The SU is an organisation that is run for students by students. Every year 7 students are elected by the student body to run the SU for a year. They press pause on their studies, taking a “sabbatical” and work full time representing you. The Leadership race is your opportunity to choose who these leaders should be.

In addition to the 7 Full time positions, we also elect a number of Student community officers who ensure that their communities have a voice. These communities are usually made up of minority groups such as Black or Trans. Each campus has picked the type of officers they need to best ensure all their communities are represented.

What is a sabbatical officer?


The SU is powered by our students. 7 students are elected each year to represent different student interest and communities. They take a year out of their studies and work full time representing all our students in all three campuses.

They are also trustees of the organisation and make sure that the SU remains financially and legally able to represent you to the best of its ability.

Any student can apply for any of the roles. The roles are: President, VP Education, VP Welfare, VP Southend, VP International and VP Communities & Engagement and VP Student Experiences.

What is a Student Community officer?


This is a part time position that is unpaid. The elected officers are expected to remain as a students during their time in office. The officers are elected to represent the community and ensure that their views and issues are heard and acted on.

You will be expected to attend Parliament as a community representative and to run some events during appropriate times eg Black history month, period pride etc.

Can I apply?


If you are a current student at the University of Essex, then yes you can apply for any of the roles.

The sabb roles are full time jobs paying a salary of £19,613, and you will be expected to take a year off from your studies or be completing them in June.

The SCO roles will be part time and are voluntary.

I've got some questions...


If you would like more information, drop us a line at suelections@essex.ac.uk we'll be happy to run through any questions you have or set up a meeting with a current officer.

If you're ready to go, head to the bottom of the page to register your interest.



Ana -Maria Bichir

Former VP Welfare & community

"I wanted to run for the Welfare Sabbatical position because I realised that the Mental Health services provided were quite a hit and miss, and it deeply negatively affected the experience of a lot of my loved ones from this university. I knew it was going to be a demanding position but I love a challenge. I think what motivated me was the thought that maybe I could make a change and so other students wouldn’t have to fight the same battles that me and my friends had to fight when it came to receiving Mental Health support."

Becky Newbury

former VP services

"What's the worst that can happen? Stop taking yourself too seriously and if you want it then give it a go. The only thing you can be sure of is that you will never achieve the things you don't put yourself forward for."

Chantel Le Carpentier

former VP Welfare & Community (y1) and President (y2)

"Do it. Because you definitely won’t win if you don’t run. If I was to write an autobiography right now it would be called ‘5 votes’ because that’s what I won my first sabb election by – 5 votes. I wasn’t popular, I was only in my second year, I wasn’t in a sports team – I just believed in stuff and I was genuine. Don’t run if you’re doing purely for your employability because if you win, students will totally see through that and it will be a hard year for you.



If you are interested in one of the leadership roles or would like to suggest a friend that may be interested, just fill in the form below.