So we know there is a large buzz for students running to be in a society committee, but let’s talk about the unsung heroes of our student body, who make a huge difference to your experience here in Exeter – our student academic representatives! Today I’m going to tell you all about why your peers are standing for a position in Academic Representation, and why you should vote for them! What is Academic Representation, I hear you say? Well, as your VP Education, I lead Academic Representation (or Ac Rep for short), which is the Guild’s body that looks after your Subject Chairs, College Officers and (shared with the University) your Student-Staff Liaison Committees (or SSLCs).
If ever you have grumblings on your course, and want to see something changed, then you can present these to the SSLC. In each discipline, there is a SSLC consisting of a student Subject Rep from each year group, and a senior student representative who leads them, known as the Subject Chair. The Reps are responsible for identifying and communicating issues or ideas to and from their peers about their course, with the Subject Chair setting the agenda and chairing the meeting with the staff and students from their discipline. The discussions and outcomes from these discipline meetings then feed into the wider University agenda, by filtering up through college-wide meetings that are led by the student college representatives called College Officers. These students, being the most senior student leaders in the University, have regular meetings chaired by myself, in the presence of the Academic Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education where we actively discuss, challenge and scrutinise the University’s decision making and Education Strategy.
What many students don’t know, and what I’m trying to articulate here, is that every student involved in Ac Rep plays a vital role in driving positive change to not just their own subject areas, but to the entirety of all University decision-making. And this is done by placing the student experience at the heart of every single meeting agenda. Some of the great things that have been come as result from the students involved in Ac Rep this year have been: making decisions regarding the University’s policy on monitoring attendance, shaping and informing the design and architecture of new study spaces in the Hubs, improving the quality of feedback from tutors, increase the variety and effectiveness of employability events within their college and so much more!
Similar to the Sabbatical Elections, students who are passionate for change to their course or college put themselves forward to be elected by their peers with a manifesto. This week the elections open, so if you want someone who can shape your course and make a significant impact on the Exeter student experience, then empower your peers and VOTE via the Guild’s website.
Harry Reeve – VP Education