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Michelle LillywhiteAt BU the academic staff know how important it is that the student voice is always heard – this is why they run a scheme supported by the Student Union to create Student Representatives for each class on each course for each level.

At the beginning of each year you elect a new rep for your class and as a rep you then ‘represent’ the class at termly meetings about the course, facilities and the workload.

Each semester all students are asked to complete an online survey about things they like, things they want to change and things they don’t like so much. As a rep you have to compile all of the answers and feed them back to the academic team about the course and the university in general.

It’s quite a responsibility, but interesting to see how changes can be made and how important our views are to the lecturers we see every day – the floor is most definitely ours!

At BU they take the role of the student rep very seriously, so you go on an induction day, meet other reps from other courses, learn how to compile the termly reports and how to maybe re-word some of the things that your fellow students have written. Plus you get a great purple hoody to wear round campus and show people that you represent them and that you’re getting involved in university life. Plus, you become part of the ‘Purple Army’ of reps on campus!

This kind of role looks great on a CV as it shows you can engage with your colleagues, they will have elected you after all! It also shows you know how to manage the information coming through, get lots of survey responses and that you know how to diplomatically take the information forward – quite a skill that employers will like on your CV.

I was able to facilitate a change for a submission deadline after getting feedback from the people in the year above – this helped us out so much as we had a lot longer to work on a big assignment which everyone was pleased with.

So if you want to stand out and take part in something a little bit different, put your hand up during induction week and take part in how your course can affect you and your colleagues.

By Michelle Lillywhite

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