To all students of King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU), hello, and to my health student friends in particular, godspeed…
I’m Aless, this year’s Vice President Education (Health)! This means most of my job involves starting and maintaining conversations and relationships with King’s focusing on topics relevant to the four Health faculties (Life Sciences & Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery, Dentistry and the IoPPN). Before (and after) doing this role, I was a medical student – interesting time to take a year out, I know.
Outside of King’s faculty, I can be found in various KCLSU meetings contributing to efforts to support King’s students and help everyone have the most enjoyable and impactful time at university. Working often with the teams around Advice, Mental Health & Counselling, our Hubs and Research teams, these connections can help us change how KCLSU operates for student benefit.
When it comes to me and my objectives, the main aims I’d like to achieve broadly fall under the above two topics – conversations with King’s, and improving university life through KCLSU.
My first objective is to improve the efficacy and platform of student representation in conversations with department staff, faculty staff, and King’s College London itself. Too many times as a student I was involved in Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs) and felt that my voice and contributions weren’t being heard and valued. Whilst there are structures in place to gather student feedback, questions could be raised about how that feedback is translated into actions and tangible outcomes improving student experience. My goal is to look at these structures and work with faculty and students together to design new creative ways of working together, and ensure that both staff and students feel valued in this collaboration.
My second and third objectives are both around increasing the value and reach of KCLSU. As a medic split between Denmark Hill and Guy’s campus last year, I’m fully aware of how distant the Students’ Union can seem bar our little Hub desk in the Weston Education Centre. Now, with our brand new KCLSU space open at the IoPPN (once we can all get back into the same room safely), I’m very keen to know what kind of events students want at each campus, and working with groups like the Denmark Hill Postgraduate Networks to design, co-run and support events, workshops, talks and social meets etc.
Furthermore, awareness of all the different aspects of KCLSU is low. A medical student can, for example, go to the Medical Students’ Association for advice and support, but did you also know that KCLSU has an Advice team that can support with Mitigating Circumstances claims? If your concern about the university, your faculty, or a wider student issue such as renter’s rights is going unnoticed, did you know you can raise a campaign on that issue through KCLSU, and be supported by our campaigns team? I only came to know all that KCLSU could provide after becoming a society President, and whilst you may find you never need KCLSU or want to attend a Liberation/Celebration event, the Student’s Union exists to help you make friends, get through difficult times, to represent you and to work with university to create the best experience possible.
Interested in anything I’ve said? If you are a society keen to be involved in events at our more distant campuses or wanting support in a transition to the online world, OR if you are a student who wants to be more involved in conversations with faculty and making our university the best place to study (especially in current times) drop me an email!
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively I am on Twitter @KCLSU_vpeh.
If instead you just want to be kept in the know look out for our Officers’ Updates landing in your inbox soon, plus we have a brand new Instagram account! Go to @kclsuofficers and hit that follow button.
That’s all for now, take care, stay safe, and see you soon!