Rhiannon is an Academic Rep for MPhil/PhD Part Time Year 2 and higher in the department of Psychology, she is also the Postgraduate Research Faculty Rep for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Chair of Academic Exec.
What made you decide to run to be a Faculty Rep?
I decided to run in the elections this year as I wanted to get more involved with the Students' Union again. I'd been both an Academic and Faculty Rep before, and really enjoyed getting to have a voice on important issues, as well as the different perspectives I got from talking to so many of the people I represented.
What does your role involve?
I have several roles in Academic Representation this year. I'm an Academic Rep, so I sit on my course SSLC and Academic Council (as I'm a PhD student, it's the Research Academic Council for me; other academic reps sit on Taught Academic Council. This way we lookat the issues most relevant to our way of studying). As a Faculty Rep, I sit on Academic Exec, which holds the Education Officer to account. At the start of the year at our first meeting I was elected Chair of Academic Exec. Through this I'm involved in lots of areas of work in the Students' Union. such as holding all the Officers to account and being involved in planning the elections for next years Officers. I also sit on various University Faculty committees, such as the Faculty Board of Studies and Research Students Committee where I get the opportunity to influence faculty decisions and policies.
What do you enjoy about the role?
I love having the opportunity to really influence what is going on in the Students' Union. In the Representation area, the Students' Union relies on the input of students through their Academic and Faculty reps to choose issues to focus on, and to sort out any problems that have arisen. Without feedback from us, the Students' Union would not be aware of what is happening within academic departments and couldn't help to make changes. l also really enjoy working with so many interesting and talented people from beyond my academic area both Students' Union staff and other students. If I hadn't got involved I wouldn't have met so many brilliant people! I'm also really looking forward to going to an NUS Course Reps conference to discuss how other universities course reps systems work and to meet other reps.
What you have learnt?
I've had to quickly learn how to Chair meetings, to ensure eveyones voices get heard and to make sure we run to time! I know I have to make time to read papers in advance and be sure of who to go to if I have any questions. I've also got so much more insight into how both the University and Students' Union function.
What skills you have developed and how you have been able to transfer
these to other activities?
I think being a Faculty Rep and working at so many different levels has meant that I've learned to adapt my approach to the situation. I think this would be vital in a work environment and has also given me the opportunity to consider how I come over to other people. I'm using my experiences as Faculty Rep towards many parts of the Bath Award. I've also used my connections through the role for personal networking, which has already led to further opportunities. I'm so glad to have all these opportunities available to me and would really recommend the role to anyone wanting to get more involved!