Student Representative Handbook 2011 - 2012
Contents Page Welcome
Introduction and the Students’ Union
Student Representation System
Staff Student Committee Meetings
Communication and Feedback
Top Meeting Tips
12 – 18
Congratulations on being elected as a Student Representative You have been chosen to represent your fellow students so that their views can be heard, and have been given a unique opportunity to play a vital role within the University and in your own education. Not only are you having a say into the way that your programme is run, but you are also gaining excellent skills that employers look for in graduates, such as communication, diplomacy and problem solving. We want to thank you in advance for volunteering to be a Student Representative. Student input is essential to the University as it informs staff about how they can help to enhance your University experience at Salford and working in collaboration with the Student Representatives is the best way of doing this. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or comments. Good Luck!! Kimberley Neal Student Representation Coordinator University of Salford Students' Union Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Students’ Union The University of Salford Students’ Union (USSU) is the independent representative body of students at the University, committed to enhancing students’ lives. Its commitment to each and every student is to: • Create a strong Union presence on the issues and affairs that matter to our students. • Develop our organisational structure to ensure that we can make an outstanding contribution to our members’ lives. • Forge a dynamic partnership with the University that enhances the Salford experience. • Create an involvement culture where innovative, life changing opportunities are available to our members. The Students’ Union is run by students for students. All students at the University automatically become a member of the Union when they register at the University. The Union is democratically controlled by its members through the annual election of a team of student representatives who form the Union’s Trustee Board. The membership of the Trustee Board is as follows: • Four Sabbatical Officers • Four Student Trustees • Four Non Student Trustees (appointed by the sabbatical and student trustees) The Trustees determine policy for all areas of Union activity.
The Sabbatical Trustees 2011-2012 There are 4 sabbatical positions. These are full-time positions in the Union. Any student who is a student at the University of Salford can stand. As a team, Sabbaticals are responsible and held accountable for the entire Union. They make day-to-day decisions about all levels of your Union’s activities. President – Caroline Dangerfield Email: email@example.com Arts and Humanities Vice President – Christina Kennedy Email: VPCASS-USSU@salford.ac.uk Health and Social Care Vice President – Sophie Atkinson Email: VPHSC-USSU@salford.ac.uk Science and Technology Vice President – Tom Doyle Email: VPST-USSU@salford.ac.uk Further details about the Students’ Union including copies of the constitution and policies can be found at www.salfordstudents.com
Student Representation System We want to make sure you have the best experience possible when it comes to studying at Salford. The Student Representation system can help with this - it’s a way of making sure there is two way communication between Salford students and the University. The system ensures that students have an opportunity to voice their opinions about their course and involves student representatives working with the University to achieve a positive outcome. Student Representatives As Student Rep, you’re the spokesman for everyone on your course. You’ll speak to other students to hear what they think is good and bad about studying at Salford and attend meetings with University staff where you can put forward these views. Working with the staff, you’ll make sure that any issues raised by students are discussed and acted on. Its then up to you to feedback on progress to the students you represent. This is a great opportunity to help ensure that you and the students you study with get the most out of your course. Although you’ll need to attend a number of meetings a year, these aren’t usually a big time commitment and we’ll provide you with all the training and support you need. Student Rep Roles and Responsibilities are to: 1
Join the Rep Academy and complete level 1, 2 or 3
Read the Student Rep Handbook
Attend Students’ Union events throughout the year
Be sure to communicate and feed back to your peers
Keep us informed (College Reps, Students’ Union and the University)
Join the Student Rep Activity Group
Sign up to the Student Life Award
Speak to 20 students by December about Academic positives and negatives
College Representatives While Student Reps represent everyone on a particular course, College Reps identify and act on the key issues affecting students within the 3 Colleges. They work closely with the Reps to find out what the issues are and then work together with University staff to find a positive solution. There are 3 different types of College Rep; Learning and Teaching, Postgraduate Research and Engagement. With greater responsibility, they receive payment for the activities they carry out, along with comprehensive training and support. If as a Student Rep youâ€™re looking for a chance to make a real impact on studentsâ€™ lives and to gain some work experience in a broad range of areas, this could be the role for you.
Staff Student Committee Meetings University structures can be hard to understand but here is a brief breakdown of where student issues are represented by Students at the University of Salford. Each school has its own way of working, but this is a general guide of how the representation system works at Salford. There is a Staff/Student Committee in every department, which comprises a Student Representative for each course, at each level. This committee is the first place to raise any student concerns and where ‘grassroots’ student problems are identified. You don’t have to wait until the next staff/student committee meeting to try to resolve and issue, you can talk to your tutors at any point during the year. School Council, College Board & Uni Committees
Staff Student Committee Meetings
The role of committee members The Chair – this is the person who calls the meeting, sets the agenda and guides the meeting. Secretary – this is the person who takes and circulates the minutes from the meetings. They also send out the agenda. You should send apologies to the secretary if you can’t attend and advise them of any issues that you want to raise. Members – the people who have been invited to be part of the meeting.
What should I be dealing with as a Student Representative? The main focus for Student Representatives is academic representation. Typically this can include a wide range of topics such as, Lecture rooms – overcrowded, poor disabled access Reading lists – availability of resources in the library, out of print books Teaching methods – Delivery too fast/slow, poor handouts , lack of one on one time Programme content – dated, too specific, uneven weighting Resources – insufficient computers, no lab/studio time Workload – too much/little, timings of deadlines Hidden course costs - any additional costs that you weren't aware of until after registration Exam results – when are you getting them? Blackboard – are your tutors using it? Timetabling – clashes, bad timing All non-academic issues such as cafeteria prices and parking will not usually be resolved at the Staff/Student committee level; you have to pass these issues onto the Students’ Union. Try not to focus on just the negative, positive feedback is also welcome. If the students are happy with the course, let the staff know that they are doing it right! If there are additional issues which may arise, you can contact the Student Representation Coordinator to ask for advice on how to tackle them.
Communication and Feedback You are acting as the middle person between the students and the staff and therefore must be in a position to gauge student opinion on issues brought up at meetings. Firstly you need to let students know who you are by promoting yourself. Communicating with your students and relaying information back to them is the most important part of the job. You will find a way that suits you to do this, but here are some ideas for you: Lecture Shouts—ask the lecturer for a few minutes before or at the end of the lecture so that you can introduce yourself, or ask if there are any issues that they want you to bring up at the meeting, or report back what happened in the meeting Posters—display on your notice board Surveys—gauge general student opinion, maybe a good idea to present at meetings Surgeries—you can arrange a time when you will be available for perhaps an hour every couple of weeks for a chat E-mail—you can ask the school office to forward any bulk correspondence on to all students. Please make your e-mail address available to students in case they need to contact you. Blackboard—ask your school to set up a forum on Blackboard for student discussion Chats—just general chats with your course mates to see how they are getting on The Student Representation Coordinator will organise a meeting in your school so that all student reps can get together to discuss any outstanding issues. At this meeting we can also decide which issues need to be taken to higher level meetings and/or the Students’ Union.
Top meeting tips Be prepared
Study the meeting agenda, read up on anything you are unsure about. Remember you may not know about a certain issue but it could be about to affect you and your peers. Discuss issues with your group beforehand.
Make your point clearly and positively but do not be confrontational.
Try to meet regularly with other student reps to discuss how you are going to respond to items on the agenda.
Do not interrupt others or allow yourself to be interrupted. Believe in what you are saying and feel confident. Make your doubts and disagreements known.
If you need any advice you can contact the Student Representation Coordinator.
Remember that you have every right to be at that meeting as the next person so donâ€™t feel afraid to speak up. If you ever feel that you were not included or made to feel disregarded in any way, please inform the Student Representation Coordinator.
Be alert and look as professional as possible, take notes etc.
This is the most important bit!!!!!
Research carefully a topic you intend to raise in the meeting and try to get the support of the other student reps.
Ask the chair for clarification of anything you do not understand. Do not be afraid to ask questions. The rest of the committee will not presume you know everything. The committee will be interested in what you say, so speak up. Sit where you can be seen and look interested.
Find an effective way to feed back to your fellow students, use a notice board, do a group e-mail, stand up at the end of lectures. Pick the important things to discuss with them.
Useful links As a Student Representative, it is likely that you will be asked about help and support available to students at Salford. The following information may be useful. Students’ Union Advice Centre The Students’ Union Advice has two advisors and they offer a service that is independent of the University. They can advise on a range of academic related issues, be it academic appeals, personal mitigating circumstances, disciplinary issues, complaints etc. Julie Southern (Academic Advice) Tel: 01613515430 Email: J.A.Southern@salford.ac.uk Carol Lee (Academic Advice) Tel: 01613515401 Email: C.Lee1@salford.ac.uk Website: http://www.salfordstudents.com/advice/ Essential information There are Student Life Advice Desks in University House, at Allerton Reception, and in Adelphi Building. You can drop in and speak to one of our General Advisers. Either you’ll get an answer right away, or they will make an appointment for you to see a Specialist Adviser. Remember it’s free and it’s confidential. If you can’t visit in person, call 0161 295 0023, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Emotional and mental health support If you feel that a student may need some support with their mental health or wellbeing, you should encourage the student to seek help from the University Counselling and Wellbeing Service and/or their GP. The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is comprised of counsellors, wellbeing advisors and a mental health advisor who provide a range of services to students who are experiencing mental or emotional distress, including individual counselling, wellbeing advice (including practical and personal support, advice and signposting), mental health advice (including student support plans), and selected group programmes and events. More information including contact details and referral forms can be found on the website http://www.advice.salford.ac.uk/wellbeing or by calling 0161 295 7008 or 0161 295 4661. In emergencies, such as a student being a danger to self or others, emergency services should be contacted on 999.
Student Life - We’re Here to Help Who can get help from student life? Anybody can get help from Student Life. Lots of students have questions about Loans and Bursaries, or how to manage their budgets. If you’re struggling financially you may be entitled to help from the Access to Learning Fund. Student Life can help disabled students with advice on applying for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). We can help you get technological aids and personal study support. Student Life will also help students with mental health needs. If you think you might have dyslexia or another specific learning disability, we can arrange assessment and support. If you’re an international student, you may need help with visa applications or renewals. Student Life runs the ‘Interlink’ mentoring scheme to help you get used to living and studying in the UK. See www.advice.salford.ac.uk/interlink/ Student Life can help students with families to access childcare support. Some students may be entitled to other benefits too – ask for help from a Student Life Adviser. At any time you might need emotional or personal support. Bullying, harassment or just the stress of being a student can affect anyone. If you need someone to talk to because of circumstances in your personal life, Student Life offers confidential and friendly support. Essential paperwork When you need official documentation, these are the places to go: Student Life in University House Council Tax Student Certificate – Students in full-time education don’t have to pay Council Tax. Once you are registered, we’ll email you a Certificate to your student account to show that you are exempt. If you need a replacement Certificate, visit Student Life in University House. Remember if you live with people who are not full time students they will still be liable to pay Council Tax, although your exemption may entitle them to a discount in some circumstances. ‘To Whom It May Concern’ Letters Replacement ID cards 13
Student Information Directorate in Humphrey Booth House Visa (CAS) Letters Tuition Fee Queries Transcripts of Marks My Student Portal http://www.mystudentinfo.salford.ac.uk/ Student Life - not just about problems Student Life is also about making the good things better. Get the best out of your Student Life with these services: Careers and Employability The Careers and Employability Service are on hand to provide all of the support you need to improve your key employability skills to help you make the smooth transition from your studies into work. Our Study Skills team can assist your progress across all aspects of academic achievement including time management, writing assignments, referencing and revision planning. We will support you in accessing the job market - whether you are looking for summer work, volunteering opportunities, work abroad, deciding your career path or your first job upon leaving University. Careers and Employability will also help you to access our Salford Student Life Award. On completion of the award, your certificate will act as evidence of all of your work experience whilst at University, to future employers. Careers Consultants will provide impartial 1-2-1 career guidance as well as the latest information on careers, entry requirements and typical employers as well as support for students with learning difficulties. Additional support is also on offer via career focused workshops, which run all year round, including how to write your CV and covering letter, interview skills, using social media for job search, preparing for assessment centres and more. A series of bespoke workshops are also available to all of our Postgraduates (Taught and Research) as well as International students. Careers and Employability are based in University House. Tel: 0161 295 5088 Email: email@example.com Website: www.careers.salford.ac.uk
Study Skills Here’s another simple fact - a better degree means a better job. Our Study Skills programme will help you get a better degree. Learn how to plan and write better essays; prepare and deliver more effective presentations; improve your research and referencing skills. If you’re struggling with your academic work, Study Skills will make your life easier. If you’re already good, you’ll get even better. Find out about Study Skills at www.als.salford.ac.uk Salford Student Life Award The Salford Student Life Award shows employers you can offer them degree level education and a whole lot more. The award provides formal recognition of all the other things you do in your life, such as volunteering, mentoring, Students’ Union involvement, work experience and enterprise activities. As well encouraging you to develop the necessary skills and abilities to succeed in the world of work on graduation, it shows that you’re confident, committed and versatile – all things that employers are keen to see. Find out about the Award programme at www.studentlifeaward.co.uk Recruitment Fairs Recruitment Fairs take place throughout the year, giving you the chance to meet employers. Each school will host a Recruitment Fair with employers in your field offering placements and graduate opportunities. Look in the diary to find out when Recruitment Fairs that are relevant to you will take place, or see www.careers.salford.ac.uk/events Enterprise Programme Is your ambition to run your own business? Want to find out if you could be your own boss? Our Student Entrepreneurs Network can help you develop the skills and experience you will need. Many students have gained useful experience and made valuable contracts through the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organisation. You can join our Enterprise Academy and benefit from free training in subjects like Marketing, and Writing a Business Plan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, ask about the Enterprise Programme, and we’ll explain everything. Healthy Lifestyles Look out for our hugely popular healthy lifestyles programme. We run a condom distribution scheme for students called Wrapped, stop smoking advice and appointments and there are also workshops to attend on healthy eating, stopping smoking, sexual health and more throughout the year. The annual Health & Wellbeing Expo is a fun way to learn about health, diet and relaxation. Find out what’s happening at www.advice.salford.ac.uk/health
Health Hub Join the Healthy Lifestyles team at the Health Hub every afternoon at the Sports Centre. Each afternoon will be focused on a different health topic and these will include free condoms, sexual health advice, stop smoking support and advice, healthy eating and weight loss advice, cookery demos and much more. More information can be found at www.advice.salford.ac.uk/health Care Leavers Student Life provide specific support for students that have been in local authority care, recognising that the hurdles these students face in reaching H.E can be huge. The Care Leaver Coordinator in Student Life, Dalia Jaffar, can provide one to one support to care leavers from application to graduation whether it is to do with accommodation, finance, health and well being, employability skills or just someone to talk to. The package of support can be found at http://www.advice.salford.ac.uk/page/Careleaver and Dalia can be contacted at StudentLife-Careleaver@salford.ac.uk or by phone at 01612950023 Volunteering/Mentoring Voluntary work is another way to get useful work experience, extend your networks and it’s very rewarding too. Volunteering will contribute to your Student Life Award as well. You can volunteer to be a Student Mentor and help other students adjust to life at University. Student Life can also put you in touch with lots of local organisations that are looking for volunteers. Call into University House to find out more about USCATS projects or volunteering generally, or visit http://www.careers.salford.ac.uk/page/USCATs to find out how to get involved. Part-time Work Many students take part-time jobs to gain work experience and help pay the bills. You can find a wide range of part-time and holiday work opportunities by signing up online at http://www.careers.salford.ac.uk/page/parttime You can view vacancies online, or subscribe to receive the latest job vacancies by email. Finance & Budgeting Workshops Student Life runs workshops throughout the year to help you manage your money – especially useful if you’re living away from home for the first time, or managing on a Student Loan. Email email@example.com to find out the date of the next workshop.
Visa Workshops If youâ€™re an international student on a visa, these sessions are for you - to help you with renewing your visa and understanding what to do if you want to work in the UK after graduating. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the date of the next session. The Library Academic Support Librarians: http://www.library.salford.ac.uk/subjects/ Name
College of Arts and Social Sciences: Library Academic Support Team
Art and Design, Media Music & Performance
English, Sociology, Politics and Contemporary History (ESPaCH)
College of Health and Social Care: Library Academic Support Team
Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
College of Science and Technology: Library Academic Support Team
Computing, Science and
Engineering (CSE) Maggie Smart
School of the Built Environment (SOBE)
Environment and Life Sciences (ELS)