One of my key objectives this year was to make being a PhD Rep better, easier, and more worthwhile for you, and anyone wishing to be a Rep in the future. That’s why, over the past 9 months, my team and I have made changes to how we work. We have completely redesigned our Rep training, and pursued a policy agenda dedicated to PhD students which was presented for the first time to College Senate. Moreover, we have invested in new opportunities for our volunteers to make change, from new high-level student-staff forums, to working with the Graduate School to review what it means to be a PhD student.
And now, we are going reflective. Since March, I have been working with a team of PhD Reps past and present to review the Rep Network, to make sure it’s fully fit-for-purpose and can effectively tackle issues affecting PhD students in the future.
In the coming weeks and months, we'll also be exploring questions on the following topics:
- Roles and Expectations – Understanding the appeal of a Rep position, the responsibilities of a PhD Rep, and workload expectations
- College Engagement – Evaluating how PhD Reps interact with College staff and what we need from the Union-College partnership to ensure PhD student representation is effective
- Representation Structure – Reviewing how the PhD Rep system is organized, and developing new structures that is consistent to a Faculty-level
- Selection – Reviewing how PhD Reps are selected or elected, and identifying consistent approaches guided by our democratic values
- Tools and Resources – Understanding the tools, facilities and other resources that PhD Reps need to be effective in their roles, and identifying and resolving deficiencies
- Meetings – Understanding the meeting obligations of PhD Reps
As the project progresses, I hope to post updates here and through Education & Representation Board. Anyone who's interested in getting involved in the project can also get in touch via email!