For our problems, only we have solutions
Theology and Religious Studies Department is home to four undergraduate programmes: RPE, RPS, Religion in the Contemporary World, and Theology, and besides our programme names, there's no difference between any of us in the first year. Although I am on the theology programme, it's the you, the first year TRS undergraduate that make TRS what it is (no matter what programme you're on). For all of us, our relationship to the Department is shaped by our being students, and that means our complaints are just as important as our enquiries, and our needs as fee paying students need to be heeded in the first person, and not in the third person i.e., we can do better than just let the Department assume what's in our best interest without hearing our voice; we can tell the Department exactly what we want, and what we think, about the present, and future, of the Department, through the Student Chair.
The SSLC Student Chair. For you, the first four words only mean one thing: a fancy badge is up for grabs. There really is more to the name, than there is to the job. Let me break this down, and really see what's going on. SSLC? The Student-Staff Liasion Committee. Student Chair? A student, sitting in a chair, expected to say something that the Department wants authored by a student. Do I mean to be cynical, or dismissive? No. Instead, beyond the fancy title, the job is simple. It's about rooting out Department wide student issues, be it through your experience of teaching in lectures, the whole big picture arrangement of our studies, or decisions that are made affecting us, that may draw our praise, or complaint. It's not the first thing that comes to mind, but that includes all three years of the three active BA programmes, the third years on the Religion in the Contemporary World programme, and the postgraduate students on the Department's four postgraduate programmes.
The SSLC Chair is open to freshers, alongside the advanced, and intermediate, stage, students, and so the competition invites, by reasonable estimation, the application of mature applicants grounded in the Department. I immediately declare, I was not grounded into TRS as a KCL undergraduate, but rather though my research into Meister Eckhart, a personality written about by Eckhardi scholars at Cambridge, Oxford, and King's. My links to the Department, and my suitability for the candidacy, stem from my experience of being a KCL, and UKC, philosopher, and TRS theologian, but also by my professional academic relationship to the Department, of which was founded whilst I was at UKC. I mean to say, I may not have a traditional student relationship to the Department, but I compensate for a lack of tuition, and internal progression at KCL, through my experiences of being a student, and researcher, across two different universities, and by a former professional association to TRS. I close by saying, it is not the case that by being a fresher I am inexperienced for the Student Chair, but rather are experienced, because of age, maturity, and life experience, all gained through, and without, King's College, London.
Here below are five reasons why you should vote for me:
1) I am one of you! Anything that bothers you, will bother me too, and especially as I'm on the theology programme, which has the fewest number of students of the whole Department, I am doubly affected by anything that restricts module selection, module transfer, programme transfer, and module quota caps on competitive modules. I am what your Student Chair should be, your inside man!
2) I am comfortable with responsibility! I'm 21, and so a few years older than the average student in the department (I'm as old as some of the postgraduates!) Responsiblity is a regular part of being an adult, and this is no different for the Student Chair. When dealing with adults, send an adult!
3) I have previous university experience! I know what it is like to be 18, or 19, or even 20, and to be at university. Everything you can face that stands in your way, I have already seen it, or done it myself, so why not bank on the guarantee of past experience?
4) I am from an ethnic minority! For those of you from ethnic minorities, I know how it's like to deal the cards from our side of the table. Parental expectations beating you down? Tell me about it. Family disagree with your choice of degree? Been there, done that. Going against the grain of your ethnic community? Hey, me too!
5) I will keep it real! What does that mean? For the students, from the students, by the students; that is the priority.
"I am who I am" (Exo. 3:14 NIV), and so now I will tell you about what I have done in pursuit of similar goals to that of the Student Chair:
I was the Vice President of the University of Kent's Socratic Society...
...and my goals were liasing with the Department of Philosophy Head, and the President of the Society, to form the Society's itinerary of events around student interest.
I was the captain of my school's rugby team...
...sadly, that's all behind me, but being accountable to my team is no different to being accountable to you, the student body.
I graduated first class from the University of Kent in Philosophy...
...besides the humble brag, I just mean to say that I've been there, and done that before. University is very much do-able, and I hope to show you how.
This bit is where I'm expected to tell you what skills I have. I'll keep it sweet.
I'm an early riser, and I haven't missed a lecture yet. Do yourself a favour, and let me get on with the behind the scenes work, and it'll make getting drunk before Study Skills on Thursday that much easier.
Do not let the Department get away with saying no. Like you, being told no is a frustration sometimes, and a disappointment all the time. Let me handle that drama for you.
I'm also x KCL, so I already know College regulation, and how to get things done the first time round, and I know how to work around obstacles that creep up when they do.
I've come to theology from a philosophy background, and I've attended two universities altogether. From King's, to Kent, and back to King's, I've grown older, but also wiser. If you are thinking about withdrawing from KCL, or transferring programmes, come seek me out, and you'll find I can find you a solution going forwards. If you are happy here, still, you could ask me any number of questions about how to do well at university, from a student, not an alumni, or staffer. I got a first class already behind me, and you can bet I bank on that everyday, but if you asked, I can help you top the class too!