Term is nearly upon us and it will be great to see campus being widely populated again (it is positively a ghost town right now). While it will be great to see students, we need to make sure that the academic community they are going into is the best one which provides a strong partnership between the department and the student body. This partnership can best be built by a strong system of Department Reps.
Department Reps are a new system where every Department has a Rep who is responsible for coordinating with the Course Reps and reporting back to the Academic Officer. They take a proactive and global view of the department which is very useful to all. Additionally, they play an active role in designing Academic Policy with all other reps, meaning they decide the university's strategy and play a big role in wider policy.
Last year we managed to get 2/3ds of these positions filled but this year I think it is critical to have them all filled. Deparments get a huge amount out of their reps, and many of them with the more successful ones saw huge improvements in their NSS scores (TFTV jumped nearly 20 points!). Their Course Reps also get a better sense of direction and students have a more direct line to the department. Whether this is getting lecture capture to become opt out (so lecturers have to choose not to record rather than ask to be recorded), improving feedback, or changing the course entirely, Department Reps have made a huge change and it has been for the best.
We must keep this up! To have a university where students feel at home, their views must be considered at every level and Reps fill this role excellently. If we don't have reps then departments will go backwards and we will suffer! Therefore, I ask everyone to please please consider applying. If you have any questions or want to talk about it, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come into the office to chat or to ring my number (01904323725) and I will happily talk to you about it.