This document serves to highlight the activities, events and officer engagements over the month of September as far as the KPA is concerned. Myself, Currie, Sharon and the committee are looking forward to holding lots of exciting events over the course of the year for postgraduate students!
I hope that you are all as excited as I am that it is December 1st today! The time of year to start watching Christmas films, get cosy and listen to some festive tunes! I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Our Warm Winter Campaign...
We want to ensure that you understand your rights as tenants in rented accommodation, especially during the colder months! We have also realised that many international students arrive at Keele unprepared for the colder months, or are unable to go home at Christmas time. This led us to establish our “Keep Warm at Keele” Campaign. We are beginning to put together posters so that postgraduates are aware of their rights as tenants if their heating doesn’t work in the colder months and where they can access support if their landlords are being unreasonable. It also teaches students what to do with their thermostat, should they be away over the Christmas period. We are putting together blanket donation boxes for those students who do not have the relevant supplies to keep warm and will be arranging more movie evenings at the KPA Clubhouse, offering free hot drinks, snacks and a social space to keep warm. We will also be working with the chaplaincy team to offer a buddy system for students on campus at Christmas to spend their Christmas Day with families in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area, so they are not alone over the festive season.
Knock on the Door Campaign...
Our Vice President, Currie Agyeman has also been working on his “Knock on the Door” campaign. He has identified blocks of accommodation on campus that house only postgraduate students and has been knocking on flat doors in order to ensure that students are actively engaged with campus and are leaving their rooms to avoid isolation. This, he believes has already generated success, as these students are beginning to attend our weekly events now that they know what the KPA can offer. We welcome you all!
As you have probably all seen, myself and the Committee have been working hard to ensure that you are all registered to vote in the upcoming general election! It is extremely important that you get your voices heard if you can vote in the UK!
The month of November has been filled with KPA campaigning for a part time, unpaid position on our team. We were looking for a new International Officer to represent international postgraduate students for the remainder of the academic year. Our winner was announced on Monday 18th of November at the KPA Clubhouse. Archit Tamboli will be joining our team immediately, with our previous International Officer, Dee Alimi, stepping down. I would like to offer my thanks to Dee for his support of international postgraduate students since May 2019. We wish you the best of luck with all of your future endeavours and appreciate your solid commitment to our team. Archit’s main concerns involve ensuring that international students feel welcome when they first arrive on campus and that they are not prejudiced in any way by the system that Costcutter currently have in place, whereby they do not currently accept international driving licenses as a form of identification. He hopes to work on this, alongside the SU, during his time in office. Welcome to the team Archit, I look forward to working with you!
We Visit Our Post-Progression PhD Students...
The KPA have visited PGR students at their post progression workshop. We were invited by Paul Horrocks and Christa Appleton to attend and give a talk on the wellbeing and support systems we have in place for postgraduate students at the KPA. Here, we spoke about our growing partnership and involvement with the OfS Mental Health and Wellbeing Project and some of our own campaigns and ideas for the year ahead. Next semester, we aim to host an 8 week campaign, promoting the health and wellbeing of our postgraduate students. This campaign will allow us to run weekly events which will include; free trips off campus, yoga, mindfulness sessions, a buddy and check in system and postgraduate talking sessions. This we feel is crucial in reducing isolation on campus and encourages postgraduates to engage with their academic counterparts.
We have also collaborated with KIITE on their WriteFest Program for November. We have hosted an unstructured writing retreat at the KPA Clubhouse, providing free lunch, refreshments and a quiet space for postgraduate students to engage with their studies. We have been working alongside Christa Appleton to encourage students to come along to our weekly Postgrads That Lunch event, in light of the work she is doing to engage students with WriteFest and promote KPA activity.
Our Dedication to Students...
The Keele Postgraduate Association, in collaboration with the SCR have also given funding to allow a postgraduate student to engage in historical archiving on Keele Hall, the KPA and the SCR. We are currently advertising for the position to be filled by one of our masters students, who will be asked to complete up to 50 hours of archiving work between January and May 2020. This can be used to boost your own academic profile and contribute to potential dissertation work. It can also be used by the KPA and the SCR to understand their rich history and promote to prospective postgraduate students of Keele. As one of our charitable objectives to help with financial hardship of our postgraduate membership, this opportunity is fantastic for any postgraduate humanities student.
On the 11th of November As a table facilitator at Keele100, it was fantastic to see so many students, both undergraduate and postgraduate attend to contribute to table discussion at Keele100 this month. It was wholesome to see on the table, so many ideas to better some of the services we already have on campus and what improvements would enable students to have a better experience at Keele University. I believe it is a fantastic outlet to understand student concerns and to engage our students with decisions that are made by the university to better their policies.
OfS Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey...
Complete Keele's Student Wellbeing Survey for a chance to win either a £200 or £50 amazon gift voucher!
Please click on the link below, or copy and paste it into your web browser:
(This survey is open to ALL students, regardless of whether or not they have experienced mental health problems.)
Your answers will not be associated with your name or identity when reported; you will not be judged by the answers you give. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact email@example.com
On the 30th of November, we took our postgraduates to Sheffield Christmas Markets! Although we had to postpone the trip initially, it was fantastic the second time round and all attending committee members had a lot of fun getting into the Christmas spirit!
On the 18th of November, we hosted Cheese and Wine night at the Clubhouse. A fantastic evening, which always goes down really well with our membership! We hope that you all enjoyed it!
On the 15th of November, the KPA Clubhouse hosted 90s night, which was a lot of fun! It was fantastic re-living the 90s!
On the 2nd of November, we took postgraduates to Betley Bonfire! This was a wonderful evening filled with beautiful fireworks, magnificent bonfire and rides!
On the 1st of November, the KPA Clubhouse had a live jazz band perform! It was a lovely night filled with fantastic music from the Kieran Matthews Trio! We aim to have more jazz nights throughout the new year given the demand!
Friday 6th of December the KPA Clubhouse are hosting their Winter Wonderland event! From 5pm - late, be sure not to miss the festivities!
On Saturday the 7th of December, we will be hosting a children's Christmas Party at the Clubhouse, with a visit from Santa, arts and crafts and a buffet! To register your child's attendance, please drop and email to Jules at firstname.lastname@example.org!
On Sunday 8th of December we are hosting KPA Festive Karaoke at the Clubhouse! Come on down and get your sing on!
On Wednesday 11th of December, grab yourself a Christmas dinner at the Clubhouse! Book in advance at email@example.com.
Thursday 12th of December, the KPA Clubhouse hosts General Election Night!
For everyone that is still on campus when 20th of December rolls round, we still have tonnes of opportunities on campus! - Ugly Xmas Jumper Party (20th December) - Christmas Movie Evening with hot chocolate, popcorn and cosy blankets! (22nd December) - Christmas Buffet for Postgrads (23rd December) - Free Cheese and Mulled Wine (24th December) - Great Gatsby Party for New Year's Eve (31st of December)
Watch this space for more upcoming events for postgraduate students and make sure you are keeping up to date with our weekly digest!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com! We would love to see some ideas!
I would like to use this space to congratulate some of our postgraduate students in their academic achievements and contributions to campus...
Congratulations to our very own, Sophia Hayat Taha, who published her first paper!
Good luck to Alan Borgars who is running for Green Party Candidate for Stoke-On-Trent in the upcoming election!
Congratulations to Martin Goodhead who is our new PG officer for KeeleSU! We look forward to collaborating with you!
Congratulations to our very own Amy Blaney who did fantastically in her Masters degree!
(If you would like to nominate yourself or another student to feature within this section, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns, want to give us updates or simply just want a chat!!
Get in touch with us! We would love to hear from you!