20 April 2021
During my first year of university I submitted a manifesto to become a Course Representative for my media class. Without thinking too much about it, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to undertake for my CV as well as to engage further within the faculty.
Briefly put, a Course Rep’s job is to communicate the concerns and feedback of their class to the relevant department to ensure that people’s voices are heard. Being the “student voice” at first sounded like a hefty responsibility but, at least in my case, it turned out to be the opposite.
The role itself required me to attend only two or three meetings to communicate the feedback that I gathered throughout the year. I was provided with an online tool called the 'Rep Hub' to help me gather this information which included a button which would allow me access to a mailing list for everyone in my class. Through this I emailed people surveys that I created using SurveyMonkey.
The issue that I came across was that very few people would fill out these surveys, meaning that I was left with only a few thoughts and perspectives to share. This did not feel representative. But, to combat this, I would also ask people about the course directly online or I would strike up a relevant conversation while walking back from classes and draw notes from it.
One of my favourite parts of being a Course Rep was being able to make as much or as little of the role as I wanted to. The only mandatory thing that I had to do was the couple of feedback meetings per year. However, I decided to get really stuck into the debates going on during meetings because I wanted to see both the department as well as the faculty change for the better.
I was able to voice opinions about the course, saying what was praised as well as what could be potentially reviewed for improvement. And, for instance, I was also able to be involved in the discussion of 9am lessons being too early for students to properly absorb a bombardment of information, and subsequent changes.
Becoming a Course Rep also means you get training at the start of the role and dedicated staff support throughout the year, and all that amazing experience aside, it was just fantastic to feel like a valuable part of the university from the get-go.
For anyone reading this who has been debating whether to nominate themselves as a Course Rep, I would encourage you to go for it! The workload isn't very heavy but at the same time it is incredibly rewarding and insightful – as well as an excellent CV addition.
Ciéra studies media at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.