Your February Rep of the Month is Performing & Digital Arts School Rep, Maia Jarvis!
This month, your Sabbatical Officers were really impressed with Maia’s collaborative and community approach to her role. She used her team working and communication skills to work effectively with the Music department to get assessment methods changed, positively impacting all the students studying music!
We caught up with Maia to find out more.
In the Autumn term, I really enjoyed working as the PDA School Peer Guide Coordinator, which involved matching up new undergraduates with peer guides. Helping out first-years was a very rewarding experience, and I knew I wanted to continue improving student life even after the Peer Guide scheme was over. I felt passionate about amplifying student voices and solving their academic issues so I decided to run for School Rep.
My biggest achievement this term was definitely changing the assessment method for the Music performance courses. The music department decided they would hold live recitals on Zoom, but this was met with unanimous dislike from students, mainly because of concerns about technical issues and the fact that having a live recital could disturb family members working from home. After a lengthy email featuring 51 written responses from students (out of the module cohort of 110!) and an hour-long Teams meeting, the department changed their assessment method and agreed to our suggestion of submitting recordings! We were all so overjoyed and it was a big win for student voice. Huge thanks go to Olivia Earl, who volunteered to represent second-year students, and Robin Popplewell, who represented instrumental students, as they really helped me with this campaign.
More recently, I’ve surveyed students to find out how they feel about applying for extensions, which will feed into the college’s review of the extensions system, and am working with Gerard Clough from CeDAS to improve their offering to the PDA school. I will also be co-leading a joint honours focus group with Alissa Chohan this term; as a joint honours student myself, I am really looking forward to being part of the effort to tackle issues faced by these students.
Being a School Rep has taught me a lot of transferable skills like how to manage other people and delegate tasks, how to be an effective member of a team, and, perhaps most importantly, diplomacy! I often like independent work and doing everything by myself, but this role has made me better at collaborating with others and taught me when to take a step back; I’ve had such fun working with my fantastic team of reps within my school. I’m not sure whether it’s the most transferable skill, but I’ve also become very adept at creating Google forms so maybe that will come in handy someday!
The best thing about being a rep is definitely when you’re able to make tangible changes to student lives; students are always so grateful for the effort you put it to bring about changes and it’s wonderful hearing from your peers that you’ve had a positive impact on their studies.
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If you’re an academic rep and want to have a shot at being Rep of the Month, don’t forget to keep telling us what you’re up to through Your Impact!
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