Candidate for the position of A&H Theology and Religious Studies - SSLC Student Chair

Image for BRYN BLAKE

BRYN BLAKE

For experience, excellence and energy, vote Blake!

For experience, excellence and energy, vote Blake!

As anyone who knows me (I'm the chap on the right) will attest, I'm not one for empty words or making grand promises which I can't fulfil. It is, therefore, with the greatest solemnity that I pledge, if elected to the position of SSLC Student Chair, to fearlessly and proactively represent the interests of the students of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies with the entirety of my abilities and efforts. I am proud to say that I have a range of excellent capabilities which qualify me uniquely for this position and which will aid me greatly in discharging the duties given to me. First and foremost, I already have significant experience as a Student Representative. It was my great honour to represent both First and Second Year Theology students on the Departmental Student-Staff Laison Commitee (SSLC) in the academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, respectively, as well as being elected a third time as a Representative for the Third Year, and I must say that it taught me a great deal about the skills required for the role: holding consultations on pressing issues in the Department, appealing for feedback and comments from students and striving to make sure that the views of the student body were heard and addressed in meetings of the Committee. It was a role to which I found myself well suited, and one to which I am eager to return and to work all the harder at, should the good people of the year choose me to represent them.  

I am articulate: I have never had much difficulty in putting my own point of view, or indeed other peoples' views, across in a pursuasive and fair manner. Furthermore, I have never been afraid to fight for what I believe to be right or to be most beneficial to students here at King's, and can offer my firm assurance that I will take up the cause of TRS students courageously and fight with all my might to make sure that their voices are heard loudly and clearly in this year's SSLC. More importantly, I will put all my abilities to work to make sure that the suggestions of students here are put into effect, either by the Department, or by King's as a whole. Further to this, I am tireless and proactive in championing the concerns of my fellows here in the Department and, moreover, have the capacity to do so effectively, having cultivated friendly relations across the year, and with the Department's staff, allowing me to approach individuals and resolve Departmental issues confidently. 

But don't take my word for any of this. Rather, I feel that my time as a Subject Representative speaks for itself. During that time I...

  • Conducted, on my own initiative, a wide-ranging consultation of Theology students over a proposal that the name of their degree be changed to reflect the multiplicity of disciplines studied. Upon ascertaining that the overwhelming opinion of students in the year was that the degree should remain purely a straight theology degree, of the kind not offered even by the Universities of Oxford and Durham, rather than a more inter-disciplinary course, I campaigned successfully on the SSLC for the degree name to remain the same. To this date, King's has continued to offer a pure Theology degree alongside it's more inter-discipliniary courses.
  • Held surgeries each term in the Maughan Library for Theology students to make known their concerns and suggestions for improvements. I then carried all issues raised back to the SSLC, including the heating in the Maughan, teething problems with Lecture Capture and queries about lesson structure. 
  • Diligently attended SSLC meetings and represented the views of my peers in meetings with the staff of the Department.      

Now, it is no secret that I believe the Department of Theology and Religious to represent the absolute best of King's College London. The quality of teaching is excellent, students enjoy friendly and helpful relations with their personal tutors and lecturers, modules are well subscribed and attendence at lectures is always healthy. Further to this, the Department consistently scores highly in student satisfaction surveys. With this said, I want to press ahead with making our Department an even better place for King's students to excel. To this end, if elected, I will:

  1. Work to raise awareness of the Departmental Awards scheme. At present, the scheme is little publicised, and is not even mentioned at induction events. I certainly wasn't aware that the Department offered a number of awards for academic achievement until I won one of them! Prize criteria range from the best grade for each year to proficiency in Greek and Hebrew, with a cash prize attached to each. I'd like to see more people aware of these awards and competing for them.
  2. Campaign for the introduction of a specific King's bursary for student commuters. Like many in the Second Year, I commute to and from King's and am only too aware of the hefty cost of repeated train journeys. If I find sufficient support for such a measure amongst my fellow commuters, I will lobby tirelessly for the indroduction of a commuters' bursary.
  3. Work with the faculty to broaden the outreach of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) to potential undergraduates. It is a fact that King's has one of the best TRS departments in the country, gathers together world-class lecturers and offers degrees that are respected across the field. The Department needs to make people aware of this fact by conducting outreach in secondary schools and sixth form colleges so that King's can attract the next generation of academic success stories.
  4. Finally and most importantly, continue to hold regular surgeries so that students in the Department can make their comments, queries and concerns known. and then report them back to the SSLC and make resolutely sure that they are addressed.

If these proposals appeal to you, if you value experience, articulacy and fearlessness, if you want a dedicated, competent SSLC Chairman with an excellent track record and endless enthusiasm for the role, who will make your voice heard, then there's really no competition. Cast your vote for Bryn Blake this October and together, we will make our Department an even better place!