UPSU Student Representatives
Student Representatives are the voice of the student body across the University. They are a vital link between the student body, the University and the Students' Union. Student representation ensures that students' views, ideas and concerns are heard at all levels throughout the University community, influencing university practice and strategic direction.
The Student Voice Team support the student representatives to influence key decisions making sure they are the right ones for Plymouth Students. UPSU's student representatives truly represent the views of students studying at University of Plymouth because the union is an independent charity run by students for students.
There are so many ways that students can get involved with several representative roles available. These include;
Academic Representation at UPSU
Academic representation is a key area for UPSU. The Student Voice team and the Advice Centre work closely with students to support and improve your academic experiences. They work with representatives and individuals to ensure that your student voice is heard.
The Student Voice team coordinate the Academic Representation system which is made up of Course Reps, School Reps and the VP Education. These representatives are elected by you to represent your views on academic issues.
The UPSU Advice centre represents individual students with a number of aspects of their academic experience. This includes course changes, making a complaint or appeal about your course, submitting extenuating circumstances or attending a fitness to practice or disciplinary hearing.
Skills you gain when becomming a representative
Leadership - As a representative you will need to make yourself known to your course, school or the student body to collect and take forward their issues. Taking on a leadership role will show future employers that you can be responsible and have the ability to make decisions.
Communication - This role requires you to constantly be communication with both staff and students. This can from face to face communication, presenting ideas, talking in meetings, emails and more. Future employers find look for confident communication skills so developing these communication skills, being open and approachable and being able to resolve issues in a professional manner will all benefit you in the future.
Time management - It is essential for you to be able to fit your role around your degree as well as other important parts of your life such as a job, family or hobby. Having this role will teach you to prioritise your time and set objectives to ensure you get everything you need done and use your time to the best of your ability.
Problem solving - One of your main responsibilities as part of this role is to be collecting student opinions and presenting to staff and then working with them to come to a solution for these issues. Analytical skills are something employers love to see in a potential employee. This role will set you apart from other students who will only be able to refer to their academic work.
Meeting etiquette - Many professional jobs will require you to attend meetings. This role will give you valuable experience in how to act in a formal meeting.
Public speaking - You can develop your public speaking skills through speaking in meetings and doing shout outs in lectures to obtain feedback or make students aware of who you are. This can benefit you in later employment with feeling confident when you speak.
Negotiation skills - Your skill of negotiation will during your time as a representative through attending meetings, feeding back the student opinion and negotiating changes throughout the university.
Research - Another main responsibility of the role of a representative is research. It is your job to research into the student opinion and way you can improve the student experience for your peers. This can be done through face to face talking, surveys and questionnaires, suggestion boxes to name a few. These skills can help with the work you do in your degree also.