Presidential Monthly Report (February)


Dear Postgrads,


This document serves to highlight the activities, events and officer engagements over the month of February as far as the KPA is concerned. Any questions you might have, relevant to the content, please do get in touch! 

The KPA's support for postgraduate students during the Strike... As many of you may be aware, the KPA board of trustees submitted a motion which offered to support students , in light of the current strike action. We called an Extraordinary General Meeting, in order for our students to exercise their democratic voice to vote on the proposed motion. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach quorate to vote on this motion, so the business was transacted by our trustee board, as written in the KPA constitution. This motion was passed by the trustees and reads as follows:  1. The KPA offers solidarity to all postgraduate students, whether teaching or non-teaching, who are impacted by the ongoing strike action.  2. The KPA will offer support to all postgraduate students impacted by the strike action by:  a. Continuing to provide weekly activities that provide safe spaces for postgraduates to meet and socialise  b. Signposting postgraduate students adversely affected by the strike action to relevant support services within both the UCU and Keele University (e.g. UCU strike fund, ASK, Student Support Services etc.)  c. Provide space for teach in/out sessions to be held that support postgraduate student learning and development  d. Provide space and information to enable workshops for postgraduate students wishing to engage in direct dialogue with the UCU and UUK (e.g. letter-writing workshops)  e. Work with University Student Support to provide mental health support and a programme of mental health and wellbeing activities for any postgraduate students impacted by the strike action The KPA will therefore be mandated to follow the actions set out in the policy.  Our FebYOUary Campaign During the month of February, we decided to join in with #FebYOUary. We dedicated a week to hosting events for our students to come along and take "me time". We started the week with wine and book club on Sunday night, to take some "down time ", before the start of the week. We then provided our students with a free brunch on Monday, hosted Mindfulness Mondays as usual, and also signposted our students to attend "Men-tal Health Mondays". On Tuesday, we offered to pay for a Stretch and Relax class for our students. On Wednesday we provided a full lunch for our students at the Clubhouse, in our regular "Postgrads that Lunch" slot. We took our members for a meal in Newcastle-under-Lyme at Amore restaurant, which was fantastic and really well turned out! The Clubhouse also hosted a 1920s party at the end of the week!  AllSorts of Love  During the week of Valentines Day, our fantastic E&D officer, Gabby, set up "AllSorts of Love". We held a range of events for the week - including a Red Table Talk event at the Clubhouse, which went fantastically! The week was to celebrate the varying types of love that exist and not just your conventional "love". We held a lost haiku stall at the SU, which encouraged students to create their own Haiku and place around campus for other students to come across, celebrating love across campus! Thank you very much to Gabby for organising the week and creating such a lovely atmosphere for our students during Valentines.  International Mother Language Day The KPA celebrated International Mother Language Day! Our international officer, Archie and E&D officer, Gabby, held a fantastic event in Chancellors Bistro. This event allowed students to converse in a range of languages and celebrate their mother tongue! This event was very well turned out and we will be working to ensure that we host language table events regularly for our students after feedback!  Men-tal Health Mondays  As part of our dedication to supporting students with their wellbeing, our members of staff at the Clubhouse have been working hard to set up an event for men to come together and chat in a safe environment. Olly has been working hard to publicise the event and will continue to run the event in the upstairs room of the KPA Clubhouse bi-weekly, on a Monday evening. We will be working in partnership to advertise on a weekly basis.  Here at the KPA, we are constantly working to ensure that we are putting on the correct events and providing our best service to our members. As you know, we have a full committee this year, who all have tonnes of enthusiasm and ideas for events! We will be continuing our coffee mornings and postgrads that lunch throughout the year, so please do keep coming along to these! We will also be working alongside the clubhouse to hold some fantastic events; If you have any thoughts or ideas for events that you would like to see, please do get in contact kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk, or kpa.vp@keele.ac.uk! We would love to see some ideas! The Fifth Keele Postgraduate Conference and the Launch of the Keele Doctoral Academy... All postgraduate students are invited to attend the Fifth Keele Postgraduate Conference and the Launch of the Keele Doctoral Academy on April 29th, 2020. Get it into your diary now and SAVE THE DATE! Stephen Kilner has provided an outline of reasons why to get involved with the Keele Postgraduate Conference as it is a fantastic opportunity for our students! He has shared them with the KPA as follows:

Celebrate the fantastic range and diversity of postgraduate work in the University.


The opportunity to communicate your research in an accessible and inspiring way to an informed but non-specialist audience.


Gain valuable experience in sharing your work beyond your own field.


Free and open to all postgraduate students.


Three different competitions: Poster, Three Minute Thesis and Bake Your Doctorate


Prizes to be won in each!


Free food to be eaten!


Be there to support your friends and colleagues.


Take part in the Three Minute Thesis competition and set yourself a challenge of presenting your doctoral research in an inspiring and engaging way, using just one slide, in just 3 minutes to an intimate audience.


Bake Your Doctorate – combine your research with your creative baking skills!


Get your name and abstract in the conference handbook.


There is a current call for abstracts, with its closing date: TOMORROW (Monday 2nd of March 2020) at 5.00pm. All postgraduate students are invited to share their work in progress and present their research, dissertation project and course-related posters to a cross disciplinary audience of peers, students and staff. Participants are expected to present their work as a poster, although artefacts or performance may also be offered! This is a different and alternative opportunity in addition to those available within the faculties and research institutes and the challenge here is for postgraduate students to communicate their work in an accessible and inspiring way to an informed, but non-specialist audience. The conference is open to all to attend and will also include the Keele Three Minute Thesis and Bake your Doctorate competitions. If you are not presenting, please do come along, support your colleagues and enjoy the day! (Lunch and refreshments will be provided!) For further information, please get in touch with Stephen Kilner at: s.r.kilner@keele.ac.uk or visit the ILAS office next to the Keele Postgraduate Association on the top floor of Keele Hall. Congratulations... I would like to use this space to congratulate some of our postgraduate students in their academic achievements and contributions to campus... Congratulations to Bethany Edge for passing her progression! Congratulations to Emma Harrison who has completed her PhD!   Congratulations to Felicity Adams for leading two new fantastic reading groups on gender and sexuality in law! - Please do go along to these as they are brilliant - email for more information! Congratulations and a warm welcome to our new PhD starters!  (If you would like to nominate yourself or another student to feature within this section, please get in touch with me at kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk)


If there’s anything missing that members would like to have seen included or anything members are expecting to be done, you are welcome to get in touch with queries or issues.


The committee and I look forward to working with all you amazing postgrads! Please feel free to email either Currie or I on kpa.vp@keele.ac.uk or kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk if you have any concerns, want to give us updates or simply just want a chat!!


Best,

Katie Charlton

(KPA President)



Get in touch with us! We would love to hear from you!  kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk kpa.vp@keele.ac.uk kpa.coordinator@keele.ac.uk




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