Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

Safety

Free personal safety items

College and Community Life and the Transport Team recently set up a stall in the library to hand out safety equipment including personal alarms, torches and anti-spiking devices.

With earlier sunsets as winter gets closer, we have a range of free items which support getting home safe including personal safety alarms, torches and high-visibility bands.

We also have a variety of anti-spiking devices you can pick up for free to take with you on a night out.

You can visit Security and Transport Centre to collect any of the following items for free:

  • Personal safety alarms
  • Torches
  • Stop Topps (Single use cup covers)
  • Bottle caps
  • Be bright be seen snap bands
  • Information on University safety services
Industrial action

Reminder: Industrial Action 24-25 and 30 November

Some members of the University and College Union (UCU) will be going on strike this week on Thursday and Friday (24 and 25 November), as well as Wednesday next week (30 November). This is happening at all universities across the UK and is part of a national dispute – as such our influence over this is limited.

We’re sorry for the disruption this is likely to cause to your week. We are here to help and will do all we can to minimise the impact on your studies – we’ve put together some key links and info below.

What to expect on strike days

  • Some of your classes may be cancelled; union members don’t have to tell us if they are taking strike action so we won’t always know in advance.
  • You might see UCU members picketing on campus; these are peaceful protests which will be stewarded by the union
  • Other services may be affected but we’ll work to make sure all essential support services are running as usual. Our libraries and catering outlets will also be open as usual.

How to prepare for strike days

The impact of industrial action can be hard to predict and is likely to be different in different areas. It’s best to plan ahead as far as you can and get in touch if you’re not sure about anything:

  • Talk to your lecturer – to find out if they are taking part in strike days. Not all staff will be on strike and many classes will go ahead as scheduled so it is best to ask in advance so you can plan around it.
  • Keep receipts – if you arrive at a lecture or seminar to find it has been cancelled, keep a record of the direct costs you incurred so we can reimburse you.
  • Still submit work – if you have a deadline on a strike day. You still need to submit work unless advised differently by your Division or lecturer.
  • Meet with your lecturer after strikes – for support and advice on how to catch up with missed work.
  • Ask for help if you need itsee our support webpage for who to contact if you have questions or concerns about industrial action.

Academic Experience Reporting Tool

Use Kent Union’s Academic Experience Reporting Tool to record any missed teaching and to let us know if you have incurred any direct costs as a result of this, so we can reimburse you.

Buttermarket, Canterbury

Job opportunity: Safer Streets Canterbury project

The Canterbury Community Safety Partnership is looking to hire Student Partners to support the project deliver of Safer Streets 4. This is a paid role.

The partnership has been awarded funding from the Home Office to identify ways to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls and conduct research on how we can make Canterbury safer for its residents, including students. This funding is supporting the development of research, training, safety resources, a central website and safety packs for patrons of Night Time Economy (pubs, clubs and bars) in the city, alongside other exciting projects.

This role is an opportunity for you to be an active participant in change for Canterbury, making it a safer place to live and study. As a member of the project team , you will be required to (but not limited to):

  • Conduct research, including research design, data collection and analysis.
  • Organise and facilitate focus groups/semi-structured interviews.
  • Liaise with key partners, including attending meetings.
  • Provide advice and gather information in a coordinated manner from students and the wider Canterbury community that will aid the project’s progression and provide
  • important strategic insights.
  • Contribute to developing and delivering training packages that focus on awareness
  • Contribute to the development of key resources and the production of safety packs.

Interested in applying? Find out more and apply for the role.

Find out more about the Safer Streets Canterbury project.

Student and staff sustainability champions from School of Anthropology and Conservation

FutureProof: Become a Sustainability Champion

Are you interested in sustainability and trying to make a difference at Kent? Get involved with FutureProof, our response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

FutureProof aims to inspire individuals, departments and the whole University community to take action in ensuring that our estate, our curriculum and our students are ready for the future.

How does FutureProof Work?

The Sustainability Team works with departments to identify a key individual who can act as the department’s Sustainability Champion. Or if you are interested in being a Sustainability Champion you can contact the Sustainability Team directly. The Sustainability Champions are key to the project’s success, therefore training is at the heart of the project.

A series of workshops will run throughout the year on key issues such as climate change, resource use, supply chains and food. There will also be skills workshops that focus on communication, leadership, marketing, systems thinking and problem solving. For these skills workshops, sustainability will be used as the theme, however, these skills are transferable to a wide variety of workplace needs for staff.

Kelda McCabe, Business Information Officer, says “As a Sustainability Champion, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with colleagues I wouldn’t ordinarily work with, on projects I wouldn’t ordinarily hear about. It’s opened up all sorts of doors at the University. There are so many opportunities to get involved in a way that suits your interests and time.

Being part of a group of people who care about the world and our impact on it has made the world of difference to how I feel about the climate crisis and the future of our planet. It’s a wonderful space to learn, to hear good news stories, to be motivated into action.”

Next FutureProof workshop: Urban agriculture, resilience and community. What can we learn from the Cubans about crisis and sustainability?

Join us on 1 December at 12:30 for our first FutureProof guest talk by Sustainability Champion Dr William Rowlandson. William will be drawing from his own expertise of Cuba and how sustainability projects rose from crisis in this hour-long, creative, practice-based workshop.

“Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, Cuba entered a period of economic crisis, in which citizens suffered a catastrophic loss of essential goods – from foodstuffs to medicine and machinery. The sudden loss of oil imports led to an energy crisis that paralysed the nation, radically reducing electricity production, transport, industry and agriculture. In response to these shortages, communities across Cuba initiated projects and activities to provide the basic requirements for surviving the sudden decarbonised economy.

These projects – such as urban organic farming, vermiculture (worms!), seed-swaps, community composting, local markets, street kitchens (paladares), repair and reuse of goods and materials, energy-saving cooking methods, and transport sharing – were initially community-conceived and led, pursued without state approval, arising not out of a desire to achieve sustainability goals, but out of urgent necessity. With the success of these projects and the consequent alleviation of food scarcity and poor nutrition, the Cuban state provided resources and expertise and passed legislation to sustain the communities and the projects.”

In this creative, practice-based workshop, we will consider this historical (and ongoing) context with lots of open discussion. Refreshments will be provided, and please feel free to bring your lunch along with you.

How to get involved

If you’re interested in becoming a Sustainability Champion, or attending the next FutureProof event, please email The Sustainability Team sustainability@kent.ac.uk who will send you the event invite.

You can also check out the ‘Twin your toilet’ initiative. To encourage more people to report faults, the Estates department has pledged to sponsor a toilet through the ‘Twin your Toilet’ scheme for the first 10 toilets to be reported. If you report a faulty toilet you can even nominate your favourite toilet to be twinned!

 

 

Students climbing outdoor stairs at Medway campus

Events roundup: 21-27 November

Here’s a roundup of the top events this week. And huge congrats to our students who are graduating this week! #KentGrads

Monday: Medway Pool Tournament

Get to know new people by playing a game of pool in the Oasis Lounge at the Medway Pool Tournament. This event is hosted by your Medway Residential Life Assistants, come by yourself or bring a friend.

Wednesday: Warner Bros. Studio Tour, DHM events and free talk on Sleep

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Explore iconic sets and discover what it took to bring the Harry Potter films to life at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour with Kent Union at a discounted ticket price (travel included).

On Tuesday you can join some Disability History Month (DHM) events including plant pot painting inspired by sunflowers, often used as a visual clue for those with hidden disabilities. Plus a DHM workshop about accessibility and coming up with ideas for inclusion, and a chance to kickstart your career with Change 100 and learn how to ask for adjustments in the workplace.

The Medway Talks open lecture series continues with a free talk ‘Sleep and our Biological Clock’, by Professor Gurprit Lall, who is a neuroscientist based at Medway School of Pharmacy. Open to all, but registration is required. Sign up now.

Thursday: Cultural Food Festival and industrial action support drop-in

Thursday is a UCU strike day, so your teaching may be affected today. The College and Community Life Team will be offering drop-in support sessions for any students affected by the industrial action. You can head to Locke Building between 9:00-17:00 to chat to one of the Residential Life Assistants or College Life Officers. Find out how to prepare for a strike day.

On Thursday evening, come along to Rutherford Dining Hall for a Cultural Food Festival! Find out about other cultures as our student groups will be there throughout the night serving up their dishes for all to try.

Friday: Celebrate Consent, Bubble Football and industrial action support drop-in

Friday is a UCU strike day, so your teaching may be affected today. The College and Community Life Team will be offering drop-in support sessions for any students affected by the industrial action. You can head to Locke Building between 9:00-17:00 to chat to one of the Residential Life Assistants or College Life Officers. Find out how to prepare for a strike day.

Celebrate consent with craft, books and action at Nexus in Templeman Library. Drop by and have a look at the ‘Consent. Get it. Full Stop.’ book list, pick up a free bookmark, and take part in craft activities including badge making. You can also make your pledges for the #ConsentGetIt campaign.

At Medway, have a laugh playing Bubble Football. No football experience required!

See more student events

Opportunities

See more student opportunities

 

Surprise yourself with Lara Lalemi

‘Surprise yourself’ – Lara Lalemi’s journey being BAME in STEM, 23 Nov

The Division of Natural Sciences in collaboration with Student Success, is delighted to welcome inspirational speaker Lara Lalemi for her talk ‘Surprise Yourself’. Hear about her journey being BAME in STEM, and gain practical tips about embarking on a scientific career and creating your own space in the STEM community.  

This FREE to attend event is open to all students and staff, and will be taking place on Microsoft Teams, on Wednesday 23 November from 14:00 – 15:00.  

Ever since Lara was young, she had a dream that she could change the world around her but over time this aspirational voice dulled. Lara became more and more convinced that what she wanted wasn’t possible because she told herself she didn’t have the skills to succeed and no one like her was doing it. In this talk, Lara will explore how often the person stopping us from achieving our goals is us because we are afraid to take the first step and fail, or rule ourselves out completely. Everything Lara is doing now, she never thought she was capable of doing and in this talk Lara will explore her growth journey to where she is today, lessons she has learnt and future goals to change the STEM field for the better. 

Lara Lalemi is a London-born researcher with a passion for bringing new, innovative and progressive practices to more than just one of her environments. Drawn to the world of environmental research and climate change, upon receiving her undergraduate degree Lara took to completing a Doctorate in Aerosol Chemistry at the University of Bristol, where she is currently writing her PhD on the properties which affect the growth of clouds. As the CEO of Creative Tuition Collective  meanwhile, Lara is striving to increase accessibility and opportunities in STEM for young people from all walks of life.

Creative Tuition Collective offers young people from marginalised groups free and inclusive STEM tuition, skills workshops and professional mental health support groups, and as the CEO Lara leads change-making conversations and assists with organising undergraduate courses. Lara does not just want to increase the number of marginalised students entering the STEM field however, but to create a better environment for them when they get there. In her consultancy work, Lara therefore explores how the scientific community can begin to address the inequalities within it through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and decolonisation training courses. By creating spaces that integrate supportive mentoring, curriculum diversity, and interdisciplinary work, she hopes to foster sustainable social mobility for young people through the use of science and technology.   

Book your free place online.

Millie Knight

Kent Stars: Paralympic Powerhouse Millie

Our Kent Stars campaign celebrates our students doing amazing things – and Millie Knight already has some incredible achievements under her belt. Being visually impaired from a young age, she has not let this stop her and is not only a Paralympic Medallist in Skiing, but also a Commonwealth Karate Champion! Hear from Millie:

“My name is Millie Knight, and I am a 23-year-old 4x Paralympic medallist and 2x World Champion in Alpine Skiing. I am also a National and Commonwealth Champion in Karate. I also happen to be blind, but that bit is dull. I studied Psychology at Kent (graduating this week) and received an Honorary Doctorate in 2017.”

Tell us about winning a Bronze Medal at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. 

“The 2021/22 season was extremely busy with Nationals, European Cups, World Cups, World Championships and Paralympics within three months. Winning the World Championships was an unexpected result and a significant confidence boost going into The Paralympics.

Beijing was my third Paralympic Games and a different experience from my previous two Games (2014/2018). Due to Covid restrictions, there were challenges, like no spectators and a requirement to wear FFP3 face masks all day (even when skiing). Despite the limitations, I enjoyed my time in Beijing and made the most out of the situation. I had no expectations of winning any medals at these games, as I knew my performances weren’t where they were four years ago. The Bronze felt like Gold to us; it was an incredible feeling.”

What advice would you give to other students? 

“Make the most out of your time at Kent, there are so many things available to you, but you must make an effort to push yourself and experience as much as possible. Three years sounds like a long time, but it flies past, don’t wait to try something next year; do it now, and you won’t regret it. If you are struggling, there is help, and people do care! I couldn’t believe the amount of available support at Kent compared to my previous university experiences.”

What are your plans for the next year?

“I plan to keep progressing with my performance in both my academic and athletic careers. Fingers crossed, I get selected for the European and World championships for karate. I will not be competing in skiing this year which will give me the time to fully recover from multiple injuries sustained over the last few seasons. Starting my old job at Kent Sport again will be exciting, so if you are in need of a sports massage, head on over to see me at the sports centre!”

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.

 

Toilet twinning

‘Twin your Toilet’ on campus for World Toilet Day!

To celebrate World Toilet Day, the Sustainability Team and Estates Department are coming together to raise awareness of the global issues around access to clean water and sanitation and to save money and reduce wastage of this precious resource.

Spotting leaks and faults

We have over 3000 toilets and urinals across our Canterbury and Medway campuses and each one can use upwards of 100l of water per day. With that many toilets, It is impossible for our maintenance teams to check them all so we rely on staff and students reporting faults such as continuously flushing. Often, especially in office areas, people tend to assume that someone else has reported it so faults are often left unreported for weeks or even months. If left unfixed, each of these can waste 100s of cubic meters of water a year costing upwards of £2000!

Report a fault and ‘Twin your Toilet’

To encourage more people to report faults, the Estates department has pledged to sponsor a toilet through the ‘Twin your Toilet’ scheme for the first 10 toilets to be reported. If you report a faulty toilet you can even nominate your favourite toilet to be twinned! Find out more about water saving, including how to spot a faulty flush.

To report a fault in a university building please contact Estates customer services on (01227 8) 16666. To report a fault in on-site student accommodation please use the Home at halls app.

Did you know: The University has Changing Places Hygiene Room located at the Templeman Library. Changing Places facilities are located around the country and are designed for people who need additional space, equipment, time and for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets and changing facilities

What is the Twin your Toilet scheme?

The Twin your Toilet scheme helps fund projects across the world supporting communities to build safe and clean toilets as well as providing access to clean water. 3.6 billion people globally are still living with inadequate access to clean water and sanitation which leads to poor health outcomes, groundwater pollution and decreased opportunities, particularly for women and girls who can be forced to drop out of education due to no access to safe toilets.

The University of Kent is a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goal Education Accord and this work forms part of our response to Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

This World Toilet Day, let’s make the invisible visible.

Bubble football

Events at Medway: Give it a Go and Medway Move

There are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and try new experiences and sports at Medway campus.

Give It A Go events

Give It A Go events are fun, varied events that are either free or at a student-friendly price. They are open to all Medway students.

Give It A Go events this month include Go Karting, Cocktail Making, Bubble Football and Pamper Sessions! Check out Give It A Go events.

Medway Move events

Medway Move is a bespoke social sports programme that provides a range of activities that you can just turn up and play for free! No prior experience is needed, and the programme is available to staff and students. Discover Medway Move events.

Some Medway Move events coming up in November are a Kickboxing taster session, Social Badminton, Zumba and Strong Nation. Why not try something new?

Other events to get involved with

Plus you can check out all the events run by The Hub, as well as the student events calendar for events at Canterbury, Medway and online.

Seating and kitchen area of Oasis Loungee

Medway campus: social spaces and where to eat

You told us you wanted more places to relax, chat and eat your own lunch on campus. In response to your feedback, we have now created some exciting new social spaces #YourUniYourSay

Oasis Lounge, Rochester Building

The Oasis Lounge is our new social space on the Ground Floor of the Rochester Building. This space includes vending machines, a kitchen with a microwave, sofas and a pool table. It’s a great place to chill out and socialise with friends between your classes. See the new space below: 

Pool table in the Oasis Lounge

The Hook Lounge, Clocktower Building

The Hook Lounge in the ClockTower Building in at the Dockyard is another social space. It includes a relaxed seating area, vending machines and a kitchen. Take a seat and relax: 

Kitchen area of Hook LoungeSeating area of Hook Lounge

Postgraduate research study area, Drill Hall Library

Did you know there’s a new study room in the Drill Hall Library specifically for PGR students? It includes sofas, desks and a couple of computers for you to use.

PGR study room with sofasComputers in PGR room

Green space on campus

We have finished revamping the green space next to Medway Building to include more benches and a covered seating area. This green space is ready for you to enjoy in all seasons.

Where to eat on campus

If you are looking for somewhere to heat your food, check out this map that shows microwaves at Medway campus.

Have you tried out the Rich Aroma 21 food truck? They offer hot drinks, fresh cakes, sausage rolls and more. Find them outside the Medway Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays 08.30-14.00.

Students and staff outside new Rich Aroma 21 food truck

You can also buy food from these outlets at Medway campus:

  • The Deep End at the Hub
  • Pilkington Cafe, Pilkington Building
  • Archibald Hay Mess Cafe, Drill Hall Library
  • Pembroke Cafe (Starbucks), Pembroke Building