What have Kent Union done this year?
Credit: Daria Istayeva
With Kent Union elections underway and candidates looking to build their own legacy at the institution, let's have a quick look at what Kent Union have achieved this year:
VP Education hosted the first academic network event, providing representatives and academic societies the chance to work with the VP of Education on student-led projects to enhance the student experience.
The Union has secured more common room spaces; one for SECL students, being set up now, and Rutherford common room for history and politics students. There are also more improved academic study spaces, including Turing Study Hub, a refurbished Darwin Study Hub 1, 140 more seats in the library, and plans for a Rutherford Study Hub. A new Postgraduate Study Hub secured with the help of the Graduate School in the Senate Chamber, with a kitchenette, is planned to be opening in the next month or two.
Return of Woodys
Opened the new Park Wood Study hub, replacing the temporary mobile hub with state-of-the-art equipment and space. Includes Woodys, the SU Shop, and a dance studio.
Following the Democracy Review last year, the Union announced 4 new sabbatical roles, including the introduction of a Postgraduate Experience Officer. The University Council, the highest governing body in the University, have also agreed to an extra student place on council, for a postgraduate representative.
The introduction of student networks will replace the current group executive committees, which will work to create a community in previously underrepresented areas. The types of networks include LGBTQ+, women’s, and BAME.
It was announced last year that the Union president will be a member of the University remuneration committee, ensuring the University is transparent and fair. This in relating to issues such as the pay of the Vice-Chancellor, Karen Cox, who is the 21st best paid VC in the UK.
Diversify the Curriculum
After gaining further feedback from students, the Union intend to pilot a ‘Diversify my Curriculum’ scheme with one of the schools this academic year.
Bake sales are now an option for students on campus, as well as a cultural food festival, where student will be cooking authentic dishes from their culture.
Wrote a 5-year Varsity vision with CCSU and completed writing a 7-year Sports Strategy with Kent Sport. The union has also worked on a review of sport membership, and ringfenced funding for disability sport students.
3) “The same issues come up every year because nobody looks further than the previous team”