Student Reps are students who volunteer to represent the students in their academic school. There’s roughly one per school per year, and their responsibilities include gathering feedback about the course, and identifying potential problems and solutions alongside academic and clerical staff from their school.
Reps are important because they have the influence to change things about their course that may be negatively affecting both themselves and their peers. This allows them to develop their confidence in formal, decision-led situations and forges a working relationship between students and staff. Student Reps also foster a sense of collectiveness and community amongst people in their schools, which can make other students feel welcome and valued - allowing them to get the most out of their time as a student.
The voluntary efforts of many students were honoured in this year’s student awards celebrating their immense individual contributions. From a pool of nine very worthy nominees: Rachel Fricker, Rhiannon Hawkins and Natasha Allen all emerged victorious. Rachel was honoured for her work on the Executive committee, leaving a lasting impact on the way the Students’ Union supports students with disabilities. Rhiannon was commemorated for her outstanding work as a student rep in the Maths department: working to get all lectures recorded, deadlines halved and working on a ball for Maths students. Finally, Natasha’s commitment to the scheme was recognised by the Awards, following three years of consistent hard work as a rep for the School of English.
Following the reports from each school, we’ve been able to develop a wider picture of the excellent work done this year by student reps in changing their course for the better, as gaining a better understanding of the issues students face that are unique to each department.
Here are just some of the changes made in three University schools as a direct result of the work of student reps:
Quantity of written material in the library
Contacted publishers of books/journals through lecturers and received additional copies for low-stocked modules.
Lack of social space in Jubilee building
Allocation of G32 Common room - stocked with computers and a printer.
Difficulty in distinguishing student rep emails
Flagging system to ensure that student rep emails stand out (TBC)
Amount of integration of practical work within modules
Implementation of inter/intra departmental modules with a focus on practical work
Two hour lectures
Length will be split across two separate one hour lectures
Acquisition of ethical approval for 4th year international research projects
Advice in course handbook is being reviewed, and more information will be taught about ethics applications in third year.
Hidden academic costs
Complaints fed back to university as part of ongoing scheme to address academic costs
Influence of students in ensuring credit is given to outstanding teachers
Students awarded greater say in the process of rewarding teachers they feel have excelled
The general Medical council are looking to develop a ‘medical licensing exam’
Assurance that there would be an emphasis placed on student collaboration in the design and implementation of teaching for the exam.
Difficulties with online registration for new modules.
Lobbying the school for the reinstatement of the older ‘paper’ system.
Lack of social engagement between course members
Organised ‘End of Year Social’ at The Globe in Brighton.
Communication between Literature students
Reviewed existing communication channels and suggested potential online forum specifically for Literature students to discuss their studies.
The Student Rep scheme will be expanding in the next academic year, with 315 positions available. This will result in there being roughly 1 rep, per year, per school. Student reps are elected in Week 2 of term, so if you’re interested in being involved with changing your course for the better: make sure you put yourself forward quickly!
The Union’s Rep team, comprised of Juliette (Campaigns & Representation), Savannah (Undergraduate Education) and Rose (Postgraduate Education) provide support and advice to reps. Should you have any queries about the Student rep election process or the role please don’t hesitate to contact them .
Got a comment/criticism about anything discussed in this article? Let us know on our social media channels!
Wed 28 Feb 2018
A Student Rep tells us what their role has been like.
Thu 04 Jan 2018
Find out what Union Council was up to last term, and how to get involved in it.
Tue 19 Dec 2017
The Student Rep Scheme Leaf scheme has been a success this term, with 132 submissions from reps.
Mon 27 Nov 2017
Say Thank You to Staff: Nominations for Student-Led Teaching Awards open today
Mon 30 Oct 2017
The results for the Student Rep Committee Elections are now in.
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