Staff Student Liaison Committee - Meeting Notes
Notes from Department of Civil Engineering Student Staff Liaison Committee Meeting Tuesday 15 May 2001 1 pm
Andrew Reeves BE/BCom 3rd Year
Drew Woodhouse BE/BCom 3rd Year
Johanna Maslem BE/BCom 2nd Year
Jerome Johnson BE 1st Year
Greg Morris BE 4th Year
Mahala McLindin BE 1st Year
Len Gervay BE 2nd Year
Annie Kell BE 3rd Year
Rob Wheen 1st advisor & Rob Wheen (HOD)
Noel Ings 2nd Year Advisor
David Airey 3rd Year Advisor
Kim Rasmussen 4th Year Advisor
George Slack Civil Engineering Foundation Officer
Tim Wilkinson Civil Engineering Webmaster
1. Permission: Tim Wilkinson requested students permission for their email addresses/photos to be made public on the Internet - this was agreed by all present.
2. Committee membership and aims - Rob Wheen mentioned that he had wanted a Student/Staff Liaison Committee for some time and welcomed the initiative taken by this group. The current students are "interim" members and it will be left to the students and year advisors to hold "elections" for the 2 "official" year reps in the near future. The primary function of the Committee is to provide feedback between students & staff primarily on academic aspects. A social group should be set up, but this was not seen as the primary reason for establishing the Committee.
David Airey mentioned that the Chemical Engineering SSLC involves more students, perhaps 6-7 reps per year, while in Mechanical Engineering, the SSLC is very structured with students creating the agenda etc.
Drew Woodhouse mentioned that Year advisors should attend each meeting, and other staff members to attend if required.
3. Matters raised by students
a) Web information; The students stressed the importance of having current notices (tutorials, solutions etc) on course web pages. This was the most important issue the students got from talking to fellow students. Some courses in Civil Engineering have web pages, but many do not have them. The webmaster Tim Wilkinson, noted that he had designed a template for staff to use, but it that it is up to each individual lecturer to determine whether or not the internet will be used, and whether or not they want to put tutes, solutions etc on the net.
b)Staff-student interaction - Len Gervay mentioned that it was desirable to meet lecturers on a more personal basis (BBQ?) to help foster relationships. This is also a way to mingle and get to know other students and Year reps and improve feedback. Len also noted that a student BBQ to which all staff would be invited would be held "soon".
Rob Wheen mentioned that the Civil Engineering Camp used to provide an excellent opportunity for student staff interaction - but the camp is no longer affordable, but was very useful.
Drew Woodhouse was keen to combine a Civil Engineering Student Social Group with SSLC. The HOD, Rob Wheen, thought this was acceptable but stressed that the primary aim of this committee was for students to voice concerns to staff and/or have input into department decisions, rather than purely social.
It was mentioned that Vet Science is a Faculty with much staff-student social contact ; and it would be good if the same could happen in Civil Engineering.
c) First year camp - This was mentioned as an opportunity to enhance interaction between students & staff, and among students themselves. The "orientation camp" held by SUEUA for first years was seen as a great event. There was discussion on whether some sort of camp, included as part of a unit of study, could be appropriate for first year. Such a camp could get students enthused about engineering. Rob Wheen expressed enthusiasm for the idea but could make no promises.
d) After hours access to Hawkins Lab for Thesis work. Greg Morris asked about how 4th year students could get after hours access to the Hawkins computer lab. Noel Ings responded, saying access numbers restricted for safety reasons after hours, but he will place a notice on notice board summarising procedures to obtain after hours access card.
e) Student common room. Students mentioned that there is little undercover meeting space available for students (eg cafe outside library) and nowhere to work together and eat lunch (etc) at the same time, since eating was not permitted in the Civil Engineering Lecture Rooms or Drawing Office. Rob Wheen (HOD) was unable to offer accommodation at this time for a common room, but will look at possible locations.
f) Student survey. David Airey mentioned that engineering ranks poorly in the SCEQ (leaving questionnaire for graduates) & that this affects our funding. The poor ranking suggests that students are unhappy with aspects of their civil engineering education, however the staff often get little or no feedback from students. The SSLC should be seen as an avenue for students to address concerns.
4. Next meeting - Rob Wheen suggests week 3 of semester 2