The Student-Staff Committee (SSC) exists to provide a forum for the discussion of matters of interest and concern to students about the working of the School. A copy of its Constitution is permanently displayed on this SSC website and the minutes of each meeting are sent to the Students' Union.
All members of the School may attend meetings but the voting membership of SSC is as follows:
- Head of School (ex officio) (1)
- Four members of the academic staff of the School, one nominated by each Language Area (4)
- Two elected members from each language area (French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian) (12)
- One undergraduate student from each year elected from amongst those registered for non-language programmes (CLC, International Film, Liberal Arts) (3)
- Two postgraduate students elected from amongst MA students (2)
- Two postgraduate students elected from amongst PhD students (2)
In addition, standing invitations to attend meetings in a non-voting capacity are issued to the Dean of the Arts Faculty, to the Vice-President (Education & Welfare) of the Students' Union, and to one representative of School Societies.
The meeting is quorate (i.e. votes taken are valid) when 2/3 those members are present (i.e. 16 out of 24). Elections for undergraduate and postgraduate members are held during October each year (elections arranged by the School Office).
The first action of the first meeting in each year is to elect a Chair and Secretary from amongst the membership; one of these roles is usually filled by an elected student member, the other by a member of staff, who also usually acts as 'Staff Liaison Officer' to ensure that SSC's business is reported to the School Board.
At least one meeting is held in each of terms 1 and 2. Further 'extraordinary' meetings in these terms or a meeting in term 3 may be held if at least three of the SSC members request such a meeting. All undergraduate and postgraduate students may ask their year-representatives to raise issues at a meeting – and are encouraged to do so. Elected members may (and should!) canvass in their electorate to see whether there are issues that the Committee needs to discuss.
A particular function of the Committee is to consider issues arising from the annual Student Questionnaire Survey as part of the Annual Monitoring process (where the School accounts for its activities to the College) and recommend appropriate action, if this has not already been taken. It is vital that students take the opportunity to scrutinize these documents and raise the issues that most concern them.
SSC has a good history of prompting change in many areas. In the recent past, for example, the re-design of aspects of Departments' language-teaching curriculum was discussed at length in SSC and a number of important suggestions arose from these meetings. Changes to content courses have also been made as a direct result of student-led discussion in SSC.