By Adrian Paul Rabe, 2015/16 SRC President
The Student Representative Council welcomes you to the School! The SRC is a group of five foolhardy, crazy people who have been chosen by the student body to represent their interests in the complex academic world of the School.
The SRC has one President and four Vice-Presidents: Taught Courses, Research Degrees, Communications & Activities, Finance & Operations. All officers have a one-year term, which starts in October of this year, and ends in September next year. Seems like a short term, but boy! It will be an exciting one filled with challenges, service and fun.
The process of selection starts with nominations early in the academic year. This will be followed by our own version of hustings, where candidates speak to the student body about who they are and what they promise to do once elected. Voting follows the week after, and candidates with the most votes win. Each course will also elect their own course representatives, who will voice their concerns to both their course directors and the SRC.
The Vice-President for Taught Courses is in charge of everything relating to MSc students, especially those who are based in London. With these courses lasting one year, the VP for Taught Courses works to ensure that students maximise that year in terms of learning, networking and enjoyment.
The Vice-President for Research Degrees represents PhD and DrPH students. The concerns of this VP encompass teaching and learning activities, as well as thesis supervision. The role also includes staff issues, since some research degree students are also employed by the School. Given the length of PhD/DrPH studies, the VP for Research Degrees deals with the longer-term issues that students face at the School.
Being Vice-President for Communications & Activities has a broad remit. This VP is in charge of communicating to the rest of the student body any School activities and announcements. With the huge role that technology plays in communication, this VP likewise takes charge of IT issues that the School faces; addressing concerns about internet connection, printing, Moodle, lecture recording and any other technology.
There are very few things in this world that work without financing and the SRC is not one of them. The VP for Finance & Operations takes care of the SRC’s budget, and takes part in planning activities to ensure that they work with the resources available. Reimbursements for SRC activities and tracking money flows are performed by this VP.
The President oversees all activities of the SRC; convening and chairing meetings. The President also takes care of School-wide issues, while delegating more localised issues to the Vice-Presidents. These broader issues include sustainability (such as use of paper), safety, facilities and larger reforms in teaching and learning (e.g. student evaluation). The President sits on the Council, the highest governing and decision-making body of the School.
Some may see the SRC position as a good line to have in their CV, but becoming part of the SRC means making some sacrifices for your fellow students. It also means you get to widen your perspective about education, looking at things from the point-of-view of administrators as well as students. It likewise means more opportunities for making friends, and to learn project management and resource allocation. All of these are essential in your future career in improving health worldwide.
In the past year, we have arranged Partay-gion, an end-of-year party the proceeds of which have gone to the Jeroen Ensink Memorial Fund for future students. We have fought for greener paper to be used. We have activated e-mails for alumni that will be important in keeping our ties to this prestigious School. The SRC has helped students hold events and raised awareness of issues, such as Conflicts of Interest in Research. We have also worked tirelessly to improve teaching and learning, even as the School already leads the world as a giant in research and public health. We have sat in countless meetings fighting hard for students’ welfare.
At the end of the year, we leave our SRC titles, but we come away with an experience unlike any other.
Among you now is a future President or Vice-President of the SRC. I challenge you to take up the mantle, and be the leader your fellow students need you to be!
As they say in the Philippines, Mabuhay at isang malusog at maaksyong taon sa inyong lahat! (Cheers, and a healthy, action-packed year to all!)
If you would like to find out more about SRC and how to get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org