Welcome to National Volunteers Week

Where we take the time to offer thanks to our huge team of volunteers for their fantastic contributions to the student voice and student community...

If you have ever considered volunteering with the OU Students Association, you could not have picked a better time to do so. We are currently in the process of recruiting the next generation of Academic Representatives at the OU Students Association. These are the ones who sit on committees at the very heart of the university governance structure. Being actively involved in making this team more reflective of our student body is one of the key reasons I stood as Vice President Education. I personally, wanted to ensure we have a diverse and engaged team of reps getting involved and feeding into decision making at OU.

Our team is growing bigger and more effective by the day, and we welcome anyone who feels they have something to offer. We particularly want to encourage younger students who are taking their degree at full-time study intensity, as they have a viewpoint on issues that we need to ensure the University is actively considering. We also particularly welcome students who represent any of the protected characteristics, as these students can be instrumental in feeding into the equality work going on currently in Higher Education and ensuring that we consider any and all hurdles to engagement within our roles.

For those with a fair amount of free time to spend volunteering, you could consider becoming a Central Committee Representative. They ensure that we have students effectively engaging at the highest levels, and we have representation opportunities at all stages from our Boards of Studies to the Senate. These reps will be instrumental in effecting change and shaping the student journey. They help enhance the teaching and learning experience of all our students and really do make a difference.

We are currently sifting through applications for our Senate Reference Group, these members tend to be passionate about the student voice shaping discussions and guiding our Student Members of Senate before each Senate meeting. 

These are pretty labour intensive roles and do include scheduled meetings a few times a year, so if you have less time than that, here at the OU Students Association we can offer you a range of other options to get involved.

Whether you have several hours a week, or one day a year, there is bound to be something for you to get involved in. You can join us to host meet-ups or help out at our graduation ceremonies; you can become a forum moderator or help run our societies and clubs. The range of options grows all the time. For those who want to make a difference on a much more one to one basis and support students through difficulties, one of our more in-depth roles is as a Peer Supporter. This is ideal for those who can use their experience to help support students through a rough patch.

Some of our newer roles like the Student Experience Link or Micro-volunteers are even more flexible. Micro-volunteering is ideal if you want some short, sharp engagement opportunities, and is ideal for those who don’t want an ongoing commitment. While our Student Experience Link roles are ideal for those that want to give feedback on their modules but can’t commit to the quarterly meeting schedule of a CCR for one reason or another. 

We even offer roles that don’t require you to change out of your pyjamas, like Library Study Volunteers or forum moderators, what more could you want? There are usually roles that give you the chance to travel and meet other OU students face to face (in non-pandemic years) too. 

Why not come join our team. You’ll love it. And don’t worry, all training you will need is offered and supported by the Students Association and the Open University as needed. So, what are you waiting for, have a quick look at oustudents.com/volunteers to find out more.

Cin McGuigan

Vice President Education at OU Students Association 2020-2022

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