Meet Your Department Rep – Yonca Gocer: Fashion, Marketing, Tourism and Events

Tue, 16 Feb 2021 16:19:00 GMT
Yonca was also a Class Rep in her first year at GCU
Yonca was also a Class Rep in her first year at GCU

Whilst studying at University, students have the opportunity to represent the needs of students in their course in the form of Class and Department Representatives.

GCU’s Department Reps exist to support the work of Class Representatives and build links between them, their wider School and the Students' Association.

In their role as a Department Rep, they are expected to keep in touch with the Class Representatives in their department and produce a report for the Students' Association once per trimester.

We caught up with our Fashion, Marketing, Tourism and Events Department Rep, Yonca Gocer to find out about why she decided to take on the role and learn about her as a person:

What year of study are you in?
“I’m in my second year studying BA (Hons) International Tourism and Events.”

Why did you decide to become a Department Rep?
“I was a Class Rep in first year and I always felt that there was a kind of students vs lecturer thing going on. I think many of my fellow students didn’t realise that teaching staff are humans and it’s fine to interact with them on a personal basis and also to ask for help if they need it.

I went to a very good high school in Germany, where communication was key and it was completely normal for me to see the teachers as mentors. Basically, I just wanted to act as a bridge between staff and students.”

What’s involved in the role?

“There’s a lot of time and patience involved in the role. I think it’s also important for me to keep positive. I met with Class Reps regularly and the first couple were really difficult sessions and I didn’t get much engagement but then the next ones were absolutely amazing and people were so open. It’s key not to lose motivation and always be optimistic that the next meeting is going to be better.

I also work with the students regularly and take any relevant issues to the Students’ Association, whether that’s Adil Rahoo (Vice President GSBS) or Susan Docherty (Student President). There are also School Board meetings every six weeks, which is an important time for us to stand up for the opinions of Class Reps.”

What have you been working on as a Department Rep?

“I felt it was quite important and helpful to arrange meetings between Module Leaders and Class Reps. John Lennon (Dean of GSBS) also approved of this idea and is going to implement this for all first years. If it works out then it will be used across all year groups. This is something I’m really proud of.”

What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a Department Rep?

“The most important thing to let people know is that you must be able to bring time to the role. I have two jobs and at times I do feel like I’m only fulfilling my duties half-way because it is quite intense in terms of time needed.”

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

“I’m most looking forward to going abroad. I’ve had my vaccine so I’m definitely hopeful I’ll be able to do it at some point.”

What is your favourite food?

“Crisps and Tortellini are my two favourites – I love them!”

If you could be one person in the world for the day, who would it be and why?

“Donald Trump because I just want to know what’s going on in his head. I just don’t understand him and I want to know if the things he actually says make sense to him.”

What is the first place you would like to go to on holiday after the pandemic?

“My friend has a summer house in Sweden and I would love to get to go there, it would be so fun!”

You've been sent to a desert island but can only take one item...what are you taking with you?

“Definitely nothing electrical because obviously it would die in a few days. So, I think I would take a solar laptop because it would be powered by the sun and mean I could actually get help with it.”


Find out more about Department Reps on the GCU Students’ Association website


By Ross Clark
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