- Student Support & Wellbeing
- Campus Life
- PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
Becoming a SSLC Course Representative
It’s been very rewarding to serve as a course representative for the past 2 consecutive years. Unlike the school student-voice roles, at University you can actually make a real difference.
I have served as Secretary of the SSLC this year, where I have started campaigns, chaired meetings and facilitated real change.
This is what it’s all about and you should consider standing in the upcoming summer or autumn elections for your course.
What is the SSLC?
The Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) is a forum for elected course representatives, who officially meet 4 times a year to discuss issues related to the course and provide suggestions to improve the learning environment. Each year, each course elects a certain number of representatives. The SSLC consists of student representatives, director of studies/senior tutors from each relevant department and important support staff.
What are the roles?
Representative– Every elected person becomes an official course representative for the year. To make the most of your role, it’s important to frequently communicate with students throughout the year to understand their needs, concerns and issues that you can resolve through the SSLC-meetings channel.
Chairperson– As a representative, you can be further elected into the position of Chairperson of the SSLC by other fellow representatives (usually in the first meeting of the year). Your responsibilities include chairing meetings and attending other meetings/events e.g. Departmental open board meetings.
Secretary– Elected by other representatives, this position involves managing the administrative aspects of the SSLC. This means that creating the agenda, writing the minutes of the meeting and working with students/staff beyond the environment of the meeting. In this role, I have sent countless emails to staff and departments to raise and lobby for particular issues!
What happens in SSLC meetings?
In SSLC meetings, the agenda is discussed. This is the opportunity for student representatives to ask senior staff questions about departmental issues or provide recommendations/ideas to improve practices. It’s a bit like the UK Parliament Select Committee. where MPs question ministers and experts. However, a difference is that sometimes staff ask us, the students, questions and want feedback or share important messages that we relay onwards to students. Usually, an action is agreed upon in the meeting in addressing an agenda point and representatives can then pursue it to resolve the issue.
What have been some of the PPE SSLC achievements of this year?
To personalise this blog, I would like to share some of the PPE SSLC achievements. We’ve had 3 meetings this academic year (as of the publish date of this blog) and we have:
– Worked with staff to release all of the recorded lectures to lecture capture of a specific module.
– Addressed wellbeing issues through extensive meetings with staff.
– Increased the PPE SSLC outreach on social media with a new officer and accounts.
– Introduced a new initiative of holding ‘pre-SSLC’ meetings to provide another forum to discuss ideas ahead of actual meetings.
– Held the department/university accountable on certain decisions
– Listened to student concerns e.g. Term 3 Exams, where issues have been communicated to relevant module leaders/departments.
There are many more examples of other smaller issues.
The SSLC bridges the gap between students and staff.
Sometimes, issues related to your module can be resolved by direct student-tutor communication. Sometimes, such issues may require escalation.
The role of the course representative is delivering on the people’s needs, where you learn how to work with different stakeholders; students, staff and wider networks.
It’s a great experience for personal and professional development. Communication. Teamwork. Organisation. Leadership. Problem-solving. These are some of the many skills amongst invaluable experiences that you gain by becoming a course representative.
Even running for a position in the elections is a surreal experience. Usually, it’s simply getting the word out to friends/group-chats through sharing your manifesto. It’s not like the SU Elections, which require intense campaigning.
To stand in an election, visit the SU Elections page and nominate yourself. If you decide to run, I wish you the very best of luck. If you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch.