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STUDENT REPs – a guide for staff

The Student Rep system is run as a partnership between the University and the Students' Union. This guide contains the information you need to know about Student Reps in one handy place.  

THE ROLE

The primary role of a Student Rep is to ensure that they effectively collate and communicate the views of the students they represent, and ensure they communicate the outcomes of this process back to their peers.
They are expected to attend meetings at programme level to discuss local course issues with their tutors and programme leaders.
At the first Programme Committee Meeting, a Department Rep should be elected to attend the Department Meetings.

 

Reps also attend SU University Forums, chaired by the HSU President: Representation.  The SU University Forums are where Reps come together to discuss matters which affect students but are outside of the learning experience, so we’ll be discussing things like campus facilities, study spaces, car parking, accommodation, catering, leisure and entertainment opportunities – all the other bits of student life!

At the first SU Forum we elect a Deputy Chair to support the President: Representation (including attending Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee) and the reps who sit on the following committees:

  • Curriculum Validation Committee
  • Research and Knowledge Exchange

 

These structures are in place as a feedback loop from Students to University staff, however attempting to resolve issues at a local level on a one to one informal basis is always favourable. This can be done via email exchanges or informal catch up meetings between key staff members and Student Reps. An example might be a Programme Manager or Module Leader meeting with one or two relevant Student Reps about a particular issue. If resolving issues at this level is not possible, the issues then need to be taken to different meetings such as the Programme Committee meetings, Departmental Committee or ASEC. 
Where a rep raises a non-academic matter which their rep and President: Representation are unable to resolve directly with the relevant department it is passed to the SU Council.

 

WHAT THE STUDENTS’ UNION DOES...

PROMOTES THE STUDENT REP SYSTEM

 

The Students’ Union promotes Student Reps though Induction Talks, the Freshers’ Fair and the enrolment stand. This promotion includes what the role is, what it entails, the benefits of being a Student Rep and how to get involved. We also use our website and social media to raise awareness.

If students are interested we ask them to contact their tutor.

 

 

PROVIDES TRAINING AND ONGOING SUPPORT TO STUDENT REPS

 

The Students’ Union provides training to all Student Reps; this is an hour and a half long session. The training session takes place during the first term and includes information about their role, key skills and extra opportunities.
Student Reps who are elected onto further committees also have the opportunity to attend advanced training sessions.
Students must attend a face-to-face training to receive credits on their card – for every meeting a rep attends we put £5 onto their student card for use in the campus catering outlets

 

Some of the topics covered within the Fundamental Rep Training include...

 

  • Being a true representative - ensuring you bring the view of your cohort and not your individual view.
  • Meetings - Structures, etiquette and expectations.
  • The wider rep role - What is expected and how to signpost students to support services for issues that fall outside of the role
  • Ongoing help and support to Student Reps

 

Throughout the year we offer help and support for Student Reps; this may be answering queries and helping with specific issues the Student Reps are facing through to working on campaigns with students to tackle topics students want addressing. 

 

CERTIFICATES AND AWARDS

The Students’ Union hosts an annual Student Allocation Recognition (StAR) Awards evening near the end of the year.  We have a ‘Student Rep of the Year’ award for the Rep that the President: Representation thinks has gone above and beyond 

WHAT THE UNIVERSITY DOES...

PROMOTES STUDENT REPS TO THEIR STUDENTS

It is important that each course promotes the Student Rep positions available on their course. The Students’ Union will do general promotion but it is vital that each course does specific promotion as well.

 

ELECTS STUDENT REPS AND ASK THEM TO ADD THEIR DETAILS TO THE REP DATABASE

 

The most important part that the University plays is to elect Student Reps; this should take place in the first 2 weeks of term. We then need you to ask the students to fill their contact details into our database (we will send the link to you at the start or term and it will also be on our new website soon)
Without these details we cannot offer Student Reps the Fundamental Rep Training, support or invite them to Students’ Union meetings or give them the opportunity to attend other committees. 

For each course and year there should ideally be 2 Student Reps. It is mainly the duty of the programme leader to carry out Student Rep elections for each course. We only ask that all students are happy for those students to represent them.

 

FACILITATES COURSE LEVEL MEETINGS FOR STUDENT REPS

The University is responsible for organising the Programme Committee meetings to which all the Student Reps on the programme should be invited, as well as inviting the Departmental Student Rep to the Departmental meetings.
Reps who sit on other committees will be invited to those meetings by the relevant officer

 

FAQ'S FOR STAFF

WHEN DO I HAVE TO HAVE ELECTED MY REPS BY?

We ask that you get the names of your reps to us by the end of the 1st week of teaching.  We understand that this is a tight deadline to meet, however in order to train Reps before the first round of Hartpury meetings and give them the skills required to be effective in their role this deadline is really key. 

  

  

WHAT DO I DO IF I FEEL A REP IS NOT BEING EFFECTIVE OR NOT ENGAGING WITH THE SYSTEM?

Student Reps attend training and should be elected by their cohort so will be representative of their cohort.

We have found that sometimes problems occur when Student Reps are not democratically elected into their role, if students are selected by module leaders or asked to do the role via email, the importance and representational nature is lost.

 

Student Reps can only be representative if they are given the opportunity to collect and provide feedback. Ensuring that students have the ability to do this is of the utmost importance. This can be done by:

 

a) Going through the Rep Agreement with them. The Rep Agreement is new this year and is designed to allow Student Reps to understand what we expect of them and what they can, in return, expect from us.

b) Giving the Student Rep 5-10 minutes at the start of a lecture/seminar/tutorial to ask for feedback

c) Encourage students who aren’t Student Reps to use their Student Reps to ensure they’re representative. A Student Rep can only voice student opinion if they have the cohort behind them!

d) Sending an email on the Student Representatives behalf asking for feedback about the course/module/programme

e) Creating a section on Moodle that can act as a discussion board for students

f) Encourage the students to set up a Facebook Page or similar social media option where they can invite other cohort members to feedback

g) Ensuring Reps can see the agenda before any meetings to give them time to gather feedback and check with the Programme Leader if they don’t understand any items

h) Check when the best time for meetings is – the biggest reported reason for non-attendance is due to timetable clashes.

i) Encourage Reps to email feedback if they can’t attend a meeting – this is covered in their training and handbook too

 

Encouraging all staff members to allow time for this to happen will make sure that your Student Reps are being representative of their cohort.

 

If you still don’t feel the student is being representative, please pass their name to the Students’ Union (studentsunion@hartpury.ac.uk) and we can offer extra training and support to the student.  Please also contact us if you have concerns about a Student Rep’s conduct.

 

 

ARE THERE ADDITIONAL WAYS STUDENTS ARE TOLD WHO THERE REPS ARE?

 

We are setting up a new website which will have a section where students can find out who their Rep is. In the meantime they can email us at studentsunion@hartpury.ac.uk 

 

You haven't answered my question, can I ask you something?

Please do! Email the studentsunion@hartpury.ac.uk and we will answer any unresolved questions. Plus we will feature them in this section too