Class Representation Policy


Application


This policy applies to all students and staff members of the University

Purpose


To provide a framework for the management of the class representative system

Policy


1.   The class representative system is to support a learning and teaching partnership between staff members and students that:

  • enables and encourage students to participate with staff members in the direction and activities of the University with a view to enhancing the student academic and social experience, and
  • identifies and address issues and areas of concern for students

2.   Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) will operate the class representative system throughout the University

Representation

3.   To assist communication between students and staff all undergraduate courses must have at least one class representative elected by their peers

4.    Larger classes may require two class representatives

5.   Information about the class representative system is to be communicated in orientation resources provided by the University and available on the University and AUSA websites

6.   Where appropriate, a student representative (year representative) may be selected for a whole programme, cohort or year group

7.    Postgraduate taught courses with 15 or more students must elect a class representative

8.    In other programmes with smaller classes a representative may be elected at the programme level as a year representative

9.   Where a representative is not elected in a smaller taught postgraduate course or in a programme, course or programme directors must advise students of alternative mechanisms by which they can provide feedback and raise issues of concern during the course or programme

10.   Class or year representatives are to be provided with training through AUSA

11.   Where a class or year representative withdraws from a course or programme, or if for any other reason they cannot continue in their role, they will inform AUSA. A representative from AUSA is to liaise with the Course or Programme Director to select a new class representative 

Academic Unit Student-Staff Consultative Committees

12.   Each academic unit must constitute a Student-Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC).

13.   Faculties without academic units may hold faculty meetings rather than academic unit meetings to address issues raised by class representatives

14.   All class and year representatives, and all postgraduate student representatives, are to be members of the academic unit SSCC

15.   Every academic unit must nominate a senior academic staff member to Chair its SSCC meetings.

16.   At least two other academic staff must be members of the academic unit SSCC

17.   SSCC meetings must be held twice each semester.

18.   At the first SSCC meeting, one student shall be elected by the student members to represent the academic unit at faculty SSCC meetings

19.   The academic unit SSCC will:

  • update SSCC members on action points raised previously, as appropriate
  • consider any new business relating to the student learning experience or issues that are presented by students including:
    • teaching, learning and assessment
    • student support and guidance (academic and pastoral)
    • teaching and learning resources e.g. IT, teaching space
    • issues arising from course and teaching evaluations and other feedback mechanisms
    • any matters referred for feedback from the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Consultative Group (VC’s SCG)
    • matters to refer to the faculty SSCC meeting
  • SSCCs do not deal with complaints or grievances about staff or students which have a separate process

Note: informal resolution of academic complaints or grievances may involve the support of a class representative. Formal procedures are outlined in the Resolution of Student Academic Disputes and Complaints Statute

20.   Administrative support will be provided by a professional staff member from the faculty

21.   An agenda must be circulated to all members one week before the meeting

Note: See the Class Representation Guidelines for the contents of the agenda

22.   Minutes are to be emailed to all SSCC members and to the AUSA Class Representative Coordinator, and made available for all students on Canvas and the AUSA Class Representative

Faculty Student-Staff Consultative Committees

23.   Student membership is to consist of: one class or year representative from each academic unit unless this is the only meeting for the faculty; one postgraduate representative from each academic unit; and one faculty student association representative if applicable

24.   Every faculty must appoint a faculty SSCC Chair who will have primary responsibility for student representation within the faculty and for promoting the system to staff and students.

25.   In addition, the Dean or Dean’s nominee and at least one other senior academic staff member must be members of the faculty SSCC

26.   Each faculty will organise at least one faculty SSCC meeting per semester, and during the summer semester if appropriate.

27.   During the summer semester faculties will appoint a staff member whom the class representatives can approach to raise issues. Such meetings are not required for single unit faculties such as the Faculty of Law

28.   The faculty SSCC is to:

  • discuss unresolved issues referred from academic unit SSCC meetings or for those faculties without academic units
  • consider any issues referred by students to their class/year representatives
  • consider issues that have faculty-wide relevance
  • consider any business relating to the student learning experience, student views or feedback

29.   Administrative support is to be provided by a professional staff member from the faculty

30.   An agenda must be issued one week before the meeting

Note: See the Class Representation Guidelines for the contents of the agenda 

31.   The minutes will be made available to all members of the committee, the AUSA Class Representative Coordinator, and made available on Canvas and the AUSA Class Representative database for all students

32.   Faculty SSCC minutes are to be reported to faculty meetings via consideration at faculty academic or learning and teaching committees

33.   Any issues unable to be resolved by the faculty SSCC may be referred to AUSA or the Student Consultative Group for further consideration. 

Roles and responsibilities 

34.   The class or year representative is responsible for:

  • attending class representative training
  • facilitating communication between staff and students in relation to course matters and class-wide issues
  • ensuring that class members are given opportunities to provide feedback for SSCC meetings
  • raising any class members’ feedback and issues to their lecturer or course coordinator, and where appropriate at the academic unit SSCC meetings; and reporting back to students
  • referring students with individual grievances to AUSA Advocates

Note: see Class Representation Guidelines for further information about the role

35.   The course director is responsible for:

  • facilitating the election of class representatives in the first two weeks of semester
  • providing the names of elected class representatives to faculty professional staff
  • uploading class representative names and contact details to Canvas
  • providing time for class representatives to speak in class
  • meeting and communicating with class representatives

36.    The academic unit or faculty SSCC Chair is responsible for:

  • organising and chairing SSCC meetings twice a semester
  • setting the agenda for the SSCC meetings
  • following up on decisions reached, and forwarding unresolved issues or concerns to the faculty SSCC
  • briefing his/her successor and handing over relevant documentation

37.   The professional staff member (administrative support) is the point of contact between the academic unit and AUSA, and is responsible for:

  • forwarding the names and contact details of the elected class representatives to the AUSA Coordinator in week two of semester
  • ensuring class representative contact details are made available to students on Canvas
  • advising all class representatives of AUSA training dates
  • liaising with the SSCC Chair to organise the dates of meetings and notify the SSCC members and the AUSA Coordinator of these dates, and
  • distributing agendas and minutes to all SSCC members and to the AUSA Coordinator

38.   The AUSA Class Representative Coordinator takes a leading role in coordinating and facilitating the class representative system across the university, and is responsible for:

  • sending reminders to academic units about selection and election of class representatives for each course or programme
  • providing training sessions and support to class and year representatives
  • communicating any issues or matters of interest to class representatives
  • maintaining the AUSA Class Representatives central database
  • raising awareness about AUSA Advocates and the role they play in any individual grievances

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic unit means department or school

Academic unit (school, department, discipline) Student-Staff Consultative Committees (academic unit SSCC) means a committee comprised of class/year representatives and academic staff members which considers and acts issues of concern for students in the academic unit

Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) is the voluntary students’ association at the University of Auckland

AUSA Advocate means a member of the advocacy team at the Auckland University Students’ Association who offers free advice to students on academic, financial or personal issues

AUSA Class Representative Coordinator means a member of the Auckland University Students’ Association who is responsible for coordinating training, communication and advice to class and year representatives

Class representative means a student enrolled in a course or programme who is selected by students in that course or programme to facilitate communication between staff and students enrolled in that course or programme

Faculty Student-Staff Consultative Committees (faculty SSCC) means a committee comprised of elected academic unit class representatives and academic staff members of the committee to discuss issues referred from academic unit SSCC meetings

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Year representative means a student enrolled in a year-long programme selected by students in that programme whose role is to facilitate communication between staff and students enrolled in that programme

Document management and control


Owner:                  Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Content manager: Manager, Academic Quality Office and AUSA

Approved by:         Senate and Council

Dates approved:    26.2.18 and 12.3.2018

Review date:          February 2021