What is a class representative?
In the broadest definition, a class representative is a student who represents the views of their class on academic matters to the Department and Faculty. As such, and applied to LAU’s School of Pharmacy, class representatives ensure a smooth flow of communication between students of all four Professional Pharmacy Years and faculty members, course instructors and staff in the school. As facilitators of communication, class representatives are to maintain harmonious relationships with the student body and the staff alike.
When and how are class representatives elected?
Class representatives are elected during the first week of the first term of the academic year. Each Professional Year 1, 2, and 3 student body nominates two students to act as their Professional Year’s respective class representatives whereas the professional year 4 student body nominates four representatives. The procedure is facilitated by the School of Pharmacy’s Program Officer at the Student Affairs Office; each student may vote for up to two nominated students anonymously. Elections are run over Blue Survey unless all the class reaches consensus.
The qualities of an effective class representative include, but are not limited to:
- Leadership, to set an example for the future generations to come
- Confidence, and assertiveness in standing up for the class’s best interests
- Professionalism in demeanor, speech and behavior with faculty and students alike
- Creative thinking and a positive attitude to be effective problem solvers
- Communication as it is essential to be a transparent liaison and to convey concerns clearly while ruling out discrepancies.
- Acknowledging Teamwork; a collective approach is essential to voice out any matter.
- Time management; for an effective balance between studies, and representative tasks.
The responsibilities of a class representative
The below serves as general responsibilities to fulfill as class representative:
- Represent the class to course instructors, faculty members and staff
- Act as a liaison between students and staff.
- Find out the concerns and issues of the class, including matters such as course workload, master calendar, course structure, assessment problems, communication concerns, deadline extensions and course material.
- Seek input and feedback from the students about the School of Pharmacy’s functionment, in order to improve on areas that require it.
- Ensure that students are informed about school-wide decisions that concern them in a timely fashion, such as the scheduling of mandatory co-curricular events.
- Raise the student’s concerns to the faculty and actively look for ways to solve the issues.
- Boost student accomplishments; appreciating achievements and bringing to light the potential of students within a promotion as well as the class as a whole.
- Share faculty requests with the students; create a reminders list to keep students on track, and participate in scheduling exams as suited.
- Organizing student events is a plus, in the sake of uniting the class, and creating some fun moments outside the classroom.
- Looking for opportunities to fundraise for the student body, and manage treasury in related matters.
Best practices as class representative
The below serves as guidelines for best practices as class representatives:
- Be approachable, friendly, and polite to all students.
- Be accessible to everyone outside class time, by sharing means of communication such as a phone number and email address with both students and faculty members.
- Take the concerns of the class seriously to respond effectively to student issues and as promptly as possible.
- Ensure that any matter raised to course instructors, faculty members and staff are effectively representative of the class at large.
- Be impersonal, championing the best interests of the students and not allowing individual personal preferences to affect the tasks you are assigned to.
- Make sure to have a sound understanding of a given issue at hand.
- Assist the course instructors, faculty and staff in communicating with the students.
- Having a comprehensive understanding of the hierarchy and channels of outreach within the School of Pharmacy to be able to know who to communicate with depending on the issue or concern at hand.
- Be responsive, most urgent tasks require immediate attention.
- Divide tasks among nominated class representatives, and set duties clear from day one.
- Create a fun environment for the students to bond. And keep looking for opportunities to celebrate, or going on outdoor activities together.