Vice President Reps and Volunteers

ENSA Vice President for Representatives & Volunteers

Eligibility. To be eligible to stand for election you must be a current student of Edinburgh Napier University registered to a programme taught on the particular campus you wish to represent. You can be about to complete your degree this session, or take a year out of the studies.


OVERALL PURPOSE OF THE POST

The ENSA Vice President (VP) for Representatives and Volunteers role is a high profile leadership position with a requirement that the post-holder is proactive in communication: listening to students and articulating their views at a range of formal and informal opportunities. The VP role requires the creation of an active and visible profile around campus and virtually, to engage with students and get them actively involved in shaping their own student experience.

The VP has specific responsibility for ensuring that the University has an effective system for student representation and for working with the University to implement improvements to the system for Reps’ engagement with their academic experience.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, be responsible for ENSA as an organisation, its resources and its staff.


ROLE DESCRIPTOR

1. Primary Spokesperson for Representation and Volunteering

The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers is the primary representative, spokesperson and ambassador for ENSA and on behalf of Edinburgh Napier students, on issues relating to representation and volunteering.

S/he has a particular remit to represent and promote students’ engagement in University academic processes and decision-making structures and in extra-curricular volunteering opportunities.

S/he has specific responsibility to report on representation and volunteering to the Student Executive, Student Council and to the Trustee Board.

2. Widening Participation and Academic Engagement

The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers has a responsibility to broaden student engagement by actively promoting the Representation system; encouraging students to undertake representative roles and to engage with their peers on academic issues; working with ENSA and the University to ensure that forums for student representation are effective and inclusive, and to ensure that the academic experience of Edinburgh Napier students is constantly evolving and improving to be the best it can be.

This Vice President has a particular remit for contributing to the development of academic policy and practice across the University and ENSA; ensuring that the representative and decision-making structures are fit for purpose.

3. Widening Participation and Volunteer Engagement

The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers has a responsibility to broaden student engagement in volunteer activities; encouraging and enabling students to contribute positively to the communities in which they study, live and work and, in doing so, enhance their own skills and employability and to develop as global citizens. 

4.   Committees and Working Groups.

The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers is a member of a range of ENSA and University committees and working groups. The VP is responsible for ensuring that the views of ENSA and its student members are represented in these forums and for reporting back through the:

a) Student Council: The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers is responsible for convening the Student Council and ensuring that student representatives views are captured and addressed through the University’s informal and formal decision-making processes.

S/he has specific responsibility for working with ENSA staff to ensure that ENSA is delivering on the Trustee Board and democratic (Student Executive) directives in relation to representation and volunteering.

b) Additional Committees: The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers is a member of the following committees but will also be allocated to working groups as they are convened.

  • Student Forum
  • University Student Experience Committee
  • University Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee
  • University Quality and Standards Committee
  • University Student Retention Steering Group

c) University Strategies: The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers is the primary representative for ENSA in relation to the University’s Academic Strategy and Internationalisation Strategy.

d) University Leadership Team: The ENSA VP Reps and Volunteers meets and communicates regularly with members of the University Leadership Team, including the Principal, Deputy and Assistant Principals and Deans of School.

5. Trusteeship.

ENSA is a registered charity and all 3 sabbaticals are trustees on its Board. The Board is responsible for the charity; so it sets the overall strategic objectives of the organisation and has overall responsibility for allocating priorities and key resources – its funds and assets, its staff team and its reputation. It works as a Board to assess the opportunities and risks that the organisations faces, ensures that there is “due process” to make robust and tested decisions on the way forward, and it brings in independent expertise from outside ENSA to add to the Board’s skills and knowledge base to support this role. 

6. Shared Sabbatical Responsibilities:
The ENSA Sabbatical Officers have shared, equal, and collective responsibility to:

  1. be the democratically elected student leadership of Edinburgh Napier University students.
  2. be full and equal members of the ENSA Student Executive Committee and Student Council making policy and taking collectively agreed initiatives on behalf of the students.
  3. represent and campaign on behalf of Edinburgh Napier University students on campaigns prioritised collectively by the Student Executive Committee.
  4. support the shared goals of the Student Executive Committee and provide practical support and guidance to its part time members.
  5. promote and profile ENSA as determined by the ENSA Communications strategy including attending events and activities.
  6. attend designated committees and meetings as ENSA representatives.
  7. contribute to operational work through the Sabbaticals and Managers Operations Group.
  8. contribute to designated fund-raising activities. 
  9. work within ENSA and with the University and other partners and organisations, such as the QAA, HEA, sparqs, NUS Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and other government agencies to improve the student experience
  10. attend and participate in a range of training and personal development events and opportunities to improve skills and knowledge base.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

This role would best someone who can communicate effectively, with determination to lead student representatives: who can listen, understand and support student perspectives and promote a strong and effective system for student representation; reaching out to students to encourage them to take up representative and volunteer positions.

It involves the ability to listen and analyse, and negotiate solutions on students’ behalf and bring student representatives together with the University and external communities. It would also suit someone who can connect what happens in the classroom with wider developments and academic policy to ensure student views are not ignored.

This post involves lots of committee work and meetings, policy scrutiny and development and an ability confidently to represent the case for students in these meetings. It may also involve organising or contributing to campaigns, and mobilising students to take action, where negotiation fails.

In addition to being a student representative, the Vice President is also a trustee of ENSA as a charitable organisation and must take those responsibilities seriously in terms of acting as a custodian of ENSA and its assets, and exercising a duty of care towards ENSA staff and the allocation of resources towards strategic objectives.  

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