Your voice matters: How you can make a change during your time at University

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It’s probable that, like us, you have been shocked, dismayed and enraged about events happening in the world over the past six months. Equally, you may have also felt happiness, joy and elation. It’s been an exhausting time, oscillating between all of these emotions. 

Whatever the topic; Black Lives Matter, Climate Change, No Detriment or Safety Net Policies, Government COVID-19 responses and guidance, Centre Assessed Grades and their reversal, the chances are that you have an opinion on it.  

Historically, campuses worldwide have been a place for the exchange of ideas and exploring political ideologies. From the formation of the first students’ union and subsequent creation of the National Union of Students (NUS) in the 1920’s, the power and influence of the collective voice of students has been acknowledged by governments, national bodies and universities. 

Student politics and campaigning perhaps conjure up visions of placard-waving hoards with a few dedicated souls at the front chaining themselves to whatever totem the relevant cause has presented. Of course, this is a recognised campaigning tactic but only one that most people resort to after other avenues have been exhausted.  

Whilst direct action will always be an essential tool in the campaigners’ arsenal, the reality is that most change relating to students at the University of Plymouth comes from sitting down with the relevant people and having a conversation. Utilising the arts of persuasion, negotiation, research and fact, elected representatives have these conversations with relevant staff on your behalf. 

 


 

Who are these representatives? 

They are students just like you, who want to change things for the better, to improve the quality of teaching and student experience, or to tackle an issue on a local or even global scale. 

 


 

But how do they know what I think? 

This is where you need to do a bit of the work in telling us your ideas, giving both positive and negative feedback and being willing to support your reps.  

Through a network of reps on each stage of every Course and in the School and Faculty, teaching and learning is developed and enhanced to ensure that students get the best from their course and their university. We also have other positions relating to a student demographic or an area of interest. 

 


 

Do I have to run in an election?

There are elected roles with varying time commitments and it’s a great opportunity to develop a range of skills but we understand not everyone wants to get involved to this extent. We also need students to share their ideas and experiences, help support the work of reps, to share messages and social media posts and to participate in polls and surveys, it’s up to you how much you want to do. 

 


 

How do I get involved? More information about the roles can be found here.

 

If you're interested in running in an election to become a representative, nominations are now open for the Part-Time Elections. We're currently looking for:

 

 

Find out more and nominate yourself here.

 


 

You can message the Student Voice Team to find out who your rep is, about becoming a rep or with any ideas and feedback: studentvoice@su.plymouth.ac.uk  

“If not you, who? If not now, when?” – Hillel  

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