The KCLSU AGM will take place at Waterloo Campus on 26 of January, in G.79 from 6pm. We will be discussing Bush House, the NSS Boycott Campaign and presenting the work the Officer Team has been doing this year. Here’s why you should come and vote through our Special Resolution for Postgraduate Representation:
Written by Ben Hunt, KCLSU president 2016/17
I have some very exciting news about Postgraduate Representation at KCLSU and the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Union. The Trustee Board have voted to put forward a special resolution for a full time Postgraduate Officer, and as Chair of the Trustee Board I’m writing this to tell you why this is so exciting.
Other than being such a significant proportion of the King’s student population, postgraduate students face their own issues both locally at King’s and nationally. Our Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) have campaigned over several years over having no proper pay or training: https://fightingcasualisation.org/2015/05/14/kings-gtas-call-for-an-end-to-exploitative-working-conditions/. There are stories of GTAs having to do dozens of hours of free labour a week to fit in with marking targets and preparation for seminars, in addition to this, they are often the first port of call for students looking for help. They are the most committed teachers at King’s and haven’t been shown respect and support for a long time.
Furthermore, mental health issues amongst postgraduates are rising due to the intense pressures they face and the huge amounts of debt they can incur. Students of colour are also less likely to progress to postgraduate study than white counterparts. Funding for many postgraduate programs in the arts have been cut over successive years by Government policy that sees postgraduate study as a way into a job rather than an academic contribution to society. We have seen increased fees and more and more people being priced out, underfunded and never recognised in postgraduate education.
Nationally and locally we need postgraduate representation now more than ever to fight against casualization and marketization, as well as to open up postgraduate study here at King’s to the marginalised and vulnerable.
We need to represent this huge group of our students and promote access to postgraduate education, as well as understanding the obstacles and challenges these students face more clearly. I will continue to support campaigns against postgraduate casualization.
The Annual General Meeting will be held on 26 January to vote on Postgraduate Representation, in time for this to be implemented this year, for the next election cycle. Please come to AGM and help pass this special resolution, as well as discussing other areas such as the NSS Boycott.
If you would like to know more about AGM, the Officer Structure or other topics discussed at the last Trustee Board, please email Representation@kclsu.org.