Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Ptasinka decided to run after having been a Course Representative this year. “My friends told me that I was quite out-going and would be good for [this role], then after going to a couple of Learning Community Forum meetings, I figured that the person who coordinates that could actually bring in come proper change”.
While she admits that her course doesn’t share the issue of knowing who their course representatives are, due to the small amount of people on her course, she acknowledges that many other courses in the faculty have a big problem with “not knowing who to turn to”. “What I want to do is to introduce the idea of multiple Course Reps for certain courses, as the current system doesn’t always allow students to meet their course representatives and tell them their problems”
Deeanne Dias is running for Faculty of Medicine because, although she loves her course, she feels that there is plenty of room for change. Dias feels that she is qualified to bring about these changes because she has been interested in the SU since her work for the Summer Party last year.
Her credentials also include being elected NUS delegate, being a Week One Rep, an Easy Tiger Team Leader and being on the Exec of a society. Most of her friends, she says, do medicine too so she has had plenty of discussions with her peers about the issues that are worthy of attention. She passionately spoke about “bridging the gap” between the medical students and ‘other’ students. Career wise, she wants students studying medicine to be made aware of more choices, which could be manifested through a greater choice in specialist placements.
Faculty of Arts
Emek’s principle aim is to “bring about standardised surveys within the whole of the faculty”. Having been a Course Representative this year, and having standardised the feedback for his course, Emek has realised that the benefits of such a system could be brought to the Faculty as a whole.
Emek believes that, having been a Course Rep for two years, he has a good knowledge of his School and take this change further on to the Faculty of Arts. This, coupled with his passion for education, “which is what gives me the passion to take this role”. When asked why students should vote for him, Emek replied, “I have already implemented positive change in my course and I believe that I can take this to the Faculty”.
For Pickup, the awareness of Course and School Representatives is paramount. They are the link between the students and the School, and if people do not know who their Reps are, then issues can’t get resolved. The more awareness there is of representatives, the easier it becomes to deal with students’ problems.”
Pickup is looking to advertise these more publicly and attempt to generate greater numbers of people running for Course Rep positions. “They are interesting and a great way to meet people on your course” she pointed out, adding that increased hype with “mini-elections” being held would hopefully raise the profile of these positions. Pickup also hopes to promoting more face time with personal tutors and introducing the idea that “no problem is too small”.
Following her experiences as a School and Course Representative, Layla Cox intends to “raise awareness of courses and take advantage of the opportunity to fulfil her role”. Cox’s work volunteering in schools and as an ambassador for English has led to a wide range of communication between both tutors and students.She plans to implement First Year Seminar Representatives to raise any issues for Course Representatives as well as anonymous drop boxes.
In addition, Cox is planning to have Joint Honours Students to have two Tutors to add equal weight to each course. Cox intends to setup a meeting prior to exam results between tutors and Seminar Representatives in an environment that is “not too daunting”. She plans to make seminars more approachable, as well as increasing time and opportunity for both course and school representatives to address queries in order to make students feel more involved with the school.
Faculty of Engineering
Maria says that she feels frustrated with how the engineering department is viewed by other university students, often being seen as “geeky” and male dominated. Maria, if elected, aims to change that view and in doing so hopes to encourage more girls to take up engineering as many are currently intimidated by the male dominated environment. She also aims to make the department more open and sociable, to “bring engineering students together” through better publicising socials which currently few students attend.
She feels that getting to know other students in their department will greatly improve the university experience for engineering students although this might be treading on the toes of the civil engineering society. Maria says she “enjoys organising people” and is “good at talking to people” which she says makes her well suited for the job where she can easily talk to students and pass on their opinions to the course conveners.
Faculty Coordinator of Law and Social Sciences
Nicholas is standing for faculty co-ordinator as he has many concerns about his course which he feels are shared by many of his fellow students and so wants to improve the dialogue between the students and the lecturers. He aims to change the essay feedback system which he says needs to be more in depth, to improve the current module early warning system so students can better air grievances about modules sooner and to get more of the core books in the library as currently there might be “2 books for 150 people”.
Nicholas has had experience in this kind of role as he was the German course rep last year and feels this has taught him how to successfully act as liaison between students and lecturers.
It has not been possible to interview this candidate.
Faculty of Science
If elected, Karzunina promises to improve communication between students, tutors, lecturers and representatives, as well as promoting the use of surveys to track student satisfaction, allowing anonymous feedback.
“I believe that the Science Faculty is a very important faculty that really has the ability to achieve a lot” Karzunina asserted, before adding “It is important to communicate and for people to know who their Course Representatives are”. She stressed that, if elected, she will go and find out what the students in the faculty want and then make sure that this is communicated to the Faculty to make sure that change actually happens.
Images by Helen Miller