Having attended the larger training session for all of the course representatives, today I went to a smaller meeting, less formal meeting for the subject representatives specifically.
We gathered in the ground floor café of the Brynmor Jones Library, having failed to secure a more suitable venue. Our convener was Sanaa Sabir, the faculty representative for Science & Engineering. She talked us through the aims and procedures for the chairing of student-staff forums. As several of us had been school representatives in previous years most of this was familiar to us. We were reminded of the importance of communication between adjacent levels of representatives as well as with the rank and file of the student body. As with last year, it was noted that several subjects – including my own – were missing spokesmen at the lower levels. The first forums have had to be postponed in some cases until the necessary members could be recruited. There was also a discussion about channels of communication, as it was acknowledged that the universities intranets and applications frequently suffer errors. We also knew that many students tended to ignore their university emails.
Sabir also told us to look for a major project at whose helm to place ourselves – along the lines of the “plastic pledge”. My biology counterpart, Simon Groeger, suggested a campaign to make the campus bee-friendly.
It was reassuring to get back to business at the university, if a little disappointing to do so in such a shambolic fashion. One hopes that a more dignified venue may be secured in time for the forum.