News Article

Accountability Panel: Reflections

We extend our heartiest congratulations to the KCLSU officers for their outstanding achievements and their election by King's students to champion their interests and enhance their experience at King's! The recent Accountability Panel on 1 November 2023, and the AP Meet on 13 November 2023, shed light on each officer's objectives and their impressive progress this academic year.

The Accountability Panel, comprising a diverse group of students from various disciplines and campuses, plays a vital role. It engages with officers to discuss their priorities and progress, representing the student body by providing both supportive and constructive feedback. These meetings are a valuable platform for candid discussions about the challenges, milestones, and future goals.

Officers like Steven Suresh, Janvi Jagasia, Sadaf Abbas Cheema, Alizeh Abrar, Hassan Ali, and Thea Turton have shown significant progress in areas like financial tools, mental health services, academic experiences, inclusivity, and student engagement. The meetings emphasized the importance of clear communication with the student body and university staff, stressing transparency and open dialogue about the officers' work and strategies to increase student engagement. The panel highlighted the need for a platform where students can freely share their ideas, concerns, and expectations.

The officer reports serve as a platform for officers to present their work, progress, and future plans to the panel, detailing their efforts to fulfil their promises to the King’s students who elected them. Some officers faced challenges in creating their first reports, which is normal for a first meeting. The panel provided guidance on future report expectations and the most valuable information. Ensuring high-quality reports is crucial, as they enable the panel to understand each officer's efforts, progress, and challenges. This understanding helps the panel provide targeted feedback and recommendations.

Looking forward, the discussions about the officers' next steps are exciting, and we eagerly anticipate the upcoming events and initiatives! We look forward to the next round of officer reports, expecting them to reflect the guidance and training provided. This will likely lead to deeper discussions at the next AP meeting. The officers' work is vital to enhancing the student experience across all King’s campuses, and the symbiotic relationship between the student officers and the accountability panel, based on mutual support, aims to drive meaningful change that resonates with the King’s student community.

In conclusion, the KCLSU officers are deeply committed to improving student life, and their future plans show continued dedication to this mission. The collaborative dynamic between the officers and the accountability panel is a strong foundation for achieving impactful outcomes that will positively influence the King's student body. 

Steven Suresh, President 

  • Steven is focusing on developing a rent guarantor scheme and monthly financial aid to support international students. 
  • Developing a financial support tool for students, focusing on both home and international students 
  • Worked on improving mental health services and inclusivity in counselling 
  • Advocated for a diversification of mental health counsellors, accommodate a larger range of students 
  • Participated in a Future Learn course on AI in Higher Education. 
  • Looking forward Steven plans to continue developing a template for officer accountability bridging the gap between students and the officers. He also plans on attending the King's Bursary Committee meeting in the future to continue his effort in developing better financial support at Kings 

Janvi Jagasia, VP Education (Health) 

  • Advocated for separating semester assessments and participated in the 'Turn The Tables' campaign to alleviate exam bunching and releasing exam timetables earlier.   
  • Campaigned for improvements to the MCF process to reduce waiting times, hire more staff and standardising evidence requirements. 
  • Represented student interests in various university committees and working groups. 
  • Planned and hosted Wellbeing Week events. 
  • Planned the event ‘Around the World with KCLSU’. 
  • Looking forward Janvi will continue focusing on improving MCF processing and exam-timetabling issues 

Sadaf Abbas Cheema, VP Education (Arts & Sciences)

  • Worked on addressing overlapping academic deadlines and will further focus on investigating the problems in communicating deadline and assessment timetabling within departments in efforts to elevate assessment bunching related stress in students.  
  • Planned a discussion series to enhance diversity and inclusion in academic spaces. 
  • Raised awareness in staff for some religions mid-day prayers and how they might clash with class. 
  • Engaged with academic societies and students to enhance the academic experience. 
  • Looking forward Sadaf plans on collecting data from students relating to deadline overlaps and religious inclusivity in timetabling in hopes of building a case for policy changes.   

Alizeh Abrar, VP Postgraduate 

  • Focused on visibility and sense of belonging for postgraduate students. 
  • Addressed microaggressions and institutional racism in meetings and improved awareness. 
  • Advocated for self-certifying mitigating circumstances and international postgraduate support and consulted other universities on their process evaluate what we can do to improve Kings MCFs. 
  • Engaged with King’s Doctoral Students Association. 
  • Looking forward Alizeh plans to collaborate with KCL stakeholders to progress her goal of improving postgraduate experience at kings with a specific focus on MCFs and postgraduate orientation and support 

Hassan Ali, VP Welfare and Community 

  • Worked on interfaith inclusion, mental health, and wellbeing and successfully supported the opening of a new prayer room in Maughan Library and plans to open another in Bush house.  
  • Regularly met with representatives of various faith groups and supported events raising awareness for Black History Month, Islamophobia, and antisemitism. 
  • Developed strategies for fundraising and supporting international students. 
  • Worked on increasing accessibility and funding for disabilities and wheelchair/mobility scooter friendly spaces.  
  • Mentioned plans to start a scholarship under the name of KCL Alumnus Dr Maisara Alrayyes  
  • Looking forward Hassan plans to continue advocating for interfaith inclusion and mental health initiatives, alongside putting plans in motion to develop a scholarship for international students 

Thea Turton, VP Activities & Development 

  • Focused on improving support for student groups in finance, event management, and risk assessments. Specifically for Sport groups since their membership prices can be high.  
  • Plans to investigate how to improve Kings venues and catering for events. 
  • Engaged in community leaders training and student leader opportunities to increase staff visibility. 
  • Reviewed communication processes between KCLSU and student groups. 
  • Participated in various meetings and workshops including the Welcome fair where she interacted with students and gained insight into where students worry were directed and how best to address them.  
  • Looking forward Thea plans to continue building relations with various groups in KCL and KCLSU whilst also focusing on improving student group development and increasing awareness about the VPAD role.

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