“Class reps don’t do anything” seems to be the main dialogue coming from students these days. Often, a class rep gets elected and then disappears for the rest of the Trimester. Or no one volunteers for the role and the lecturer ends up picking a student to be a rep. It is a shame when this happens as there is so much value in having a class rep system – but only when class reps manage their role properly.
The Student Voice team at the WSU helps ensure that class reps are well supported so that they can carry out their role properly. This is done by holding training sessions and hosting events such as a mid trimester and end of trimester meeting where class reps are invited to have some food and network with other students in the same role. Other opportunities such as a Tikanga workshop, which focuses on improving the understanding of Māori values and beliefs and pronunciation of Te Reo Māori, are also made available for class reps.
Through their role, class reps can build strong relationships as they are continuously dialoguing with both their classmates and their lecturer. So if you need a reference letter for that internship programme, why not ask your lecturer?
Being a class rep is the first step before moving on to other leadership roles, such as sitting on the Divisional board and from there moving on to sit on the Academic board. So if student representation is important to you and you would like to do something a little different at university, other than just attending lectures, go be a class rep!