At Goldsmiths Students’ Union, we’re lucky to have one of the most engaged, critical, and active student communities anywhere in the world, and we are proud that our representational work reflects this.
Goldsmiths Students’ Union sees students as part of an academic community, and believe that meaningful student participation in academic life includes having a say and being heard on any and every issue that affects them. Getting involved in representation also means students can develop valuable research and organisational skills which can be brought into cultural and creative work, further academic pursuits, or activism and advocacy.
Representation is based around elected Programme Reps, Department Reps, and staff. Programme Reps are elected to represent their fellow students on a specific programme and year: they will often be the first point of contact for students. Department Reps are appointed by the Union to support reps with research and to coordinate representational work at a departmental level. Union staff are on hand to support this work, organising meetings and training as well as developing the programme from year to year.
Programme Reps are the core of the union’s representation structure. A Programme Rep is a student who has been elected by their programme or department to communicate the views of their cohort to the College and the Students’ Union. Student Reps are your first point of contact as a student, for bringing your views forward with the staff on your programme or department.
The purpose of Programme Reps is not solely to report complaints, but to also provide constructive comments and work in partnership with the Union and College to continuously improve the student experience.
Being a Programme Rep is an excellent way to have a say in the development of your degree programme. As a Rep you are expected to attend a few meetings every year, but more importantly act as a link between the students on your -programme, Department Reps and the Department to make everything runs smoothly.
New Programme Reps start in their roles at the beginning of each academic year. Being a Programme Rep means you are trained by the Students’ Union at the start of your role, with online training resources and support available throughout the year.
You will have a Programme Rep regardless of your level of study, be it first year of undergraduate or part-time masters.
Find out more by reading the full Programme Rep role description.
Departmental Reps coordinate student representation at a departmental level. Department Reps attend departmental meetings, conduct research, write reports, and support Student Reps in their work to ensure that students’ voices are heard at every level of College decision making. The Union and the Quality Office provides training in research, report writing, meeting procedure, and organising. Department Reps are also awarded a bursary of £700 per year.
Department Reps also produce a sustained research project and report on students’ experiences, known as the Annual Project. You can see previous years’ Annual Projects here.
Undergraduate Department Reps are recruited during the Spring Term for the following academic year, while Postgraduate Department Reps are recruited at the start of the Autumn term.
The Department Reps programme was first piloted in 2007/08, and has since gone from strength to strength. The Department Reps programme is pretty much unique, and means that as an organisation we are able to offer an exceptional degree of support for student representation.
Find out more by reading the role descriptions for the Department Rep roles and the Accessibility and Inclusion Rep roles.