Class Representatives: There for you

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS DEPARTMENT

There are several ways to get involved around the Fanshawe campus, but being a Class Representative might just be the best way to connect with students and the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU), while also acquiring valuable volunteer experience.

Class Reps are volunteer students who voice their concerns and the concerns of students in all areas of the FSU and college affairs. Essentially, they act as liaisons for the student body, creating a direct line between students and FSU executives.

FSU Communications Coordinator, Tanushree Prasad, who acted as a Class Rep during the 2020-21 school year, said the role of a Class Rep is challenging, but also fun in its own way.

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“As a Class Rep, your main responsibility is acting as a middleperson….between the college authorities and students,” Prasad explained. “..... [and] we get a chance to meet with authorities and come up with a solution.”

For Prasad, the chance to get involved with the campus community was what initially drew her to the role of Class Rep.

“I think when I was a Class Rep, one of the reasons that motivated me to register is that it’s a really easy way to get involved with the FSU and the Fanshawe College community in general,” she said. “You get in touch with so many different people….that it helps you in understanding more about how things work.”

For Prasad, the role also helped improve her confidence, by giving her the chance to communicate with students and speak up on their behalf.

“You’re dealing with so many different people, so you need to ensure that you’re communicating and providing the right and accurate information to everybody.”

Class Reps are responsible for collecting opinions and concerns from students while in turn, relaying program information to students. Class Reps gain skills in communication, advocacy, presentation skills and problem solving, just to name a few. There is no limit to how many students can act as Class Rep in each program, and any full-time student who is interested in registering is welcome to. The minimum time commitment is one to two hours per month, in order to attend meetings with the FSU, plus additional time to communicate and meet with students. As a Class Representative, volunteering for 10 approved hours will grant eligibility for Fanshawe’s volunteer transcript - the Co-Curricular Record.

“If you, by chance, complete your 10 hours, you get a record saying that you were a Class Rep and you made a significant contribution to Fanshawe College, apart from your academics,” said Prasad.

Being a Class Rep is more than just a great volunteering opportunity though. For students, having a Class Rep on the ground to report to can be a bit less intimidating than reaching out to the FSU directly.

“I think it’s easier for students to interact with someone who is relatable to them,” said Prasad. “You form that rapport and you have that liberty of sharing exactly what you’re seeing or exactly what concern or problem you have.”

Prasad added that the additional difficulty of forming relationships amid COVID-19 makes having a Class Rep to communicate with feel a little less daunting.

If you’re interested in becoming a Class Representative, visit the FSU website and sign up today.