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School of Society and Culture Rep Update

Written by: Louis Wilson, School of Society and Culture Rep

Meetings I’ve attended

Society and culture Teaching Learning and Quality committee (TLQC) 19th October

  • This was my first meeting as school rep
  • It was a very successful meeting even though I had yet to have my training I contributed where possible and helped to ensure that the students voice was heard.
  • We discussed how the uni and the school was helping with cost of living support for example
  • Free fruit being placed in the library
  • Half priced breakfast at the SU
  • UPSU budget gym slots and free gym days
  • And many more
  • The main item we discussed was student welfare specifically mental wellbeing this has now become a priority for me. As staff were very concerned for students, so I will be looking into extra ways the school and the uni can help students.

Union council 27th October

  • This was the first meeting of the union council for this academic year
  • During the meeting the structure of the union council was explained to us and where we fitted in
  • This was mainly and introductory welcome meeting

Faculty of Arts Humanities and business TLQC 31st October

  • This was the first of these committee meetings, it was a very successful meeting
  • I had an opportunity to speak to the committee which gave me chance to let them know what I’m working on (further down this report)
  • During this meeting we discussed
  • Cost of living support. On the 30th of November there was a staff brief on how they can best support students
  • I was assured that the cost-of-living crisis is being taken very seriously by the faculty and the university
  • we discussed the success of the writing café, and I was informed that the school of society and culture is the highest user in our faculty, which is amazing to hear.
  • A discussion was also had about a possible online student feedback platform, this is the developmental stage but I stated how useful this would be and that I believe that students would engage with such a platform

The academic subcommittee 15th November

  • This was the first meeting of the subcommittee
  • This had a great turn out form course reps, and loads of feedback was given to the student voice team
  • During the meet I introduced myself to the room and assisted the student voice team in gathering feedback form students

Second Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business TLQC 28th November

  • This was another successful meeting of the committee
  • I updated the committee about the progress on my campaigns (more to come later in this report)
  • We discussed the following,
  • The fact the industrial action taken by some lectures is only causing minimal effect to students
  • The library will be running timetabled sessions to help students develop their digital skills
  • We had a very successful discussion surrounding careers. The member of the careers team discussed that the enhance your future program was having mixed attendance and I spot my voice across that communication of its value should be increased as students sole focus now is on CVs etc
  • The chair shared with the committee some very important events coming soon, one of which was a 2-day event for women’s development with guess speakers etc, this is running between the 14th and 15th of December
  • Another event that is happening soon for the staff is the student support roadshow training staff all thing student support with guest speakers from across - the student welfare network.
  • The final point we discussed was the extension of the writing cafes hours between 5pm and 7pm virtually.

school rep and course rep catch up 30th November

  • On the 30th of November I chaired a virtual meeting between myself and the course reps within my school which had about 25% attendance low but its start  
  • We successfully elected a deputy School Rep Damaris Lunganu. The vote was unanimous.
  • I could some excellent feedback form my course reps such as:
  • Students essay support form lecturers isn’t sufficient. Specifically, communication of the assignment and where they can find assistance.
  • Some lectures are moving to fast, meaning it very hard for students to keep up
  • A survey conducted within stage one criminology revealed that 94% of people felt that they would benefit from essay practice questions to allow them to grow essay confidence
  • In the same survey 72% of students felt stressed with uni work
  • A key point that came up multiple times is that students feel that they would benefit from breaks after the 1st hour of a lecture to help keep concentration as it can be hard for 2 hours straight
  • Some students reported that lecture slides and seminar worksheets were no longer being published before their sessions, which they found to be a disadvantage
  • Most felt that seminars could be more engaging for example group activities
  • It was also reported that microphones in lecture theatre were either not working or were not being used by lectures.

I assured the course reps that at my next school TLQC and faculty TLQC that I would raise their issues

Current campaigns I am working on

School Rep Instagram page

  • As of the 28th of November, an Instagram page for me as student rep was launched
  • I intend this page to be used to share news relevant to our school such as the various events that are being held
  • I hope this to be greatly successful
  • The next step for this campaign is to spread the word and get as many people following the page as possible to ensure its success

Mental wellbeing of students

  • This has become a priority for me as I know the issue of mental wellbeing is prominent, and that is a general cause for concern for both staff and students.
  • The aim of this campaign for me to see if the support in place is working and how well students interact with it and if issues arise, I intend to solve them
  • I met with VP of wellbeing and diversity, and he assured me he would begin to investigate this.

Campaigns I intend to start

Course rep selection process

  • I want to evaluate the selection process and see if there is a way to speed up,
  • I also want to ensure continuants in the wording used during inductions where course reps is explained to ensure that there is no confusion

Careers programmes

  • I want to get a sense of how students feel about the careers service and the programmes they offer
  • To see if any issues arise and how we can solve them

Help I would like from students

Feedback for the following issues

  • How students feel about the mental support service and how they interact with it
  • What they think about the careers service and what they would like from it
  • How they feel about the cost-of-living support provided by the university,
  • I was asked by the staff in my school TLQC about how much the students know about module choice and the option available  to them

I would also love any general feedback from students