The Students’ Guild is a registered charity governed by the Trustee Board.
Authority is delegated to the Chief Executive to manage the day to day operations and it is the role of the Chief Executive to enact the strategy determined by the Trustees. The Students’ Guild is run on a day-to-day basis by its staff, officers and volunteers directed by its members' needs.
The Trustee Board is accountable to the Students’ Guild’s members, to the Charity Commission and to the public in general.
According to the Charity Commission: "Trustees have and must accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the Charity, ensuring it is solvent, well run, delivering the charitable outcomes set out in its governing document".
Our Trustee Board
The Students’ Guild Trustee Board is made up of:
FULL-TIME OFFICER TRUSTEES
All four of the Students’ Guild’s Full-Time elected Officers are Trustees. The Guild President is Chair of the Trustee Board.
Full-Time Officers are:
Emma de Saram
Emma is a History graduate and was elected by students to the role of VP Liberation for 2022/23, then Guild President for 2023/24. Emma is a dedicated climate activist and has campaigned nationally and internationally, speaking at COP26, working with policymakers and taking peaceful direct action.
Emma was a course representative, President of Cool Runnings and Campaigns Officer for Be the Change Society. Emma co-led the successful £2 meal deal campaign in November 2022 and continues to make campus safer, accessible and affordable for all. You can connect with her on LinkedIn: Emma de Saram | LinkedIn
I am the Education Officer for the Students’ Guild having been elected by students and previously studied BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics. I have a background in political activism and as a result am passionate about ensuring that all students have equal opportunity to succeed at the University, regardless of their background. I have previously been the General Secretary of Labour Society and am a two-time delegate for the Guild to the National Union of Students (NUS). On top of my role as Education Officer I am also on the Democratic Procedures Committee of NUS.
Rhys studied PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) and the University of Exeter, but was also - and still will be in his new role - heavily involved with societies. As the Societies and Employability Officer 2023/24, Rhys hopes to be a conduit for student concerns about the less formal side of campus, ensuring that the more than 300 society leaders are supported to both run their societies, as well as get the most out of their studies. As well as this, Rhys hopes to bring greater attention on the fantastic work of the CareerZone, and ensure that all students are able to benefit from their experience and expertise.
Mia studied The History of Art and Drama with Employment Experience before being elected by students to be the Communities and Equality Officer. Mia is particularly passionate about social justice, and the anti-diet movement, campaigning for eating disorder awareness nationally and internationally. As a disabled and estranged student, Mia developed her dedication to widening participation. Over her studies Mia worked with various student groups to provide nightlife events focussed on gender safety, sex education, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Mia is focussed on making campus a safer, more accessible and inclusive place for all students.
I studied English before being elected by students to be the Student Living Officer in 2023. I am particularly excited by this new role, and am driven by creating an environment for safe, sustainable and affordable student experiences. My own experiences of Covid, cost of living and housing issues have massively impacted my time at university, and I know how significant finance and accommodation are in facilitating and enjoying student life. I am passionate about working with students to tackle the issues most important to them, and will work hard to promote student voices in my time at the Guild.
There are up to four Trustees of the Students’ Guild who are current Exeter students (not Full-Time Officers, student staff or members of Elections Group). They are appointed from the student body.
Student Trustees are: Nur Farah, Alex, Agneta, Ella, Reuben.
Nur Farah Meor Azlan
Farah has started as Trustee for the Guild in 2022. Farah is an international postgraduate research student (doing a PhD in Medical Studies) studying at St Luke’s. Farah has a wealth of experience volunteering within charities and community-based projects and has areal interest in running their own charity in the future.
Farah showed her interest in understanding and supporting a charity to run, plus there was a big passion about wanting to give back to the student community and working to help students have the best time at Exeter. Farah focused on the want to make sure every student has an opportunity to do their best which fits extremely well with our values. Farah gave plenty of great examples and experience about making important decisions, using their initiative and logic, and working with people to overcome barriers whilst being empathetic and caring. The values and experience that Farah holds would make them an excellent student trustee.
Alex has started as Trustee for the Guild in 2022, is studying History and will be going into their final year. Alex has been an active committee member of the Debating Society amongst participating in other societies and activities. Alex was also an elected National Union of Students (NUS) National Conference Delegate and represented Exeter on a national level at this conference.
Agneta Ravindran Buvana
I trust that my experience as Director for the world’s largest youth-run organisation I.I.M.U.N. has empowered me to gain a comprehensive understanding of academia. My enthusiasm, dedication, and adherence to the Nolan values of public life, in its entirety, will improve my experience with the Guild. I look forward to working tirelessly to ensure that we address the needs and concerns of students and that the Students’ Guild is transparent and accountable in all of its actions and decisions. I am thrilled to bring my leadership skills and collaborative spirit to the table and work with others to achieve common goals.
Ella has started as Trustee for the Guild this year (2023), and is going into her second year studying BSc Sociology. Alongside her degree, Ella is an active member of a number of societies, including Campaigns Officer of Femsoc in her first year, and now Vice President of Femsoc and Treasurer of Rethinking. She is also a keen member of the Open Water Swimming Society and Concert Band where she plays the clarinet.
Reuben is an international student from Malaysia who has started as Trustee for the Guild this year (2023), and is going into their second year of an undergraduate law degree. Reuben was recently elected General Secretary of the Exeter Malaysian Society, and is also an active member of the University's Law Society. Having felt greatly supported by Guild and University initiatives during their first year, Reuben is eager to give back to the university community with a view to ensuring student satisfaction and improving it where possible.
There are up to four external Trustees who are appointed by the Board and Guild Council from the local community.
External trustees are: David, Natalie, Margaret, Julie, Harriet
David has recently relocated to the South West, and brings a wealth of experience in senior business development/commercial roles for Unilever and small businesses. He has also worked in the Higher Education sector leading collaborative projects across universities in Wales and is familiar with legal and commercial arrangements in the sector. David has also worked in South East Asia, Europe and North America in marketing roles.
Harriet is an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion specialist based in Exeter, with 10 years’ professional experience leading and influencing organisations on EDI by targeting the underlying causes of inequality. She has implemented impactful actions to progress systemic and cultural change in complex organisations, including Universities and most recently for the NHS. Harriet is committed to seeing the Guild at the forefront of EDI innovation and debate.
Experienced HE leader and professional since ‘95. Held roles at Director, Executive and Board levels. Passionate about student success and the transformational power and value of higher education. Vice-Chair of the Board, supports the President in the performance management of the Chief Executive. "Love being a Trustee at the Guild. It’s brilliant to be able to support students, officers and staff in this way."
Senior Associate at US law firm Duane Morris LLP. Experienced solicitor with over a decade worth of experience in international finance law, including secondments to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Credit Suisse. Advises financial institutions and corporate clients on a wide range of banking and finance transactions, with a particular focus on debt capital markets, structured finance and securitisations. Trustee and Founder of The Hive Food Bank, Assistant Division Commissioner for GirlGuiding in Islington, passionate about the charity sector and inclusivity/widening participation agendas. University of Exeter alumna. "I really enjoy being an external trustee as it enables me to give back to an organisation that made my time at the University of Exeter so special."
Held the role of Deputy Director of Finance at the University of Exeter for over 11 years, and before that was Head of Financial Operations at The University of Manchester. Finance specialist knowledge and a strong advocate for student experience and student voice.
"Being a Guild Trustees enables me to play a fundamental role in an organisation that can really make a difference to the University life of a student, preparing them for their future whatever that may be. I feel that I can use my 30 years of University senior management experience to support and challenge the CEO, Senior Management and the Board in a positive and constructive manner. As a student led organisation it allows me to continue to mix with and see how fantastic these young people are."