Monthly Archives: February 2024

Gleaning team

Right to Food: tackling the cost of living on campus

Becoming a Right To Food University means working to ensure that we protect our students from food insecurity and that access to nutritional, affordable and sustainable food is paramount across our food services.

To celebrate our one year anniversary (26th February), we celebrate what we have achieved against this mission and look forward to some exciting projects that will do even more.

Cost of living meals

A number of initiatives are underway already – most notably the £3 meal deal on campus. Starting as a hot meal, served in our Rutherford Dining Hall with a choice of salad or vegetables, but moving on to include a grab-and-go deal in outlets across campus has proven to be extremely popular. We have now sold over 60,000 meals since November 2022.

In addition to this exciting meal deal expansion, the catering team have reduced hot food price on average by 20%. Through reducing food waste, collaborating closely with our primary food supplier, simplifying operations, and managing food expenses effectively, prices across campus have been significantly reduced.

At the Medway campus, the Hub offers free community breakfasts for students, supported by the Universities at Medway.

Gleaning

Our student led gleaning project, ran in partnership with Produced in Kent, has also given students the chance to access free fresh produce. Our student volunteers go to local farms to pick surplus food and veg that would otherwise go to waste. As well as redistributing it to those in the wider local community who need it, the volunteers also get to take home some of the produce for themselves.

Find out more about the gleaning project and sign up to become a volunteer now.

anniversary of the russian full scale invasion of Ukraine

2nd anniversary of Russian war on Ukraine

Canterbury for Ukraine (C4U) and Ukrainian Society of Kent (UsoK) are running events on Saturday 24 February to commemorate the second anniversary of the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

As the current conflict continues, the commemoration takes on special importance as Ukraine continues to defy Russian aggression and affirm its commitment to peace and freedom.

Events include:

  • Information stand on Canterbury Highstreet (near the Beaney Library) from 12:00-16:30
  • Walk through Canterbury with displaced Ukrainians and supporters to remember and honour those affected by the war. Meeting place is the Beaney Library at 16:15 and will finish at 17:00 by the Marlowe Theatre.
  • Public talk ‘War on Ukraine: Unbreakable People’ at The Friends Meeting House at 17:15. The talk will feature distinguished speakers, including:
    • Yevhen Hlibovytsky, a public figure and director of Frontier Institute, a strategic think tank for Ukraine
    • Baroness Alison Suttie, a Member of the House of Lords since October 2013, the Patron of Canterbury for Ukraine
    • Maryna Poltavska, an officer of Canterbury City Council and a beneficiary of the Home for Ukraine scheme.

      The discussion will be moderated by Sir Julian Brazier, a former Member of Parliament for Canterbury. The panel discussion will be followed by the Q&A and light refreshments.

For further information see the Canterbury for Ukraine website.

Stay on for a Master's?

Staying on for a Master’s at Kent?

Here at the Kent, we understand your passion to progress. Whether you’re wanting to advance your skills or develop your knowledge further, let us help you reach your full potential. Become a critical, creative and strategic thinker with high-level research, planning and communication skills – exactly the attributes all employers look for.

If you’re a final year undergrad considering staying on for postgraduate study, do make sure to check out the following:

  • Different courses that Kent offers – full time, part time, short courses or conversion courses for those looking for a different route altogether
  • Funding and scholarships that are available to you, with scholarships that could take off up to £5,000 off your tuition fees, you don’t want to miss out applying.
  •  Kent are hosting a series of events throughout Feb – May, including Postgraduate Open Events, Drop-in chat sessions at Nexus and subject specific talks. Do register or attend to find out more about specific course details.
  • The extensive employment opportunities that include work placements, career support, networking and 1-2-1 coaching.

Find out more about the benefits of staying at Kent, hear from student who decided to stay on for a Master’s and sign up to register for updates on our website.

 

Two students walking through field with canterbury cathedral in background

Kent 2030: Student Open Forum on 21 February

Want to hear more about Kent 2030 and ask your questions? Join our Student Open Forum from 15:30 – 16:30 on Wednesday 21 February online via Teams. Register for the forum and submit your questions.

From changes to Kent’s future course offering, to changes to the shape of the academic year, we want to hear from students on your views to help shape our plans.

Richard Reece (DVC Education and Student Experience) and Mica Rose (Head of Student Experience) will be joined with Zaid Mahmood (Kent Union President) to hear your views and answer any questions you might have about Kent 2030.

Can’t make it? The open forum will be recorded and available for you to watch after.

Students with therapy dog

Events roundup: 19-25 February

Find out what’s on this week including trips out in Kent, careers talks, LGBTQ+ events and 5-week mindfulness course.

Monday 19 February: Digital marketing and UV Games (Medway)

Kickstart your career in digital marketing with this talk from Kent Alumna Morgan who is a Senior Content and Digital PR Executive at Reflect Digital marketing agency.

UV Games are back at the Hub on Monday evening. Come along and try neon-lit table tennis and badminton.

Tuesday 20 February: Kent Police drop-in session, study a Psychology Conversion Master’s and effective reading workshop

Each Tuesday morning, Kent Police hold a drop-in session in Locke Building, Canterbury campus. You can ask them any general questions and discuss crime prevention and safety.

Are you interested in studying a Conversion Master’s in Psychology? Ask any questions you have at this event in Nexus, Templeman Library. A Conversion Master’s is where you take a different subject to your undergraduate degree for your Master’s. See all conversion programmes.

Improve your reading techniques at this Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) session. Adapting reading skills and improving your reading techniques (to read faster or more effectively) will lessen the stress and improve your retention.

Wednesday 21 February: Kent 2030 Student Open Forum, Coco the therapy dog and impact of hormones on athletes talk.

Want to hear more about Kent 2030 and ask your questions? Join our Student Open Forum from 15:30 – 16:30 on Wednesday 21 February online via Teams. Register for the forum and submit your questions.

Looking for easy way to de-stress? Visit Coco the therapy dog, at the ‘Pause for Paws’ event in Nexus.

As part of LGBT+ History Month, hear from Loughborough academic Dr Joanna Harper as she speaks about her research on the impact of hormones on athletes in various sports looking at the culture, attitudes, and barriers to participation for transgender athletes.

Thursday 22 February: working at the theatre, LGBTQ+ Crafternoon (Medway) and Nerf fun

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in a leading, regional theatre? Kate Bowden, Director of Development and Sara Hill from the Marketing and Communications team at The Marlowe explain how life at a theatre works, what job opportunities are out there, and how to get into the industry.

Join an LGBTQ+ Crafternoon at The Hub where you can design your own pride bracelets and pronoun badges and enjoy rainbow themed crafts. All welcome.

Give it a go with Nerf in the Venue. Kent Union will provide the nerf guns and ammo, you do the shooting! Will you play with or against your friends?

Friday 23 February: Transitioning at uni talk and mindfulness colouring

On Friday, The LGBTQ+ Students Network presents a talk by Tyler Williamson, a young trans man from Canterbury Christ Church University, who will share his personal journey of transitioning while navigating the university experience, shedding light on the unique challenges and triumphs faced by young trans individuals in the UK. This event is taking place in person and online.

Relax and unwind with mindfulness colouring and painting in the Common Room in Woolf College. Hot chocolate will also be provided.

Saturday 24 February: Postgraduate Open Event and Dover trip

Interested in postgraduate study? The Postgraduate Open Event is a fantastic way to meet staff and students and find out how Kent can help you make your ambition count. With over 100 scholarships and awards for Kent graduates available for 2024, there are plenty to choose from and plenty of support for you to continue your journey with us.

Explore the white cliffs of Dover and walk along the pier on this free trip, arranged by the ResLife Team. Meet new people as you explore the county.

Sunday 25 February: Visit the Canterbury Cat Café

Are you a cat person? Do you live in on-campus accommodation? Join the ResLife Ambassadors at Canterbury Tails, the cat café in Canterbury! They have 20 cats you can hang out with in the café.

Opportunities

Lead Kent

Lead Kent nominations: find out more about the roles

Be a part of something big at Kent Union and nominate yourself to Lead Kent. This is all about students working for students to make their university experience the best it can be as an Elected Full-time Officer.

Based in the Mandela Students’ Centre, the Officer team liaises with leaders in the university and higher education across the UK and Europe to make sure that student voices are being heard.

These are full-time, paid positions. You do not need to be a final-year student to run, you can interrupt your studies.  Nominations close on the 21 February at midday.

Officer role descriptions

Students’ Union President

  • Promotes, extends and defends all student rights.
  • Acts as the lead student voice to Kent Union and the university.
  • Leads the Officer team.
  • Leads on campaigns to improve overall student experience.

See Students’ Union President full role description.

Vice-President Postgraduate & International Experience

  • Leads on issues of PG and international accommodation, wellbeing, education, training and employment.
  • Leads on supporting European satellite campuses and internalisation work.

See VP Postgraduate and International Experience full role description.

Vice-President Welfare & Community

  • Represents students on all welfare matters.
  • Leads on student housing, well-being and EDI, as well as environmental and sustainability work.
  • Works with liberation networks.

See VP Welfare and Community full role description.

Vice-President Student Engagement

  • Leads on sports, societies and volunteering groups.
  • Leads on employability and alumni engagement.
  • Represents students on all co-curricular activities.
  • Supports all student groups and runs campaigns.

See VP Student Engagement full role description.

Vice-President Academic Experience

  • Represents students on all UG education matters.
  • Supports and empowers academic communities, including societies and student reps.
  • Leads on the Kent Union education strategy.

See VP Academic Experience full role description.

You’ll be part of a dedicated team

Being an Officer is great fun and incredibly fulfilling but it’s also a lot of hard work.

There are a host of career staff working behind the scenes supporting the Officer team to help on their campaigns, and work towards making their goals a reality. We also offer training sessions and continued growth and development throughout each Officer’s term.

Nominate yourself to Lead Kent.

Find out more on Kent Union’s Lead Kent webpage.

 

5-Week mindfulness course

Online mindfulness 5-week course

Are you busy living, working or studying? Do you need to take a moment to rest and recharge?

Dr Adelina Gschwandtner, Economics Lecture and Wellbeing Coordinator, is running the popular 5-week mindfulness course again this year.

There are many benefits associated with mindfulness including:

  • Reducing stress, anxiety and depression
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved job performance
  • Improved emotional and social skills

The course will run every Wednesday in March on zoom, 15:00-16:30.  It is open to all students.

You will receive 15 employability points and a certificate after completing the course.

To register, email Adelina A.Gschwandtner@kent.ac.uk

Supporting staff and students tackle the cost of living on campus

Becoming a Right To Food University means working to ensure that we protect our students from food insecurity and that access to nutritional, affordable and sustainable food is paramount across our food services. 

Ahead of our one year anniversary (26th February) and as part of National Student Money Week, we celebrate what we have achieved against this mission and look forward to some exciting projects that will do even more.  

Cost of living meals 

A number of initiatives are underway already – most notably the £3 meal deal on campus. Starting as a hot meal, served in our Rutherford Dining Hall with a choice of salad or vegetables, but moving on to include a grab-and-go deal in outlets across campus has proven to be extremely popular. We have now sold over 60,000 meals since November 2022.   

With such a diverse range of affordable food options, students at the University of Kent can easily access nutritious and delicious meals without breaking the bank. The £3 Cost of Living Meal scheme has been widely praised by students, who appreciate the university’s efforts to support them during challenging times. Recent graduate Kieran Webb said: “Now that I’ve graduated, one of the biggest things I’ve missed was a £3 cooked meal. I felt too proud to ask for help when it came to eating and my budget, so this helped make sure I was well fed at times when I was really struggling. Glad to see it’s still going and is clearly getting used plenty by current students.” 

In addition to this exciting meal deal expansion, the catering team have reduced hot food price on average by 20%. Through reducing food waste, collaborating closely with our primary food supplier, simplifying operations, and managing food expenses effectively, prices across campus have been significantly reduced. 

Giving Week generosity 

Alongside the £3 meal deal and reduced prices across our catering outlets, the University’s Giving Week raised £18,000 to provide meals for students facing hardship. This money will help provide meals and other financial support for students who need it the most thanks to a collaborative approach between the university’s student support and wellbeing services and Kent Union. 

Zaid Mahmood, Students’ Union President at Kent says: ‘Kent Giving Week 2023 raised money that would directly help in tackling food insecurity on campus. Being a Right to Food University, this is a critical mission for us as an institution because no student should go hungry and be disadvantaged in their university career. These giving week meals will ensure that the most disadvantaged and impacted students are supported during their time at The University of Kent and are set up to thrive in their academics. We want to thank every single person that donated to support this cause, the impact of this initiative will change the lives of so many students!’ 

To offer wider support, the university will also be offering a free hot breakfast, open to all students, on Monday 26 February at the Gulbenkian café. Find out more and register now: https://www.kent.ac.uk/whats-on/event/65541/one-year-of-right-to-food-free-breakfast-celebration  

Gleaning 

Our student led gleaning project, ran in partnership with Produced in Kent, has also given students the chance to access free fresh produce. Our student volunteers go to local farms to pick surplus food and veg that would otherwise go to waste. As well as redistributing it to those in the wider local community who need it, the volunteers also get to take home some of the produce for themself.  

Find out more about the project and sign up to become a volunteer now.  

Intersex Progress rainbow flag

LGBTQ+ flags and what they represent

At Pride celebrations at Kent, at Pride marches and Pride festivals you may have seen several flags being flown, wrapped around bodies, worn as capes or represented on posters and flyers, as banner images on websites or popping up on your social media feeds.  

There are many flags, and each one represents a specific community of people. This blogpost will give you a bit more information about the some of the different flags you are likely to come across so that you can identify them and understand a little more about the deeper meaning behind each one, and why they are so important to students and colleagues who work and study at Kent. 

We normally fly these flags on the flagpoles on the top of our buildings, however the recent bad weather and storms has unfortunately damaged the poles and their pulley mechanisms. We are working hard to get them repaired in time for Pride Month in June. 

Rainbow Flag 

8 stripe rainbow flag

The original Rainbow Flag is a symbol of LGBTQIA+ pride and the LGBTQIA+ social movements. It was created by artists Gilbert Baker, Lynn Segerblom and James McNamara in 1978 and was first flown at the San Franciso Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25. The original design had eight colours, starting with hot pink on the top, with each colour having a specific meaning, although most variants today show the flag with the traditional six colours of a rainbow, with red always on the top. The original eight colour represented (from top to bottom); hot pink (sex), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (magic), indigo (serenity), violet (spirit). 

Over the years the original Pride flag has been redesigned to become more inclusive. 

Intersex Progress Pride Flag  

Intersex Progress rainbow flag

The Intersex Progress Pride Flag is currently the most inclusive flag for the LGBTQIA community, with the colours, chevrons and circle all having a specific meaning. We normally fly it above our central administration building (the Registry) and it is the flag flown on the only flagpole at our Medway site. It is also the giant flag you will see on the side of the Jarman building all year round. 

In 2017, Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs added black and brown stripes to the original Rainbow Pride flag to recognise people of colour. One year later, an artist called Daniel Quasar released a redesign of the Pride flag, called the Progress Pride flag, which was widely shared on social media. It included black and brown stripes (to represent marginalised people of colour in the LGBTQIA+ community), pink, pale blue and white stripes (to represent the trans community), and also represents those living with HIV and AIDS. Quasar explained that “the arrow points to the right to show forward movement, while being along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made”. 

In 2021, Valentino Vecchietti of Intersex Equality Rights UK, shared an updated version to the Progress Pride flag, which included a yellow triangle and purple circle to represent the intersex community, creating the Intersex Progress Pride Flag that we fly at Kent today. 

Bi Pride Flag 

Bi Pride flag

Featuring three horizontal bars, two fifth pink, one fifth purple and two fifths blue, the bisexual flag is a pride flag representing bisexuality, bisexual individuals and the bisexual community. The pink stripe represents attraction to the same gender, while the blue stripe represents attraction to the opposite gender. The purple stripe, the resulting “overlap” of the blue and pink stripes, represents attraction to all genders, including non-binary people and those of other gender identities 

The flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 to increase the visibility of bisexuals among society as a whole and within the LGBTQIA+ community. He aimed to give the bisexual community a symbol that is comparable to the rainbow flag for the greater LGBT community.  

Transgender Pride Flag 

Transgender flag

Possibly the most recognised transgender flag design is the “Transgender Pride Flag”, used as a symbol of transgender pride and diversity, and transgender rights. The flag was created by American trans woman Monica Helms in 1999 and was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2000. Helms describes the meaning of the transgender pride flag as: “the stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional masculine color. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional feminine color. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender “.  

At Kent we normally fly it above Keynes College as this is the home of our transgender staff and student support group, run by the Canterbury Trans Network. 

Lesbian Stripe Pride Flag 

Lesbian stripe flag

The “pink” lesbian flag was derived from the colours of the lipstick lesbian flag (created by the writer of the weblog This Lesbian Life in 2010), with the kiss mark excluded. The pink flag attracted more use as a general lesbian pride flag than the Lipstick Kiss flag. The design comprises of seven stripes consisting of six shades of red and pink colours and a white bar in the centre.  

The Lesbian Stripe flag (also known as the Lipstick Flag) isn’t without its controversies, with the most common concern being that it only represents feminine presenting lesbians and has the potential to exclude butch, non-femme and androgynous lesbians.  

Gender Queer Pride Flag 

Gender queer flag

Marilyn Roxie, an advocate, and genderqueer writer, designed the genderqueer pride flag in 2011. The flag has three colours and three stripes.  

  • Lavender, created from a mix of pink and blue, which have traditionally stood for men and women, expresses queer identities and androgyny. 
  • White represents gender-neutral and agender identities. 
  • Chartreuse represents identities that aren’t in the gender binary as well as the third gender. 

A genderqueer person does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but still identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders. The term genderqueer is similar to non-binary, but has a slightly different meaning and is best considered an umbrella term to cover any identity that isn’t cisgender. 

Non-Binary Pride Flag 

Non binary flag

The Non-Binary Flag is used to represent individuals who do not identify strictly as male or female. The flag consists of four horizontal stripes of equal width. The yellow represents those who identify outside of the gender binary, the white represents people who identify as many or all genders, the lavender represents a combination of male and female genders and the black represents an absence of gender.  It was designed by Kye Rowan in February 2014 when they were 17 years old.  

Both the Genderqueer and Non-Binary Flags contain the colour lavender in reference and respect to LGBTQ+ history. A 1935 dictionary of slang included the phrase “a streak of lavender”, meaning a person who was regarded as effeminate. A different-gender marriage where both parties were assumed to be gay was called a Lavender Marriage. The Lavender Scare was a moral panic in the mid-20th century were LGBTQ+ people were dismissed en-masse from their jobs within the United States government. Expressions used by the LGBTQ+ community are sometimes referred to as Lavender Linguistics.  

Asexual Pride Flag 

Asexual flag

In 2010 the first Asexual Pride flag was formally announced. The final design, created by AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) user ‘standup’ was selected due to receiving the most votes in an online, open-access poll. The flags consists of four horizontal stripes, with Black at the top for asexuality, grey for grey-asexuality (the spectrum between asexuality and non-sexuality / allosexuality), white for allosexuality and purple for community. The Flag is commonly used as a representation for asexuality as a whole.