Who We Are
So where are we now… 2019
The Student Association has come such a long way since 2014. We have developed and grown into an Association which works hard to listen to your needs and support you whilst you are at College. We have introduced a Structure that works to meet your needs and ensures that you have a Voice and are represented. We work in partnership with the College to integrate process and develop new ways of working to benefit you.
We evaluate your needs through our Class Ambassador system (formally known as the Class Rep system), evaluating College surveys and speaking to you on a regular basis. Our door is always open and we value your feedback.
Your Student Association is made up from one full-time paid Sabbatical President and one full-time Sabbatical Vice President (Sabbatical means a student taking a break from studies), all supported by your Student Association Development Officer. These roles, with the exception of the Student Association Development Officer, are all elected by you, on an annual basis to ensure you have the right people working on your behalf.
In addition to the President and Vice President, three other Students are elected in September of each year. These five Students make up the Student Association Executive Committee. This Committee works together to make decisions on your behalf and in your best interest.
Each Centre will also have Centre Ambassadors. These are volunteer roles in which any student can apply. The Centre Ambassadors role is to assist students SPARKLE, our new evaluation tool.
Your Student Association President and Vice President also sit on the College Board of Management and on a number of College Committees to ensure that there is Student representation and input in all aspects of the College decision making processes.
Our President oversees all the work and co ordinates the Student Association process (supported by the Student Association Development Officer) to ensure that your needs as Students are met.
The Student Association wants to ensure that you, our Students have the best College experience possible. We want to support you during your time at College and also arrange a number of monthly events to provide you with knowledge, education and support on a range of relevant topics.
Where have we come from?
West Lothian College Student Association was officially formulated in 2014. The Scottish Government provided Colleges with funding over a two-year project, in order to develop ’autonomous and sustainable’ Student Associations, throughout the Scottish Further Education sector.
In 2014, the initial year, our Student Association President, Vice President and Development Officer worked hard to initiate a brand which would be recognisable to students. A logo and strapline were created. These were created through the implementation of student competitions and focus groups to ensure students were at the forefront of the design process. ‘Your Voice Only Louder’ was the winning entry for the Student Association strapline. This statement pin points what Students wanted their Student Association to be and assisted with providing a sense of identity. In addition to our logo and strapline, a dedicated space was introduced within the Street Building in order to provide a sense of belonging and ownership.
During the second year of funding, the Student Association President, Vice President and Development Officer started to create a sustainable approach for the Student Association. Our Constitution was developed in order to provide a framework for the Student Association and a code of conduct was introduced in order for our Officers to be held accountable for their actions by its members (you our students).
In order to create a more sustainable Student Association a comprehensive induction document and training materials were developed and handovers were introduced for the current team to handover to the newly recruited team. This, in turn, will introduce a consistent and supported approach for new team members.
In addition to this excellent work, the Student Association President, Vice President and Development Officer worked with a number of students in order to produce a Strategic Plan, which detailed our vision, our aims and objectives. In addition to this document, the Student Association and the College are continually working together in order to formulate a Partnership agreement. These documents are essential in order to ensure that there is continued fundamental partnership working in order to provide our learners with the best possible college experience.
This work provided the Student Association with real practical insight into what you as students want and how we can support you better. We evaluated our structure, our policies and procedures, our training materials, events and how we support you throughout your College journey. From this piece of work, we developed a comprehensive new structure introducing an integrated approach from the College and the Student Association. The College provided funding for the Student Association and its new structure introducing 8 paid roles. These included one full-time sabbatical President and seven Centre Vice Presidents all supported by a Student Association Development Officer.
However, after much self-evaluation it was concluded that it would be more productive to have a full time President and a full time Vice President in order for them to represent the Student Voice in a full time capacity whilst supporting each other.
So we are now in 2019 and wow what a development.
We continue to grow and develop and value any input you have in strengthening your Student Association, so please let us know or even better get involved.