Depending on the country: the purpose, assembly, method and implementation of the group might vary. Universally the purpose of students' union or student government is to represent fellow students in some fashion.
In some cases students' unions are run by students, independent of the educational facility. The purpose of these organizations is to represent students both within the institution and externally, including on local and national issues. Students' unions are also responsible for providing a variety of services to students. Depending on the organization's makeup students can get involved in the union by becoming active in a committee, by attending councils and general meetings, or by becoming an elected officer.
Some students' unions are politicized bodies, and often serve as a training ground for aspiring politicians. The combination of the youthful enthusiasm of the various members, a general lack of serious consequences for decisions, and a student media that is itself often partisan, inexperienced, and under no financial pressure to slant coverage to please a broad readership encourages very vigorous campaigning, debate, and political gamesmanship. Students' unions generally have similar aims irrespective of the extent of politicization, usually focusing on providing students with facilities, support, and services.
Some students' unions often officially recognize and allocate an annual budget to other organizations on campus. In some institutions, postgraduate students are within the general students' unions, whereas in others they have their own Postgraduate Representative Body. In some cases, graduate students lack formal representation in student government.
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