On Wednesday 25 November, the Students’ Union hosted its annual student conference, RepCon and for the first time ever this was done digitally. We welcomed nearly 100 students to discuss what it’s like to be a student in a digital age and the conference was a resounding success. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s the view of Business, Law and Computing School Officer, Rianna Williamson.
With 2020 being an unpredictable year, it was good news to know that the annual Rep Conference would still be going ahead, despite some changes with it occurring over Zoom rather than in person, for the first time ever!
RepCon is an annual conference that used to be exclusively for Student Reps but has recently been extended to all students who may want to attend. Each year the conference has a theme, this year it was ‘Being a Student in a Digital Age’. This was highlighted as an important theme as we are being taught online and need to learn how to study virtually whilst maintaining our health & wellbeing and still creating a sustainable environment.
The afternoon began with a Q&A on ‘Delivering a High-Quality Student Experience through a Hybrid Curriculum’, featuring a panel of Higher Education professionals. The panel members were: Natasha Neal (Vice President Education and Welfare); Tristan Tipping (CEO of Bucks Students’ Union); Julie Irwin (Director of Student Success at Bucks New University) and Jim Dickinson (Associate Editor of WonkHE). There were many questions asked throughout this session by students, which was extremely beneficial for the SU in helping us to understand student’s perspective and improve their experience at Bucks.
Each student then got to attend two sessions of a particular topic that they had chosen when signing up to the day. These sessions covered topics such as: online interviews, a LinkedIn masterclass, Mental Health First Aid, sustainability in a digital age, and many more. All these sessions were attended in full force and complemented greatly by students as they stated it was engaging, informative and worthwhile. As it was online this year, the SU did not provide snacks in the break as they usually do, a big blow to students and an even more important reason why it must be in person next year!
This is just one of the many events the SU organises each year to enhance the student experience and improve our skills. As the planning for RepCon next year will be underway soon, everyone wants it to be in person with hopefully the best turn out ever. As the awareness and capabilities of RepCon grow the students benefit more and more each year, making it better and better as students constantly tell the SU what was good and what could be better. So, if you are not graduating this academic year, you really should attend RepCon in November 2021, it’ll be the best conference of your year! Also, a big shout out to everyone that helped organise it and all the individuals who ran sessions, it was a fun but informative afternoon. Thank you!