Term One Report: 6 things I am doing for you!

Hey everyone! To freshers and returning students, I hope everyone has had a good time settling into University. The KCLSU Officer Team has decided to start writing Half-term reports to keep you all updated on all the things we’ve done so far. Here is mine!

1)    Study Spaces
One of my pledges on my manifesto was to look into opening up more study spaces specifically at Guy’s. My initial meetings with Estates and Facilities have been productive and we are looking into redeveloping both existing spaces as well as opening up spaces that have never been used. 


The university’s approach to this is simple, at first it was to just open up classrooms across all campuses to be used by students. However, I wanted to go further with this, by suggesting how the classrooms should be transformed into more inviting and comfortable learning environments, similar to the KCLSU spaces we have in Floor 7 and 8 at Bush House. This is something that I plan to trial with some classrooms in the Hodgkin Building at Guy’s. If successful I will ensure that classrooms can be converted to study space on all campuses. 


I’ve also been working with the University’s Estates team to see how we can have more informal learning spaces for students to relax but also work on assignments and other pieces of work and have plans to push this to areas at Guy’s. I’ve also been in discussions about rearranging library spaces to be more efficient and maximize the limited space we have here at King’s.


Finally, I’ve been in discussion with the University’s Estates team on having more simulation space for students studying healthcare degrees to practice the practical side of their degree. There are plans for simulation space on Guy’s where the old gym was and a lot more simulation space at St. Thomas’ Hospital is being planned which I will ensure is the case.
 

2)    Assessment and Feedback
Currently, within the Health Faculties, most students are examined on everything during one or multiple exams at the end of the year. In my discussion with the University, I’ve expressed how students find it difficult to cope with the stress of having all the assessments at the end of the year. The University is willing to look into spacing the weighting of the work that you do as well as looking at different assessment types, incorporating digital forms of assessment and assessments not being based on essays only. I plan on making sure that this is delivered in the coming academic years. 


I’ve opened the dialogue with the University about how we want exams and the learning outcomes to be more clear as to what skills are being developed. This would help students apply to graduate jobs as well as build their CV up to show and indicate their skillset.


I'm in discussion with various University staff about how feedback needs to be improved. I am currently looking at methods that will allow students to be able to more easily to get detailed feedback.  

3)    Mental Health
Alongside the VP Welfare and Community Robert, I’ve attended the meeting for the working group on King’s Student Mental Health strategy. The groups’ main task is to focus on how the strategy can be implemented. There were interesting discussions about the number of counselling sessions available and how much a student gains from each session. I will continue to input into this process in order to make sure students feel that the counselling sessions are benefitting them and their wellbeing is in a healthier state.

I’ve also contributed to the work done by King's Academic Nicola Byrom on the work done for a proposal to the Office for Students about a form of preventive training/resilience to mental health issues, where we will be working closely with students and other UK education institutions on how we can help students not fall under the weight of difficult mental health issues
 

4)    SU representation 
I and Jessica (VP Postgraduate) have been sitting in on meetings between IoPPN and KCLSU Staff members as they discuss the KCLSU space at Denmark Hill. We are happy to say that the plans for the space look amazing and I and Jessica are supporting the development through making recommendations on what students want and how it can be used.


I’ve also had various discussions with individuals across the University about a KCLSU space for students at St. Thomas’ Campus. We should have a finalization of how much space we can have for students by the end of the academic year and the space will be tailored to what the students who are on that campus want.

5)    Digital Transformation
With Digital Transformation, I’ve taken over the work done by my predecessor Yousef and have formed the Digital and Communications Committee at KCLSU. With the amazing help of various staff members. we had a tremendous success with our pilot mobile app for the KCLSU Welcome fair. Almost 5000 freshers used this app over 67,000 times. With this Committee, we will be able to discuss developing a full KCLSU app to build on the pilot and a new website that will further improve the navigation and ease of use is currently in development. 

6)    Guy’s Quad Pop-up
I was informed by King’s Estates team on the 12th September that due to delays by contractors in refurbishing key Lecture Theatres on Guy’s Campus, a Pop-Up Lecture Theatre Tent would be put in the middle of Guy’s. I worked very closely with King's Estates on issuing an apology to all students who have been affected by the loss of green space. I had worked hard to ensure that students were in the know about what was going on and that there was communication between students and King’s Estates team. Hopefully, something like this will never happen again!
 

There is a lot of other stuff that I am working on at the moment and I have planned! If you have any questions about the work I’ve done or what to contribute to anything please let me know, send me an email at vpeh@kclsu.org

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