We at LSESU are currently looking into how we can take more responsibility for the School's Course Rep system. I am aware that we are unusual in that we currently have very little control over the system, with reps chosen by departments, not SU, in a range of ways (some democratic some not) and we are at the mercy of the departmental administrators to give us the details of their representatives so that they can attend (optional) SU training sessions -this year we registered just under half of the reps and trained 80% of those. The SU then relies on the department arranging and inviting the reps to a meeting any time in the term (1 per term) and we are not invited to attend those meetings. The departments have big problems with attendance to these meetings and a recent SU consultation of students (with 1 in 3 students responding) showed that only 2/3rds of reps think they can hold their departments to account on academic standards. Reps also historically, and not surprisingly, have not felt part of the student union and are loath to communicate with the Education Officer on what is happening at a local level in the school.
LSE are currently proposing massive changes to academic provisions at the school, aiming to give yet more autonomy to departments and take it away from central control. They expect that the course reps are up to the job (in their current form) of deciding the changes to each department. This is the SU's prime opportunity to argue that we should have a greater role in the running of the course rep system, and I really hope to bring the course reps into a more centralized position in the school.
I am interested to know what functions your Unions currently are responsible for in the running of your course rep system:
- do you elect the reps? If so how?
- do you arrange the timing of meetings?
- do you attend/chair/minute the meetings?
- do academics attend your departments meetings?
Thanks so much in advance for any help!
LSE Students’ Union
Kingsley Rooms, East Building
London WC2A 2AE
+44 (0) 20 7955 6832
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