Admittedly, this will be an incredibly empty post. It being the final couple of months of my degree, I’ve been (and still am) very busy with tieing up loose ends and finishing the final projects. This includes my dissertation.
One of the boards I sit on is SRSAB (Student Rep System Advisary Board) which reviews the student rep system and tries to make it more effective by suggesting various things from training the members of staff involved to greater publicity around all campuses. The main topic of conversation on the board last time was online media. I argued that Facebook and Twitter, but moreso the former, are not good tools to use when ‘business’ is involved. I regard the student rep system as business. It’s certainly not a casual social thing. As seen from the online Guild Better Forums, Facebook is not an effective platform to discuss issues. The reasons for this are countless but hopefully if you’ve found your way to my blog you’ll be familiar with them.
Last year, the University trialed a ‘My Student Rep’ features on my.bham which didn’t get utilised as hoped. To move to Facebook would not be a natural progression. Thankfully, my ideas were taken on board and rather than actively encouraging reps to use Facebook as a means to carry out their communications, we are happy to advocate it as an option given that it is used professionally. Obviously there are issues with accessibility but as each student rep is a representative of a small group (relatively), hopefully they will understand which method of communication is better. For example, the rep at the Shakespeare Institute can communicate in meetings and the small community in Stratford means that students discuss issues with each other without a problem. Drama students prefer to speak to their rep on Facebook because they all know each other in a similar way to those in Stratford. For a group of people who don’t necessarily know each other and just recognise faces from lectures, I don’t agree with Facebook being the place for serious chat.
If anyone wants to find out more about student reps or see who their student reps are, speak to the friendly staff in Student Voice. Student Voice is in the Guild on the same corridor as Subway.