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March 23, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Class Representatives Are (Pretty Much) Where It’s At

Kia ora koutou again. I’m Freya Eng, Vice President (Education) of VUWSA. As second in command, secretary to the association (that means I have to write all the damn minutes) and head of the Education Team, I get around, so to speak. I have many men and women underneath me etc. etc. Glad the innuendos are out of the way, that was a little awkward for a moment there.

Anyway, what I figured I’d tell you all about this week is Class Representatives, and the Class Representative System. Class Representatives are a really important part of student democracy and, well, representation, at Victoria. Class Representatives provide a vital link, a mediation point, between the University and the student, VUWSA and the University, and of course the student and VUWSA.

Class Representatives are there so every student in every class has an option to talk to someone about their concerns that isn’t the lecturer. Because sometimes it’s not so appropriate. For example, a friend of mine had an issue in her class where the lecturer would constantly use sexist and heterosexist language. That means he would always use the ‘he’ pronoun when talking about a hyperbolic person (especially a professional), and ‘he and she’ when referring to a hyperbolic couple (that’s heterosexism)—which as we all know, me not least of people, is not always the case. This friend of mine was able to talk to the Class Representative about it and have the issue resolved. The lecturer was very embarrassed and corrected his behaviour from that point on.

As you can see, Class Representatives are there for the little things. It’s not a huge job—we’re lucky enough to go to a university where in some classes, Class Representatives don’t have to do anything, because everything’s fine. But it’s good to know that they’re there, right?

Please don’t hesitate to talk to your Class Representative if you have any problems with your classes, in any way, shape or form. Some problems they may not be able to deal with themselves, but they (through the Class Representative Training they will be receiving this week) will know who to refer you on to—such as the Education Advocacy Organiser, who you can find here: 463 6986.

Remember, when all else fails, come to VUWSA. Our Executive offices are on the Ground Floor of the Student Union Building on Kelburn Campus. This is where much of the staff and Executive members are that can help you with such things. We also have offices at Pipitea and Karori campuses.

We are here to help you, and we’re happy to do it. We all, Executive and staff, believe firmly in student support and the rights of students to have a voice. Make sure yours is heard.

For more information on Class Representatives, contact:

Freya Eng, Vice President (Education)


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  1. A says:

    I asahmed of your decision not to lay the wreath on ANZAC day. Show some common sense! What a disgrace

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