Progress on the Student Association
In August we invited volunteers to lead the development of an OCA Student Association. We had a small number of volunteers and Jim Smith was chosen as the student with the most relevant experience to work with us. Yesterday Jim attended his first meeting of the OCA Teaching and Learning Committee and spent time with staff familiarising himself with the operations of the college.
In an open letter to all students Jim introduces himself below:
The OCA are in the process of starting a Student Association, which may or may not end up being called OCASA. That uncertainty illustrates a point: we want to establish OCASA right from the start through consultation and dialogue, and so even its name is just a placeholder for the time being. OCASA will eventually have a well-defined brief, but at present we see it in broad terms as a way to enable students to make a positive contribution to the operation and development of the OCA, through consultation, representation and dialogue. It should also provide a further means of providing peer support.
I am currently studying photography with the OCA and have been brought in to give a student dimension to the process of setting up the association. As well as being a current OCA student, I have also been a distance learning student with the Open University. A year ago, I retired from employment at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln as a senior academic. My student experiences, together with my employment background and commitment to lifelong learning bring opportunities to help OCA set up a successful student association.
In due course I will be writing again to all OCA students with some specific questions about how you feel OCASA might work best from your perspective. Meanwhile, please feel free to email me with your views. I may not be able to reply individually to everyone who writes, however I do undertake to consider carefully all suggestions made and incorporate them as best I can into the consultation exercise for OCASA – or whatever it finally gets called.
Jim D N Smith, OCASA.