Once reps have been elected, students need to know who they are and how they can be contacted, and for what purposes to enable them to be truly effective.
A number of unions provide resources to their reps to help them promote themselves, as well as incorporate this into their introductory training.
Ways that reps can promote themselves
- Produce a poster template (with union branding) for reps where they can write their names or attach their photos or contact details – give these out at introductory training.
- Provide reps with business cards to give out to their course mates.
- Ask reps to send emails or e-cards at key times of the year with their details to remind students of their presence, or provide them with templates for these.
- Set up a generic email address – e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org so that staff, unions, and students don’t need to remember individual reps names, and establish continuity.
- Arm reps with the tools to engage with students. Help them to create, design, analyse or print surveys or produce them online, or petitions to collect opinion before a meeting.
- Ask reps to create a manifesto before election, and circulate these to students in their department so that they become accountable representatives.
- Start a ‘course rep of the year award’ and get students to nominate their favourite reps. It’s a great way to collect examples of good practice, and get students talking about student representation and who their reps are.
- Design template questionnaires for reps to distribute before a meeting to students, where their classmates can state what they would like to be raised at the next meeting.
- Advertise the contact details and even pictures of your reps on the union website.
- Get reps to make a promotional video or posters to advertise themselves at introductory training, or a meeting - put this on the union website and circulate this among students.
Examples of rep promotional materials and activities