Louise Cave, MHS Undergraduate Rep

Louise Cave is a 1st year Adult Nursing student. She’s also one of two Undergraduate Faculty Officers for the faculty of Medical and Human Sciences (MHS), who are elected each September for the academic year and represent all students within their faculty.
 
“One of the reasons I became a rep was create change.”
 
Louise’s motivations for becoming a rep were to help support positive changes and improve the student experience. The student voice is a powerful tool, and she wanted to have her say within the school and ‘make sure people felt that they could come to me to represents their options as well’.
 
“I want to represent people who feel like they are the minority.”
 
The idea of becoming a mouthpiece for different groups of students is what spurs Louise’s on to act as a rep. For example,  in her time as a student rep she focussed on representing students who were living at home and students with families, as she felt ‘in the past they had no say’. Being a rep is all about representing the whole spectrum of students and allowing everyone to have a say. 
 
“I have the opportunity to express the student voice and meet lots of new people.”
 
What’s great about being a rep for Louise is having the chance to speak up for the opinions of students and meet new people along the way. She says that getting people to approach you as a rep is ‘one of the hardest parts of the role’, but also the most rewarding.  By becoming the face of the student voice she’s had the opportunity to speak to a whole range of students on her course and make some new friends. 
 
“I think having a Student Rep is working well and I do think that we have a better student experience because of it.”
 
Ensuring all actions are met on changes proposed by students is an important part of Louise’s role. One change that Louise helped to organise and push through can be seen in the addition of a ‘Christmas Social’ for first year students; a change implemented by their demand for more social activity within the course. 
 
“Building a student rep community helps me in my role as a rep.”
 
Being a student rep involved attending meetings with reps from other courses and schools to collaborate and share ideas. Louise sees this as an opportunity to ‘understand the problems others are facing and to see if anything similar would help our students’. Reaching out to speak to other reps and learning from the knowledge and experience of others is one way Louise feels you can make the most of your time as a rep.