With course work, extracurricula activities and employment students have a lot to fit into the average week during term-time. For this reason it is very important that Course Reps do not undertake more tasks than they need to. There are some issues that a course rep should not deal with. If students approach you about these issues you should pass them onto the Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers, Student Support Services or academic staff within your Faculty.
Do not be tempted to get involved in:
- Disputes between students and academic staff, and between individual students (for example, harassment, discrimination and victimisation);
- Formal procedures (for example, exam failures, academic appeals, individual complaints, disciplinary hearings, etc.);
- Financial and funding queries including debt;
- Welfare problems, health and personal issues (for example, housing, employment and immigration);
- Your initial reaction may be to help the individual, however, it should be recognised that all these issues require some expertise and in depth training to ensure that the best advice and assistance is provided. It is suggested that you do not attempt to help individuals approaching you on these matters. These sorts of issues can be really time consuming and complex so don’t feel bad about referring someone onto a source of information who has agreed to provide such support, such as the Students’ Union and Student Support Services. Always get the student’s consent if you need to discuss a case with someone else, or refer it. If you do decide to refer a student elsewhere explain to them why you are doing so and give them the opportunity to ask any questions and/or voice any concerns.
- You should offer to help arrange an appointment and ask them to come back and tell you how things went.