3 takeaways from the School of Arts rep forum

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Hi, my name is Nina and I’m the current Part Time Officer for Art and Media. As part of my role I collect feedback from all the Programme Reps that have the joy (or sorrow) of doing a course that’s part of the Art and Media division of the School of Art. After collecting all the relevant feedback, I present it to the relevant committees and members of senior management.

This is the first time that Part Time Officers have been asked to co-run the college session as part of the Rep Conference. And I have to admit, I was terrified. I wasn’t sure who would show up, if anyone. I wasn’t sure what to say or what was needed to be said. I was given completely free rain to design this session however I wanted.

One thing I was sure of was that I didn’t want this to be another lecture, as students we definitely have enough of those. After a lot of thought and overthinking, I decided I wanted to share with my Programme reps the part of my role that I find the most exciting and yet the most intimidating - discussing feedback, both good and bad, with university staff, face to face, getting answers there and then, and hopefully pushing so that every issue raised got actioned. My solution was an informal focus group type session, split into  positive feedback and what needed improving. The first two points are excellent examples of how important the student voice is, and why we need to be loud and proud about who we are and what we need and want in our studies. The third is a general area for improvement.

  1. (+) The way creative courses “nourishes” the cultural differences in its students, developing us as individuals (no learning by rote/books/exams) and encouraging us to put our own individuality into our work
  2. (+) The mental health session, specifically around creative burnout, that was organised by the course leader of Interior Design.
  3. (-) …these were mostly centred around individual course issues, with a couple that I passed on to higher committees. The aim of the School is not only to listen, but to push issues forward and solve them in ways that both parties find beneficial. And most importantly, involve students in the process, as well as informing them afterwards of what the outcome is.

All in all, I think it was a greatly beneficial session for both parties involved and we learnt a lot about each other. I really wish these types of sessions happened more often, and that’s something I will look into in the future.

To sign off, if you have any questions for me, regarding anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me at art.media@derbyunion.co.uk.

I want to invite all Art students that are interested to nominate themselves for the brand-new School of Art Part Time Officer role! It’s a great opportunity to get all the behind the scenes information as well as really make a positive impact on not only yours but your fellow students uni experience too. You can find out more on the Union's Election page. There are also positions and regular forums for students from all across the university - we are here to represent your interests, get involved!

 

 

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