School of Art, Design and Architecture Rep Update November

Written by: Rob Dyson, School of Art, Design and Architecture Rep

  1. Meeting with Victoria Squire (Associate Head of School - Education and Student Experience) to discuss and develop a strategy for moving forward the link between the school (Education and student experience) and the SU. Also looking at how I can report on what I’m working on to the school to support the data collection of student experiences.
    • The meeting was constructive, and I will be feeding back redacted information from course rep meetings to the school directly to make people aware of what is going on, but we are in a very positive position and are going from strength to strength. I raised some of the concerns from the Course Rep meeting but nothing requiring immediate attention was raised. Most issues were relating to facilities or how lectures can be more adaptable to the learning styles of students.
  2. Female toilets next to the container café will be upgraded to gender-neutral toilets, this will be commencing on the W/C 12th of December. Upgraded will be toilet stalls, vanity unit, lighting, and floor. This is a huge step for the school in staying inclusive and maintaining a healthy, open environment for students to feel comfortable on campus. News article to come later in December
  3. Course representation is at an extremely good level. 75% of undergraduate students are represented within the School of ADA, whilst 50% of postgraduate students are also represented. (start of November)
    • As of the 22/11/2022, the percentage of represented students is as follows:
      • Foundation = 100%
      • Undergraduate = 84%
      • Postgraduate = 60%
    • I was hoping to have a 75% to 80% representation across the School of ADA which is now at 78%. I won’t be continuing to drive the Course Rep role as this has surpassed where we were last year by a considerable amount.
  4. As part of the Women in Construction event I’m organising for the new year, I have attended the London Construction Expo where 1000’s of industry professionals’ network. At the event, I was able to speak with Women in Construction and Women in BIM to invite them to the event and help get support. From these conversations, we have opened up the event to over 350 industry professionals and will have a diverse network of people from across the country which have the option to attend. This has also opened up conversations about having a sponsor for the event.
    • The date for the event is now booked in on the 31st of March 2023.
    • Will be looking to invite students from Plymouth City College as well as it has been identified that the construction related courses are heavily male dominated.
    • Will be having a meeting with Sarah Plunkett to discuss how she is running female focused events at the university and how she may be able to provide support to me in organising the event.
  5. Ran the first course rep session which went extremely well (redacted minutes are available on request)
    • I will be having a meeting with Luke Broadway to discuss how we may be able to introduce online introductions for software which students could access through the DLE. This would mean students still get all their teaching hours, in addition to an introduction without a compromise of face to face learning.
    • Cost of living crisis – I had come up with the idea of supporting students further by providing more food prep areas (such as what the SU currently offer in the Lounge) in buildings where students are studying to make it more accessible for students if they are in the middle of projects etc…
  6. Building relationships with the architecture department, supporting final year students in enhancing their skills with computer software to develop their personal skills and further their skill set. This will hopefully assist students in their studies to achieve greater grades. I ran a Revit refresher session on the 29th of November which went extremely well and has assisted students in developing their skills, we had an attendance of 25 people.
    • This has led to talks in how first year students could be introduced to the software, and how I can get involved outside of the School Rep role.
  7. Attended the environment and sustainability group meeting to discuss green week and help provide insight into how students would engage with events throughout the week.
  8. Feedback was raised on my behalf at Academic sub-committee meeting about mental health awareness and that the University needs to be doing more. I proposed that the student support services should create a slide that includes the following details:
    • What services they offer
    • How they can be contacted
    • Where they are
    • When they are open
      • I have also raised concerns that there isn’t a lot of privacy there and students may find it extremely daunting to go there and speak to someone in such an open, public area.
      • I have also raised the above with the head of faulty (AHB) who will raise this with the student services manager.
  9. I (with other reps) met with the head of faculty (AHB) and discussed how the school reps can feedback information at a higher level. We have been invited to attend Faculty Management Meetings in the new year to feedback collective information from all three schools.
  10. Louis (Society and Culture), Nyerhovwo (Business) and myself (Arts, Design and Architecture) will be putting out surveys to our respective course reps to see if having a LinkedIn page would be beneficial which will be for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, run jointly by the three of us. We are also waiting approval from faculty management.