[Mercedes Brazier | Sports Sub Editor]
Student Representatives were given the chance to attend a conference aimed at educating them on their roles, and motivating them to be the ‘Independent Voice of Students.’ This was covered in the Repstival article in a previous issue of the UniVerse, written by our Deputy Editor Brad Johnson, who reported on the success of the event including details about the headliners for the event, the Breakout Sessions and the QuizQuintin event.
So what do Student Reps do? We help with a range of issues and problems that students on our courses come across such as:
Problems with assessments and feedback which could involve the availability of past papers and other materials or the struggle of having four deadlines in one week.
The quality of the lectures we attend which includes the content, communication, interaction and materials.
Any timetabling problems such as issues with being split between two campuses with not enough time to travel between them, or clashes with other lectures or tutorials.
We also try and communicate with you so that your issues and concerns can be represented, attend meetings so these issues can be heard and feedback the results from the Programme Committee Meetings. This is broken down into The Three F’s: Find, Fix, and Feedback!
In order to perform this role as best we can Student Representatives have to attend a training session put on by the Student Union in order to help us understand our roles and responsibilities. The Student Union President Gurpreet Singh delivered our training and done a very good job of it!
The session was very informational, interactive and fun! We started with the dreaded ice breaker activity; but this one had a slight twist, instead of your usual ‘What’s your name? What do you study?’ we had to think of a Disney Character and state what skills/characterises they have and how they relate to us and our role as a Rep. There were a few creative answers with people really taking on their Disney Persona, such as Robin Hood who helps his fellow ‘poor’ students by being strong willed and persistent.
We later went on to analyse some issues we might face and how we should deal with them; we were given some cards and had to place them in order of: skills we need to be successful reps, issues and concerns we may come across, and issues we do not deal with. This helped us to understand that we are here to support you academically and we cannot help students with other sensitive issues but can direct them to a range of other services. After this we were given five detailed scenarios that we may come across as reps, with each group having one, and we later came back as a whole to discuss our findings. This brainstorming session was very helpful as we all had slight different views as how to go about dealing with certain situations, and the range of different ideas enabled us to think about the different avenues available to us.
After a quick motivational video from Kid President, look him up on youtube.com, our training was over and we left with a range of booklets and leaflets packed with information, and a better understanding into why we are reps, what we do, and how we should be doing it!
So make sure to contact your student rep with any concerns; as we are here to help! Don’t forget to attend the Student Ideas Forum on the 20th November at 5pm in Hutton Hall to ask questions and share suggestions with your elected officers!