Getting a better deal for international students: Last term, Shaurya and I worked on KCLSU’s joint submission with KCL to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Students. Among other things, we suggested that the UK should extend the time that international postgraduate students can stay in the country after graduation to six months.
I’m pleased to say that the government has accepted this recommendation, and extended it to all undergraduate students as well, although it has not said when this will take effect.
Lecture capture and beyond: As part of my manifesto, I promised to expand lecture capture provision as far as possible. To this end, I’m working with the university on developing guidance in consultation with, and for, students and staff to make the best out of lecture capture.
Together with Lux Step, one of our elected LGBT+ Officers, I met with the university lead on this project to discuss the use of closed captioning for captured lectures to improve the accessibility of Lecture Capture.
Drug safety guidance: While KCLSU does not condone drug use, it is inevitable that students will come into contact with drugs during their time at King’s. As such, I pushed for KCLSU to provide links to factual information and the facts about drugs on its website. In particular, to support our LGBT+ student community, we provided links to London Friend’s Antidote service (support and advice service for drugs and alcohol, run by and for LGBT+ individuals) as well as Friday Monday, which is specifically for gay and bisexual men.
Safe Space Review: As promised in my manifesto, I have launched a review of KCLSU’s safe space policy, to update our approach to student safety in a way that works for everyone and protects the right to freedom of speech as well as the safety of marginalised communities. Following a review of written submissions and a two week period given for all your elected Network Officers on our Welfare and Inclusion Committee to respond to the recommendations, the Safe Space Review is complete. The recommended policy changes will be up for approval by the KCLSU Trustee Board, and if approved, will be in place for the next academic year.
Decolonial History Week: Through our union development process, I secured approval for KCLSU to host its inaugural Decolonial History Week this year from 11-15 March, as promised in my manifesto. This was a week to recognise the dark history of western colonialism and its legacies and explore how we could learn from anti-colonial movements and move forward from the inequities produced by colonialism. Student Activity Groups and Networks were invited to organise events around de-colonial history.