Who are reps? Reps are students currently studying at Falmouth University or the University of Exeter. Reps are a key part of the democratic systems of the students’ union, ensuring that you have a voice and influence in shaping your learning experience and overall university experience. Our reps gather feedback from their course mates about their course and wider university experience, work on projects that foster academic community, and even scrutinise and inform university policy to make your academic experience the best it can be. The issues that reps tackle can be big or small, from making your lecture rooms more comfortable to work in, to revising your course modules to make them more effective in supporting your assessments. Reps take students’ feedback to meetings with lecturers and staff to discuss any concerns and the actions that staff will take in response. Reps will then feed this information back to students and hold the university accountable to any decisions made in these meetings.
Who are the Student Voice team?
To support The SU’s democratic systems, there is a team of full-time staff available to help reps. The team train you on how to gather feedback, how to talk to different people, how elections and democracy work, and how to be effective in your role. Generally, we are also here as a regular point of contact in The SU. We share information about key dates, things to remember, and exciting wins for reps, connecting you with a bigger community of people interested in making change at university. Me and Penny work with the academic reps for Exeter and Falmouth respectively, whilst Lesley supports students from both universities! Matt, the Student Voice manager, works with our Sabbatical Team (also known as Presidents and Vice Presidents).
Why become a rep?
Put simply, as a rep you can make change happen in your university experience that benefits you and the people on your course. You don't have to be the loudest person in the room to be a good representative - the best reps are good listeners, and great at working in a team. Good reps will also be able to confidently speak up on behalf of students in meetings and be able to organise feedback and submit it to a deadline. The role will give you a chance to build on your confidence, organisation and teamwork skills and you will be supported by the SU throughout the process. As a rep, you learn skills that will build your CV and make you stand out in job applications and interviews during and after university. Reps learn how to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and understand how to form strong relationships with others on a professional and personal level. Learning more about university systems, democratic systems, and how courses are planned and managed is a key part of being a rep. For people interested in the education sector, politics or organising people, you will gain useful knowledge to inform your university experience and your working life. You’ll also develop working relationships with your course staff, gaining an insight into their day-to-day jobs and how they support your learning.You'll also have opportunities to connect with our network of reps across both universities, all courses, and year groups. You receive ongoing training throughout the year in role, including Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity training, Look After Your Mate Training, and more. If there’s training that you are interested in, please talk to the Student Voice team so that we can develop the role according to your needs and suggestions. Reps are a key part of the Students’ Union so we like to make sure you are regularly rewarded. We organise free pizza and snacks at some meetings and give small items like lanyards to make sure you can be recognised by your course mates.How to become a rep If you'd like to become a rep for your course, you can find out more about how to put your name forward on this page, under 'How to become a Rep'.
If you are a rep, you may find that students come to you with difficult issues that simply aren’t your job to solve – if this happens, it’s important to direct your peers to the appropriate members of staff.
The following are examples of what is NOT your job as a rep, and where you can signpost students for support: