School representative column: a day in the life of a school rep

Introducing our new column all about school reps, written by school reps.

Leeds University Union is committed to making sure you love your time at Leeds, and that involves ensuring that student voices are heard. To protect and promote student voices in the University, the Union elects a number of student representatives each year.

School Reps are the elected Undergraduate Student Representative s of each School in the University, whose job it is to represent student interests and lobby the University.

This year, The Gryphon Blogs have partnered up with these representatives to keep you up-to-date on the activities of School Reps for a more transparent University experience. Follow the Column in print or online to discover what it means to be a School Rep, learn how you can support your Rep to make your School, Faculty, University and Union the best they can be, and perhaps feel inspired to become one in the future.

I was sat in the School of English Computer Cluster when I got the email. It wasn’t a graduate job or Masters course acceptance, but a notification of my new role as School Rep. Nevertheless, since October the job has proved to be worthy of a similar level of excitement.

I had found the application process surprisingly friendly, although this may have been a comparison to the law firms I had visited last summer. I met School Reps from most schools and every faculty, and even today it surprises me how many concerns we share across departments, from employability to what kind of free food will elicit the best feedback from students. The most rewarding part of the training day was the diversity awareness segment, in which we rotated stations questioning how race, class, gender, sexuality, disability and religion can play a minor or fundamental role in our lives. I hope my pledge to champion accessibility will continue beyond my role as School Rep.

In the School of English, we have been recruiting Course Reps, and had a meeting together in preparation for our next Student Staff Forum. With the aim of gathering feedback for this meeting we partnered with the lovely English Society at their English Tea to give out food bought with the help of the Union’s School Rep budget. The event was very successful (I have only just managed to collate the pages of feedback!) and we hope to recreate it in the second semester.

I would urge any student to apply for the role, for its universitility. Yes, I made that word up. It adequately describes the School Rep position’s ability to develop one’s versatility, ability, and universal skills which are, in my opinion, the core of university life, beyond postgraduate study or graduate employment

Lisa Benson, School of English Representative, 2017-8

Photo credit: Pixabay