KCGS 2019 NOMINEES
I’m a third-year PhD student. I’m running for president because I see a chance to help strengthen our community at King’s. In particular, I am committed to the equal and fair treatment of all College students and staff, which is one of the KCGS constitutional objectives. You could say I care about equality and about people – perhaps unsurprising for an international human rights lawyer with a background in social anthropology.
Over the past two years, both KCGS and the College have made King’s feel like home. I would look forward to working with all the people who do so much to support the graduate experience. After two years, I think I can say I am on friendly terms with a wide range of College staff – our porters, dining hall staff, cleaning staff, admin staff and of course academic staff all make this place what it is, and I would consult widely around issues that concern graduate students.
I would be excited to serve KCGS this year and work alongside some great officers. The Committee is poised to be well-balanced – many candidates are returning in new roles, which means we have institutional memory, while those of us who are fresh faces bring our enthusiasm and experiences from elsewhere. I have previously been a team manager and a student activism coordinator, and would look forward to supporting the Committee’s officers within the scope of the president’s mandate.
Most roles are uncontested in this election – even so, your vote is critical to show College that each of us has a strong mandate to represent you. I urge you to vote and give candidates a strong mandate in the eyes of College, and know this may be particularly salient for the broad mandate of the president’s role. I will also feel emboldened to do my best for you all.
This week before elections I am happy to meet with anyone who has questions or doesn’t know me personally yet, and will work in the grad suite or King’s café for a few hours every day to enable that – please approach or email me at cb898 [at] cam.ac.uk.
Hi! I’m Georgia and I’m in the third year of a four-year PhD in Virology. I have a genuine care for the graduate community and, as such, I’ve been a very active member of KCGS since I joined two years ago as the Welfare Officer. I would love to have the opportunity to continue on the committee next year and think Chair is the perfect role for me. It is a role that requires a practical understanding of the running of both KCGS meetings and elections, something that I have gained in my two years as an active committee member.
During my time as Chair I would seek to encourage increased engagement from the graduate community in both the democratic election process and the termly General Meetings. To facilitate this, I would host an Election Drinks event just before the Michaelmas term nominations period begins, encouraging people to chat to the outgoing Officers and consider running for a position. I would also provide copious pizza and snacks at each General Meeting, to encourage people who are not members of the committee to attend and vote. During meetings themselves, I would bring skills honed as Welfare Officer, particularly maintaining an environment in which people feel able to share their opinion freely and without judgement. I have further spent enough hours in committee meetings to know when a topic needs to be moved on, and how to encourage that tactfully.
Hello! For those of you who haven’t met me, my name is Ranjani and I’m running for the position of Secretary. My qualifications include the ability to streamline information transfer for easy skimming, strong time management, and organized note-taking skills. I promise the emails from the secretary will become the highlights of your fortnights, as important information will stand out and the rest can be easily ignored! I look forward to conveying key decisions from KCGS meetings to you, and transmitting your concerns and interests to the KCGS executive committee. To never miss a debate on the bar flag again, vote Ranjani for Secretary.
Chris van Hoorn
As a new graduate student, also new to King’s College, I’ve been excited about the KCGS since I first heard about it. I got particularly interested in the fun facts about how King’s makes money. For instance: income from wine trade from the cellar below the dining hall had never occurred to me! To my surprise, a dormant treasurer inside of me woke up that would love to gain more insight into the finances of the KCGS. I want to learn more about the processes behind the scenes and how the money that ends up in the KCGS ultimately allow us to have events.
While I have only little treasuring experience, I have been on many committees and a few boards before and can assure you I work well in teams. I hope you will vote for me as the new Junior Treasurer, and I will do my very best to keep the KCGS finances in order.
Treasuring: Arranged sponsorships for accommodation and activities of 80 people as part of a departmental retreat committee.
In case I need to convince someone to give KCGS more money!: Advocated before the European parliament.
In my time as KCGS treasurer I was committed to making sure the finances of the graduate community operated smoothly. I would like to take this experience to a higher level and represent the interests of King's grads both on a college and a university level. As Joint Rep, I will make sure the opinions of King's grads are heard and bring back all the important information to the grad community.
Zack Case, Luise Scheidt, Alison Meadows and Janeska de Jonge
We are Allison, Janeska, Luise and Zack, and we’re running as a team to be your social secs for the next year.
We’ve already gathered bags of experience between us: Luise (social sec 2016 and 2018) ushered in an era of legendary superformals such as The Oscars and A Formal of Ice and Fire. Allison (social sec 2018) recently organised the epic superformal The Island – and expectedly organised smoking shishas in Chetwynd Court as a super popular after-formal activity! Janeska and Zack have already joined the old team this summer and are really keen to contribute to planning all sorts of fun events. Zack, an undergraduate and MPhil at King’s, knows the ropes here, especially having served as the sports and societies officer on both KCSU and KCGS. He is also very fun. Janeska is about to turn up the volume for trips that reach further than our walls - ideas range from visiting cultural places in London to Christmas markets in Bristol, and back to cycling tours to the incredible gardens of the National Trust in Spring.
Together, we boast an eclectic mix of American, British, Dutch and German perspectives, both old and new, offering extensive experience and new ideas for future superformals, ents, hostel parties, cocktails, fancy dress themes, … the list goes on!
We already have great relations with key contacts in college (i.e. the Lay Dean, Senior Tutor, DPS and Catering) which are necessary for the mundane admin required to organise events and to persuade college to let us have more fun. We don’t mess around - so vote for us!
Graduate life can be a time filled with many extreme highs and lows. As Welfare Officer, my goal is to celebrate those happy moments with you and help try and buffer against the less pleasant ones. I aim to provide open-minded support for any potential issues that might come up during your time as a graduate student at King’s. With my background in mental health research/practice, I strongly believe in the importance of listening openly and providing unbiased guidance on a variety of difficulties – which could be in any domain from your work or research, to your interpersonal relationships or any other mental health concerns. If you need someone to talk to openly, I would love to be there for you as the King’s Welfare Officer. I would also like to continue organizing de-stressing events as a means of creating comfortable places for people to come together and relax – from keeping up the tea times to other potential things such as art-making, bringing therapy dogs in, or having mindfulness workshops.
Hi all – I’m Conor, the outgoing President of KCGS and of the 2013 vintage here in King’s. As an institution of higher education, I believe it is fundamental that the college provides and promotes an academic environment that supports all members of the graduate community. One of my acts as President has been to re-establish the frequent graduate student lunchtime seminars that provide an opportunity for King’s graduates to share their research with a wide audience, and invite discussion of work in a setting removed from a narrow academic circle. I will continue this into the coming year, and ensure it remains a well-established staple in the graduate diary.
I will also act as one of the graduate body representatives on the recently established Education Committee. As someone that has experienced King’s from an undergraduate, as well as a graduate, perspective I believe I am well-positioned to assist King’s in tailoring how they handle academic affairs within the college.
As Academic Affairs officer, I believe it is important to maintain the study spaces we have available to us, in particular the Graduate Suite. I also intend to contact college about the recently refurbished Robinson Room, and ensure that the graduate body is aware of this available study space.
I would like to run as an International Students Officer to help graduate students of all backgrounds feel at home at King’s. As a Korean-American who recently moved to the UK, I know being in a new environment can be difficult - I want to support and provide a comfortable space where we can all feel at home. This might look like having international student nights, where we have different food from all over the world, or a language exchange nights where we learn and teach a bit of our language and culture, while playing games and just having a good time. I’m all ears for any other ideas you’ve got! What I bring is my love and support for this diverse community. Thanks for considering me for the position of the International Student Officer!
As your Women’s Officer, I hope to continue to support and nurture the wonderful community of graduate women at King's. I will work extensively to encourage collaboration between myself, the LGBT+ Officer and Equality Officer in order to recognize the intersectional experiences of women in college, and to create a space and community of solidarity of and for all women within King’s. I hope to continue to build on the foundations of education and support set out by previous Women’s Officers, running events specifically addressing issues and experiences pivotal to women here at King’s; specifically, I will work to push for better support in college for women (as well as, all of those) who suffer harassment and/or assault through improvements in policies and resources available. I will also work closely with the community of graduate women to provide what we believe to be essential and necessary for our success within King’s.
I would love to be able to work more for the graduate women of King’s, as you all have become truly essential to why I have come to appreciate and care for King’s so much.
Hello, my name is Christopher and I am running for LGBT+ Officer because I am passionate about my community and its voice, not only within King’s but throughout Cambridge University. King’s College is known for its liberal and open-minded attitudes and as a result is home to one of the liveliest LGBTQ+ communities in Cambridge. Having personally attended multiple universities, I have been an active member of LGBTQ+ Societies across the country and these experiences have prepared me for the role of LGBTQ+ Officer. Accordingly, I am well aware of the need for our community to be both socially and politically active. Moreover, I am conscious of just how important university is for the growth and welfare of both individuals and our community as a whole. Due to my upbringing in a small town my community was barely visible to me until I started university back in 2014. The isolation I experienced as an adolescent and the apprehension I felt when I first interacted with my community are common sensations for LGBTQ+ people. Consequently, I want to continue to make graduate life at King’s an open and inviting place to anyone who identifies as an LGBTQ+ individual, as well as those who are still on the journey of discovering their own sexual and gender identities. By hosting LGBTQ+ events I hope to provide a space where all members of the community feel safe to express themselves through art, literature, discussion – every medium possible! This will help to promote mindfulness of intersectionality within our community. I am also passionate about welcoming the contributions of LGBTQ+ allies because our community does not exist in isolation, and it is only through collaboration that we as an entire community at King’s can grow together. I believe that being openly queer and actively celebrating each other should be at the heart of our community.
My name is Siobhan, I am first year PhD student and I am running for Equality’s officer. My aim is to make King’s and inclusive and safe place for all students.
I will ensure fair representation for all minority groups. I hope to do this by increasing awareness for these groups. I also want to try to reduce stigma and improve support structures surrounding the problems that many individuals within these groups often face. Finally, I will aim to bridge the gap between individuals from differing socio-economic classes.
All students deserve to have a voice within this community regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or economic status.
I was an access officer at King’s as an undergrad and even when not at King’s or in the official access officer position have been continuously been working with the college on access, outreach and BME issues using the connections I have built through my own experiences and through my outreach work with youth groups, state schools, and other students in the University. This position is more than just a CV marker for me. As someone who struggled through the system to get here, and to stay here through my undergrad, it is incredibly important for me to use my understandings of being an ethnic minority, northern, state school educated woman to contribute to making the college a more diverse and inclusive place. I have committed the future of my career to tackling inequality and am wholly committed to the position of Equalities officer.
Hi, I am Feli and, like all of you, I love recycling.
As I am very passionate about nature, environmental issues and, of course, recycling, it was an obvious decision for me to run for environmental officer. Though King’s is known for its liberal and dissident attitude, our College is not doing a great job in reducing our environmental footprint. A good example for the lack of progress is the absence of compost bins in all college accommodations, which other colleges manage to provide. We can do it too! King’s also lags behind in the University wide Green initiative as we only have the Bronze award and most other colleges already achieved Gold. We must change that and go the extra green mile!
But I also want to raise awareness of environmental issues among you, the Graduate Community. This means talks, events, excursions, spotlight months and more nature throughout college.
I am already part of the Green Impact team of the Zoology department, was involved in multiple (green) student organizations in the past and want to continue making an impact at King’s! I am excited to change the way we at King's think about conservation and reducing our environmental footprint.
Go green, save the planet!
Sports and Societies
My role as Sports and Societies Officer would be to ensure you can get involved in sports or other activities in King’s with as little effort (and expense!) as possible. I'll also represent the graduate community on the Societies Funding Committee which allocates money to clubs at the start of each year.
I intend to secure funding for a better equipped sports cupboard in the grad suite that will be for exclusive use by graduates, including equipment for squash and tennis. Should I be successful, I'll be in touch to request suggestions for other sports equipment prior to submitting a budget request. This should allow more the more casual, occasional players to have easy access to sports, without the need to commit to a team (which can also be fun, by the way.
Big televised sports events will be screened from time to time, with snacks and soft drinks provided.
I want to encourage ideas for new societies, to continue expanding the diverse range of social opportunities King's grads have access to. Drop me an email with any suggestions or queries about both sports and societies, I'm all ears.
I can normally be found lounging in the grad suite on most weekday evenings, either with fruit bowl in hand, or some other variety of dessert - most likely because they've kicked me out of hall before I've had time to finish it. Whilst taking on the sugary challenge I get asked about printers, emails, programming languages I've never heard of, to the fastest way to transfer money to Nigeria. So I thought perhaps we might as well make this official.