What is a Class Representative?
Each course at the Australian National University (‘the University’) is meant to have a Class Representative. These representatives are the first point of contact for students wishing to raise their concerns in a confidential or unbiased manner. The appointment of Class Representatives may not be possible in smaller classes or where no student volunteers.
Class Representative duties include:
- collecting feedback for Course Conveners;
- acting as a communication channel between staff and students;
- escalating issues to the appropriate stakeholders; and
- ensuring students can access relevant support services.
In late 2021, the University updated its Class Representative Policy and Procedure. This policy aims to standardise the appointment process for Class Representatives across all Colleges and Schools as a way of ensuring Course Conveners engage with student feedback. However, our research indicates that many Colleges across the University have implemented their own tailored policies for handling class representation. This guide seeks to clarify and explain the policy specific to each college.
Qualities of an Effective Class Representative
Anyone who is engaged with their studies and cares about student representation can be a Class Representative. However, there will be times when Class Representatives are required to have challenging conversations. Prospective candidates should be willing to engage with these discussions.
To succeed in this role, you must:
- Be visible: make sure students know who you are and how to contact you. Throughout the duration of the course, reach out to your peers and remind them you are there to help.
- Have strong communication skills: keep in touch with your Course Convener. Instead of waiting until you hear negative feedback from students, let them know when they are doing a good job. Ensure that a written record exists for all your interactions.
- Collaborate with others: attend student/staff meetings and use the resources provided to you by PARSA. Promote your classmates’ participation in University-wide surveys. Have the confidence to ask for additional support when required.
- Know your limits: at the end of the day, Class Representatives are all students. You are not expected to handle sensitive cases that require specialist training. If a student comes to you with an issue, be open to referring them to another service provider (eg. PARSA’s Student Support Team, the Dean of Students, the University’s Counselling Centre or the relevant College Services Team).
College Class Representative Guides 2022/23
Semester 2 2022 Training Times:
PARSA is running and hosting training sessions for Class/Program Representatives from all colleges. Refreshments will be provided for those in attendance, and all representatives will have the opportunity to have a professional photo taken of them at a later date for use on the course Wattle page as well in their own professional endeavours. See list of times below as well as links to make a booking: