18 June 2021
As my first year at ARU draws to a close, I am reflecting on all of the opportunities I have had to develop myself and make a difference to others this year - including being a class rep for my cohort.
At this point you may be thinking: What is a class rep? What do they do? Why would someone choose to be a class rep? Hopefully this blog will help to answer those questions!
Class reps are nominated and voted for at the beginning of the first trimester, students vote for the person or people they wish to represent their views and wishes to the University. The role entails gaining student feedback, liaising with academic staff throughout the year and attending the SSLC (Student Staff Liaison Committee) meetings. SSLC meetings are held twice a year and are a great opportunity to discuss things with everyone together, to talk about what has worked really well, and what can be improved.
In my role as class rep, I have had the opportunity to influence change for example, during our first trimester students felt our groups were too big for online learning, this meant that through discussing with staff we were offered smaller group lectures to support our learning, which everyone agreed was really helpful!
I feel having a class rep has also been really good for the community spirit in our cohort, I created a group chat for everyone at the beginning of the year, and this has flourished, with a fellow student always available to answer a question when one comes up, and the questions are so varied but ultimately someone always knows the answer or knows where to find it… in this very strange pandemic world it has given us the chance to stay connected.
Personally, I have gained so much from the role, I feel it has helped me develop good working relationships with all of the students in my cohort, and also developed my relationships with the academic staff. In addition to this I have developed many other skills which will help me when it comes to employability and my career in the future! I have improved my communication and listening skills, I have also developed my professional leadership skills which will be really important for my career aspirations. I have also gained the bronze volunteering certificate through the students union which is another plus for my CV!
As a class rep you are fully supported by someone from the Students' Union, and there is some training you can do at the start to help you with the role. If you have the chance to get involved as a rep it is something I would definitely recommend as it helps not only yourself but your fellow classmates and academic staff! For more information you can look on the Students' Union web page.