Faculty Rep Officer:

'My Role'

An Interview with Rifah Khalil,

Social Sciences Faculty Rep

What do you do?

Essentially the role requires you to represent the student voice on various committees across the uni such as the teaching and learning community, library committee, etc. On the committees you will discuss with various members of staff on how to make social sciences degrees better and more accessible for current and future students and how the individual committees can help you. You will be a direct line for students and staff to communicate with each other.

What interested you about the role?

I was involved in various academic societies and wanted to become more involved in academic decisions made by the various boards. I wanted to improve some of the areas which my friends, peers and I found were difficult within the Uni.

Why did you decide to nominate yourself?

I nominated myself because I liked the opportunities which came with the role, such as getting to know department staff, actually being able to influence some of the decisions. I was motivated because I liked the challenge and wanted to see what I could do within the role. Essentially there is no perfect candidate but if you have the drive and want to be more involved in academic decisions this is an amazing role and you get amazing support from YUSU.

How did it feel getting elected?

Elated. Personally, I didn't think I would get enough votes specially as I was in the second round of elections but social media had a huge influence on my campaign. Winning was just amazing as now I had a role in which I could challenge myself and was very flexible. Just overall happiness.

What are you most proud of having done in your role?

Some of my manifesto points had already been successfully achieved by the SABBS so a lot of the work was done even before I came. But I have been working with careers to increase opportunities for social sciences students which hopefully will be in action by the end of the year. And my biggest challenge has been changing dissertation supervision rules to become more flexible but it is a work in progress.

What have you gained by being an Officer?

I have improved the basic leadership and organisation skills but also I have learnt how to manage workload which I struggled with and taking initiative. Also public speaking and being eloquent in a room full of uni staff.

What advice would you give to somebody thinking about running?

The role can be challenging I admit, but liaise with your YUSU co-coordinator as they want to help you. One mistake I made was not to communicate enough. So communicate, communicate and communicate!