De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s latest Course Rep of the Month has spoken about how she has academically represented her fellow students at De Montfort University (DMU) – and how hundreds more students could now benefit from a #DMUglobal opportunity.
Kelly Davies, a third-year English and Creative Writing student, has been named as the Course Rep of the Month for February 2017 – an award open to all 655 Course Reps at DMU.
Course Reps are the vital link between students and their lecturers, and are responsible for letting academics know about the key issues that students face.
“One of my ‘wins’ was in relation to #DMUglobal trips,” Kelly explained. “Up until November last year, the New York trip was being sold as a trip for every third-year student at DMU with a session that was appropriate to their course.”
However, when Kelly and her course mates logged in, they found that the only remaining Humanities course with sessions on the trip was English Language.
She continued: “I had 30 or 40 students on my back, so I asked the lecturers how this could be the case. My School Rep Coordinator (SRC) sent an email out to Course Reps asking if we wanted to take anything forward and I made sure it was on the agenda.
“I explained that we’ve got to make sure that when [the record-breaking trip to] Berlin is organised, there are sessions in place for Creative Writing.
“I’ve just logged onto the #DMUglobal trip, and we’ve gone from zero to two different opportunities for our course.
“It was really rewarding and reassuring that because I opened my mouth and said ‘hang on, this isn’t right’ it’s now changed for the better. Now, we’ve got something for everybody.”
Augustus selects the 'Course Rep of the Month' together alongside the students' union's Voice team.
Kelly also registered a win in extending a deadline for an assignment from a lecturer who was taken ill – and therefore couldn’t teach the entire module.
And Kelly is keen to encourage other students at DMU to consider representing their course.
“It’s all about challenging that misconception that it’s not ‘cool’ to be a Course Rep,” she said. “I want to challenge that.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a mature student from Wales, or a foundation student from China – if you are passionate about making your course great, then you should be a Course Rep.
“It’s all about making sure things are getting better and better all the time, and that the students on your course have the best possible access to education.”
Augustus Mbanasor, DP Education at DSU, said: “Kelly has put forward quite a few wins that have positively impacted the students that she represents, which is really great.
“At the same time, she is very active in Councils and her level of engagement and the scrutiny that she brings is exactly what we need.
“Not only does she represent students on her course but she also represents students across the board and that deserves to be recognised.”
To find out more about becoming a Course Rep, click here. If you are a Course Rep and want to report a ‘win’ from your programme, you can use the form here.
Kelly was also recognised for her positive contribution to both Education and Activities Councils.