In the first lecture for most courses, the lecturer will ask the class for a volunteer(s) to be Class Rep. Last year I considered signing up, but worried I wasn’t confident enough or wouldn’t have enough time to do a good job. This semester, I thought more about it but once again the opportunities quickly slipped past, until the one of my lecturers emailed the class searching for a second class rep, as nobody had signed up. Before I knew it, I said yes- and I am so glad I did.
As a class representative, you are the spokesperson for the class. Students should feel they can come to you with questions or concerns regarding the course, which you need to relay to the course co-ordinator on their behalf. This is so important, because many students may feel too shy or embarrassed to approach the lecturer, and would rather voice their concerns anonymously. Without a class rep, it would be difficult for the lecturer to gauge how the class is finding the course content, assessments, resources and communication with lecturers. This makes your role so important in allowing the course to run smoothly, and in turn, the class to be happy!
There are a few compulsory aspects involved in being a class rep, but they shouldn’t take you too long. You must complete a training session and quiz, collect feedback from the class three times during the semester and follow this up with the course co-ordinator, and attend two department meetings where you share this feedback collected from the class.
It is also important to regularly communicate with the class. I would recommend setting up a class Facebook page. The class will appreciate it if you use this to post updates regarding assessments or announcements from the lecturers, however this isn’t compulsory. This means it would be really helpful for you to understand the course timetable, assessment format and any important due dates.
Being the class rep does require a bit of extra work, but overall was a highly rewarding experience that I will certainly volunteer for again. I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you are concerned about how you will fit it in with your busy university schedule, or if you are a little shy but want to step out of your comfort zone. In these cases, it could be a good idea to volunteer for a course where there are multiple class reps sharing the role with you. From my experience, many courses with a large number of students have 2-3 class reps.
There are so many benefits to being the class representative! From developing your personal and professional leadership skills by communicating with a large number of students and collaborating with other class representatives, to staying organised with good time management of the feedback deadlines and department meetings on top of your own study schedule. Because of these skills which you develop, it could better a great addition to your CV. Aside from this, it is also a great way to meet fellow students and connect with your class, which can be difficult to do in university.
If you would like to learn more about the roles entailing being a class rep, please take a look at the following link by the university student’s association (AUSA)
If you decide to volunteer for class rep, good luck to you, and thank you for supporting your fellow classmates. I hope you enjoy the experience!