By Hannah Rowand
A new initiative from the office of the Director of Representation Siena Parker will see the introduction of a new body of ‘School Presidents’ to its student representation system.
The new scheme comes from the University Students’ Association with the aim to both strengthen the academic representation within the University and to create a new faction of student leaders.
Presidents will take on a variety of roles such as managing the student reps within their own academic school in small forums, chairing meetings with senior staff members, communicating news and issues to the student body and working closely with their Director of Teaching to shape school policy on important issues such as quality of teaching, contact hours, feedback and course content.
Presidents could also tailer school specific events or bring in graduate employers in a school’s subject area. According to Parker, the school president has the potential to become an important student leadership figure. She envisages school presidents encouraging class reps to communicate with the student body in new and creative ways.
As the student figurehead of their school and with such close involvement in decision making alongside senior members of staff in their school, Presidents will also become the main point of contact for students looking to raise issues or concerns with their studies.
It is hoped the introduction of the School Presidents system will have a positive impact on the student body as a whole by increasing communication and bringing each school closer together, whilst the Presidents themselves benefit from the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills through the position.
Louise Richardson, Principal of the University, is herself keen to work with the School Presidents, commenting, “I am delighted to support this important student initiative and proud of the active engagement of our students in enhancing the quality of their education.”
Each School President will be elected by students in their own academic School. Students who are undergraduates at Honours level can nominate themselves online between Monday, October 11th and Friday, October 15th. Voting will take place on Friday, October 22nd. Parker also explained that campaigning would only be allowed on University property to prevent disturbing local residents.