The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

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Roles up for election:

This term we will be electing a wide range of voluntary roles:

  • Network Committee members and some Chairs of Networks  
  • Student members of the Democratic Standards Committee
  • Course Reps for first year undergraduate and new postgraduates
  • Faculty Reps – Postgraduate Taught students only
  • Junior Common Room (JCR) members and Postgraduate Hall Reps, who work on community building and campaigning in University Halls of residence
  • NUS Conference delegates

Nominations are open until 5PM on Wednesday 28th October and voting takes place 3rd/5th November, with results on the 6th. 

Course Reps

Course Reps are elected by students to represent them on academic issues. There is usually at least one rep for each year of every course at the University: find out how many rep positions there are for your year in this list. As a course rep you’ll be a direct link between your coursemates, academic staff and Bristol SU. You’ll help tackle issues like problems with teaching or assessments on your course, and you’ll be part of the conversation of how to improve education across the University.

You’ll automatically become a member of the Education Network, which brings together course reps and academic societies to work together to tackle education issues. You’ll also become a full voting member of Student Council, ensuring students on your course have a voice in key SU decisions.

What will I do as a course rep?

The main responsibilities of a course rep are to:

  • Gather feedback from other students in your year about their experiences
  • Work with staff and students to help find solutions by:
    • bringing your findings to meetings with academic staff
    • providing a student perspective in decision-making
    • working with other reps on your course or in your department
  • Communicating outcomes and updates back to your coursemates

Why should I run?

Ensure students get a great education - There are always things that could be improved about your course. As an effective rep you will work with staff to identify issues and make change happen, meaning your course gets better every year.

Gain new insights into your course - You’ll work closely with the staff who lead and deliver your course, and see the context for how and why they teach or asses it in a certain way. Not only will this help you find better solutions to issues with the course, it will also give you a new perspective that might help your studies!

Be part of the Education Network community - You’ll be invited to Education Network events and socials where you can meet other reps and students involved in education campaigning. Along with free food and drink, you’ll be able to pick up some freebies, like tote bags and laptop stickers that might help you spot other reps when you’re on campus. 

Experience that boosts your employability - We know you’re going to develop great skills through your role, and we want to make sure that you benefit from this experience when you’re moving on from your studies. You’ll gain experience and receive training in skills such as public speaking, communication and chairing meetings - and we can help you make the most of this when applying for jobs. Also, if you complete our online training module, attend Student Council/AMM and an Education Network event during your year, we’ll give you a LinkedIn recommendation to show what you’ve achieved!
 

View the full role description for Course Reps, or find out more about the Academic Representation system here.

Faculty Reps

Faculty Reps are the lead academic reps for their Faculty, working together with the Full-Time Education Officers to form the Education Network Committee. As a leader in your Faculty, you will play a vital role in supporting, consulting with and building community amongst other academic reps in your Faculty (Course Reps or PGR reps). As a leader in the Education Network, you will be a key voice on educational issues at the University and help to shape our campaigning on higher-education policy nationally too.

With full membership of Student Council and Standing Committee, you’ll also be a valuable voice in our democratic structures. You’ll make sure that SU policies and campaigns take into account the needs of students in your faculty, and that other representatives are aware of the issues facing them.

Why should I run?

Be part of the big conversations - Faculty Reps look beyond the experiences on individual courses. From the redesign of all curricula at Bristol, to the future of Higher Education funding, you’ll often be working on the big picture and helping to make some really big changes to the student experience.

Develop your skills - You’ll be invited to our residential development programme and a range of training opportunities through the year, growing your leadership, policy and campaigning skills. You’ll also learn to chair meetings and improve your public speaking!

A great step in your career - If you are interested in a career in academia, this role will be particularly beneficial, as it will give you meaningful committee experience and insight into decision-making and policy-setting processes in Higher Education.

Roles Available

There are 18 Faculty Rep positions in total, with each Faculty having a rep for Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Research students. 

View the full role description for PGT Faculty Rep, or find out more about about the Academic Representation system here.

Chairs of Networks and Network Committee Members

Networks are the grassroots of representation and campaigning at Bristol SU, bringing students together to work on different issues, like Wellbeing and Sport, or representing different types of students, like LGBT+ or international students. Networks work closely with Full-Time Officers to run campaigns, hold events, and to get things changed at the SU or University.

As Chair, you would be the lead representative for your Network or area, working with a committee or volunteers to run its activities. As a key voice in the SU, you’ll also be a part of Student Council and Standing Committee, where you’ll speak up for students in your Network and make sure the Full-Time Officers are acting in their interests.

We make sure you’ve got the resources and support to do all of this. You’ll be able to bid for money from the SU’s Campaigns Fund, and can get professional support in planning campaigns, holding events and marketing your activities. And remember: you won’t be by yourself with the role. You’ll have at least one Full-Time Officer working to support you, a committee or volunteers from your Network, and you can always drop into the SU for a chat with Officers or staff.

Being part of a Network Committee means you’re part of an exciting team working to improve students lives. Your role is to support the Chair through helping out on shared project and campaigns, and maybe providing some specifics expertise in an area like social media, depending on your role. It’s a great first step on your journey into SU campaigning, and you’ll be supported by staff whenever you need it.

Click here to find out more about what Networks got up to last year, and scroll down for descriptions of of each Chair role up for election

Why should I run?

Make a real difference - You will genuinely improve students’ lives - whether it’s a policy that gets changed because of your campaign, or a student who finds their feet through the Network community you’ve built. You’ll learn how to maximise the impact of your work and pass this knowledge on to your successor so that we can keep making progress.

Meet some amazing people - One of the best parts of Networks is the way they bring students together to work on the issues they care about. You’ll inspire and support each other, and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way.

Build skills that make a difference - You’ll develop the skills you need to be an effective campaigner, community organiser and leader. Depending on your focus, you can also get hands-on experience with marketing, events planning or policy development. At the end of your year, you might even think about running to be a Full-Time Officer!

Chairs of Networks roles:

Black Students’ Network

LGBT+ Network

Postgraduate Network PGT Student Co-chair

Sustainability Network

Volunteering and Fundraising Network

Halls Reps (JCRs)

Junior Common Room (JCR) is a student committee elected in each halls of residence every year that work to give students the best possible start to their time at Bristol. As part of the JCR, you’ll run events and activities that get students involved in the social life of your hall. You'll also act as a representative, speaking up for the interests of your students to the SU and the University. Through Bristol SU, you’ll be part of a wider network of students who work together to improve student wellbeing at the University, and make sure as many people as possible feel welcome and included while they are here.

 

Every JCR will elect;

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • International Rep
  • Equality Rep
  • Sustainability Rep
  • Fundraising Rep
  • Sports Rep
  • Communications Rep
  • Events Rep

 

You can see whats required of each role by clicking here

 

Why should I run?

Make this the best year ever – JCRs are the heart of life in halls and by being a part of the committee you will genuinely improve students’ lives! Whether they’re making friends for life through an event you run, or doing better on their course because you’ve made sure they have the wellbeing support they need, students in your hall will only get the best start to their time at Uni if people like you run and make it happen!

Meet some amazing people - Sure, you’ll run vibrant events that build community in your hall, but don’t forget the amazing people you’ll be working with to make it happen! Your committee will meet regularly and work on projects together, making it a great way to meet new people and settle in to life in Bristol.

£10k to spend?! - Most JCR committees have a budget of over £10k, with some getting more than double that per year to spend on events, activities and community building in their residence. Your committee will be trusted to decide how this gets spent and make sure it’s giving the best deal to students. We think that’s definitely a much better way than handing it over to University staff to spend!

Build your skills - If you want experience running events, managing budgets or just working together with a team, JCRs are a great place to start! You’ll get training and year-round support from the SU and your Residential Life team to keep you developing, but most importantly you’ll get hands on experience and real responsibility in your role. If you want to go to the next level, you can even get involved in planning our 2019 Welcome Week Program – a massive series of events in and out of halls that we plan in collaboration with JCRs. You’ll also be able to count the role as part of a Bristol Plus Award, and we’ll give you recognition on LinkedIn for all your hard work!

Postgraduate Halls Reps

A Postgraduate Hall Rep is elected in every hall of residence which houses Postgraduate students. This is a relatively new role that will work to give students the best possible time at Bristol. With support from the SU and Resilife, you’ll run events and activities that get students involved in the social life of your hall. You'll also act as a representative, speaking up for the interests of your students to the SU and the University. Through Bristol SU, you’ll be part of a wider network of students who work together to improve student wellbeing at the University, and make sure as many people as possible feel welcome and included while they are here.

 

The responsibilities of the role include:

Work with the SU and Resilife to put on a variety of social and community building activites.

Attend the Postgraduate Soical Committee (with the PG Hall Rep from other Postgraduate Halls).

Act as the reprsentative voice for Postgraduate students in the hall.

Collect feedback from students in halls on what activities they would like. 

 

Why should I run?

Make this the best year ever – You will genuinely improve students’ lives! Whether they’re making friends for life through an event you run, or doing better on their course because you’ve made sure they have the wellbeing support they need, students in your hall will only get the best start to their time at Uni if people like you run and make it happen!

Meet some amazing people - Sure, you’ll run vibrant events that build community in your hall, but don’t forget the amazing people you’ll be working with to make it happen! The PG Halls social committee will meet regularly and work on projects together, making it a great way to meet new people and settle in to life in Bristol.

£1000's to spend? - The total PG Halls budget is close to 50k, to spend on events, activities and community building across all Postgraduate residences. The Postgraduate Residents' committee will influence how this gets spent and make sure it’s giving the best deal to students.

Build your skills - If you want experience running events, managing budgets or just working together with a team, being a PG Hall Rep is a great way to do this! You’ll get training and year-round support from the SU and your Residential Life team to keep you developing, but most importantly you’ll get hands on experience and real responsibility in your role. You’ll also be able to count the role as part of a Bristol Plus Award, and we’ll give you recognition on LinkedIn for all your hard work!

Democratic Standards Committee (DSC)

Be at the centre of decision-making! Democratic Standards Committee (DSC) are the group of 5 elected students (along with Chair of Student Council Ifrah Farooq) who oversee all our democratic processes. They make sure that Bristol SU's structures and democracy are accessible, fair and productive for all students.  
 
They also set the agenda for each Student Council and Annual Members Meeting, and decide on the rules for our elections. DSC may decide that a motion is unnecessary, or an item is better discussed by a different group. For example, at a Network forum, or via an all-student referendum. These roles are good if you are interested in getting involved with how the Union works and involve roughly one evening meeting a month.

NUS Delegates

Bristol SU is affiliated to the National Union of Students - NUS. Each year NUS have a National Conference to decide on the policy and direction that NUS should work towards. As an affiliated Union we send 7 delegates to this conference (including the Union Affairs Officer) to represent and vote on behalf of Bristol.

The date and venue for NUS Conference 2021 has not been announced yet and is likely to be subject to Covid-19 restrictions. The Student Voice Team will keep you updated with any news from NUS as it is released.