Author Archives: Natalia Crisanti

4 students sitting cross legged on the grass under a tree, two of them are looking at phones

Spring Break 2023 – Kent Services are still here for you: Opening Times

During the spring vacation period, which is from 7 April to 8 May, most of the University’s services are still available, some with amended opening hours. Many are closed on the national bank holidays, which are Friday 7 April and Monday 10 April.

Here’s a list of services and opening times:

  • Borrow books and study: Templeman Library at Canterbury opening times, and Drill Hall Library at Medway opening times 
  • Ask Nexus: Nexus is open as usual (Mon – Fri 09:00 – 19:00) except for closure on bank holidays.
  • Food and drink on campus: Canterbury catering opening times. Please note, the £3 Meal Deal in Rutherford Dining Hall will be available during weekday lunchtimes only (12:00-14:00) and will be closed in the evening, at weekends and on bank holidays.
  • Support: Student Support and Wellbeing reception remains open 09:00-17:00 throughout the Spring break, apart from national bank holidays. Get #ExamCalm on our Wellbeing page, where you can also find out about events and support info, including 24/7 online, phone and text support.
  • Careers advice and activity: The Careers and Employability Service is remains open 09:00-17:00 throughout the Spring break (apart from the national holidays), so you can continue to book appointments and work on your career.
  • Exam preparation and study support: The Student Learning Advisory Service remains open 09:00-17:00 throughout the Spring break, apart from national bank holidays. You can book face-to-face and online appointments on all areas of study support, including exam preparation. The Bitesize workshops have now come to an end but check out guides on revision/exam prep and assignment writing on the SLAS website.
  • Reception areas: Some receptions will be operating on different opening hours during the vacation. See reception opening hours. Security and maintenance services will operate as usual
  • Sport and exercise: You can still use facilities and join classes over the break, apart from national bank holidays. Check out Kent Sport opening hours.
  • Kent Union services and outlets: Kent Union opening times.
  • Campus Shuttle: The Campus Shuttle will run a reduced service on Friday 7 April and Monday 8 May. Aside from these dates, the shuttle will not be running as this is a term-time only service. See Campus Shuttle timetable.

And of course, Campus Security staff are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We wish you a restful break!

cartoon laptop screen showing head and shoulders of four cartoon people with a variety of clothes and hairstyles, no facial expressions

New Online drug and alcohol support group

The Forward Trust are running a free online course called ‘Change Up’ exclusively for Kent students to overcome the feelings of isolation that can accompany drug use or addiction, and to explore the links between addiction, mental health and self-worth, and the impacts on relationships.

By taking part, you’ll also get access to the Change Up community of young people who are taking part in or have previously taken part in the course.

Who with?

The course is run by a friendly, experienced facilitator from the Forward Trust named Rupert. There’s no hidden agenda to stop using, it’s just a structured setting to talk about your experiences and be supported.

What do I need to do?

It will run over five weeks online Thursday evenings 18:00-19:30 from Thursday 18 May to Thursday 15 June 2023, so you need to be available for all of those Thursday evening slots (18 May, 25 May, 1 June, 8 June, 15 June).

It consists of these five small-group sessions and two additional 1:1 sessions which are organised according to your availability.

If you’d like to participate, please complete the confidential Change Up self-referral form online. You will then be contacted by Rupert, the Forward Trust facilitator, on next steps to take part.


If you have any questions, email and we’ll be happy to help, or pass on your query if we can’t answer it. Or you can fill in the confidential self-referral form and the group facilitator will get in touch so you can ask any questions before committing to the course.

Want to know more about other wellbeing events and peer support groups? Check out the Student Support and Wellbeing events calendar, or follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram for the latest on what’s on and advice to stay well and connected.

Illustration of mosque on background with blue mountain silhouettes

Ways to support your Muslim peers during Ramadan

What is Ramadan?

“The month of Ramadan is the month in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people, and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” [Qur’an, 2:185]

Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam. It is a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation during which Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an, and fast from food and drink during sunlit hours.

When is Ramadan?

This year, Ramadan was expected to begin on the evening of Wednesday 22 March and end on the evening of Friday 21 April.

Muslims follow the lunar calendar, so the exact start and end dates depend on the sighting of the moon, so these dates can vary slightly.

Ways to support your Muslim peers during Ramadan

Send well-wishes

Here are some common greetings you can use to share your well-wishes with your Muslim peers during Ramadan:

  • ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ – ‘Blessed Ramadan’
  • ‘Ramadan Kareem’ – ‘Noble Ramadan’
  • ‘Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair’ – ‘I wish you well on this occasion every year’

Consider hosting an Iftar

Consider inviting your Muslim peers to Iftar (break fast) or dinner at your place. Or, you could even bring them over a dish so that they don’t have to cook.

Be considerate when scheduling meetings or other events

Try to schedule meetings in the morning to early afternoon when many Muslims still have energy from the dawn meal (Suhoor) and preferably meetings that don’t revolve around food and drink.

This is a small gesture that will aid the productivity of your Muslim peers, and make them feel appreciated and recognised.

Don’t feel guilty about eating or drinking in front of them.

While you may think you’re being considerate by not eating in front of a peer observing Ramadan, this could actually create unnecessary awkwardness.

Fasting is not solely about abstaining from food and drink, but is more so about reflection, prayer, and connection with God. Observing Muslims know this and so make an intention each day to adhere to the fast despite urges to do otherwise.

If you notice a peer isn’t fasting, try not to publicly ask why.

Not all Muslims will fast for a number of reasons – sickness, needing to take medication, pregnancy, women being on their period etc. Care should be taken not to offend people who are not fasting, by publicly asking for reasons as to why.

Similarly, some Muslims who may not be observant during the rest of the year, may observe Ramadan. Try to reserve judgement and not make any assumptions.

Do not trivialise their fast

Be mindful not to link their fast to a fad diet or reduce it to simply being a great way to lose weight.

To your Muslim peer, this is a deep and highly important religious practice, and they sacrifice their time, appetite and energy because they are committed to their faith.

Join the Ramadan spirit of giving charity

The essence of Ramadan involves recognising the blessings one has and showing gratitude by supporting those who are in need. While this is a prescription for Muslims, Ramadan could also be an excellent time for non-Muslims to offer their support.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

You might be embarrassed by the lack of knowledge, but most Muslims welcome questions from colleagues and friends.

Fasting is an individual experience. Asking a specific fasting person if they need or want anything from you is the best way in ensuring you are actually being supportive and inclusive.

Ramadan Mubarak from the Chaplaincy team! Follow @UniKentChaplaincy on Instagram to find out about spiritual support & facilities for students and staff of all faiths and none. We invite dialogue & participation!

Written by Ellie, Student Services, 31.03.23

pale blue background with pink shapes and two cartoon people wearing pink and blue clothes, holding a trans flag (pink, blue and white) looking happy

International Transgender Day of Visibility: 31 March

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event on 31 March, dedicated to:

  • Celebrating transgender people. 
  • Acknowledging the courage it takes to live openly and authentically. 
  • Raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. 

Show your support

You can show your support to trans students and colleagues on TDOV by…

⚧️ Choosing to display your pronouns on your signature and your Teams profile 

🏳️‍⚧️ Using a trans flag backdrop for your video calls on 31 March 

🌈 Wearing one of our Rainbow Lanyards, based on the Inclusion Flag

🎓 Completing the Trans Awareness Training (staff) 

📃 Familiarising yourself with our policies, guidance and terminology 

🔎 Finding out more about TDOV and why it is so important 

Learn more about trans experiences and history

Listen to a wide range of trans people sharing their experiences

There’s no single universal trans experience. Take the time to listen to as many trans experiences as possible and recognise how their lives are shaped not only by their genders but also by the intersections of other aspects of their identities.

Here are links to just a few different accounts of trans people’s experiences: 

Some of the history of trans visibility and equality activism

Throughout history there have been people who didn’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. While the terminology they used to describe themselves has varied over the centuries, they have always existed and been visible in their local communities.

Trans activism didn’t start in just the last few years. Over the last century, trans people have fought for equality in a wide range of ways. Many trans people around the world have taken to the streets in protest against police harassment – most famously Sylvia Rivera at the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

Others have used the courts to push for legal rights. For example, in 1952, an upper class Scottish trans man, Sir Ewan Forbes of Craigievar, succeeded in getting his birth certificate changed from female to male. Unfortunately, the court records were made secret so April Ashley’s lawyers were not able to access them during her divorce court case in 1970 which severely set back trans people’s access to legal gender recognition in the UK.

Read Christine Burns’ brilliant memoir, Pressing Matters, to find out how key trans legal rights were secured in the UK. 

Written by Lynne Regan, Student Support and Wellbeing, 15.03.23

Inclusive Language Think-in: you’re invited

Have you ever read an article, and event description, a social media post about disability, accessibility, neurodiversity or inclusion and thought ‘oh goodness, what a choice of words! Did it make you feel unwelcome because of the way it talked about disability, chronic illness, neurodivergence, race, gender, age, etc?

Or, have you tried to write about one of these topics, or about adjustments for an event or society meet up, and felt out of your depth and worried about what language to use to get your point across clearly and inclusively?

Language matters

Whatever form it’s written or spoken in, the right language can make a world of difference to inclusion. As we try to communicate more openly, honestly and succinctly in the new Kent brand, we need to be able to reach for some good phrases to discuss potentially sensitive issues and make sure we’re consulting all of our audiences for their input.

Let’s think it through together: Monday 27 March 10:30 – 11:30 online/ in DG02 (opposite Nexus) in Templeman Library

Students and staff are warmly invited to an informal hybrid session to think through the terms you’d like to see less of and the terms you’d like to see more of in our University of Kent copy – bring your lived experience, your expertise, or just an open mind and willingness to learn and discuss it together. We’ll try to come up with some practical notes we can use and share with others.

Book now so we know who to expect and can send you joining details for online participation, and share the details with others who you think might be interested!

Questions? Email

photo of people in front of lgbt flag

LGBT+ History Month launch and what’s on next

On the evening of Tuesday 7 February, members of staff, students (including from our Medway campus) and people from the local community came together to celebrate the launch of LGBT History Month. 

Surrounded by reminders of past activists and champions of LGBTQ+ rights from Kent’s history, from the establishment of the first Gay Liberation Group at Kent in 1973, right up to the Lambeth Walk on campus in 2022, attendees took the time to reflect on what LGBT activism has meant before and what it means today. We have clearly come a long way since the 1970’s, through Section 28 and the AIDS pandemic, but there is still so much work to do.  

Local Drag Queen, Dame Jame, mingled and chatted with the attendees, but told stories about how she had been physically removed for a night club she had been booked for in the middle of Pride month just last year. Activist Connor Styche spoke to a room filled with people about the challenges he had faced during his transition from female to male, and the friends his parents had lost along the way. Students gave their testimonials about how hard it is to be the only one in a seminar room who gives their pronouns, or the burden of having to be a spokesperson for the community, as well as the importance of safe, inclusive spaces on campus. 

LGBT History Month is not just for members of the LGBT community; all are welcome at the numerous events and activities that we have taking place across Canterbury, Medway and online. Come and watch Joyland at the Gulbenkian, take part in a Give It A Go activity, listen to some inspiration speakers like Kent Graduate Rebecca Milsom or Dreamland author Rosa Rankin-Gee, staff members can develop their knowledge and understanding at the Trans Allyship or Supporting Communities Experience Collective Trauma in your Workplace webinars. There are Zine Making workshops and quizzes to have fun in; there is something for everyone and most are free with no booking needed. 

Written by Becky Lamyman, Student Services, 08.02.23

LGBTQ+ rainbow flag with text 'lgbt history month'

LGBT+ History Month, February 2023

LGBT+ History Month takes place every February across the UK, and celebrates all LGBTQ+ individuals and communities, as well as taking the time to reflect on the struggles and traumas of the past, and what still needs to change.

This year’s theme is #BehindTheLens, celebrating LGBTQ+ people’s contribution to cinema and film, which we are interpreting as listening to and honouring the lived experiences of people within the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBT History Month at Kent

There’s lots going on to mark LGBTQ+ History Month at Kent, with events and activities throughout the month for all staff and students to participate in at both Canterbury and Medway campuses and online. You can browse all events for LGBT+ History Month on the dedicated events calendar.

Events in Canterbury

The launch event for LGBT+ History Month at Kent takes place on Tuesday 7 February, and will feature the opening of the LGBTQ+ love letters exhibition, a performance from Drag Queen Dame Jame, and a talk by trans activist Connor Styche about their own experiences.

The #BehindTheLens exhibition (on display in the Marlowe Building lobby from 7 to 28 February) explores our own history at Kent, pulling materials from our archives and also showcasing the Zine Library, created by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Other events on the Canterbury campus:

Events in Medway

From Wednesday 1 February, you can come and see the LGBTQ+ In Lockdown exhibition (previously on display on the Canterbury campus) in Drill Hall Library.

Other events to celebrate the month include:

Online events and resources

We have explored the Special Collections Archives at the University of Kent to explore our LGBTQ+ history, take a look at the timeline on our LGBT History Month webpage.

There are also lots of online events:

For online opportunities to meet and chat with our LGBTQ+ Staff and Student Networks and other resources, look at the LGBT+ History Month events calendar.

If you have any questions or feedback about LGBT+ History celebrations and information at Kent, email the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team:

Using social media to share your participation? Tag posts with #LGBTHMKent23 and #BehindTheLens

Written by Becky Lamyman and Joshua Stevens, Student Services, 01.02.2023

logo for holocaust memorial day and picture of electric tealights

Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January

Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the HolocaustThe Nazis also murdered millions of others including Roma, Gypsy and Sinti people, people with disabilities, gay people, and many whose political views or religious beliefs threatened the Nazi regime.

On 27 January 2000, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, 46 governments signed the Stockholm Declaration and founded Holocaust Memorial Day. This day is to remember the millions murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia (1975-1979), Rwanda (1994), Bosnia (1995) and later Darfur in 2003.

You can learn more about the Holocaust by using your Kent login to access an online library of films.

On YouTube, you can watch Medway campus Chaplain Lynne Martin’s seven-minute video marking Holocaust Memorial Day, in which she shines a light on the hope, bravery and heroism of an individual in the midst of horror and atrocity. You can also learn more about the Holocaust by using your Kent login to access an online library of films.

Fighting antisemitism and hate at Kent 

Prejudice, discrimination and hatred based solely on difference is still pervasive in society today. This includes anti-Jewish attitudes, with reports of antisemitism increasing at Universities, and the recently released investigation into antisemitism within the National Union of Student (NUS).

Antisemitism is a form of racism and religious discrimination and we do not tolerate it at Kent.

We have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and the Jewish Declaration of Antisemitism. This is an important statement of our solidarity with the Jewish community and our commitment to stamping out antisemitism at Kent.

Light the Darkness – 27 January, 16:00.

On 27 January at 16:00, you are invited remember pause and reflect by placing a battery-operated tea light in your window to honour Holocaust victims and show you stand against prejudice and hatred today. You can also wear purple in solidarity.

The battery-operated candles are available free from Mandela Reception from Friday 20 January. (For safety reasons, please do not use a candle with a real flame. Candles with flames are not allowed in University bedrooms or many privately rented properties.)

Tag @UniKent_CCL on your socials and use #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness to share your commitment.

There are other opportunities to commemorate throughout the year, including Antisemitism Awareness Week in March and Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day on 22 August.


If you or another student you know has been the target of antisemitism, or any other form of discrimination, prejudice or harassment, you can use our Report and Support service to report anonymously or get support from Kent’s new Specialist Wellbeing Adviser (Bullying/Discrimination/Hate Crime) who can support students in incidents of discrimination or harassment (regardless of where or when these took place).

Written by Becky Lamyman, Natalia Crisanti and Joshua Stevens, Student Services staff, 20.01.23

people working in a garden in winter time

Tips to boost your winter wellbeing

With the days still short and a bit dank and grey, it’s easy to feel a bit gloomy in January, but there are things we can do shift our mindset. Psychology PhD student Kelly Dawson shares her advice for boosting your mental health this winter, together with information and opportunities from Student Support and Wellbeing staff at Kent.


Find five things you are grateful for today

Find five things that you are grateful for. These don’t have to be big mind-blowing things (though they can be of course). It could be the feel of your slippers as you slide your feet into them in the morning or the warmth of your coffee cup in your hand or the feel of your dog’s cold wet nose as they nudge you for a stroke. These were three things that happened to me within 15 minutes of being awake this morning. When you really focus on gratitude, that blue feeling just slips away.

Share the good (and not so good) bits of your week at the Wellbeing Café

The Wellbeing Café takes place every week (starts for this term on Monday 23 January 2023) and is a space to connect with other students in a relaxed environment with a focus on promoting your wellbeing and mental health through activity. Last term’s activities included a Positive Planner journaling session, a great tool for remembering to notice what you are grateful for. Find out more about the Wellbeing Café on the Student Support and Wellbeing Events calendar.


Be present in this moment

We spend lots of our time reminiscing about the past or planning the future. But spending some time being fully immersed in the moment is really beneficial. Look around you, what can you see and hear? Are there any particular smells? What are your hands touching, how does that feel? Is it rough or smooth? Your senses are a great way to bring yourself right to the present moment. Spend a few minutes five times throughout the day focussing on your sensory experience.

Free mindfulness classes with a qualified instructor

Come along to the popular mindfulness meditation sessions – a great way to improve your wellbeing alongside other Kent students. They take place on Wednesdays at 13:00 online and 17:00 in-person. Find out more about Mindfulness at Kent.


Get out in nature, exercise, or take a cold shower

Get up early and go for a walk (or a run/cycle if that’s your thing), preferably in nature.  If you don’t enjoy nature, that’s no problem, don’t do something you don’t like. Try any form of exercise, from swimming to dancing in your kitchen! If exercise isn’t for you, then try turning your morning shower as cold as you can comfortably stand for a few seconds. Anything that gets your blood pumping will help your body release endorphins!

Come along to the community garden in Park Wood

Get outdoors in the allotment! The Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG) is a project run by a collection of students, staff and community members working to create a sustainability hub centred around growing food. Go along to one of their open gardening sessions on Wednesday and Friday (10:00-14:00). Find out more about KentCOG.


Set aside some of your day to do something that makes you feel good

Self-care is super important all of the time, but on cold dark days definitely do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Don’t just think about it, actually set aside part of your day in your calendar to make this happen – it can be reading a good book, taking a nap or meeting a friend.

Find something relaxing to read in Templeman Library

The new ‘Love to Read’ area in the Templeman Library Cafe has a collection of novels, best-selling books, self-help titles and e-books. You can borrow them as usual with your ID card, or sit in the cosy area and take a break from studying. Find out more about the Love to Read collection.

Need wellbeing support?

Have a look at the Student Support and Wellbeing webpages to find out about support services including a free, confidential counselling service and 24/7 online and phone support partners.

Written by Kelly Dawson (PhD researcher in Cognitive Neuropsychology), and Joshua Stevens (Student Services), 12.01.23

Sustainable Events at Kent: A collaborative workshop on 26 January

Ever wondered how events and meetings could be made more sustainable? Whether your job involves planning small meetings or large-scale events, or you’re simply interested in the topic and have ideas from an attendee’s perspective – come along to learn, ask questions and help to think through how we can drive the sustainability agenda at Kent forward together.

University of Kent Sustainability Team and staff Sustainability Champions welcome you to come and share your ideas and good practice about how to improve sustainability across all aspects of event planning.

Key staff from services across the University will be there to take part in this dialogue – from catering, design and print, communications and branding to answer your questions. We’ll be launching our new online sustainable events guide – a handbook to help you plan and deliver sustainable events with confidence.

Staff from the Gulbenkian will also share their sustainability ambitions for the Boing festival and how you can be part of that work to shape the future of a large community event on campus.

Book now on Eventbrite to find out more about sustainability at Kent, discover sustainability actions you can take in your work when planning meetings and events, and meet like-minded colleagues across the University.

The last part of the workshop will involve food and drink tasters showcasing our local suppliers and sustainable catering options in the cafe area of the Gulbenkian. This will give us an opportunity to talk about how venues like the Gulbenkian can support sustainable events and give us more time to chat informally.

If you have any questions about the event including accessibility requirements, please email as soon as possible so we can seek to accommodate these as well as we can. You can also view accessibility information about the venue.

Accessibility considerations:

The workshop will take place in the Gulbenkian theatre which is on the ground floor and has step free access with automated doors. Accessible and gender neutral toilets are available nearby, as well as baby changing facilities, and everyone is welcome to come and go from the session as they need to for their comfort.

If you have any questions about the event including accessibility requirements, please email as soon as possible so we can seek to accommodate these as well as we can.