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STUDENT REPS HANDBOOK 2012-13 Created by the Heythrop Students’ Union with Heythrop College, University of London

Introduction Hello and welcome to your quick-reference guide to being a student rep. This handbook contains useful information about what it is to be a student rep, how to become one and where to find out more. Being a student rep can really make a difference to fellow students and the College, as far as academic matters are concerned, the student reps make up face of the student body. Sitting on various boards, the student reps pass on students concerns at the appropriate meetings, and contribute valuable information and insight to the continuous development of the College. Furthermore, working as a student rep shows that you are conscientious, willing to get involved and can work well as part of a team – all skills which employers are looking for. I hope the information you find in here will be helpful and informative, if you are interested in becoming a student rep, or if you have any further questions feel free to get in touch. Peter O’Neil Academic Affairs Officer Heythrop Students’ Union Telephone: 07522935895 Email: Website:

What’s a Rep? Student reps make up a key point of contact between students and staff. Their job is to act as a conduit for valuable information, making sure that the right people hear it. The College is very good at listening, and we have student representation at most of the College boards, so it is important that we make sure that the College has something constructive to listen to! In order that all students at the College are well represented, there should be one student rep per year, per course. This means that every body of students, be it first year students to those studying for a masters have a forum to express their opinions, and make suggestions for the improvement of the courses they are on. A few things that student reps typically do are listed below: • Meet with the Students’ Union Academic Affairs Officer to prepare and organize information for committees. • Sit on Heythrop committees, and provide the student body’s perspective. • Raise issues of concern to students with relevant staff. • Pass on information from staff to students. • Meet with course staff to discuss student concerns. This Handbook aims to help you fulfil these duties by providing useful information and advice (well, hopefully!).

Being a Rep How to be an effective Student Rep As I’ve already mentioned, the most important function of a student rep is to provide a channel for communication between staff and students. You need to raise issues that are concerning students. That may sound simple, but it does require you to find out what those issues are! This section will discuss ways to gather information and ways to pass it on. Gathering information Make yourself known to your fellow students so that they know who to go to if they feel an issue should be raised with staff. You can ask a lecturer to give you five minutes at the end of their lecture so that you can address your year group to ask them to email you with issues. It is effective to email students in your year group prior to a committee meeting, asking for points they want to be raised. Study the student evaluation graphs you receive for modules/ strands on your course; see if they have any scores of two or less and see if this is perceived as a problem by your year group. This should at least inform you of the issues. Your department will have lots of reps, so stay in touch. All student

Academic Boards reps will meet regularly with myself, the Academic Affairs Officer, to decide which reps will attend certain committees, and to organize the preparation of academic agendas for the higher boards (such as Academic Board / Learning & Teaching). Once you have your issues try to get as much evidence for them as you can. In addition, try to be as specific as you can; your point will be substantially stronger if you can provide details and numbers. This not only reinforces your argument but it also assists those involved in making any changes that may be necessary. If you require more information on an issue than you are able to obtain then don’t be afraid to ask me or guidance, and we can set up a working group for specific issues and bring staff on board; it may well be easier to sort out a solution outside of a committee! Always remember that you are representing the other students and not just your own views. So, even if you don’t agree with a point you should still raise it in a meeting (you can say you disagree with it, of course!).

Committees Academic Committees and Meetings Two reps from department course sit on the departmental board. All reps should meet with the Academic Affairs Officer before the Staff-Student Liaison board so as to prepare a concise agenda for the meeting. All reps can sit on the Staff-Student Liaison board, which is cochaired by the Academic Affairs Officer and the Dean of Undergraduate studies. Any issues which need to be taken to a higher board, such as the Learning and Teaching or Academic Board will be taken up by the Academic Affairs Officer or the President of the Students’ Union. Committees of the Academic Board Academic Board



Staff Student Liason

Informal Rep/Ac Affairs Meeting

Departmental Board



International Programmes


Research Degrees

What Now? What now? If you are interested in becoming a student rep, or have any further questions then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I do hope you’ll be interested in becoming a student rep, and I hope to hear from you. Reps will be given training and support, starting with an induction session (and free lunch!) on Wednesday 16 October 2012. People involved with the student reps Peter O’Neil Academic Affairs Officer, Heythrop Students’ Union Telephone: 07522935895 Email: Website: Ashley Doolan President of the Heythrop Students’ Union Telephone: 07540806858 Email: Website: Kathryn Powell Head of Academic Policy and Governance and Deputy Clerk to the Governing Body Telephone: 02077956600 Email: Website: Sean Ryan Dean of Undergraduate Studies Telephone: 02077956600 Email: Website:

Written By Peter O’Neil for the Heythrop Students’ Union 2012-13

Student Rep Handbook