A student has approached me with feedback about our course, how do I proceed?
If the issue immediately needs fixing, like a problem with resourses or timetable clashes, speak directly to the relevant module or course leader, as they may be able to help address your concerns quickly and efficiently.
If you think the issue is likely to be shared by your wider cohort, encourage the student to post their concern on your MySurrey Voice discussion board to see if the other students on your course agree. If they do, and the feedback is professional and appropriate, escalate the feedback to the public space on the platform for the attention of staff. You can access your MySurrey Voice board here: surrey.unitu.co.uk
If you feel that the issue needs to be discussed in detail with other Reps and University staff, gather as much information as you can from the student and from discussions on your MySurrey Voice platform, and raise the issue at your next departmental meeting, eg. your Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC).
If the issue isn't directly related to your course, such as campus issues, you might want to consider raising this with your Students' Union Sabbatical Officer team, or at a Student Voice Forum with senior University staff.
What do I do if a student approaches me with a personal issue?
Dealing with the personal issues of your fellow students isn't part of your role as a Course Rep! Though you might be to inclined to want to help, the best support you can give to someone coming to you for advice would to signpost them to someone who is qualified to help them. This might be the Wellbeing centre, students, or staff at the Union. If you're unsure about who can help, get in contact with the Union by emailing Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I make sure that my fellow students know who their Course Rep is?
Visibility is key as a Course Rep! Gathering student feedback becomes a lot easier when your fellow students know your face and your role. We recommend doing lecture shout-outs, displaying a poster with your name, photo and email, and making use of social media. You shoud also actively post on your MySurrey Voice discussion board so that students know you are their Course Rep.
What if I or other students have an issue that needs to be taken higher in the University?
Student Voice Forums are a great chance for Course Reps to pose wider issues to senior University staff, and to let them know which issues matter to students. If you don't want to raise your concerns personally, you can get in contact with your VP Voice. You can email in at email@example.com.
How do I make sure I'm presenting my feedback efficiently at an SSLC or Board of Studies?
We want the students voice to be taken seriously, and delivering the opinions of your fellow students in a professional and polite way is a good step to making sure this happens. We recommend you follow the
ABCD of effective feedback – make sure it is Accurate, Balanced, Constructive and Depersonalised. Be sure to deliver with honesty, but be tactful too. Don't raise criticisms of individual members of staff at public meetings, as this can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for staff. Try and find positive feedback to share too, and make sure the feedback you share is anonymous so that individual students don't feel responsible for constructive feedback being shared to the University to put them off sharing in future..
What if my cohort does have issues or criticisms relating to an individual lecturer or staff member?
It's important to remember that staff care about your education too, and a relationship based on mutual respect will help you make the most of your position as a student leader in your department.
However, it's also vitally important that student opinions are still heard even if the topic means you need to strongly consider how you present the feedback to the University. Often, a departmental meeting will not be the right place for this kind of feedback, so if you or your fellow students have concerns about an individual member of staff, then make an appointment to talk to either your Module Leader or Programme Leader about the situation. This will ensure that your concerns are heard, but in a more diplomatic way than broadcasting them at an SSLC or across your MySurrey Voice discussion boards.
What can I do if I feel like my cohort isn't being listened to?
If you find that you're raising feedback on your discussion boards and at SSLCs or directly with staff members and nothing seems to be being done in response, or you haven't had and further communication about what is being done to address student concerns, you can follow up with members of staff if they have said they will contact you about it. If you are still struggling to get an answer, than you can chat to us in the Union for advice.
What do I do if I have a question that hasn’t been answered here?
Check the other resources available to you in the Rep Toolkit found on the Course Rep section of the Union website. Your question might be already be answered there! If it isn't or if you just need further support, get in touch with us.
You can also read about your rights under Covid-19
here which may be helpful when representing student feedback in relation to changes to their course.
You can either email firstname.lastname@example.org with general queries, or email Course Rep Co-Ordinator at Hannah.email@example.com. You can also always pop into the Union to talk to Hannah in person too!