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DE MONTFORT STUDENTS’ UNION December 08

Student Rep newsletter Inside this issue: Welcome

1

Does DSU make a difference

1

Online resources

1

Faculty Reps

2

DSU’s bookshop

3

Election results

4

Referendum results

4

Anonymous marking

6

Charles Frears campus

6

Problems with Exclusive Lettings

7

Get INVOLVE’d

7

StandOut

9

Focus groups

10

Student Rep Organising 10 Committee Dates for your diary

10

Student Rep Training Evaluation I had hoped to present an evaluation report from the Student Rep training sessions but due to additional sessions being held recently, I was unable to collate this information in time for this publication. This will however be emailed to you in due course. I can tell you that we have registered more Student Reps on our database than last year and have also trained more Student Reps. We have also trained Representatives at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, one of our Associate Colleges and hope to improve training opportunities at the others colleges in future.

Issue 2

Welcome

Carl King President

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Student Representative newsletter! It has been a frantic first term. We have got a record number of Student Reps and even more there has been a record number going through Student Rep training. It has been amazing to see so many of you ready to go and represent not only your course but students in general. I hope you have enjoyed the first time as much as I have and have enjoyed, for some, your first experience of being involved in formal meetings and seeing that you can make a change, both small and large. Remember, this is your newsletter it would be great for you to let us know what has been going on within your course and any changes you have made. I hope you enjoy the relaxing vacation and are ready to continue the outstanding work next term. Cheers Carl , Students’ Union President

Does the Union make a difference... De Montfort Students' Union have been asked by SUEi (the Students' Union Evaluation Initiative) for your opinion on the impact that the Union has had on your university experience. As such we would be extremely grateful if you could go to www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Jj5B9QahxFqbNrtP3DOyww_3d_3d to answer one question about the impact that the Students’ Union has had any your university experience. It will take no longer than a minute, I promise… For further information on SUEi, please contact either Carl King, cking@dmu.ac.uk or go to their website, www.sueinitiative.co.uk

Online resources Resources such as the Student Rep handbook, acronym list, jargon buster, accreditation forms and other useful information can be found at www.demontfortstudents.com/reps.

Directory You may have seen that there is now a Student Rep directory available. This will enable you to contact any Rep across the University but was obviously designed for you to communicate with Reps on the same course as you, either in the years above or below you. We hope that you find this a useful resource and we are currently investigating other possibilities to ensure that you receive as much support as you feel is required. We are looking into a Student Rep blackboard site and will keep you updated on its developments. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know.


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Who are my Faculty Reps? As you may know, we held elections for the Faculty Reps during your Faculty’s Welcome Events. The response was overwhelming. In addition to sitting on their Staff Student Consultative Committees and Subject Authority Boards / Programme Management Boards, Faculty Reps represent you on Faculty level discussions so it is really important that you get to know who you Reps are; their names and contact details are listed below. Please spend some time every so often emailing them with issues that are taking place on your course as these might not only affect you but other courses within the Faculty ; they are in a position to be able to take these views on board on your behalf. Faculty

Committee

Name

Course

Email address

Art and Design

Faculty Academic Committee

Aaman Pyar

P08285316@email.dmu.ac.uk

Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee

Louise Cheshire

Architecture Design Management and Innovation and Interior Design Design Management and Innovation

Janis Joesbury

Graphic Design

P08268232@email.dmu.ac.uk

Patricia Alvarez

Law and Criminal Justice

P08048846@email.dmu.ac.uk

Misbah Ahmed Rana

Business and Marketing

P07265653@email.dmu.ac.uk

Jonathan Hudson

International Business and Globalisation

P05274536@email.dmu.ac.uk

Ben Cleaver

Marketing Management

P06239462@email.dmu.ac.uk

Sarah McDonald

Law and Criminal Justice

P08281314@email.dmu.ac.uk

Gemma Armes

International Marketing and Business

P0526667x@email.dmu.ac.uk

Hannah Rowe (if one of the above is unable to attend)

Marketing Management

P06287386@email.dmu.ac.uk

Simon Pizzey

Joint Honours Psychology and Law

P06287295@email.dmu.ac.uk

Jason Charles

Nursing

Jason1971charles@hotmail.co.uk

Madeline Havard

Speech and Language Therapy

Madeline.havard@email.dmu.ac.uk

Sharon Siddons

Nursing

P07236450@email.dmu.ac.uk

Victoria Woodworth

Human Psychology

P07036058@email.dmu.ac.uk

Kirstin Robinson

Adult Nursing

P08301784@email.dmu.ac.uk

Terri Stow

Nursing

P07119716@email.dmu.ac.uk

Business and Law

Faculty Academic Committee

Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee

Health and Life Sciences

Faculty Academic Committee

Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee

Saffina Din

P07248674@email.dmu.ac.uk P06262540@email.dmu.ac.uk


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Faculty

Humanities

Committee

Name

Faculty Academic Committee

Danielle Da Silva

Technology

Faculty Academic Committee

Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee

Email address

English and Film Studies Dance and Drama

P07248305@email.dmu.ac.uk

Samantha Brown

Creative Writing And Journalism

P0827386X@email.dmu.ac.uk

Rachel Kenny

Drama Studies and Education Studies

P06288515@email.dmu.ac.uk

Danielle Carlton

Drama Studies

P06262187@email.dmu.ac.uk

Kathryn Raney

Drama Studies

P08128226@email.dmu.ac.uk

Roger Kelman

Computer Science

P08303097@email.dmu.ac.uk

Tia-Monique Pilgrim

Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee

Course

P08283852@email.dmu.ac.uk

Jordan Naylor

P08282476@email.dmu.ac.uk

Matthew Ashrafi

P05100441@email.dmu.ac.uk

Charles Woodward Gurinder Saini

BSc Computer Information Management BSc Media Production

P01404976@email.dmu.ac.uk P07257232@email.dmu.ac.uk

MONTHLY MEETINGS WITH PHILIP MARTIN You may know that one of the responsibilities of the Faculty Reps is to meet regularly with the Students’ Union and monthly with Philip Martin, Pro Vice Chancellor Academic Quality. The notes taken from the first meeting, 11th October, will be available on the website or by emailing Colina.

DSU’s second hand bookshop As you may know, the Students’ Union are now operating a second hand bookshop. Students are invited to bring in course books and text books that they no longer use. The system will work as follows: Students will decide the price at which they wish to offer the book for sale. We suggest that as well as the original price of the book, that students also consider the condition of the book, whether there are other copies of the same title in the shop and whether the book is the most current edition. Students register with the shop and sign a form authorising the Union to offer the book for sale on their behalf. You will retain formal ownership of the book until it is sold. When a book is sold the Union will contact you to pay you the proceeds of your sale - less 25% commission. You will normally be invited to come to the shop to collect your cash. However, for graduates, part-time students and distance learners we can arrange to pay you by cheque or BACS. Further details are available from the shop which is on the first floor of the Campus Centre.


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The election results In the last newsletter I informed you that the elections for the Student Officers and NUS delegates would be taking place. The results of these elections are as follows: STUDENT OFFICER ELECTIONS There were 273 votes cast in total in the Student Officer elections. Jenny Roberts was successfully elected as the Campaigns Officer, receiving 159 of the 212 valid votes; Matt Horn received 40 votes and no suitable candidate received 13. Elias Ona – Olapo was successfully elected as the Diversity Officer, receiving 158 of the 192 valid votes; no suitable candidate received 34. Liam Fox was successfully elected as the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Officer, receiving 169 of the 188 valid votes; no suitable candidate received 19. Roukheela Sharif was successfully elected as the Mature Students’ Officer, receiving 163 of the 190 valid votes; no suitable candidate received 27. Alex Ampaabeng was successfully elected as the Postgraduate and Research Students’ Officer, receiving 183 of the 202 valid votes; no suitable candidate received 19. Daniel Peet was successfully elected as the Societies Officer, receiving 168 of the 188 valid votes; no suitable candidate received 20. Amer Reza was successfully elected as the Sports Officer, receiving 168 of the 198 valid votes; no suitable candidate received 30. Student Officers have or are in the process of completing the work plans, outlining what their intentions for the coming months are. These will be made available shortly on the Students’ Union website, demontfortstudents.com. Alternatively you might like to attend Student Council as an observer, giving you the opportunity to ask questions of both the Student Officers and the Executive Committee but hopefully giving you more of an understanding about the direction that the Students’ Union is going on. If this sounds like something you’d like to participate in, please contact Samantha Grieve, the Chair of Student Council (via Carl) to express an interest and find out more information about dates and locations. NUS DELEGATES There were 6 candidates for 12 positions (including re-open nominations). The following candidates were successfully elected: Liam Fox, Samantha Grieve, Matt Horn, Shahinaz Nabeeh and Amer Reza. Elections for the remaining 6 places will be held in the new year. If you have any questions about the elections, please do not hesitate to contact Colina.

Referendum results You may know that DSU recently had a referendum; posing 3 questions that they wanted your views on. These questions related to NUS reform, sporting facilities and anonymous marking. Below is a summary of the main points of these questions, further information or the question in full can be obtained by contacting Carl King, cking@dmu.ac.uk.


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NUS reform NUS (National Union of Students) is our national body. They carry out national campaigns and representation at the highest level. They are currently undertaking a reform and require delegates at National Conference to support it. The reform hopes to increase representation of postgraduate, mature and part time students. It advocates using external lay members for advice on finances and legal, much like your union did during its review. The reform passed clearly by a 2/3rd majority at a recent extraordinary conference in early November. The decision on whether your union supports the ratification is now in your hands. The results of this question were as follows: For – 145 Against – 22 Abstention – 48 The motion was duly passed. For further information on what happens next, please contact Carl. Sporting facilities DSU believes that students of De Montfort deserve the best. DSU currently has over 80 sports teams and societies and currently most, if not all, need to travel out of town for home games. The motion states that we should be campaigning for the University to provide better facilities for all our students on campus. The results of this question were as follows: For – 213 Against – 7 Abstention - 6 The motion was duly passed. For further information on what happens next, please contact Tom Blackburn, VP Student Activities, tblackburn@dmu.ac.uk DSU has been supporting NUS Anonymous Marking Campaign for several years but never really legitimised its position. Although we currently have anonymised unseen exams we feel that all forms of assessment, where possible, should be anonymous. This motion seeks your agreement that it is a campaign we should be putting time and resources into. The results of this question were as follows: For – 150 Against – 33 Abstention – 35 The motion was duly passed. For further information on what happens next, please contact Shazia.


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Anonymous marking This subject has been on the agenda for a long time and you may be asking why? And what is it?

Shazia Nazir Deputy President Education

NUS and Students’ Unions have been calling for anonymous marking since 1999. Many universities have adopted anonymous marking. At DMU we only have anonymous exams but not written work. Anonymous marking is a system of assessment where the student’s name is unknown to the marker, the work is marked and not the person who has submitted it. The introduction of anonymous marking means ensuring fairness and equality for all students throughout their studies and freedom from discrimination and prejudice such as favouritism, ageism, sexism and racism.

Often students are afraid to complain or feed back on the quality of their course for fair that it will have a detrimental impact on their assessment. With anonymous marking students would be able to voice legitimate concerns without the fear of reprisal. The anonymous marking campaign has been endorsed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) however many institutions have resisted such a policy. The referendum results have shown that DMU students would like the policy to be implemented. I will be working on this area THROUGHOUT THE YEAR and will need your support in making sure the university recognises the importance of such a system in eradicating discrimination and in safeguarding lecturers from such accusations and if successful the implementation of anonymous marking university wide. Marking is a fundamental part of student learning as it determines your degree outcome and could be the difference between a 1st and a 2:1. For more information or you would like to discuss anonymous marking please contact me, snazir@dmu.ac.uk or visit me at the Students’ Union.

Charles Frears Campus As some of you may be aware I will be visiting the Charles Frears campus armed with a book and pen and there for students who want to talk to me about anything relating to representation and the Student’ Union. Charles Frears Campus is a separate campus from the main city one, and although there is a distance between the two, the Students’ Union endeavors to represents everyone. I will be visiting twice a month and will be located in the canteen area, this is a chance for you to provide us an insight into life at Charles Frears and what we as the Students’ Union can do to help. Those Student Reps studying at the CFC, it would be great to encourage students to take the opportunity to come and see me and I hope to see you too. This is a great opportunity to try and strengthen the relationship between both campuses and for students to talk about any concerns or issues they may want to raise. If you’re a Student Rep at Charles Frears then email me if you’re interested in helping me set up these sessions. I am also looking for someone who would like to write a short piece on the day of the life of a Charles Frears student, which will be published in the Students’ Union very own Demon newspaper. For more information on this and any other thing don’t hesitate to contact me.

Individual examination arrangements If you have dyslexia, arthritis or any health (including mental health) related issue which may affect your performance in formal examinations, the University may be able to arrange support for you. To find out more you are invited to attend our drop-in session to be held on: Wed 21st Jan 2009, 10 – 3, Gateway Building – Student Services Area (ground floor). Staff from Disability Advice & Support and the Examinations Office will be there to offer advice on examinations. It will save time if you bring with you MEDICAL EVIDENCE to support your application AND a list of the MODULES (CODES and TITLES) that you are studying this year. The deadline for completion of this process is 31st March 2009. If you have any queries please ring Leicester (0116) 250 6379.


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Problems with Exclusive Lettings The Welfare & Education Centre has received many complaints from both landlords and student tenants over the last few weeks regarding Exclusive Lettings. It has been alleged that the company, whose offices are based at 14-16 Britton Street, has ceased trading. A number of landlords have reported that they have not been paid by Exclusive Lettings and students are reporting that they cannot contact the company. The Welfare & Education Centre is not able to verify if all these statements are true but offers the following advice if you are caught up in this situation: Even if your letting agent has ceased trading you should still have a valid contract as the original agreement you signed is likely to be between you and the landlord.  You are under no obligation to sign a new tenancy and you should not hand over any additional deposit money without taking advice.  If you have previously paid money to a lettings agent and this has not been paid over to the landlord, this is not your responsibility and you are under no obligation to pay again for the same period. If your lettings agent has ceased trading you should seek urgent advice before you sign any new contracts or hand over any new money to cover deposits. 

Our contact details are: Welfare & Education Centre, First Floor, Campus Centre. You can also call on 0116 2576307.

Get more out … Get INVOLVE’d! Welfare Bug Service Trained student volunteers are online ready to help with your queries about housing, finance and academic issues and to direct you to the most appropriate source of information or service for your needs. To access the service, just log onto the DSU website www.demontfortstudents.com and click on the Bug. The service is discreet and fully confidential. If there isn’t a Welfare Bug Adviser online to answer your query, just leave a message and this will be answered as soon as possible. The Involve Office (based in the Students’ Union on the first floor of the Campus Centre, Room 1.30) is currently looking for students to volunteer as Welfare Bug Advisers. If you are interested in: • • • • •

Giving support to fellow students to make a real difference Gaining valuable experience to put on your CV Developing your communication skills Increasing your confidence Receiving full training by the Welfare and Education Centre and Involve staff

Get in touch by emailing Glen, the Junction 49 Co-ordinator, on gwhite@dmu.ac.uk


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Music Extravaganza! DJs, Singers, Organisers, Instrumentalists, Rappers, anything. If you have a talent we need you for a music production to benefit a chosen charity. If you are interested in any way please get in contact. Email: junction49@dmu.ac.uk Indoor Sports and Social Session We are looking for students who want to help put on an indoor sport and social session here at the university for students new and old who would like to socialise in a friendly and relaxed environment and meet new people. If would like to find out more please email junction49@dmu.ac.uk and visit: http://www.junction49.co.uk/ idea/1847/indoor_sports_and_social_session/

Biking Video We’re looking for students to help us put together a film of daredevil biking to be shown at a film & discussion session. The aim of the film is to promote all forms of biking (BMXing, Mountain Biking etc) as a sport and to generate support for a campaign to build a local dirt track. If would like to find out more please email junction49@dmu.ac.uk and visit: http://www.junction49.co.uk/idea/1876/ fleckney_dirt_jumpers/ How SAFE are you? Are you worried about the safety of your house? Would you like trained student volunteers to assess your home for safety, and fit security equipment all for free? Involve are working closely with Student Volunteers, Hinckley Road Police Unit and Leicester City Council to provide this valuable service to students and local residents living in areas at high risk of burglaries. When you book with us we will send two trained SAFE assessors to your house to carry out an assessment on your home security, often accompanied by a Police Officer or PCSO. After they have completed your assessment the two volunteers will make you aware of the security issues they have noted and which of them they can help with. Our assessors have been trained to fit equipment such as chain locks, door bolts, window alarms, smoke alarms, shed locks and fence protection, , we also offer free personal alarms, locks, safe money boxes and property marking equipment. If there are serious problems with your security our assessors will refer you on to the City Council. If you are interested in this service please contact Involve to obtain a booking form or to book an assessment over the phone. The SAFE Project is offering this service to students living on the following roads, however roads in the same vicinity of the University will also be considered for bookings: Windermere St, Burnmoor St , Jarrom St, Grasmere St, Western Boulevard, Clarendon St, Gateway St, Filbert St East, Ullswater St, Rydal St, Brazil St, Castle St, Deacon St, Farndale Close For a booking form, please contact Pete Hitchings, Volunteer Co-ordinator, on 0116 2576304 or at volunteer@dmu.ac.uk.


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What makes you StandOut? A student perspective Do you want to learn a new skill? Do you want to add something interesting to your CV? Are you looking to do something different? Then the StandOut programme is for you. Running various courses throughout the year including Salsa Lessons, Bar Skills and First Aid there is always something to get involved with. StandOut is a programme run for students in order to help you ―StandOut‖ from the crowd when you graduate or start to look for employment.

Gemma Armes Faculty Rep, Business and Law

After entering my final year of study, I started to look for graduate jobs and realised the one thing that gives me a disadvantage is the lack of a driving license. Upon recently completing the Driving Theory Course through StandOut, I would advise anybody who hasn’t started driving to take this course. I had 5 weeks of theory classes for £60, including all material needed: Practice Theory Tests and Hazard Perception Tests as well as The Highway Code and various leaflets with tips. Also

within the price of the course I have booked my theory. The course was really helpful as a first time driver and the lessons allowed me to sit down two hours a week and concentrate on my theory. Together with the encouragement from our instructor I have now booked my first driving lesson and I am determined to pass before I graduate. After my positive experience with StandOut I am now looking forward to the next First Aid Course, as this is something I feel would also boost my CV. The StandOut programme is an easy way for students to gain extra qualifications and skills, and at the discounted price it is very affordable, even for us poor students. If you are interested in the StandOut programme you can find more information on the DSU website or email standout@dmu.ac.uk. If there is something that you would like to see on the StandOut programme and you feel would benefit other students, you can contact them from the link on the site. As Student Reps it would also be a nice idea to mention StandOut to friends and course members.

StandOut in the next semester... This term the StandOut programme has offered a lot of variety as Gemma mentions above. We hope to continue some of these sessions next year, especially the salsa classes, driving theory and the British Sign Language course, repeating unit 101 and also offering a combination 102 / 103 unit. At the request of students we have also delivered a makaton course and are constantly looking for new additions to this programme ... But these have to come from you! At present, additional sessions for next term will include minibus driver training and time management / revision skills sessions. If you would like to see certain courses please let us know and we’ll look into them, please email standout@dmu.ac.uk. There are some difficulties when students express an interest in a course and then fail to turn up; this happened with the first aid course, making it hard for us to convince the university to run this again specifically for students ... But we will ask and if it’s possible, this course will be advertised as part of next semester’s programme. I would like to thank all the students that participated in courses this semester; any feedback you have would be gratefully received.

standout@dmu.ac.uk


De Montfort Students’ Union First Floor Campus Centre Building Mill Lane Leicester LE2 7DR

t: 0116 2555576 ext 305 e: studentreps@dmu.ac.uk w: www.demontfortstudents.com

The Student Rep “Organising Committee” Several students have expressed an interest in organising events for Student Reps; so far they are planning a Christmas bar crawl on Tuesday 16th December and would like to investigate the possibility of organising a trip to Amsterdam for the Easter holidays.

Contact us

Focus groups There have been a number of focus groups which several Reps have participated with. I intend to collate information provided at these meetings and circulate these notes to you.

They have arranged a meeting on Monday 15th December at 5 in the social space in the Students’ Union (where some of you may have had your Student Rep training) to provide a presentation on the Amsterdam event. The Committee consists of:

Adrian Crawley, Claire Brownlow, Danielle Law, Kelsey Collings, Rachel Luty, Robyn Brown, Siobhan Creane and Tom Smart.

Stuart Marriott’s focus group on the National Student Survey was postponed so if you are interested in getting involved with this, please let me know and I’ll give you further details when I know more.

I know that other Reps were interested in being involved and would ask you to contact me should you want to know when and where meetings are due to take place.

Richard Hall, the e-learning co-ordinator, is having a focus group on e-learning next semester, Tuesday 27th January from 12—1, exact details will be confirmed nearer the time. If you are interested, again please email studentreps@dmu.ac.uk.

I hope you are able to support either event and would like to thank the students above for their time and commitment as I am unable to organise events myself but feel that this is all part of the Student Rep experience.

Thank you to those of you that were involved in the ISAS focus group, as previously stated, the information will be collated and circulated as soon as possible.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know and I’ll ensure the Committee are aware of these.

STUDENT REP TRAINING CERTIFICATES To all Student Reps that attended training, please collect your certificate from the Students’ Union reception.

Whether religious or not, on behalf of the Students’ Union we hope you enjoy the break and come back refreshed, ready to take on the next semester. If you have exams, good luck with these.

Dates for your diary This is a bit pre-emptive but just to remind you that the Student Rep Conference will take place on Tuesday 10th March, from 10—2.30 in the Trinity House Chapel. This is where several Directors from across the University will meet alongside Philip Martin, Shazia and myself to answer any questions that you might have. Last year there were workshops on how to transfer the experience of being a Student Rep onto your CV. It would be great to have you there and we welcome your suggestions for additions to the event.


thereisnowaStudentRepdirectoryavailable.ThiswillenableyoutocontactanyRepacrosstheUniversitybutwasobv