Hello everyone; I wish you have all had a productive semester, and if not I hope the holidays are an opportunity for some serious catch-up!
As your Education Officer (Arts & Sciences), these are the areas I have chosen to focus on for my year and here are the updates on the work so far. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to get involved with any of the campaigns.
Planning the Liberating our Education campaign:
This is a campaign that I will be continuing on from my predecessor which looks at tackling structural barriers to education. One of the aims of the campaign is to ensure that the College is conscious of the different ways that students experience King’s and is committed to ensuring that you are all experiencing an education without limitation. Since coming to King’s I noticed the disparity in the ways that students navigate King’s and how the institution contributes to creating an environment which left students like me feeling like we merely study at King’s as opposed to being “of” King’s. This campaign will be launched in the coming semester and we will be looking for students to get involved in shaping what a liberated education at King’s will look like, and turning that into a reality. Watch out for the first event, it’s going to be lit!
I believe that the start to a liberated education doesn’t start with me, it starts with you. That is why alongside the College, we have launched a review of our academic representation structures. Our aim will be looking at how to empower reps in their role of creating communities within their cohorts that are then able to mobilise and take action on issues affecting your educational experience.
Currently, I have tried to meet with as many Student Staff Liason Committees as possible and so far I have visited the NMS, SSPP and Arts and Humanities faculties to hear what issues are affecting you the most. Examples of what we discussed were; more funding for department trips, more opportunities for women and non-binary students to get into STEM careers and creating a more diverse curriculum, greater flexibility in assessments and more constructive feedback. I will be meeting with the rest of the faculties soon, your insights are so valuable in the work that we do as it shapes present to the institution and holds them to account for.
Prevent and Islamophobia
A few weeks ago, I invited Moazzam Begg (Outreach director for CAGE) to speak about the structural Islamophobia that manifests itself in policies such as the Prevent duty. This is part of a campaign I will be continuing in the coming semester to explore the different ways in discrimination against Muslims is manifested, from gendered/racial Islamophobia to the ways Prevent has affected the education and healthcare system. We will also explore how the college’s restrictions on protest, increased securitisation, the monitoring of international students and along with the Prevent policy contribute to creating a hostile environment on campus.
The work that we do matters only as long as you have ownership in it, so do contact me if you want to get involved and make education at King’s the best it can be for all its students.