A newcomer to the institution, I approached my first student-staff forum with some trepidation. Armed with nothing but the pre-written agenda printed off the intranet, I arrived several minutes early at an empty meeting room with multiple small desks pushed together to approximate a long conference table.
When the time came some others arrived, but not as many as I had expected. It became apparent that our forum comprised no course representatives from the second or third years, owing to a bizarre timetabling decision which delayed their training until next week. Some of the staff representatives were unable to abandon their classes, which further thinned our ranks.
Those of us who had made it to the meeting sailed swiftly through the planned agenda. We were supposed to review the action register and end-of-year report from our predecessor forum, but it seems they neglected to produce one. Our attempt to study the National Student Survey results were also stalled by the absence of the staff-member with the relevant files.
Rapidly we reached the stage of choosing our objectives for the first semester. Unsurprisingly our key aim was the recruitment of more course representatives to give a voice to the higher years. We also talked about programme experience and how students felt about their courses so far. Anecdotes were recounted regarding past exam papers and revision materials, with staff stressing the importance of learning the material itself rather than simply the test system.
With our unexpectedly small discussion concluded, we opted to adjourn until December. One can only pray that we draw a greater company next time.