The Rep of the Month award recognises Course Reps and Department Reps who have gone above and beyond in their role. Students, staff and Reps are welcome to nominate any Rep who is putting extra effort into their role, doing their best to represent everyone and change things for the better. Reps can also nominate themselves!
The winner will recieve a Rep of the Month mug and a £10 Amazon voucher! Nominate below.
Clare Manley January Rep of the Month 2019
Our winner this month is Clare; a commuter student in her second year of a degree in Mental Health Nursing, who is both a Course and Department Rep! She was picked as January's Rep of the Month due to her dedication to her Student Rep role, going above and beyond to ensure other students feel supported and heard. When speaking with Clare, we loved to hear how engaged she is beyond her studies, taking advantage of the many opportunities available to students both at the University and the Students' Union, as well as her enthusiasm towards bringing about change and reform to nursing at a national level.
Why did you become a Student Rep?
"I think I am naturally quite organised and I like to think about the future generations of people to come. I feel as a Course Rep you have more of an impact on the now, and as a Department Rep it is more about influencing future developments and making changes for people to come. I am also interested in systems and processes, and in my career prior to studying nursing, I was one of the first people to bring the idea of the customer journey to the UK. I think that is why I am passionate about the student journey."
Do you have any specific examples of how you have supported students during your time as a Course or Department Rep?
"I have done a lot of signposting, helping students to better understand the different processes and guiding them on what route to take for their specific issue. I have also taken a lot of student issues to staff and then listened to the staff perspective before relaying it back to students, which is the part I think is often missed by Student Reps. It is important to communicate to students when staff have heard and understood their issue but when in some cases they are unable to bring about a given change or resolution at that time. At other times it has just been about going and sitting next to students to give them the confidence to confront an issue. Whether it's advising them to write down their thoughts before a meeting or letting them talk it through with me beforehand."
Is there anything else you are involved with besides your Student Rep role?
"I am a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Student Information Officer, where I campaign on behalf of student nurses. Our local MP in Sheffield is amazing and they actually read my letter on student funding for nurses in the Houses of Parliament which helped bring it to the debate. I am also providing a student perspective on the new Integrated Care Curriculum for students in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. I'm on the Volunteering Committee at the Students' Union and I am about to go to China with the University's Go Global scheme!
"Outside of University, I am working with people across the UK to develop and curate a national Twitter account for nurses. The idea is that it will be a place of informal support and advice for nurses through peer-to-peer communication in a sector that traditionally stays clear of social media. I also serve as a Guide Leader in my local community for which I am leading a group of girls on a trip to Mexico. Then on top of all that, I'm a mum to four children. Oh, and I'm doing a nursing degree!"
Why would you encourage others to be a Rep?
"I think you get to see the bigger picture. You start to realise how things are working and why they are happening. It is really easy to get drawn into the nitty gritty and the detail, but I think it is important to put your head up and see the wider picture. I've got 20 years of work experience but I think for younger people who have come straight out of school, it is such a good skill to development and I think being a Course Rep gives them that opportunity."
Amy Miatt November Rep of the Month 2018
Amy is studying an Extended Degree in Engineering and Mathematics and has won November's Rep of the Month for:
- Her approachability, can do attitude and willingness to help
- For being a supportive figure for her classmates; referring students to support services at the Students' Union when they are struggling with personal issues and encouraging them to join societies and make new friends
- Speaking up for mature students ensuring that they feel apart of the wider student community
Why were you nominated for the Rep of the Month?
"The majority of votes were saying that I had helped them with troubles they were having at home; anxiety, and things like that. We had a few students facing more severe issues and I helped them build a case to take to the Students' Union. It's been a mixture of helping students when they've said 'I can't do it, I'm going to quit' because if I've been out of education for 9 years and I can do it, you can too! I've been helping them with their course, building cases (for people). I've given them the push to join societies and make friends.
Why did you become a Course Rep?
I became a course rep because I feel everyone deserves a chance to get support and I feel that a course rep's job is to let everyone know that we have that support, whether that be that because you’ve moved away from home you feel like you’ve got nobody to talk to or you feel that as a Mature Student like me that everyone will avoid me like the plague cos I'm a few years older. I feel like everyone should have the chance to have someone to talk to and someone representing them and their views. Everyone should have a say on the course and if things aren't working what do they want to change. I feel like I'm very approachable and have that natural instinct. I feel like people come to me if they need help or advice and I can pass that on or direct them to where they need to go, or just someone to listen to.
Why would you encourage others to be a Rep?
I'd encourage everyone to do it because it gives everyone a voice and it's nice to know that people can come and talk to you and you have that ability to pass on other people's views and that ability to listen to other people and understand them. It makes you feel better as well because at the end of the day I'm going home knowing I've helped someone, even if it's just the smallest thing and that we've had so much feedback. I've sent out a student survey and it's really nice to say "oh, this is working, this isn't" and you can pass it all on rather than it just being your own views.
Just go for it. If you feel like you can offer people help and advice and even just be there for people who might have no-one, just go for it and be that person that everyone can go to if they've got an issue!
Brittany Northcott April Rep of the Month 2018
Brittany is both a Course and Department Rep, and has been awarded the April Rep of the Month awarded for:
- Creating a society in response to students saying they wanted a stronger sense of community on their course.
- Addressing issues regarding elective modules after one failed to run.
In her role, Brittany has enjoyed knowing where students voice's actually go, and understanding all perspectives that comes from being both a Course and Department Rep.
She recommends taking on the position as it allows you to become friendlier with your course mates, grow personal confidence, and an understanding of how your opinion is valued.
Brilliant work, Brittany!
Waleed Dilawar Chughtai March Rep of the Month 2018
Waleed is an Undergraduate Computer Networks student who has been awarded March's Rep of the Month award. He was nominated for:
- Being a friendly and approachable rep, who is always happy to help.
- For asking the opinions of students directly, making them feel more engaged with their course.
Waleed took on the Course Rep role because he was new to the University and wanted to learn from others whilst gaining leadership skills. Whilst in his role he has changed timetabling after students expressed issues with it, and helped a new lecturer be introduced to the students.
He recommends becoming a Course Rep because of how it allows you to engage with students, especially if you're a fresher, as it gives you the opportunity to make new friends.
Helen Elkington February Rep of the Month 2018
Helen is a Postgraduate student studying MSc Mechanical Engineering who has been awarded February’s Rep of the Month award. Helen received multiple nominations for:
- Being really approachable, hardworking and listening to everyone’s opinions to try to help
- Getting the lecture slides put up in advance of the lecture, so people wouldn’t struggle following the content
- Following up on the specifics of assessments so students knew exactly what they were being marked on
- Helping international students to use Blackboard
Helen decided to become a Course Rep as she never got the opportunity during her Undergrad. Skills development and employability was also a motivating factor!
She would recommend the Course Rep position because she has found it rewarding to listen to issues from and help make positive changes to make them happy.
Brilliant work, Helen!
Rob Webster January Rep of the Month 2018
Rob is a Secondary Maths with QTS student who was awarded January's Rep of the Month title! He was nominated for:
- For creating a Course Rep survey, the feedback from which was collated and presented to staff members.
- For taking everyone's concerns on board, and going above and beyond to get them resolved.
- For outstanding and unfailing commitment to the position.
He initially took the position on purely because he was the only one who volunteered, but since then has found it to be incredibly interesting and rewarding, relishing in the opportunity to try and make changes on his course.
He recommends the Course Rep position because of the new skills he's learned throughout it, whilst dealing with different groups of people and collecting feedback.
Sarah Ellis November Rep of the Month 2017
Sarah is a Psychology student who was awarded November's Rep of the Month title! She was nominated for:
- Creating surveys for both Level 5 and Level 6 Course Reps and putting the feedback into Word documents to send to the other Reps.
- Making a PowerPoint slide ready for the screencasts to deliver the staff comments to students on her course.
- Her approachability and hard-working nature.
Sarah took on the Course Rep role as a way of building her confidence and to promote student voice. Since becoming a rep, she has gathered and sent feedback to meetings, and even won the Course Rep of the Year Award last year. Some of the feedback she has collected has been used by staff members to alter modules for the better for future students.
She recommends the Course Rep role for the increased responsibility it gives students and how it can improve your confidence when speaking infront of others.
Keep up the fantastic work, Sarah!
Hollie Ford October Rep of the Month 2017
Hollie is a Science and Education with QTS student who was awarded October's Rep of the Month title! She was nominated for:
- Improving lecture times and making them more worthwhile.
- Helping with placements and the running of that scheme.
- Making staff aware of social issues students may be having that could impact their studying.
She decided to keep her role as Course Rep in her third year after taking the position in her first and second years too, and because of how she wishes to look after people, particularly considering how tight-knit her course is.
Hollie recommends the Course Rep programme as a way of learning more about University processes, whilst also believing it to be productive for the reps themselves as it teaches you how to prioritise and negotiation skills. It's also a great way to get involved, Hollie believes.