As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, throughout November we will be shining the spotlight on some of the amazing men who have helped shape the Association over the years, and are a vital part of our history. Gareth Jones has been an invaluable member of the OU Students Association for three and a half years. In his current role of Deputy President he works closely with the Association staff team, who have shared a little bit about Gareth and the role he has played in the Association family.
“Working with Gareth has always been a pleasure as not only is he someone who works tirelessly to improve things for students, but he also is relentless in getting the job done!He works collaboratively, engaging others in his work to ensure the best outcome is achieved, and it has been a joy to watch him blossom in his roles with the Association – now finding himself as Deputy President and making a real impact in how things are done now and for the future of our organisation. Gareth is such a friendly face for students, volunteers and staff, and it is a real honour to work alongside him to achieve his goals and manifesto.”
Throughout his time at the Association, Gareth has been at the forefront of student-led change, such as the new Association Tutor Awards and, most recently, the introduction of a pilot for academic referencing. Gareth spoke to us about why this was so important to him…
During the first couple of months being a Faculty Association Representative, an issue was highlighted regarding academic references. It was a particular problem for law students who were looking to go on to training contracts and further study at different institutions, but it also affected different students throughout the University – for example, those looking to go into teaching.
“Over my term as Faculty Association Representative, I continually beat the drum about this. I took a paper to the Law School and the Faculty’s Teaching Committee about this issue, and I’m actually really proud to say that in the last couple of months, it was announced that the Law School will be trialling on behalf of the Open University a new system for giving out academic references to students who request them, especially those who need a more bespoke application. It is hoped that following the trial this autumn, this will get rolled out across the University, and I’m proud to see how this has gone from an issue at the beginning to being developed into an institution-wide need, with support from different representatives from across the OU.”
This article is part of an ongoing series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OU Students Association.
Please visit the OU students website to find out more about the events planned to celebrate this occasion, and how you can get involved.