Being an AUA Advocate is a fulfilling experience | AUA Blog

Josie Hanby
Research Development Project Administrator
University of York

If you’d asked me this time last year what the AUA was I would have looked at you blankly and tried to concoct three words from yet another Higher Education acronym. Now, however, I am a member and an advocate at the University of York, paying a small fee to help promote, encourage and support like-minded people across campus to get the most out of their roles.

Being an Advocate for the AUA is not just about promoting to other fellow administrative staff in the University; it’s about organising a community, providing a voice and space for those people, exploring ideas and creating solutions. My favourite part of being an advocate is listening to the discussions that we generate in our lunch time meetings. These are great for generating discussion around those big questions that often get pushed under the carpet as we rush around putting out fires (Metaphorically of course) for our other colleagues. It’s important that we remind our peers that we are more than just a job title in the midst of administrative support system. We use these sessions to explore a range of frequent issues, systems, best practice and so on and above all, we want our attendees to lead what we discuss.

The AUA at York and the wider community has helped me realise the importance of administration in ways that I don’t think we always appreciate ourselves.

We really are the cogs that turn the wheels, we work behind the scenes ensuring that the University continues to provide a space for students and staff, produce high quality research and teaching, facilities for living, eating, playing, learning and well-being to name just some.

The University really is a wonderful place to work, there’s always something new happening and the vibrancy that the campus attracts really helps to bring the roles we carry out each day come to life.

We’re currently trying to build up our membership and interest. It’s a slow-process, but it’s great to see returning faces to our meetings and positive feedback being generated. We’re really grateful for those who are supporting and working with us on this and on a personal note, I am grateful for my fellow advocates who challenge me and give me opportunities in this profession and help to highlight the true potential we each have as professional support in higher education.

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