Monthly Archives: February 2024

Woman in blue jeans and yellow top using a Macbook Pro

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.


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

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.   

Student volunteering at Kent Community Oasis Garden

Events roundup: 12-18 February

Find out what’s on this week:

Monday 12 February: Time management skills and Grad Schemes (Medway)

Do your time management skills need some work? Join this online Time Management for Life and for Work session to find out how you manage your time more efficiently.

Learn more about what a Graduate Scheme is and how you can get one at this session in Medway, or you can join online.

Tuesday 13 February: Finding LGBTQ+ inclusive employers, Valentine’s Card Making and Pancake Day

Learn how to find LGBTQ+ inclusive employers and discover what to look for when applying for a job or placement.

Kent Union are hosting a Valentine’s card making session so you can send your Valentine’s wishes with a homemade card, whether it’s for a partner, friends or family.

If you live in on-campus accommodation, celebrate Pancake Day in style with chef Ben Elsberry and the ResLife Ambassadors making pancakes in Darwin.

Wednesday 14 February: Asia internship opportunities, Dragon’s Den star Touker Suleyman talk and Valentine’s Cocktail Making (Medway)

CRCC Asia, the global leader for international internships in Asia is coming to the Canterbury campus. Find out about their internship programmes and how to utilise Turing funding to sponsor your journey abroad.

On Wednesday afternoon ASPIRE hosts the international entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den Touker Suleyman for a discussion on entrepreneurial motivation and building a global empire. Now a serial entrepreneur, Touker backs multiple retail and commercial property businesses and has a keen interest in supporting start-ups and invests in companies through the Den and privately.

Learn the art of cocktail making at The Deep End, Medway, as you create your own Valentine’s Cocktail or Mocktail.

Thursday 15 February: Develop your confidence, find out how to use Gen AI in your studies and learn about volunteering opportunities

Would you like to develop more confidence to share ideas in public? This pilot workshop uses play activities and groupwork to encourage your creativity and help you feel more comfortable to express yourself in front of others. There are £5 Amazon vouchers on offer for students who are willing to participate and provide feedback.

Unsure about using AI in your studies? Join this online workshop on using Gen AI legitimately to make sure you avoid plagiarism.

Did you know that this week is Student Volunteer Week? Find out about different ways you can volunteer and how to apply at this online volunteering session.

Friday 16 February: LinkedIn skills, Kent Community Oasis Garden and board games

Improve your LinkedIn skills with a drop-in session at Canterbury and a LinkedIn workshop at Medway.

As it’s Student Volunteer Week, why not volunteer some of your time at the Kent Community Oasis Garden. They run open volunteering sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00-14:00.

If you live on campus, consider joining ResLife Ambassadors Linda and Jhanay for an evening of board games in Keynes. Hot drinks will be provided.

See more student events.


See more student opportunities.


Campus shuttle Zeelo

Campus Shuttle update

We apologise if you have experienced any issues with the Campus Shuttle in recent weeks while our new carbon neutral provider Zeelo takes over the service.

We are working with Zeelo to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. This includes getting a booking system in place, a service app with live updates and new coaches with Wi-Fi on board.

Until the new Campus Shuttle app and booking system is live:

  • You must show your KentOne Card to use the Campus Shuttle.
  • Wheelchair users or people that have restricted mobility can book a  seat by contacting Zeelo directly with 12 hours notice.
  • You can follow @CampusShuttle on X (formerly Twitter) for service updates. However, if you have any questions or feedback you will need to contact the 24/7 Customer Care Team 0330 808 3306 or email

We anticipate the booking system will be live by the end of March 2024.

Thank you for your patience while we resolve these issues.

Egg and avocado bagel

One Year of Right to Food: Free Breakfast Celebration on 26 Feb

Join us for a special FREE breakfast at the Gulbenkian Cafe, from 8:00-10:00, on Mon 26 Feb to celebrate our one-year anniversary as a Right to Food University.

Booking is now closed for the anniversary breakfast. 

Why is this Breakfast Special? This breakfast isn’t just about enjoying a tasty meal; it’s a celebration of the community coming together to make a difference. Thanks to the incredible support from our staff, students, alumni, and donors during last year’s Kent Giving Week, we have been able to provide over 10,900 meals, including this free breakfast session, supporting more than 650 students facing financial challenges.

Your Meal, Their Support: The generosity of our donors during Kent Giving Week of last year has made this breakfast possible. It’s a testament to the power of giving and the impact it can have on our community. As you indulge in the complimentary breakfast, we encourage you to consider how you, too, can pay it forward in the spirit of giving.

Right to Food: Our Commitment, Your Nourishment: As we celebrate our one-year commitment to becoming a Right to Food University, this breakfast symbolises our ongoing dedication to tackling food insecurity. We believe that access to nutritious and sustainable food is a fundamental right. Through various initiatives, we are actively working to ensure that no student on our campus faces the challenge of going hungry.

Living Black at Kent

The first research report into Black students’ experience in UK purpose-built student accommodation, Living Black at University was published in February 2022 by Unite Students. At the University of Kent, we wanted to respond to and act upon the findings and recommendations of the report published which had found evidence of racism, cultural insensitivity, and exclusion – all of which had a significant impact on Black students’ mental health.

A Living Black at Kent Working Group was set up in April 2023, comprising stakeholders from across the University and student union, to respond to the findings, and ten recommendations in the report listed below, thereby improving, and enhancing the lived experience for our Black students.

  1. Universities and accommodation providers should collaborate to eliminate racism from all areas of the student experience, including student accommodation.
  2. Improve acclimatisation and integration activities for all new students and extend the period over which these activities take place.
  3. Introduce meaningful race training for peers and staff.
  4. Accommodation providers should confirm a commitment to tackling racism, both in their internal policies and in their student behavioural agreement or charter
  5. Improve the representation of Black people as employees to reflect the diversity of students.
  6. Universities and accommodation providers should work together to create intentionally diverse and inclusive student accommodation.
  7. Universities and accommodation providers should collaborate to ensure mental health and wellbeing support is available, accessible, and appropriate for Black students.
  8. Ensure there are clear and accessible policies and procedures (including anonymous reporting) that deal explicitly with racism in accommodation.
  9. Accommodation providers should routinely collect, analyse, and publish relevant data on the racial diversity of their residents and employees, as well as outcomes of reporting and investigation of complaints.
  10. Accommodation providers should work to build a relationship of trust with Black students.

So far, we have looked at our acclimatisation and integration activities to ensure that we offer a diverse range of options during our welcome period, and we are making this a real focus for our ResLife programme to ensure that this continues throughout the academic year.

We have considered Kents student demographics to ensure we are providing culturally relevant services. Our catering options were reviewed as part of this, and students and suppliers were invited to a food tasting event, where we could gather feedback about our food offerings on campus. As a result, in September 2023 we launched a West Indian microbrand called Three Little Birds and are also offering a selection of African and West Indian drinks and snacks in our catering outlets.

Current residential students were invited to share what advice they would give to new students moving to Kent for the first time in terms of other culturally relevant services in the area. From this we have created a welcome booklet called ‘Living Black at Kent’ featuring peer-to-peer advice from current students, signposting to where students can find global food suppliers, Afro-Caribbean hair salons, and suggestions for student societies and faith groups.

As the Living Black at University (LBU) report is a national project, to ensure that the work we do here at Kent is relevant for our student body we included the original research questions in our 2022/23 end-of- year residential student survey to which we had a fantastic response rate, demonstrating the engagement of Kent students in this discussion.

The findings were compared with the original LBU Report findings, as well as comparing with qualitative data collected by both our EDI team and Students Union which focused on Black students’ experiences at Kent.  With this feedback data we are confident that we are improving areas at Kent that will have significant impact.

The residential survey, with the addition of the LBU elements, will run annually at Kent enabling us to respond to the current student body and measure our initiatives impact.

Most importantly is here at Kent we are open to the findings and embrace change to make positive improvements for our Black students; we look forward to sharing the results and initiatives as they evolve with you and welcome any feedback you have on the Living Black at Kent project.