The Exam Support Stall, run by UMSU’s Advocacy wing, has taken its position just outside the Royal Exhibition Building again this exam period. Started in 2006, the stall is a familiar sight at exam time, providing everything from bottles of water and lollipops to pens and pencils. The volunteers and student representatives manning the stall will also answer questions and provide support to students who miss an exam or need advice about special consideration and academic misconduct.
Most items cost a small fee, though there are free alternatives for the essential stationary items. Though most students come by the stall for the lollipops, water, or an item of stationery, there will usually be students at each exam who require the advice of the Union volunteers. The examination medics and invigilators are encouraged to refer students with queries to the volunteers at the stall. They can give basic information about student advocacy and the steps to take when, for instance, unforeseen circumstances make you late for an examination or you need to sign a ‘stat dec’ after forgetting your student card.
UMSU Welfare Officer and advocacy volunteer James Bashford says the stall is great for the visibility of UMSU, as students become more aware of the Union’s student advocacy and academic support services.
For some students, the Exam Support Stall may be the critical – or only – interaction that they will have with UMSU and the services it provides. It’s a reminder of the Union’s role outside of Union House and its relationship with the academic needs of all students.