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Course Rep News December 2012 Vice President of Academic Affairs Update Welcome to the December edition of the Course Rep Newsletter. Here you will find the latest news and information from the SU and University that relates to you and your role as a Course Rep. Contents It’s been a very busy first term and one of the areas that I’ve been focussing on is the technology agenda. I want to ensure that the quality of e-learning resources provided to students, enhances their personal academic development and that staff are confident in using the latest technology in their everyday teaching. If you would like to discuss this further, please do get in touch I hope you enjoy the newsletter Have a Great Christmas! Best Wishes, Anty Anty Bursac | VP Academic Affairs Email: a.bursac2@brighton.ac.uk

Course Rep Training NUS National Course Reps Conference Campus Development Teams Training for Success Sessions RaG Volunteering Opportunities Student Staff Recruitment Student Services Information Periodic Review Training Mitigating Circumstances SU Support

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Christmas Course Rep Forums Come and join us for a chat about your role and some festive cheer! The Students’ Union are holding three course rep forums, one each in Eastbourne, Hastings and Brighton so feel free to attend the one that is easiest for you. There will be festive drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Christmas crackers and mince pies for all! We'll bring you up to date with some of the key issues in the University for the first term. You get the chance to update us on any news on your course and your role and network with other reps from across the university. Please let us know if you're planning to come along, so we make sure we have enough festive goodies, by clicking this link Book a place

Hastings Course Rep Forum - Monday 10th December Priory Square, First floor Common Room 4.01, 4:30 – 6:00pm

Eastbourne Course Rep Forum - Tuesday 11th December Room 105, Students’ Union, First floor Bishopsbourne, Welkin Site, 4:30-6:00pm

Brighton Course Rep Forum - Thursday 13th December SU Café, Ground floor Cockcroft Building, Moulsecoomb, 4:30-6:00pm


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Course Rep Training It’s been great to meet so many of you at this terms Course Rep Training sessions. We are going to be running a further 5 sessions at the beginning of next term for anyone who was unable to come along to one of the Autumn sessions. The dates for the training are below and you can book a place on a session by clicking here

Jan 10th - Thurs

Hastings

Priory Square Room 4.01

4:30-6:00pm

Jan 14th - Mon

Grand Parade

Grand Parade G4

12:30 - 2:00pm

Jan 14th - Mon

Eastbourne

Aldro 127

4:30- 6:00pm

Jan 16th - Weds

Moulsecoomb

Watts 310

12:30-2:00pm

Jan 17th - Thurs

Falmer

Checkland E512

4:30 - 6:00pm

NUS National Course Rep Conference Saturday 2nd February 2013 The date has been announced for the next NUS National Course Rep Conference. It’s a chance to network with course reps nationally, learn more about what is happening in Higher Education and provide a unique opportunity for personal development. We have a limited number of places available to take course reps from this union. If you are interested in attending then please fill in this form saying in no more than 100 words why you would like to attend and we will be in touch in the new year to confirm who will be attending. All travel and expenses will be covered by the SU for attendees. Questions? Email: h.mcknight@brighton.ac.uk

How would you like to improve your campus? The Campus Development Team (aka CDT) is a group of students and Students’ Union reps who want to make improvements on their campus. Are you interested in telling us what you would like to see on your campus? Talk to us about your course fundraising and how we can help? Are there any questions you would like to ask the Student Union?

What does a CDT actually do? It’s a space for discussion about how to improve your campus. Improve communication between students and the Students’ Union It’s a place to put your ideas into action. We meet about once a month and the dates for the next meetings are: Grand Parade Tues 11th December in G4 at 5pm. Falmer Thurs 17th January SU café at 4pm Dates for the next Cockcroft , Eastbourne and Hastings CDT’s to be announced.


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Training for Success The Training for Success sessions are a new development for the spring term. The Students’ Union has worked with staff from across the university to put together a comprehensive programme of sessions designed to give you an opportunity to develop your skills, in ways that will positively impact on your role as a Course Rep and enhance your future employability. A wide range of excellent sessions are being run and led by experts from across the university. From developing interpersonal skills to working with Excel, we hope everyone will find something of interest. Take a look at the brochure detailing all 49 sessions available by following this link

Booking a Session

The sessions are all optional, so you can pick and choose those that most meet your interests and needs. As there are limited places available for all the sessions, it is essential to book in advance which you can do by visiting our bookwhen site here You can attend as many session as you wish but please do cancel your booking if you are unable to attend a session , so your place can be offered to someone else. If you find a session is full do add your name to the waiting list, that way we can let you know if there is a cancellation and if there are sufficient numbers on a waiting list we may also be able to set up an additional session. If you have any queries, please get in touch by email to coursereps@brighton.ac.uk

Brighton RaG Brighton RaG is the charity fundraising part of the SU; it’s a great way to get more involved at University whilst also raising money for some great causes. We do loads of different activities, ranging from dressing up silly to good old fashioned bake sales. The great thing about RaG is that you can give as little or as much time as you like and nearly every hobby can be used to raise money for charity. If this is something you’d be interested in, or one of the students you represent would like to get involved, please signpost to Zac Hill, the Raising and Giving Coordinator, who you can contact on z.r.hill@brighton.ac.uk or 01273 643044


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Volunteering Opportunities with the Students’ Union Develop your CV, meet new people, expand your skills and knowledge and have the chance to shape the SU and the University! We have opportunities for students to get involved as volunteers in a number of areas this year. Each opportunity will be supported by training and you will be given the opportunity to take Student Engagement Week: This year we will be running events on each campus during this week 11th February— 15th February. You can get involved with planning, organising, presenting and collecting feedback from students about their experiences. Excellence Awards: A chance for students looking for more hands on experience in marketing, events organisation and promotion to get involved in the delivery and planning of this years Excellence Awards. Course Rep Forums : Help design and deliver the course rep forums on your campus, shape how course rep support works and help plan social events for the reps in your area. To register your interest in any of the above opportunities email h.mcknight@brighton.ac.uk Other volunteering opportunities at Brighton SU can be found here: http://www.brightonsu.com/volunteering/

Brighton SU Student Staff Recruitment Brighton SU is recruiting STARSS (Specifically Trained and Ready Student Staff) for 2012/13 academic year. If you want to earn good money, gain valuable skills for your CV, and work for an ethical, friendly organisation run by students for students then we may have just the job for you. We have vacancies in the following outlets: Cockcroft café, Cockcroft shop, Mithras House shop All student staff will receive: excellent training, on-going support, skills development opportunities, an above average hourly rate, BACS payment of wages and a chance to join a professional and enjoyable student orientated employer of choice. We are looking for: reliable people orientated and customer service focussed workers, keen to help Brighton SU provide a range of quality services to a diverse and discerning membership. Brighton SU will pay you £6.20 per hour for up to 15 hours a week during term time, plus holiday pay if you work for more than a term at a time. If you are interested in becoming one of our STARSS, please download and complete one of the application forms from our website. Cockcroft cafe application form Cockcroft shop application form Mithras House shop application form STARSS Catering JD STARSS Shop JD

SU Staff at the Excellence Awards

The deadline for applications is noon Monday 14th January. Applicants will be expected to attend induction training to include diversity aware customer care and job specific skills before the end of term and/or in late September. Brighton SU will pay student staff to attend training and work related meetings. Brighton SU is committed to equality of opportunity in employment and is keen to recruit student staff representative of the University’s demographic make up. Applications are particularly welcome from mature students, international students (with the right to paid employment) and students with disabilities as well as those from our LGBT and black and minority ethnic communities.


Top 5 reasons students contact Student Services at this time of year

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It’s a busy time of year for Student Services, and while the term officially ends on 14 December, our offices and staff are available until 21 December for confidential and impartial advice about student life issues. Our top five enquiries at this time of year are listed below, along with advice to help you direct students to right service: Find more student life advice and information at www.brighton.ac.uk/studentlife or follow @brightonstudent on Twitter for the latest news, events and updates .

Thinking of transferring/leaving Students thinking about changing their course or leaving altogether can speak in confidence to their school’s Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT – if they have one), or they can contact studentservices@brighton.ac.uk or visit www.brighton.ac.uk/ontherightpath for further advice and support

Help finding a part-time job, graduate opportunity or volunteering experience It’s really important for all students to build skills, gain experience and develop their CV during their time here, to give themselves the best chance of securing graduate work when they finish their degree. The Careers Service can help students in all aspects of planning, from researching sectors, to tailoring CVs and helping to improve interview skills. Find out more at www.brighton.ac.uk/careers or email careers@brighton.ac.uk

Concerns about money Managing your money whilst at university can be a real challenge. The Student Advice Service is available at all sites for free and confidential advice about money issues. Their advisers can also check whether students are receiving all the funding they are eligible for. To find out more visit www.brighton.ac.uk/ moneymatters or email studentadvice@brighton.ac.uk

Feeling unhappy/lonely/homesick It’s not uncommon at this time of year for some students to contact us in a crisis or because they are feeling low. As well as links to local doctors and on-site surgeries at Eastbourne and Moulsecoomb, we also offer a free counselling service. If students are experiencing difficulties in their academic or personal lives, please advise them to email studentservices@brighton.ac.uk so that we can offer them additional support or visit www.brighton.ac.uk/studentlife/counselling

“I think I might be dyslexic” Many students contact us a number of years into their course, with concerns that they may be dyslexic. The university’s Disability and Dyslexia team can offer free screenings for students, but we advise them to contact the team as early in their course as possible, to ensure they benefit from the practical support and available funding they could be entitled to. For more information please visit www.brighton.ac.uk/ disability or email disability@brighton.ac.uk


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Are you involved in a Periodic Review this year?

You have the chance to attend this free training event in London to develop you understanding and enhance your CV, travel paid for and lunch provided…. Many course this year are subject to a periodic review as part of the University’s normal quality assurance processes this year. As part of the process students are invited to meet with panel members in order to provide a student input into the review. Invitations many have gone out to you already or will be going out shortly and therefore the proposed training may be of particular interest. This year we have the opportunity to send students engaging in the Periodic Review Process to an external training event beneficial for your CV and personal development. The event will take place on the 30th January, from 10am – 4pm, in London at the NUS HQ. It will give you the chance to not only learn more about the purpose of review, the contribution you can make and the opportunity to meet other students from across the country involved in similar practices across the country. Travel expenses will be covered by the Students’ Union and lunch will be provided. Please let us know if you are interested in attending this event by emailing h.mcknight@brighton.ac.uk with your contact phone number and preferred contact email address by the 12th December to guarantee a place.

Mitigating Circumstances Over 1 in 5 appeals we help students with could be avoided. These are those under the second ground for appeal “that the Examination Board was not aware of mitigating circumstances affecting the student's performance because.” The process of submitting mitigating circumstances is far less time consuming and stressful than an appeal.

Opening Hours! Late Night Opening and Falmer Campus The SU Support Service are now piloting later opening hours of our service from our main Cockcroft office to increase accessibility. We will still be travelling across campus for appointments with students unable to meet us here. Many students, especially those who may be doing a part-time Masters course alongside a full time job find it inconvenient to reach us during our core hours for face to face meetings and we hope this will allow them to access our service with much greater ease. This will be coinciding with the later opening of the Union Café in Cockcroft which is due to begin during the first term. Monday, 10 – 8 (late night opening) Tuesday, 10 – 8 (late night opening) Wednesday , 10 – 4 (Falmer Drop-in, Ringmer House) Thursday, 10 – 4 Friday, 10 – 4 To book an appointment contact bsuacademic@brighton.ac.uk

University guidelines state "Mitigating circumstances are normally exceptional circumstances that are outside the control of the student which are serious, unforeseen and unavoidable” Some examples of things that are accepted as mitigating circumstances are… personal illness, illness of close family, death of family member or close friend, personal/psychological problems, severe family problems, some legal issues. The following will not be accepted… paid employment, conflicting deadlines, car breakdown, overslept, missed train, bus etc, computer failure, forgot there was a test, job interview. For mitigating circumstances to be upheld you MUST be able to provide evidence (for example: a medical certificate, GP letter, hospital letter, counsellor's letter, solicitor's letter etc.). For further information and guidance check this weblink or contact bsuacademic@brighton.ac.uk for an appointment.


Course Rep News December 2012