A STRUGGLING Kingâ€™s student who couldnâ€™t afford her graduation gown was repeatedly rejected by the College and the studentsâ€™ union â€“ until Roar came to the rescue.
Self-funded mastersâ€™ student Katerina Papadakou couldnâ€™t pay the whopping Â£50 gown â€“ equivalent to her monthly food budget.
She wrote to her favourite campus watchdog, and in true Cinderella spirit Roar donated the money for a gown, which cost a whopping Â£50 to hire for the day, and an even dearer Â£300 to buy.
The Graduation Office suggested she â€œsource a generic black gown and hire just the appropriate hood for the day,â€ adding she could â€œbring safety pins on the day of the ceremonyâ€ to pin the hood on.
The pricey piece of cloth was exclusively designed by fashion queen Vivienne Westwood.
Katerina was rejected by both Kingâ€™s and KCLSU, and was told that no grants currently covered graduation-related spending.
However, Kingâ€™s said there had been preliminary discussions for a new type of all-encompassing fund that would â€œextend beyond tuition fees to other costs (books, graduation etc)â€.
Katerina told us: â€œBeing able to attend my graduation ceremony not only filled me with joy, but I was also able to share this wonderful moment with my friends, colleagues, teachers and family.
â€œI will always be grateful to Roar for giving me the chance to attend my graduation ceremony. Roar has set a great example, one that I hope KCL will soon follow.â€
A King’s spokesperson said: “Kingâ€™s is working with KCLSU and Student Advice to identify key financial hardship issues for students and with fundraising to seek funds to cover these.
“While there is currently no specific fund to cover the cost of graduation, the aim is that a future hardship fund would have fewer limitations.”
KCLSU have been approached for comment.
Struggling to make ends meet? Get in touch with us at [email protected]
Generous benefactor steps in for second student
A SECOND struggling student received identical responses from Kingâ€™s.
The student, who asked to remain anonymous, said: â€œMy dignity already felt eroded, scrabbling around to find work in an already saturated city.
â€œÂ£50 for a day, for an outfit that I only get to wear once was an extravagance and expense I could not afford.
â€œI urge Kingâ€™s to find a solution so that other people donâ€™t miss out on their chance to celebrate their hard work.â€
A generous benefactor stepped in to fund the studentâ€™s gown.
Need help? Who helps with what?
Student Advice Service. Gives advice. [email protected]
Kingâ€™s bursaries. Has money. [email protected]
Kingâ€™s counselling. Supports mental health. [email protected]
Money Advice Service. Gives off-campus advice. moneyadviceservice.org.uk
This article appeared in the February edition of Roar, which can be read here.