Sabb diary: You can make a difference


You might think that at a university over 600 years old there’s not much that one student can change. You would be wrong – students are heavily involved in all aspects of this University and are making things different, thanks to your support in the last election.

Thanks to student input from postgraduate representatives, the College of St Leonard’s now welcomes taught and research postgraduates into its community.

Thanks to student leadership within the University, the potential for a break in the first semester of the next academic year remains a firm possibility.

Students working with the University through the Students’ Association have been a driving force behind policy reviews on coursework penalties, improvements to study infrastructure, and changing accommodation bursaries to improve student mobility. You might not see students’ names in the headlines, but we’re involved in all levels of the University to change and improve things. So, what would you change in this University?

The next round of elections are coming up – tentatively set for weeks five (nominations) and six (campaigning) – and it’s the candidates who determine how lively and vibrant the elections season is.

If you have a passion for accommodation or for equality and diversity, a position on the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) might be the thing for you.

If you’re interested in education, try being a class representative or a school president.

If you think you have a lot of ideas you want to see happen, maybe taking a year out of your studies (or tacking on an extra year after graduation) and becoming a sabbatical officer is the right thing for you.

I became the director of representation because I believed in the importance of school presidents and class representatives. Having been a class rep for three years, I knew where the system was strong and where there was room for improvement.

I had a vision for better and more comprehensive training for our reps. I convinced a few thousand students that this was an important issue, too, and was elected as DoRep last March.

Once in the role, I partnered up with CAPOD and we trained over 170 class representatives and each of the 21 school presidents. We expanded our horizons and delivered specialist training for class reps on the library, minute-taking, careers, and building a social community. We also publicly accredited all of our reps and now have them listed on a central directory. (Check it out at

I’ve been able to spend a year making a difference and improving something I believe in. So, if you’re thinking about running for a position or that you’d like a soapbox to talk about issues that matter to you, I have three words for you: go for it.

And if you’re not elected, stay involved and try again. I lost when I ran to sit on the Students’ Representative Council, but I stayed involved and eventually was able to implement the ideas that I so believed in.

So whether it’s about gender equality, cheaper accommodation, or more plugs in the library – there’s something that you can change about this University on the northeast Fife coast.


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