Meet Your School Reps: Grace Waterman

School Reps play a key role in improving students’ academic experience, working hard to make sure your ideas and concerns are heard at the highest level. If you're from the School of Life Sciences and the Environment, make sure you get to know your School Rep, Grace Waterman.

Tell us about yourself

Hi, my name is Grace Waterman, a third-year Psychology student specialising in developmental disorder and your School Rep for Life Sciences and the Environment. I have been involved with Women’s Football as well as Absolute Harmony throughout my time at Royal Holloway. I am also a frequent flyer at Imagine and have completed more reward cards than I am proud of!

What made you want to become a School Rep?

I was the second-year Psychology Course Rep in the last academic year. It was a great opportunity to represent my fellow students and engage with the faculty to improve students’ experiences. Becoming a course rep really opened my eyes to the range of feedback students have about their journey at Royal Holloway, and through this I found myself wanting to run for a role with more responsibility, to be able to make more positive changes to many more students’ degree experiences. 

I stood for elections to be school rep this year because I want to make further steps in improving student experiences for a larger group of students from more areas and diverse backgrounds. I want to ensure all students’ voices are heard.

I will use my academic rep experience to engage with and influence the department reps and the Students’ Union. I have developed the key skills of listening, communicating, facilitating to make change happen, and I am willing to commit to making a difference.

Which part of your manifesto are you most excited about?

My manifesto revolves around the personal, academic, and professional support students receive at Royal Holloway. I believe the key to a successful student experience is open and active communication between faculty and students, as well as more individualised feedback on academic work.  

I am excited to work on these aims this academic year: 

  • Increase communication between faculty and students 

Fellow students tell me that there is a lack of communication, and more so for dual subject honour students. I will introduce a communication platform to increase communication outside of the formal SSC meetings that reps attend with faculty. This leads to clashes, a lack of clarity and general confusion that can easily be eradicated with new channels of communication and agreed processes. By increasing our communications with and between departments we can bring our education into our own hands.  

  • Further develop the support students receive 

Many students want to see major improvements in the support students receive both academically and in their physical and mental health. Health impacts heavily upon every aspect of our success, and information about services offered is not shared widely enough.  

  • Enhance the feedback students receive 

I will work with other schools, departments and course reps to improve the feedback students receive on their academic work and their progress in completing degrees. We all need individualised and timely feedback that shows us the school supports our academic success.  

What are you most looking forward to this coming academic year?

This year will be a challenge for all of us as we adjust to flexible learning and distanced events, however, now more than ever, good, relevant and timely communication is so important, which is why this year I am excited to actively progress the means in which faculty engage and communicate with students. This year will be an important year for growth, and therefore I hope to reiterate the importance of wellbeing support throughout the Life Sciences and Environment School. 

I think that progressing these aims will have a positive impact on the academic experience of all students. BUT as well as this I will endeavour to give you opportunities to inform me of what I can do to improve your experience – because you know best what you want to change.