Page 1

HANDBOOK 2010/11

1


CONTENTS

PAGE 3—WELCOME PAGE 4– INTRODUCTION, what is representation, why is it needed? PAGE 6—ROLES—what is a course rep, department rep, school rep? PAGE 7 & 8—BOUNDARIES, what you can and can’t deal with. PAGE 9—COMMUNICATION TIPS—getting yourself known & speaking to Staff PAGE 11, 12 & 13—MEETINGS, what do I attend and when PAGE 14 - CONFIDENTIALITY this includes; Speaking with Students and Resolving problems PAGE 17—REFERRING STUDENTS PAGE 19—STUDENT SERVICES PAGE 21—CAREERS PAGE 23— TRAINING SESSIONS PAGE 24—CONTACTS PAGE 25—REGULATIONS AND POLICES PAGE 26—RECOGNITION AND AWARDS PAGE 27—QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS PAGE 28—RESOURCES

2


WELCOME Hello and Congratulations on becoming a Student Academic Representative (StAR)! A StAR is the vital link of communication to the Union and University. You represent the views of students within your cohort to departmental staff, the University and the Students’ Union. A StAR is a student that is elected/ appointed by other students on the same course so that their views can be represented and create a good student experience Being a student rep an extremely important role. You don’t need any experience, you just need to be an effective communicator, a good listener, and dedicated to the role. This is an excellent opportunity to build your skills and personal development while also making a positive difference to your University. See more in the ‘What’s in it for me’ section. Don’t worry if all this seems a bit daunting. The Students’ Union can help you throughout your role. This handbook has been put together to provide you with what you need to know. You’ll find plenty of helpful documents on the student union website http://www.bathspasu.co.uk/stars which is continually updated. We also provide you with an induction session where the role is explained and questions answered. You will receive an email inviting you to these sessions when you begin Here at the Students’ Union, support and advice are offered throughout your role. Email stars@bathspa.ac.uk for further details. We’re here whenever you need us just let us know how we can help. We will be sending regular emails to keep you up-to-date. Other training is also offered to support you in your role. Look out for training courses such as time management, managing meetings and communication . An email will be sent out inviting you to book via the Bath Spa + website on the careers home page http://www.bathspacareers.com/ All questions, views and anything to do with representation to be directed to stars@bathspa.ac.uk

3


INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Student Academic Rep. Scheme Bath Spa University and the Bath Spa University Students’ Union co-run the student rep. scheme StARs. AStAR (Student Academic Rep.) is a student elected/appointed through modules or courses to represent students on the same course/module and year group. As a StARs rep. you will provide an essential link between students, the University and the Students’ Union. Because StARs are themselves students, fellow students are happy to seek assistance from you when they have concerns or opinions about their education and experience at university. By keeping the student view on the agenda you will be a vital link between students and staff of the university, and will help ensure that the university is student driven. StARs are really important in that they inform other students on the reasoning behind decisions, and help academics know what students want and need so that their courses can be as enjoyable and accessible as possible.

StARs help with the following: Feeding back views, at the end of each module you have a feedback form – this may be very helpful for students in the future but may not impact on present students. Having the rep system means you can resolve things now. Consulting and getting opinions on things such as teaching resources, teaching methods, study resources, course content and structure, hidden course costs and general course related issues.

• • •

4

What are the issues and potential solutions? If an issue is raised it may not be something they can fix straight away, there needs to be a realistic outcome or some things may take time to implement. Creating a culture of partnership between the University and the students. The University wants to encourage your opinion. Decision making- could be about the bus, space, gives students a sense of ownership. Culture of Representation – getting the balance right is important. Feeding back through a central point of contact is easier for channels of communication.


StARs Role & Responsibilities Your role will be to find out what students think, and represent their views to the University and Students Union; this involves: 1.

Attending training run by the Students’ Union

2.

Making yourself known to the staff within your department

3.

Publicising the student rep. role to students the students you represent using notice boards, speeches at lectures/seminars

4.

Consulting students in the department year group to find out their opinions re their academic experience.

4.

Where possible, assisting students in the department year group to resolve issues or complaints initially informally and subsequently formally, as necessary

5.

Where necessary, referring students to appropriate help e.g. The Students’ Union or Student Support services.

6.

Representing the views of students within the course year or module group through attendance at: •Course Meetings; • Staff/Student Liaison meetings • Feeding points onto your school rep at Union School

committee meetings 7.

Liaising with other StARs in the department to ensure you are aware of the bigger picture and that you work together on issues that affects all modules and years. You have the opportunity to meet other StARs in your school at Union School Committee meetings.

8.

Feedback meeting outcomes to students in the department/ year and following up on any agreed action points from meetings

9.

Checking www.bathspasu.co.uk/stars regularly for news and other resources available on the site.

10. Keeping in contact with the Students’ Union via stars@bathspa.ac.uk

5


ROLES All representatives come under the abbreviation StARs which stands for student academic representatives. Roles can be slightly different depending on your school and which position you would like:

Course Reps A course representative is a StAR who represents the views of students within their cohort to departmental staff, the University and the Students’ Union. The majority of reps will be course reps. A Course Representatives is a student that is elected/appointed by other students on the same course so that their views can be heard. Course Representatives Identify students’ issues and needs, and proactively seek fellow student opinions. A Course Representative will liaise with university staff and students, working together as a team to shape the learning experience

Department Reps A Department Representative is a StAR who covers both roles as course rep and department rep. He/she will represent the views of students within their cohort to departmental staff, the University and the Students’ Union. A Department Representative is a student that is elected/appointed by other students on the same course so that their views can be heard. Department Representatives Identify students’ issues and needs, and proactively seek fellow student opinions. A Department Representative has the responsibility of filtering accurate information in larger schools of study. They will liaise with university staff, students and other representatives, working together as a team to shape the learning experience

School Reps A School Representative is the highest level StAR who represents the views of students within their cohort to departmental staff, the University and the Students’ Union. A School Representative is a student who has normally had previous experience as a course representative and although they are still a course rep they have extra responsibility. They are elected/appointed by other students on the same course and voted in by other course reps. A School Representative will liaise with university staff, other course representatives and students, working together as a team to shape the course. They Identify student issues needs and proactively seek fellow students’ opinion for their school taking this feedback to higher level university meetings 6


BOUNDARIES It is important that you are clear on the areas that you can deal with as a student rep., and those that you can’t.

You may deal with topics such as: •

Study Resources – availability of books and other resources in the library, access to workstations, laboratory facilities etc.

Course content & structure – does the course match the description in the course handbook? Do lectures and seminars focus on the important topics? Have changes been made to the course without warning or consultation? Is the workload distributed reasonably throughout the course? Are the feedback mechanisms clear and appropriate?

Hidden course costs – have students been given adequate information about the costs and are the costs reasonable for photocopying, attending field trips, studio fees, laboratory charges etc.

Access to facilities after hours – does the University campus provide adequate services to students who need to use facilities outside 9am5pm? (this includes access to food outlets etc)

Communication of issues - are students aware of what is happening in the University & Students’ Union and are they happy about the way this information is disseminated?

Comparisons between departments and/or School – sometimes students hear of an area of good practice within another department of study or school and want their student rep to get it introduced in their department

Part of the role of being StAR is identifying what most students have an issue with and seeing what can be done about it. There will always be lots of things that can be investigated so you will have to ask as many course mates as you can and use your judgement. If there is more than one rep. for your year you could decide between you and designate responsibilities i.e. one of you updates the forum while the other does posters. You may wish to organise a study group, new equipment or guest speaker- anything that could compliment and improve your course.

7


Issues reps CANNOT deal with Where a student wants to discuss the following issues, you will need to refer or signpost them appropriately (see section 5). •

Individual student performance – it is not a rep’s role to represent students in relation to their marks. Students who have concerns about their grades should speak in the first instance to their personal tutor. Then if unsatisfied with the response, they can be referred to the Students’ Union President who will be able to advise them on their best course of action.

Allegations of harassment or bullying – the University has a harassment procedure a copy can be found at the back of this booklet or on the University website under the link called regulations on the homepage. Students who allege that they have been bullied or harassed should be referred to the Students’ Union, Student Support Services or a Harassment Advisor in their school.

Complaints – students who wish to make a formal complaint should be referred to the complaints policy a copy can be found at the back of this booklet or on the University website under the link called regulations on the homepage. They may also wish to seek independent advice from the Students’ Union President.

Personal issues- as a academic rep. you are only to deal with course related issues. We have a range of contacts and support available to those with personal issues. Such cases should be referred to the Students’ Union, or to an appropriate contact. We have staff who are trained and experienced at dealing with issues such as these and can support students taking appropriate action. You are not expected to deal with these type of issues and it would not be appropriate for you to do so.

Try to deal with issues in the most appropriate forum. Sometimes this means speaking to a lecturer informally, other times you may want to discuss a problem at an open meeting. On other occasions you may need to involve the Students’ Union President or support staff. If all of this seems daunting, don’t worry! You won’t be dealing with all these things all the time and if ever you feel out of your depth, you can contact the Students’ Union stars@bathspa.ac.uk . If you’re ever unsure then check with us first.

8


COMMUNICATION TIPS Getting Yourself known •

Speak at lectures and seminars. Introduce yourself to your lecturers/ seminar tutors and ask to have a couple of minutes at the start or end of a lecture where you can introduce yourself and tell students how they can contact you. Every once in a while if you have a topic affecting everyone, ask your lecturer if you can speak again to pass on key information, announce an upcoming committee meeting and/or get input from students.

You could hand out your own feedback sheets to students maybe asking for good points and improvements. Pick these up from the students’ union reception.

Introduce yourself to the administrative staff in your school and department, the key people are: -Department secretary and/or School Administrator. They’re valuable sources of information and should be happy to help you publicise yourself within the department and help you contact students on your course.

Talk to students one to one! Keep your ears open for problems. This could involve arranging a regular time that you are available outside the School Office. Chatting to students on your course/in your department or School is the most effective way of letting them know what you do and also find out what they think.

Publicise your email address. Make it as easy as possible for students to contact you quickly.

Speak to the Students’ Union President. Attend the Union School Committees meetings and socials run by the Students’ Union to discuss issues of wider concern. The Students’ Union President will be able to offer advice, raise issues at higher level university committees and can forward major issues to be discussed by the Union Council.

Web-pages. A great way to publicise yourself and the student rep scheme. Try to get yourself included on your department web page. If you’re a School Rep. get yourself onto the School web-page. Speak to your Head of School about this.

Notice-boards. Put posters up on department notice-boards with your information, including your name, contact details, and where possible a 9 photo.


Being a good communicator is key to being a skilled representative. You will need to communicate effectively in all forums: one-on-one, in meetings as well as communicating any outcomes between different groups (i.e. when you are “feeding back” to students). If you are able to do this, your job will already be half done. Here are some hints to get you started... • Be a point of contact - make sure students know who you are so they can bring any comments or problems to you. Be proactive in seeking their input. This will show that you really are there to help them, which will make you seem more approachable in future. •

Bring up issues as soon as possible – raise them at your department meeting, with lecturers, or other relevant contacts as soon as possible; the longer you leave it the worse the problem will get Update students on progress with specific concerns or queries so they know where they stand.

Speaking with staff If you have to speak to a lecturer or tutor about their teaching style, you could easily end up in an argument unintentionally. By keeping the following points in mind, you should find it easier to raise difficult issues without conflict •

Focus on the behaviour, not the person

Always be specific

Don't exaggerate, or make assumptions

Describe the consequences

Offer or request alternatives

Use the positive sandwich (i.e. put a positive comment before and after a negative)

10


MEETINGS What do I attend and when? You can find out the dates of your meetings under the representing you > academic reps > StARs meetings section of the website http://www.bathspasu.co.uk/stars Staff/student Liaison Meetings (or similar) Dates organised through your department. Normally a meeting with an academic and reps in your year. These are the main decision making arena for your subject and year group. Who attends: Course reps. Union Committee Meetings– these are once a term. All reps from your school attend. This is a chance to discuss issues with other reps who are in a different year and although in the same school may be studying a different course. This meeting is chaired by the Union president and your head of school is also invited. Views are collected in order to pass anything on to the School Board meetings which is the highest level decision making body in your school. Who attends: all reps in the school across all subjects and years School Board Meetings—School reps and some department reps sit on these meetings. These meet termly after the Union School Committee meetings. This gives a chance to collate views to present at this meeting with academics and head of school in which higher level decisions can be made. If you want to get a matter discussed at the School Board try first raising it at SSLC and then getting it passed on to School Board. A proposal first discussed at SSLC will be given more serious consideration than if you were to try and introduce it to School Board direct. Who attends: School reps and some department reps Union Council- All Department Reps are members of Union Council. Union Council meets at the Guildhall at least twice per term to discuss and make policy decisions for the direction of the Students’ Union. One of the best ways for Student Reps to ensure that the needs of students within your School are being met by the Students’ Union is to create good links with the Union President or get your Department Rep to raise the issue at Union Council. Issues across the University can be discussed at union Council - not just academic issues. For example sports facilities and bus services. 11


The student union offers training on managing meetings. Look out for the emails letting you know when these are running. Always get in touch for any help! How do I feedback? Please use the feedback form on the website after every meeting http://www.bathspasu.co.uk/stars This will help us to keep up to date with any issues that are important to students. There is also a reps newsletter so that you can get a feel of what is going on in other departments and share good practice. University Level MeetingsStudent Reps Committee This is a sub committee of the Academic Quality and Standards Committee and is made up of School Reps from across Bath Spa University including representatives from the Wessex Partnership. This committee deals with issues regarding the quality of courses and academic provision across the institution. Who attends: all school reps Other University Committees As well as the Student Reps committee the Union President also represents the views of students on a number of other University committees, including the Board of Governors, Academic Board and Academic Quality and Standards Committee. See glossary for further information.

12


The diagram below shows the meeting structure.

13


CONFIDENTIALITY Confidentiality and anonymity are of utmost importance when acting as a representative and must be respected. You should not allow direct recognition of individuals without their consent. If it is suspected that anonymity cannot be guaranteed then this limitation should be made aware to the participants. Bath Spa University Students’ Union is committed to offering a confidential service – nothing you tell us will be shared with any other organisation or individual without your express permission, unless felt that you could be harmful to yourself or others. The Union believes our members deserve the right to confidentiality to protect their interests and safeguard our own services.

• • • • •

DO keep notes of feedback you attain including the students contact details so you can keep them informed of updates and progress. DON’T name names or any details that may cause that person to be identified. DO ask if you’re unsure about anything! Contact stars@bathspa.ac.uk DON’T guess someone’s views on confidentiality DO ask the person if they mind or not about being identified if you deem it necessary- e.g. if it will be obvious who is being referred to. DON’T pressurise someone into telling you things or into being identified.

Breaches of confidentiality The Union recognises that occasions may arise where it may be felt you need to breach confidentiality. The Union recognises however that any breach of confidentiality may have serious implications for the user/s concerned. Any decision regarding breaching of confidentiality will therefore be treated with the utmost seriousness. (In any case you deem confidentiality may need to be broken) CHECK with the Student stars@bathspa.ac.uk before taking any action. StARs may discuss cases with the Union President & Membership Services Manager to ensure that the service users are receiving the best level of service possible. The Union recognises that all users should be able to access the Union’s services in confidence and that no other person should be informed that they have used those services. The Union will ensure that all users are afforded confidential interview space if it is requested– e-mail stars@bathspa.ac.uk 14


The Union reception area (at Newton Park) is not confidential, as it is open access to students. For this reason, confidential work is carried out in one of the Students’ Union Offices or the meeting room. When making calls about students, StARs should be aware of the possibility of being overheard by other service users. Ensure that the office doors are closed when making phone calls. Speaking with Students and Resolving problems •

Find a quiet space to talk, preferably somewhere you won’t be interrupted or you can book a room through your Union Office.

Explain confidentiality – i.e. assure students that any comments they make will be raised generically in relation to the course/Department/ School, not specifically tied to them as an individual. If an issue raised by a student may easily identify them – for example, because there are only a few students on the particular course, seek advice. If you’re worried about something that you have been told and think that you or a student is at risk because of it, contact the Students’ Union office immediately..

Give the student time to tell their story. If you have limited time, say so at the start of the meeting and agree a time limit. Respond to what you are being told – give appropriate verbal or non-verbal responses to assure the student that you are listening. •

Be non-judgemental

Let students have their say; don't interrupt

If you want to clarify something never say “but” always “and’, for example: rather than..

I understand you’re concerned about that but I’m not sure there’s anything I can do say….

I can understand your concern about that and I’ll see what I can do

Say `yes, and’ rather than `no, but’ (it’s much more constructive)

15


Confidentiality continued…. •

Review what has been said –feed it back to the student. This ensures that you both have the same understanding of the situation. Check that you have all the relevant facts, dates etc. correct.

Take notes – it will help you to remember important points

Make sure you take a student’s contact details so you can get back to them.

Agree what actions you are going to take on a students behalf and give a timescale in which you will get back to them. If you can’t keep to the timescale, always let them know.

If you need to arrange to meet at a later date, you can give them one of your StAR cards with contact details and ask them to get in touch to agree a time when you’re both available to talk (available from the SU offices).

Avoid: •

Trying to rush someone through a story, fidget, clock watch etc. It’s really unnerving for the person you’re talking to and you won’t hear everything you’re being told.

Feeling that you should try to counsel people or offer careers advice. Leave it to the professionals in The Students’ Union, Welfare, Careers and Counselling, and don’t be afraid to refer a student to them – that’s what they’re there for.

Feeling that you have to sort out everything on your own. Your Students’ Union is here to provide help, support, advice and a listening ear.

For guidance on resolving issues and making changes have a look on the StARs section of the website.

16


REFERRING STUDENTS There are a whole range of support and services available to students at Bath Spa University so when you don’t know the answer to question a student comes to you with, there’s bound to be a service that does. This section provides details of the support services around campus, where they are and what they do. When a student is in distress they may ask you to contact a support service on their behalf to set up an appointment (this is known as “referral”). However, where a student only wants to be pointed in the right direction, this is known as “signposting”. The Students’ Union provides a general and academic advice services through the President and Union staff members. As well as providing advice the Union is also responsible for student representation and student activities within the University. The President acts as the figurehead of the Union representing student’s needs at the University’s highest decision making bodies - Academic Board and the Board of Governors. Alongside the other elected officers, it is the President’s role to listen to and engage with the student population ensuring that the direction of the Union is in accordance with the values of its students. The he/she is also responsible for giving advice and representation for Academic Appeals and Academic Misconduct, as well as assisting in co-ordinating the Student Academic Rep system. Furthermore, the President is responsible for representing the welfare needs of all students.

Tel 01225 875588 E-mail su-president@bathspa.ac.uk Based in the Newton Park Union Offices

17


The Vice President Campaigns & Communications is responsible for co-ordinating the Union’s education, welfare, representation and general campaigns, He is also responsible for overseeing the Union’s communications.

Tel 01225 875588 E-mail su-comms@bathspa.ac.uk Based in the Newton Park Union Offices The Vice President Activities & Participation is responsible for coordinating the Union’s extra-curricular activities including over 30 clubs & societies, volunteering opportunities through quickie projects, as well as trips and tours.

Tel 01225 875588 E-mail su-activities@bathspa.ac.uk Based in the Newton Park Union Offices

18


The Student Engagement Assistant—Claire Edwards is responsible for coordinating and providing ongoing support and training for the Student Academic Reps system. C.edwards3@bathspa.ac.uk Tel 01225 875588 or E-mail stars@bathspa.ac.uk Student Services Student Services comprises three sections: • • •

Admissions Service Student Administration Service Student Support Service

Student Administration Service contact details: If you cannot do what you need to do via the student portal, you can e-mail the Student Administration Services as follows: Anything to do with your course: mycourse@bathspa.ac.uk Room bookings: rooms@bathspa.ac.uk Admissions: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk Graduation: graduation@bathspa.ac.uk You can telephone the Student Administration Service on 01225 876115 (internally, extension 6115) or 01225 876128 (internally, extension 6128) or you can visit in person. The Student Administration Service offices are situation on the Ground Floor of Main House, straight off the main reception area. Using the Student Portal It is very important that all students make as much use as possible of the online Student Portal. Many of the things that Student Services does can be

19


accessed by students via the Student Portal by going to https://studentportal.bathspa.ac.uk. All the following (and more) can be done through the Student Portal: > Enrol > Book student accommodation > Pay for studies > Choose modules > Get timetables > Change personal details (address, telephone number, etc.) > Apply for teacher training bursaries > Register for a doctor > Apply for student status certificates (for council tax exemption purposes) > See results > Book Graduation tickets

Student Support Services The Student Support Service offers specialist information, advice and guidance to students, principally in the following areas: • Disability Support • Welfare and Money Advice • Medical Service • Chaplaincy More information can be found on http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/services/student-services/student-services-charter/ default.asp To make an appointment: drop into Doynton in person, or use one of the following contacts: Disability Support disability@bathspa.ac.uk tel: 01225 875649 20


Welfare & Student Money Advice welfare@bathspa.ac.uk tel: 01225 875521 All other enquiries tel: 01225 876215 For further information visit the Student Support Service on the BSU website: www.bathspa.ac.uk/services/student-support/ off the main reception area. The Graduation & Alumni Office is situated in Stable Block.

Library Library & Information Services is there to help you succeed in ones studies Library & Information Services can help you… • Find books, articles, CDs, DVDs etc. • Get the best out of the Internet • Produce better assignments • Learn new skills • Subject Librarians for specific enquiries To find out how… Visit http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/services/library/ or pop into the library and ask one of the friendly staff. http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/services/library/ Tel 01225 875490 (NP) 01225 875763 (SH)

Careers It’s never too early to start thinking about your future, there’s lots that Careers can help with right now. There’s so much to do when starting University, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. So, if you do nothing else before turning the page, note down the following three websites: www.bathspa.ac.uk/careers 21


Our Careers Advisers are also available online or in person to discuss many issues, including: - choosing modules and subjects in relation to career plans; - advice on CVs, assessment centres and interview techniques. - ways to enhance your skills, make successful applications - what you can do with your degree and how to gain valuable experience. www.bathspa.ac.uk/jobshop gives you details on signing-up to our exclusive student employment service, with hundreds of part-time jobs available locally and on campus during term-time.

Volunteering Volunteering is the ideal opportunity to try new experiences, explore your potential and enhance your employability. Opportunities ca be found under the JustV section of the SU website www.bathspasu.co.uk/justv There are short term opportunities such as RAG (Raising and Giving) and ‘Quickies’ Medium Term Volunteering such as student led campaigns Long Term volunteering includes being a StAR or other opportunities such as the Peer Support Network. As a rep you are volunteering and can count this towards the volunteering certificates bronze, silver and gold! All stars training will be advertised via our website. Follow the link below to get an overview on the types of training available and to see current opportunities

22


TRAINING SESSIONS As well as an induction, the Union runs a number of other training sessions that are suitable. For details about inductions and further training opportunities please visit www.bathspasu.co.uk/starstraining

Bath Spa plus www.bathspa.ac.uk/plus is home to a University-wide programme of extracurricular events, workshops and other activities designed to help you develop your skills and experience, throughout your time at University. Bath Spa Plus is here to help you acquire essential personal and professional skills whilst at university. - Acquire new skills and brush up existing ones; - Spice up your CV and self-promotion - Improve your learning - Stimulate new ideas and new ways of thinking - Enhance your employability - Achieve your potential Examples of training courses include: Academic Writing Exam revision CV’s Managing Meetings Confidence Building Time Management

23


CONTACTS A list of further contacts can be found under http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/about/ Careers www.bathspa.ac.uk/careers careers@bathspa.ac.uk

Student Housing Service Newton Park Steward’s Lodge. 1st floor Monday-Thursday 8.30am-4.00pm or Friday 8.30am-3.30pm 01225 875843

The Ecumenical Chaplaincy - Chaplains of diverse Christian traditions visit Newton Park regularly through the week and provide a friendly face and listening ear outside the mainstream.

University Security security@bathspa.ac.uk Newton Park 01225 875555 Newton Park-Mobile 1 07747898085 Newton Park-Mobile 2 07795027441 Sion Hill 01225 875700 Sion Hill-Mobile 07747898084

Wardens Details of contacts for particular halls are also found on the website

Nursery Oak Tree Day Nursery, Newton Park Campus 01225 875590 www.bathspa.ac.uk/services/day-nursery 24


REGULATIONS & POLICIES Most University regulations can be found online via the Regulations link on the University website . www.bathspa.ac.uk/regulations or www.bathspa.ac.uk/registry Regulations that can be found following this link include; Equal opportunities policy Bath Spa University is fully committed to being an equal opportunities employer and providing equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, applicants and visitors. The University will not tolerate unfair or unlawful discrimination. Appeals procedure Students have the right of appeal to the Appeals Committee on one or more of the following: •

• • •

That their performance in the examination/assessment was adversely affected by illness or other factors that they could not reasonably have been expected to divulge before the Examination Board reached its decision. That there has been a material and significant administrative error. That the examination/assessment was not conducted in accordance with the current regulations for the course. That some other material and significant irregularity has occurred.

Further information can be found on www.bathspa.ac.uk/regulations/appeals-procedure/ Complaints procedure Complaints must be made as soon as possible, and should be addressed to the Complaints Officer using the complaints form https://applications.bathspa.ac.uk/complaint-form/ Harassment Policy—members of the Harassment Advisory group can be found under the contacts section under StARs contacts: Bath Spa University supports the rights of all staff and students to be treated fairly. More information on policies and procedures can be found on the main University website as detailed above. 25


RECOGNITION Every year Bath Spa University’s volunteering department hosts the Volunteer, Society and Representation Awards. This evening is a celebration to recognise the hard work and commitment in whichever way students volunteer. We appreciate the time and effort that student academic reps put into their role. Recognising your contribution as a StAR

As a StAR, you're freely giving your time to represent your fellow students and help make your course better. Whether you realise this or not, this counts as volunteering and as such makes you eligible to work towards the Certificate in Volunteering Achievement (CVA). You can sign up for the CVA at any time and have 12 months to complete it. You simply record the number of hours you spend working as a StAR to be awarded the Bronze, Silver or Gold certificate. The Gold Award is signed by the Vice-Chancellor so is held in very high regard. This is just the kind of evidence employers look for, so for minimal extra effort the CVA gives you another string to your employability bow. For more information, visit www.bathspasu.co.uk/justv or ask for a record book from the SU Reception at Newton Park. The annual Volunteer, Society and Representation Awards take place each year in May. Later in the year, we'll be contacting students for nominations. Who 26 knows: it could be you...


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS What is a StAR? All reps come under the abbreviation ‘StAR’. Course reps represent students in their year group on the same course/ module. Department Reps are for some larger departments and help to filter information to help the school rep have a clearer idea of issues across the board. A School Representative is the highest level StAR who represents the views of students within their cohort to departmental staff, the University and the Students’ Union. A School Representative is a student who has normally had previous experience as a course representative. They are elected/appointed by other students on the same course and voted in by other course reps

What meetings do I attend and when? Course Reps attend: staff student liaison meetings—arranged by their department and Union School Committee meetings once a term where all reps attend. Department reps attend—staff student liaison meetings, Union School Committee meetings and in some schools Department Reps Attend School Boards School Reps attend- staff student liaison meetings, Union School Committee meetings in order to get a picture of what is happening across the school. They can then take any issues to the School Board which is often a couple of weeks later. For more information please see page 11&12

How do I know who the other Reps are? You can find a list of other reps on http://www.bathspasu.co.uk/stars Look at the ‘Who’s my StAR section’

27


When and How do I receive training? You will be emailed about various training dates. StARs training will be advertised under the training section of the website. Training on offer includes managing meetings, assertiveness and effective communication. www.bathspasu.co.uk/starstraining

RESOURCES All StARs resources and lots of useful links can be found on the StARs website www.bathspasu.co.uk/stars If you ever need any additional advice, information or resources please email stars@bathspa.ac.uk .

28


GLOSSARY Union School Committees There is a separate School Committee for each school within the University. The committee is held at least once a term to allow all reps, The Head of School and the Union President discuss and major issues.

School Board The academic and consultative body of each school, comprising of staff and student members, chaired by an elected member of staff. If you would like a matter discussed at the School Board try first raising in your staff student liaison committees before passing it up via your school rep.

Staff Student Liaison Committee Within every school there should be a staff student liaison committee or it’s equivalent. This gives the opportunity to air your views. This can sometimes be settled within this meeting or sometimes passed onto your school rep via the Union Committee meetings.

Academic Board The highest academic authority in the University. All highest decision making staff within the University sit on it.

Academic Quality and Standards Committee This committee advises the Academic board on issues related to quality at Bath Spa University. The Union President and student representation sits on this panel.

Learning and Teaching Committee Advises the Academic Board on the development of policy and practice relating to teaching, learning and standards in the context of the University mission and strategy.

Head of School The executive head of the school

Vice Chancellors The senior directors of the University—Vice Chancellor and Assistant Vice Chancellors.

Modular Scheme The University wide framework within which most schools have developed and29


operate their modular programmes

30

Bath Spa StARs Handbook  

Guide to being a Student Academic Rep at Bath Spa University