How are Kent Union collaborating with Student Services to make sure your student experience is as positive as possible?
The Kent Union officers are elected positions voted in by the students. This year’s officers are: Zaid (President), Ben (Vice President Postgraduate Experience), Lupe (Vice President Academic Experience), Tom (Vice President Welfare and Community) and Caroline (Vice President Student Engagement). They form the core of Kent Union’s student leadership, together with other student netowrk leaders who collaborate to bring about the Union’s vision each academic year.
In the latest episode of the Kent Voices podcast, the Kent Union officers spoke about the work they hope to do this year. Many of their aims align with those of Student Services, evidenced by a close working relationship to mark occasions including Black History Month and World Mental Health Day, as well as working to help students achieve their ambitions in future careers.
Lupe will be focusing on academic awareness and transparency to improve teaching quality across the university. She will also be focusing on diversifying to decolonise the curriculum through a range of campaigns including authentic assessments and the Black student voices project. Meanwhile, Caroline will be focusing on making sure every student on campus can feel included in a wide range of inclusive events tailored to them.
Kent Union has partnered with Student Services on Black History Month events, to celebrate our diverse student body and know what students are looking for from the University in terms of culture shift.
Community and wellbeing
One of Tom’s main focuses for this year is increasing mental health awareness across the campuses, tackling stigma, and improving provisions and support.
This sits alongside another joint priority for both Kent Union and Student Services this academic year: tackling loneliness and enhancing the sense of community and belonging for all students, across all communities, disciplines and groups at Kent. Events marking World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2022 showed the importance of community and belonging in maintaining mental wellbeing. Student Services provided free hot drinks and biscuits and a space to sit and chat, take part in some mindful colouring, and find out about wellbeing services and the vast range of opportunities to meet others at University. Kent Union were on hand to talk to students about how to get involved in societies and projects, and this #UniKentWellbeing Flyer gives information on the variety of things you can get involved in to find your tribe, from countless societies to gardening to sport, faith, film nights and more.
Careers and employability
Caroline will be helping students access the skills to develop their employability, and also work to provide more internships and experiences for students to enhance their future careers. Ben will be working alongside her on this to make sure that there’s a diverse range of job opportunities available on campus for every student. Looking for a way to boost your employability chances now? Check out information on EmpFest22.
Zaid will also be focusing on closing the feedback loop between students and the Union, making sure that everything Kent Union does is for the students and by the students. He’ll also be making sure that the Student’s Union and the elected officers remain transparent in their practices, so that students can always be a part of and understand why they make the decisions they do.
Besides their work alongside Student Services to support students with their mental health and sense of belonging at uni, Kent Union also have a remit to support and represent students’ through academic and financial challenges. Lupe will be working with Ben (Postgraduate Experience) to improve workload, deadlines and experience for all students, whilst Zaid (President) and Tom will also be tackling action and communication around the Cost of Living Crisis for students and improving the provisions available for students who need them.
You can hear the Kent Union officers talking about their work and aims for this academic year on the Kent Voices podcast. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or search your favourite podcast service.
Written by Zaid (Kent Union) and Joshua (Student Services), 17.10.22