Student council shenanigans

Alicia Hooper

Yesterday, the student council met to discuss and amend a range of motions, which seek to improve KCL and its students. The first motion to be passed was the highly debated weekend support for sports teams. Many came to the meeting to observe and comment on this motion, which has stirred some students who are unable to play sports due to work commitment. Currently students have to either sacrifice work for sports or miss out on their extra-curricular activities. They are also finding that they must pay in order to represent KCL, which is another cost students could do without. Katie Allen (The medical school representative) found that many post-graduates and particularly med students find Wednesday fixtures or BUCS fixtures difficult to attend. This is unfair seeing as many students take sports seriously and the College should give more support for this passion. The proposal was that there should be extra support on Saturday sessions in which more students would be able to attend sporting groups. With a huge majority, the motion was passed and there will now be enquiries by KCLSU into providing extra support for sports teams who play on weekends.

There was also the discussion of the update to King’s Global desktop. Durr-E Maknoon Tariq (Biomedical Sciences School Representative) discussed the difficulties the programme was causing, particularly with those in Biomedical Sciences, as the programme has been faulty. Many have found that they had to make the journey into university in order to do their work as the programme was running slowly on some Mac and Window computers. The debate got somewhat heated as some members of the council found that lobbying for this change was “Useless”. The student council chair Ben Judge preferred (as he described it) “an SAS battle mission” in which he would attack the problem directly with IT staff. However, as found by many members of the council and other students, this rarely brings much change and is usually ignored. The motion was passed on the basis that by having the decision come from the council, the IT staff were more likely to consider initiating an update.

The motion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans*) sensitivity training to be given to all staff was also passed. This was a good way of helping all KCL staff from tutors to senior students to be taught the different manners and techniques when handling sensitive issues. “UCL has it so why can’t King’s?” was questioned by Natalie Reidy (LGBT Officer). This mandate will help with the pastoral care within King’s and help those who want or need to speak to someone about their sexuality, find someone to listen and understand. One student mentioned that in the past a member of staff in Guy’s Bar was homophobic towards a student and asked them to leave after the boy kissed another boy. Although that member of staff was removed, this should not happen in the first place and with this motion in progress hopefully it will not happen again.

Finally, Charlotte Richardson on behalf of the student officer team introduced the motion of the safe space policy which will help students to not come into contact with things that are offensive and aggressive towards them. In order to do this, there will be a policy put in place to protect students from offensive behaviour in KCLSU premises. The policy states that ‘Any breach of this safe space policy may always be challenged’. If events are funded by KCLSU, those who attend will have to obey the motion. Shanice Octavia McBean (Womens Officer) said she has seen an increase in offensive behaviour, such as inappropriate costumes that could potentially offend and instances of racism and sexism, which need to be stopped. The motion was passed with 25 out of 27 council members in favour.

The student council is a fantastic way of getting your voice and ideas heard. All you have to do is attend. The next meeting is at the Strand Campus, room S-2.08, Raked Lecture Theatre at 6.00pm on Thursday 17th January 2013.

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