I sit on a committee called the Orientation Advisory Group which is there to make orientation for new students as good as possible! Last summer, I raised the issue of students who transfer into UCD not getting an orientation - at least not consistently across schools. At our last meeting, it was agreed that all students who transfer into UCD will get a peer mentor group, attend the President’s Welcome and all the other orientation bits. Wahoo!
Over the last number of months, Brian and I have been looking at the area of partnership between the SU and various areas of the University and ultimately strengthening the structures of student representation within UCD. We brought forward an item to the agenda of the University Management Team Student Experience Group (or SEG :P) aimed at enhancing the partnership between students and staff, and crucially decision-making in UCD.
We want to see consistent and structured student-faculty-staff forums where Class Reps feel empowered to participate and engage with the management of their course or building. We also want to see student leaders and University leaders work together on empowering and equipping student representatives to communicate and deliberate with faculty on behalf of their classmates.
We are also looking at the way we do things in the SU and getting feedback from this year’s Class Reps and part-time officers to help improve structures, supports and ultimately enhance the capacity of representatives to make positive changes going forward. I believe that this work could be truly transformational for the manner in which the Students’ Union operates and for the student voice in UCD!