Attending University automatically makes you a member of your SU, no matter how big or small it is. Because of this, you have the opportunity to join a wealth of societies and experiences. With this in mind, the experience you have at Uni is partly dependent on what your SU decides to do/how it is run. This means that you have the power to make change. You might be having certain issues at University and are unsure where to turn or what to do. Or, you might have big ideas for change within your SU and are wondering where to turn. Wherever your voice is directed, it can be powerful.
I have issues surrounding my course.
Here at Nottingham, we have a thing called the Education Network. It’s the place to turn for all academic worries or concerns. Within the Network there is the elected Education Officer and other students who work alongside their studies to represent students and their views to higher up members of staff at meetings and focus groups during the academic year. These people have one job: to make change. They work tirelessly to make sure the degree you complete is the one you signed up for and you have the best time possible doing so.
Things to approach them with: anything to do with academia and education. Perhaps you dislike a lecturing style? Want more information on education policies within the University? Want to offer positive feedback on a lecturer’s module? Think that lecture capture should be compulsory in your school? These are all things that your education officer and associated reps can help you with! Why not drop them a line and see what they can do for you?
But, I want to make a change myself?
But what if your voice is aimed at student experience and improving university for your peers, I hear you ask? Well, fear no more, one of the best ways to improve University for yourself and others is get involved in a society and see if you can get a role on a committee to try and make change. If you run for committee positions not only does it improve your “transferable skills” but you can play a key part in decision making and can improve the student experience.
For instance, I have recently been elected as the new Treasurer for English Society at Nottingham Uni. This role, although the majority of it involves approving expenses and raising invoices (sounds riveting, I know), allows me to offer suggestions on things our society could do to boost our membership and the general enjoyment of members. These could be small things, such as suggesting a theme for our Arts Ball, but could be big things such as organising a meet and greet in Portland Coffee Company for the new students in Welcome Week to try and help them settle. Whatever you choose to suggest, it 110% will be worth it. Go for it, as ever, you have NOTHING to lose…