Promoting yourself as a Rep
In order for students to engage with the work reps do, including giving reps feedback, they first need to understand what reps do and why it is important for them to engage. This is one of the biggest challenges faced by those involved in academic representation, and this section is intended to help you promote your subject council to the students within your subject.
Be sure to have a look at Using Message Centre to contact the students you represent and Creating a newsletter for more ideas and information on getting in touch with students.
Use physical and digital methods
Much like in feedback collection, it is a good idea to use a variety of methods to promote your work as a rep. This includes social media posts and emails, as well as printed posters, lecture shout outs, and promotion at society events. If your subject is primarily based in one building, consider placing printed posters.
Keep it simple
Student Representation can be a disengaging and complicated topic. Often, simplest is best. Focus on the emotional core of why people would engage. “I want change”, “I want my voice to be heard”, “I don’t feel like I’m being listened to”, and “I want my opinion to matter” are all powerful messages and motivators.
Similarly, "do you have any feedback" may not resonate with students – "do you have any concerns or praise about your course" is likely to get more traction.
Don't overdo it
While we would always encourage you to make sure that you are consistently keeping in touch and communicating with students about the work you do, be careful to avoid encouraging disengagement by communicating too frequently. Consider for example how many emails you receive and how many go unread.
Rather than overdoing communication, make sure to choose your times and methods carefully, while also consistently letting students know that you are there to represent them and help them make change. Remember that there are certain times in the year when students will have more feedback to give (e.g. during exams or upgrade vivas), and plan your communications accordingly.
Find platforms where students already engage
It can often be a good idea to communicate with students via platforms with pre-existing audiences, rather than trying to create a new audience. This can include Facebook pages where students already engage, academic societies, modules or seminars with large student attendance, etc.