rest of the document the organisation will be referred to as ‘the Union’).

2.0 Aims and Objectives

2.1 To advance the education of its members and students of the Courtauld Institute of Art (for the rest of this document the organisation will be referred to as ‘the Institute’) as a whole.

2.2 To represent the interests of its members and act as a channel of communication in dealing with the Institute and other bodies.

2.3 To promote and protect the welfare of all its members.

2.4 To promote, encourage and co-ordinate student clubs, societies, sports and social activities.

2.5 The Union will operate independent of any political party or religious organisation and without discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition, except that action may be taken to promote equality of opportunity.

3.0 Membership of the Union

3.1 All students who are registered at the Courtauld Institute of Art, over the age of 16, shall be members of the union unless they have decided to give up their membership according to the ‘Opting Out’ regulations.

3.2 All members shall be entitled to use the facilities of the Union and take part in its educational, social, sporting and cultural activities.

3.3 Students who are eligible for membership, but choose to opt out of the Union shall be entitled to access the services and activities listed in section 3.2, but will be charged a fee for doing so.

3.4 All members will have the right to elect their representatives through free and democratic elections that make use of a secret ballot in accordance with election regulations.

4.0 Union Parliament

4.1 The Union Parliament shall be the supreme decision making body of the Union, except for a decision that is made in a referendum.

4.2 The Union Parliament course representatives shall be elected in October of each year according to regulations.

4.3 The functions of Union Parliament shall be to:

  1. i) Set the policy of the Union.
  2. ii) Amend the constitution and regulations of the Union.

iii) Instruct and hold accountable the Executive Committee on their work.

  1. iv) Monitor and discuss the events and decisions of the formal institute decision making bodies and to raise concerns of members to staff and management.
  2. v) Elect delegates to appropriate NUS conferences and councils.
  3. vi) Via the President, ensure that all issues of concern are raised with the relevant members of the Institute’s staff and/or the members of the Governing Board.

5.0 Executive Committee

5.1 The Executive Committee of the Union shall run the Union on a day to day basis

5.2 The Executive Committee shall be made up of the following major Union officers:

  1. i) The President (chair)
  2. ii) The Vice President

iii) The Vice President for Activities and Development

  1. iv) The Vice President for Education
  2. v) The Vice President for Student Environment
  3. vi) The Vice President for Welfare

vii) The Vice President for Widening Participation

5.3 The President of the Student Union and the Executive Committee officers shall be elected in April of each year, excepting the position of Vice President, who shall be elected in October. If the President is/has most recently been an undergraduate student at the Courtauld, then the Vice President shall be a postgraduate student at the Courtauld. If the President is/has most recently been a postgraduate student at the Courtauld, then the Vice President shall be an undergraduate student at the Courtauld.

5.4 The role of the Executive Committee shall be to:

  1. i) Carry out the decisions made by Union Parliament and by referendum
  2. ii) Maintain the presence and decision making power of the Union in the absence of Parliament, or in situations deemed by the President to be not important enough to require the attention of Parliament.

iii) Act as a channel of communication between members of the Union, the Institute management, the Governing Board and other external organisations such as the National Union of Students.

5.5 The President may be a sabbatical post. No member shall be eligible to stand for or serve more than two sabbatical terms of office.           

6.0 Clubs and Societies

6.1 Clubs and societies may be recognised by the Union Parliament provided that their activities do not conflict with the aims, objective and Code of Conduct of the Union.

7.0 Union Finance

The financial affairs of the Union will be properly conducted, and expenditure properly monitored, in accordance with financial regulations.

7.1 The Union shall receive appropriate funds from the Institute to enable it to effectively pursue its aims and objectives. This annual allocation of funding shall be the same as the previous year plus the rate of inflation. If a larger block grant is deemed necessary, the President shall give a proposal to Governing Board

7.2 The President and the Executive Committee will ensure that proper books of account are maintained and that these books shall be audited annually by a person qualified to undertake audited accounting.

7.3 The President shall be responsible for ensuring that the annual budget, amendments to the budget, audited accounts and all other short-term financial reports and financial proposals are discussed and approved by Union Parliament.

9.4 A copy of the Union’s budget and the audited accounts shall be given promptly to Governing Board each financial year for approval and be made available to all students.

8.0 Amendments

8.1 The Union Parliament shall be the only body permitted to amend the constitution and regulations of the Union. All amendments to the Union’s constitution will be subject to the approval of Governing Board before implementation.

8.2 All amendments to the constitution shall require the support of a minimum of two-thirds of the members that are present and entitled to vote at a quorate meeting of the Union Parliament.

8.3 The constitution shall be reviewed by the Union and approved by the Governing Board no less frequently than every 5 years.

9.0 Referendum

9.1 A referendum, in which all members will be allowed to vote, shall be held on any issue, if Union Parliament decides by a two thirds majority to call a referendum. The President shall call a referendum if they are handed a petition detailing the issue and containing the name, course, and signature of at least 30 students who are members.

9.2 A referendum shall only be considered if it has a 50% student response rate and a simple majority win.

10.0 ‘The Courtauldian’

10.1 There shall be an official Student Union newspaper published at the Courtauld, funded by the Union

11.0 Students’ Union Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct will be discussed, amended, and approved by the Executive Committee every 2 years by the Union Parliament. Following this, the Students’ Union Code of Conduct will be approved by the Governing Board in accordance with the requirements of clause 22(3) of the Education Act 1994.

11.1 Finances:

  1. i) The financial affairs of the Union shall be properly conducted in accordance with this constitution and include appropriate arrangements for the approval of the Union’s budget and the monitoring of expenditure by Governing Board.
  2. ii) The annual accounts of the Union shall be made available to Governing Board and to all students.

11.2 Affiliation to external organisations:

  1. i) Any proposal to affiliate to an external organisation shall be approved by Union Parliament
  2. ii) The Union shall, on an annual basis, publish a list of the external organisations to which the Union is currently affiliated and details of subscriptions or similar fees paid or donations made to such organisations in the past year

11.3 Freedom of speech:

  1. i) The Union and its members are bound to observe the Institute’s code of practice in relation to freedom of speech as required by section 43 of the Education (No. 2) Act of 1986.

11.4 Complaints:

  1. i) Any complaint about the Union shall be addressed to the President. In any circumstances where the complaint relates to the President, it shall be addressed to the Vice President.
  2. ii) If the complainant is not satisfied with the response they may appeal to the Secretary of the Governing Body.

iii) If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the response provided by Secretary of the Governing Body, the Institute shall appoint an independent person to consider and resolve the complaint.

11.5 All members of the Union shall be required to adhere to this code


The National Union of Students is the definitive national voice of students. They’re a powerful campaigning organisation working to achieve real change to the benefit of all students.

The NUS also provides vital training, advice and practical support for Students’ Unions around the UK. Without their contribution Student Unions wouldn’t nearly be as empowered, strong and able to develop for the benefit of the students. You are represented nationally by your President at the NUS National Conference where national policy is created, shaped and ratified.