Academic Reps | Staff FAQs
What is "The Student Voice"?
Student Voice is a summary of the perspectives, experiences, opinions and ideas of Staffordshire University students.
This goes for everyone: Apprentices, Distance Learners or those studying at a College Partner; PhD students, Fast Track and of course the "standard" Undergraduate.
How does Academic Representation Work?
There are three kinds of Academic Rep: Course Reps, Department Reps and Full Time Officers.
Their role is to work to our principles of representation: Listen to the students they represent, Speak about the change students want to see and then Share the outcome of their work.
The Union exists to improve academic and co-urricular life for our members (students), so our reps are here to help improve the academic experience.
If students are interested and want to know more, they can head to a student version of this webpage, get in touch with the Voice Team or we're running a morning and afternoon drop-in session, followed by a webinar on Friday 20th September.
What's the difference between the three Rep types?
Course Reps represent their level of their Course. As well regular conversation with course mates and teaching staff, they attend Course Committees as a way of formally feeding back any module or course issues to the University. Every course at every level should have a Course Rep, though depending on the size and delivery of your course, you may have more reps, or share one with another level. We know felxibility can be key, so are not rigid with our allocation of Course Reps.
Department Reps represent each department of every School. As well as talking to students and Course Reps across their department, these reps also meet with their Head of Department and Associate Deans of Students to share a broader scope of the Student Voice and sit on School Academic Committees. Dept. Reps also have regular meetings with Full-Time Officers and sit on the Union's Representative Council. They are elected differently to Course Reps.
Full Time Officers (or Sabbatical Officers) represent all Staffs students but focus their attention by taking two of the University's six Schools each, with the President taking oversight across all Schools. They have regular meetings with Associate Deans and Deans of their Schools, as well as the University Executive. Officers also sit on every major University Board and Committee. You can find out more about Officers here.
When do Reps need to be elected?
We're holding elections for Course Reps straight from Welcome Week, with some Course Leaders inviting us in to lectures as early as the first Tuesday!
As Course Committee meetings will start as of November, we work to recruiting as early as possible once term starts. We have our first induction event of the year on 9th October, which then allows time for "mop-up" training (online included) and for reps to settle into their role prior to their first formal opportunity to feedback.
The Student Voice Team then continue to elect Course Reps through the year, in order to get reps elected where there are any gaps, and reflecting the nature of our varied portfolio (e.g. Apprenticeships).
How do the elections work?
The Voice Team are of course prioritising Course Rep elections at year-start and have, alongside the Officers, been meting with Deans, Associate Deans and Heads of Departments across summer to offer ourselves to physically attend as many lectures as we possibly can to talk to students about the opportunity and to hold in-class elections.
Please get in touch if there's a specific time you'd like us to come and see your students or we will be contacting Course Leads directly to organise an election. If we can't get through (appreciating annual leave and the pre-welcome commitments of colleagues), we'll pick a session from your timetable and drop you an email to let you know when we'll be popping in.
Do you have someone in mind who you think would make a great Department Rep? There's a different process for them which is detailed here.
How do I persuade my class if they're not so enthusiastic?
Hopefully we'll be able to come and support your in-class election, but of course we wont be able to get to everyone. If you're struggling to get your students excited about being a Course Rep, we have three slides you can use* in a lecture to promote this Student Leadership role to your cohort.
*Powerpoint to be linked here
What do reps need to do once elected?
If we've facilitated your in-class election, we'll collect the new Rep's details and get in touch with them directly about induction and accessing our online RepSavvy sstem to complete their "onboarding".
If you've facilitated your own election, you can simply complete this short Microsoft Form, from which we will then access student details.
How will Department Rep elections work?
Department are elected by the students in their Department via an online election. This is stipulated in our Bye Laws, and is designed to maximise student participation in electing their representatives.
Any student can run to be a Department Rep, though students who have experience as a Course Rep are especially encouraged. You can be a Course Rep at the same time.
The schedule for this election is:
Nominations Open: Monday 16th September, 9am (Welcome Week)
Nominations Close: Sunday 6th October, Midnight
Candidate Training: w/b 30th September
Voting Opens: Midday Monday 7th September
Voting Closes: Midday Wednesday 9th October
Results Announced: Close of Voice Conference, Wednesday 9th October
Do you know a student who would make a great Department Rep? Recommend A Rep here!
How does this work for Blackheath Lane, Shrewsbury, London, Partners or Distance Learners?
All students are our students, so we of course want to provide as consistent as an appraoch as possible. We still want to, and can, be physically present across the University's different study sites, but with only being a team of three and with a lot of ground to cover we will have to prioritise.
Please get in touch to coordinate an in-class election, we can set-up an online election for your Course or simply provide support if you'd like any to coordinte your own election.
Still have questions?
Hopefully we haven't missed anything, but if you do want to know anything else, please don't hesitate to get in touch:
Email | email@example.com
Telephone | 01782 294687