So long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Good Night

This leaving speech was written whilst listening to a spotify playlist called “This is House” and when I had insomnia. So, we’ll see how it goes!

I should have never actually come to Kent. I didn’t technically get the grades to come, but someone in admissions was nice and let me in – they are probably regretting that decision. When I looked around the University I knew I wanted to join a society or get involved, mainly due to the enthusiastic student ambassador who just talked about Kent Union the whole tour – he was most definitely a course rep!

Me at Fresher's Fayre with the Women's Campaign

Me at Fresher’s Fayre with the Women’s Campaign

So after arriving at Kent, I attended Freshers’ Fair with my house, and signed up to 2 societies (my brother had warned me about signing up to hundreds and then getting emails for eternity!) It wasn’t long I had got involved with the LGBT campaign and the Union as a whole. By the end of the first term I had become secretary of the campaign and was helping organize events and campaigns.  I got so involved and engaged with the campaign that in February 2011 (yes I’ve been here a long time), I went along with my fellow delegates to NUS LGBT conference. It was an amazing experience and really opened up the student movement to me. I remember sitting in the red room with a friend who convinced me that I would be a good part-time officer, so he pretty much twisted my arm to run for LGBT Officer (Women’s Place). A pretty big decision having only come out to my parents 5 months before then going to being Top lesbian on campus. But I stood for officer and remarkably won. At the same time I has become Women’s Officer and LGBT Officer for Kent Labour Students.

A year on, I had run many projects and events as LGBT Officer and had even won a NUS LGBT Award for Best Event of the Year. I decided to run for Women’s Officer instead. Hell, why not, it was a different challenge, a larger amount of students to represent and fight for their rights. The committee and me had to raise the campaign out of the ashes and I am so pleased it had built year on year since. Over my two years as a part-time officer, I got to work with some amazing activists and really pleased that both years we had some pretty kick-ass liberation officers.

281479_10151109270506194_109900899_n

Lauren Crowley and I

I have a lot of people to thank in this speech, and I will come to them later, but one of the main people who has a lot to answer for is Colum McGuire. For those of you who don’t know him, he was VP Welfare before me, and is just finishing up being VP Welfare at NUS. He saw something in me which I didn’t, and pretty much every decision to run for an officer role is his fault. I had the privilege to sit through his leaving speech last month and I am so grateful he is a good friend, and one of the best mentors I could have ever asked for. I also want to mention Lauren Crowley and Sam Kennedy here, both Kent sabbs, who showed me the impact of strong women leaders can have.

Being a sabb at Kent Union is just the best. The support and opportunities that you are given are second to none, and when you talk to other officers around the country you realize how lucky we are. I’m pretty proud of the achievements I have made over the last two years, and I do hope that students realize the hard work officers put into their manifesto points. This is the time I get to boast about what I have done – something I don’t think any of us in this room do enough. Evenings like tonight are about celebrating your achievements, but it shouldn’t be something we just do at the end of the year, but something that every one of us should be saying to each other all the time.

The start of the journey

Year 1 team

When I stood for reelection people kept coming up to me and saying – “You’re Rutherford and Eliot girl, aren’t you?” Well, unless I had become some atom breaking poet superhero, which I don’t think I had, I think they were referring to my huge success of getting a six-week extension on Rutherford and Eliot accommodation for no extra cost, probably my second proudest achievement in my two years. Accommodation at University should not be about making money off students, it should be a pastoral service that helps facilitate high academic achievement and a good student experience, not a financial burden.

Year 2 team

Year 2 team

I could go on for a while about what I’ve done, but I just want to highlight a couple of my personal favorites; Well, I was pretty happy with the introduction of a 24-hour bus in Canterbury – something that both students and long-term residents can be happy with. The introduction of the exam de-stress project which this year has seen Kent Union work with student groups, as well as, three very different University departments, and will hopefully grow bigger and better than ever. And probably the campaign I am most proud of is the Pledge to Vote general election campaign. Many people told me that I could not make the general election fun or something that students wouldn’t care about. Well, you know what, I did. We hosted a Rock the Vote event at Woodys, gave out cuddly toys from fun fair stalls and free candy floss in Medway, and was awarded £10,000 from NUS and the Cabinet Office. Oh, and not forgetting being part of the officer team who secured funding from the University for a Students’ Union buildings in Medway and Canterbury. If you need names for the building, I’ll happily give my name to it. The Megan Wells Building sounds great!

I’ve also had some rare and exciting opportunities as an officer, which I would not have been able to take part in without being part of the odd beast that is the national student politics movement. I’ve been on a fair few demonstrations over the years as a student, spoken in front of 100s of student activists, and probably the one event that has changed me the most was a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Union of Jewish Students. I thought I knew a lot about fighting discrimination but I learnt so much about how we must tackle racism and discrimination from learning from the past. It also gave me the opportunity to work with a group of excellent students here at Kent who have taught me a lot about how we much tackle anti-Semitism on our own campus.

So 5 years, 13 NUS conferences, and a hell of a lot of campaigns later, I stand here in front of you about to leave in just over a month. I might not have grown in height over these five years, but the person you will have met on September 18th 2010, and the person here now, has certainly grown up a lot, and is a very different person, hopefully for the better.

Kent Union is more than just a group staff and volunteers, it’s a family, and one that looks out for each other. When my Dad died at the end of second year, it was staff, sabbs and volunteers at Kent Union who looked out for me, made sure I was eating and sleeping, and who got me through my final year and into being a sabb.

So what are my tips for you all from my five years of living and breathing Kent Union?

  • Remember that staff and sabbs are people too. I know, it’s hard to believe some of us have a life too (well I don’t, but the others do!). It is annoying when you are still waiting from timetabling (just talk to anyone in the University), but don’t come in the office at 10 to 5 demanding you want something to happen – it just ain’t. We just don’t want to hear about it at 11 o’clock at night on facebook either. Send us an email and we’ll get back to you between the hours of 9-5! And the most important thing about the sabbs and staff is that they care so much about all our students and want to help improve the student experience so much, so please remember that.
  • Remember that every single person in this room today is political. It annoys me when students say that Kent Union shouldn’t be political – we’re a Union, that’s what we’re supposed to be. Whether you joined your society to make friends, became part of a sports team to stay healthy, or volunteer in the community to make a difference, every single one of these is a political act. So remember that!
  • And finally, make the most of every opportunity. Go on that cultural trip with your society; stand for election in your student group or as a course rep or part-time officer. Get involved with the national student movement; get yourself on a student led conference. Whatever it is, just go for it.

I won’t go on to long now; I just have a few thank you’s that I want to make.

My amazing housemates

My amazing housemates

To my friends and housemates who put up with me for my time here, they have better patience than I have, especially when I even somehow got one of my housemates to stand for a part-time officer.

To the University staff whom I have worked with over the last two years. You’re not as bad as I thought you would be! I don’t know if I thought that they would all have devil horns or something, but there are some amazing staff out there who fight for students every single day, so thank you on behalf of all students, and thank you for keeping University meetings entertaining.

Kent Union Staff and Volunteers

Kent Union Staff and Volunteers

To the Kent Union staff. There are no words to describe how excellent you all are. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with every single department of Kent Union, and the standards of our staff are second to none. To the directors and senior management, we might not have always seen eye to eye, and I might have thrown a few, ok maybe quite a lot of tantrums in the office, but I think what we have achieved over the last two years has been something special and I think that you have a killer strategy to work with for the next few years. And, to my crew in R&D, you all deserve some sort of knighthood to have stuck up with me for two years and not killed me. Thank you; you don’t know how much you have helped over the years.

And last but not least (well probably), to the 8 fantastic officers I have got to work with other the last two years. It’s pretty hard to describe the time we have had together. Nowhere else are five very random, very different people are thrown together and have to be a highly functioning team that represents 20,000 students and run an £11 million charity.

Some of us never knew each other before we started, some of us were close friends, but we’ve achieved some amazing things over the past years and we should be proud that we have left a pretty impressive legacy. The best thing about working in such a random team is that everyone has very different strengths to work off. Some are super orgainsed, some not so much. Some love a good argument, whilst others would rather avoid it. Some literally live in the Venue and others only ever step foot in there for results night! And all three of these cross both teams.

I won’t go on much about you guys or else I won’t stop. So to Alex, Amy, Chelsea, Tom, Tammy, Nina, my little brother Jack and my big brother Chris – thank you. I think its fair to say that we are friends now, and not just colleagues.

My final thank you is to that person in admissions that didn’t care I didn’t get the “A” I needed to get to Kent and allowed me to start this journey which I will never forget.

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

Posted in Uncategorized

So, why should students register and vote in the upcoming general and local elections?

Recently I wrote a piece for the School of Politics and International Relations’ skills blog about voter registration. Check it out below.

(https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/spirskills/)

Well, as a former student of comparative politics, I think it is always useful to look at the patterns that occur over time. When we look at youth engagement over the last 50 years in Britain, we can clearly see the decline in 18-24 year olds voting. From 1964 where 76.4% of 18-24 year olds voted in the general election (the same amount as 65+), to a staggering low of 38.1% in 2005. At the last general election, it had risen to 51.8% of young people voting. It would be interesting to know how much of this was due to the pledge made by the Liberal Democrats around tuition fees. It is clear that these are a declining trend in the amount of young people engaging with the general election.

If every student living in the city of Canterbury voted in the general election, they would have the biggest collective voice in the city. 40% of Canterbury city is made up of students whilst 23% of the whole constituency is students, a sizable percentage which would swing the majority anyway, since the current MP Julian Brazier only has a 12% majority. By registering to vote you have the opportunity to have your voice heard, and by exercising your right to vote, you can change the world around you. That might sound like a bold statement, but when Canterbury City Council are trying to restrict the amount of student properties or when Kent County Council turns off the street lights, you can change the direction of local issues by voting.

For many students this will be their first time eligible to vote in the General election, and it’s such an opportunity to be able to par take in such an unpredictable election. I had the opportunity to vote in the last general election, and having your say in who runs the country makes all my whinging, in my eyes, completely legitimate. It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just make sure that you vote. And as students you are able to be registered to vote in both your home constituency and Uni constituency and you can vote in the general in one, but the local elections in both. And it’s not just UK citizens who can vote. European Union citizens can vote in the local elections and commonwealth citizens can vote in the general election – so now you have no excuse not to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Remember, your voice does matter, the issues that matter to you are important, and local and national candidates should hear them.

 

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

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Eat, Sleep, Drink and be Merry or “how to get through election week in one piece”

Having run in two leadership elections, and been involved with two more, I’ve learnt a fair few things about the dos and don’ts of getting through a sabb election. This is definitely one of those “do what I say, not as I did” moments, but it will be worth it if you follow these key points about elections week.

  1. Roast dinner compEat

Make sure that you eat regularly throughout the week. Bring a packed lunch up to campus with you, or prepare your dinners for the evening in advance. It’s pretty easy to just eat rubbish all week, and snack. Campaigning can be very tiring and you need to make sure you have enough energy to get through the whole week. Why not on the weekend have a sit down meal at home with your housemates, or go out for dinner? Just try not to talk about the elections at the dinner table – it’s most likely you’ve already got their vote!

  1. Sleepbaby sleep

Rest is one of the most important parts of election week. You are not going to get votes if you are ill and restless. Trust me, being ill during election week is awful, I would know, I got sent home by the returning officer because I kept throwing up – not my greatest moment I must say. You don’t need to be on campus before elections café meetings, and I’m pretty sure Park Wood residents aren’t going to be too keen if you go door knocking at 10pm.

  1. Water-bottleDrink

Keep hydrated. It’s thirsty business talking to all those students all day, so make sure that you have a bottle of water in your bag for the day ahead.

  1. And be merry

    #WellsForWelfare Campaign Team 2013

    #WellsForWelfare Campaign Team 2013

Make the most out of election week. Have a fun time campaigning, be friendly with the other candidates. There is absolutely no need for negativity or attacks on other candidates from you or your campaign team, it’s just not cool, so don’t do it. One of the most important things to remember throughout the week is that your campaign team are all volunteers; they don’t have to be there, and so, make sure they eat, sleep, drink and be merry too!

The moral of this blog is basically  don’t do what I did – get sent home from being so ill I was shaking with fever, didn’t sleep the whole week, barely ate and cried an awful lot after every day of campaigning. This is a stressful time for everyone involved so follow the four points above, and hopefully this will go a short way to making the one of the most important weeks in your University experience, that little bit better.

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

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Lessons from Auschwitz – Part 3

Six months ago, I don’t think I would have thought I would be writing this blog. I probably could have told you what Holocaust Memorial Day was, but I couldn’t tell you when it was, or what the significance of it was really about. Yet just a couple of months later, we have just witnessed the first Holocaust Memorial Day events at the University of Kent.

10941291_10155194545645157_1539120082_nI am proud of the work that the Kent Jewish Society and the students of CP624, the Shoah in Literature, Film and Culture module put into organizing these two events. The first event hosted Joan Salter, a Holocaust survivor, who told her experience of secrecy, hiding and escape throughout the Second World War from the Nazis. This event busted some preconceptions that a Holocaust survivor’s story was not only one of concentration camps. Over 430 students, staff and the public, attended the event and was one of the best attended, and engaged with, students run events I have ever seen. The second event was a much more personal, intimate event, yet still being attended by around 50 people. Stories, poems, and letters about the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide were read out for Holocaust Memorial Day, followed by a candle lit vigil and prayers led by Rabbi Zalman Lewis. This event was much more reflective and a very moving and apt way to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

hmd

At the start of this journey, I was told that I would have to take what I had learnt from my trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and post-trip work and put that into practice – and I had no idea how to do that. However, after going on this journey from hearing a Holocaust survivor talk, to visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, to supporting events for Holocaust Memorial Day, I think I am a little bit further to understanding how I can help tackle anti-Semitism and prejudice on campus.

Remembering those who suffered from Nazi persecution, to me, is a duty that everyone in our generation has. Soon, we will come to a stage, where there are no survivors left to talk about their experiences of living through the Holocaust. Hence, why we need to listen to the wisdom of these survivors and hear their experiences to be able to fight this ever happening again.

At the start of this journey a comment was made that has stuck with me the whole way through – why doesn’t the Jewish community have allies like the black community, or the LGBT community? It was a statement that I had never thought about before, until now. However, I hope to think that now, I am an ally to the Jewish community in their fight against anti-Semitism. I also hope that the nearly 500 people that attended either of the Holocaust Memorial Day events, have a better understanding about why it is so important to remember the Holocaust, and learn how we can, together as one, can tackle any form of prejudice or discrimination on our campus, and in society.

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

Posted in Uncategorized

Lessons from Auschwitz – Part 2

Last month I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Holocaust Education Trust and the Union of Jewish Students. It was an experience I never thought I would have, and one that I will certainly never forget.

Along with the other student leaders in our group, we met the night before to discuss how we were feeling about the trip, discussions about any worries about the trip, as well as the logistics of the trip. We flew to Kraków early Wednesday morning, not really knowing what to expect. I don’t think anything or anyone can prepare you for a visit to a place that can only be described as hell.

Once we had arrived in Poland, our first stop wasn’t Auschwitz, but rather a Jewish cemetery in the town of Oświęcim (Polish name for Auschwitz). Before the war, 58% of this town’s population was part of the Jewish Community; today no Jews live there. Walking around this cemetery brought a sense of normality, a sense that this was like any other town. A place where families came to visit their loved ones who had passed away, and place to remember. I had never visited a Jewish cemetery before, so I assumed that, this was like any other Jewish cemetery, apart from the lack of ground keeping. However, we learnt of strict Jewish burial rules that were clearly being broken and not respected. I think at that moment, I realized that this wasn’t a “normal” Jewish cemetery, but one that had a secret, one that wasn’t everything it seemed to be. A feeling that would return to me later that day.

Entrance to Auschwitz One

Entrance to Auschwitz One

Our next stop was Auschwitz One. A former Polish Army barracks which was converted into the concentration camp, later an extermination camp. Walking through the iconic entrance was I could only describe as an eerie sensation. Walking under the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” which translates to “Work Makes You Free” again brought that sense of falseness that I had experienced in the cemetery. Each of the buildings in Auschwitz tells a story about different aspects of the Holocaust, from the living conditions of the prisoners, the background of the mass killings, as well as exhibiting personal belongings of the millions of victims. Two particular buildings stood out to me as most memorable; one that had a long corridor of prisoners’ photos as they entered the camp, some of which would be killed the very next day. The second building, held thousands of personal items of the prisoners. Two tons of human hair, used by the Nazis for industrial use, 80,000 shoes, spectacles, saucepans, hair brushes, just there on display, once belonging to people like you and I. For me the worst selection of personal items were hundreds of suitcases. An odd thing to make someone feel so upset you might think, but each of them had the name of the owner on it, some with their date of birth on, some with the place they were from. As someone with Jewish heritage, the thought that I might see my family’s names made me feel physically sick.

The other most notable building to visit was Gas Chamber One. Walking through the room where thousands of people had to strip down, to then entering the gas chamber itself is an experience I never want to have again. To try contemplating what actually happened in this room was just too much for many in the group. To think that thousands of people were brutally murdered in this very room started to make my skin crawl. However, to exit the gas chamber, we had to go through the crematorium room where Nazi soldiers burned and cremated thousands of prisoners. What I think is so upsetting is this method of disposing the bodies. In Judaism, Jews must be buried and not cremated, which makes this method of disposing the bodies of Holocaust victims so much more callous.

Entrance to Birkenau

Entrance to Birkenau

After visiting Auschwitz One, we visited Birkenau, home to the killing of 1.1 million Jews. I still don’t think I can really understand what 1.1 million people looks like; it is too vast to comprehend. My first impressions were one of bleakness and vastness. Again, this sense of a falsity came over me. Chimneys, something that are supposed to keep us warm, scattered the land in front of me. Yet these chimneys were never used, never kept anyone warm, just remain as a stark reminder of the horrors, which happened there. As we walked through the famous entrance of Birkenau, we followed in the steps of the millions of people who arrived there, and were sent to their death in one of the four gas chambers. We stood at the edge of a gas chamber, now in rumble, hearing about the horrors that happened right where we were standing. The final building we visited was the Sauna building that was used to rid prisoners of disease, not so they could become rid of these diseases, but so that these did not spread to their captors. At the end of the building is a room, which hosts an exhibition of the people who were murdered there. A reminder to all who visit that these people weren’t criminals, they were just normal people who were simply killed because of their race and religion. We finished with a beautiful service by Rabbi Markus to remember 6 million Jews who were brutally murder during the Holocaust.

The overwhelming feelings of that day were of falsity and efficiency. The sense of falsity I have explained throughout this piece, but also the remarkable efficiency in which the Nazis killed 11 million people. The systemic and clinical approach to creating these camps, to transporting millions of people around Europe and murdering people because of their race, religion, sexuality, ability or political thought, is something that I don’t think I will ever understand, but something that we all have a responsibility to stop ever happening again.

The final part of this blog will be about how I can apply what I have learnt from my trip, to tackle anti-Semitism and discrimination on campus today.

 

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

Posted in Uncategorized

Lessons from Auschwitz – Part 1

Over the last couple of weeks I was given a rare opportunity to apply for a trip to Auschwitz with the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) in partnership with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET). I was fortunate to be accepted onto the course, which has four aspects; a pre-trip seminar, a one-day trip to Auschwitz, a follow up session and action on campuses. I ujsapplied for the course for a variety of reasons, the first being I wanted to learn how we can gain knowledge and learn from these lessons of the past so I can bring back practical actions back to campus to work on Anti-Racist and Anti-Fascist campaigns. The second reason was more personal as my heritage on my Granddad’s side of the family is German Jewish, and I wanted to try to understand just even a small amount about what my relatives went through.

 

Our small group includes a couple of sabbatical officers, faith leaders on campuses around the country and National Union of Students (NUS) full time officers. Whilst this is a pilot scheme, the aims are clear – to learn from the lessons of the atrocities from the Holocaust to how we can lead on anti-Racist and anti-Fascist campaigns, fight anti-Semitism and racism on campus and to educate our generation on the Holocaust and why it should not be forgotten. With so few Holocaust survivors left, it is our (meaning everyone’s) job to educate the next generations on what happened and what we can learn from the lessons.

het

Most students in the British education system will have studied the Second World War throughout their years in school. I remember my Grandma coming into school in Year 6 to talk to our class about what it was like living in London during the war and staying in the underground during air raids. However, in my school we barely covered the Holocaust. I knew that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews because of their race, and that there were concentration camps and extermination camps, but that was about it. I stopped studying history when I was 14 as I choose Geography at GCSE rather than History, so my knowledge didn’t get much better. Courses like this one gives us the opportunity to expand the nation’s knowledge on the Holocaust.

Eva Clarke holding authentic Jewish yellow star

Eva Clarke holding authentic Jewish yellow star

Yesterday I went to the pre-seminar in Newcastle with UJS and HET. We had a talk and Q&A session with Eva Clarke a survivor of the Holocaust. It was a truly inspirational speech that I learnt so much from. Eva’s story can be found on HET’s website. Whilst Eva’s story was only her family’s story, listening to someone who was there and whose family had experienced Auschwitz and other concentration camps brought the experience on a personal level. It is quite hard to understand how many 11 million killed actually means, but having someone explain it on a individual level really helps to just even start to understand what it was like being Jewish in 1930s Europe, life in a death camp and how they adapted to “normal” life again after the war.

The second part of the trip is a one-day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau next week.

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

Posted in Uncategorized

Your Voice does matter!

This year one of our big campaigns is all about the General Election including voter registration, voter engagement and influencing candidates.

newdeal

NUS’ General Election campaign

The first part of the campaign is the creation of a student manifesto. What is one of those you say? I’ll explain…

We have three different sections – Education, Work and Community. Each section has five different policies which have been picked from our friends over at the National Union of Student (NUS) which have been voted on by members from across the country at National Conference. What we want you to do is pick your two favourite policies from each section. All these choices will be calculated and the two policies from each section with the most will be chosen to be part of the student manifesto.

The General Election Polling Day is May 7th 2015.

The General Election Polling Day is May 7th 2015.

This manifesto will then be sent to candidates standing for election at the General Election on May 7th 2015. Once they have released their manifestos, an analysis will be undertaken on the candidates’ manifestos and we will show how many of the student manifesto policies have made it into the candidates’ manifestos.

This is a fantastic opportunity for students to have their voice heard on a national level and make positive change in the community around you. We will be talking to students at Freshers’ Fayre on Wednesday in Medway and Thursday and Friday in Canterbury. You can also fill out the student manifesto online too. There are separate wufoo forms for Canterbury and Medway as they have different constituencies and potentially different needs.

Canterbury Online Form – https://unionkent.wufoo.eu/forms/student-manifesto-canterbury/

Medway Online Form – https://unionkent.wufoo.eu/forms/student-manifesto-medway/

Student Manifesto Policy Descriptions

Over the next coming months there are loads of events happening around voter registration and the general election campaign so get involved.

 

headshot year 2Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t leave it until the last minute, sign up today!

It may sound like a dodgy marketing scheme, but don’t worry, this is about your health. An apple a day keeps the Doctor away…that’s how the saying goes. But if you need a Doctor whilst at University, you need to make sure that you are registered with your local medical centre.

University Medical Centre in Canterbury

University Medical Centre in Canterbury

If you live on the Canterbury this is very easy to do so. The University Medical Centre is on campus and has a wide range of services including mental health services, sexual health services and physiotherapy just to name a few. The staff at the Medical Centre are great and are always willing to help. It’s also very exciting to announce that there will be an emergency only clinic on a Saturday between 10am – 1pm. You can find out more information about the services they offer, as well as registering with the centre itself at http://www.umckent.co.uk/.

The medical centre nearest and most used by students at our Medway campus is the Sunlight Centre Surgery, who can be contacted on 01634 283847 or check out their website, http://www.sunlightsurgery.co.uk/.

If there is one piece of information I would say to all students, it is get registered at your local medical centre. You never know when you will need it!

 

headshot year 2

Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

Posted in Uncategorized

The wheels on the bus go round, and round…

After many years of hard work, it gives me great pleasure in announcing that Canterbury now has a 24-hour bus service. We know many students have been asking for extended bus times for many years (certainly as long as I’ve been at Kent, since 2010!) and I’m so happy that we achieved this great victory.

This massive achievement has happened after years of lobbying the University and Stagecoach from Kent Union to improve the service and extend the times of the bus service. It will offer students a safer, cheaper and convenient way of getting home from a late night on campus or night out in the city with your mates.

unibus

The service will be taking a unique night service route that covers St. Stephen’s Hill, Forty Acres Road and St. Dunstan’s areas. The service will start at 7pm, with some buses continuing on the current route down St. Thomas Hill and Whistable Road until 00:05am. The service will commence from the 21st September and will be 24 hours Monday to Saturday term time only.

Look out for the Biofuel UniBuses

Look out for the Biofuel UniBuses

 

To check out the new route for the Nite UniBus check out the route here!

The price of a UniDay ticket will be £2.80 and be valid from 5am to 5am the next day. The UniWeek and UniRider tickets will also be valid on the night bus service. There is no premium ticket price for the night bus service which means you can get home safely without having to worry about the cost of it.

Knight Bus or Nite Bus?

Knight Bus or Nite Bus?

This is an excellent opportunity for student groups to get safely to and from events on campus or in the city centre, as well as getting you home after a night in the Venue. You could meet Stan Shunpike or Ernie Prang but most likely you’ll just meet other residents of Canterbury!

This is a trial scheme and will be reviewed later in the year.

 

What’s your opinion about the new bus service?  What do you think about the route? Got any comments about the extension of times? Get in touch with me!

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Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

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My first year in office

It only seems like two minutes ago since I sat down at my desk as a newly started Officer not knowing what to do, or how to work Microsoft Outlook. One year later, and literally thousands of emails latter, I am now a master of Outlook and about to start my second term as Vice-President (Welfare).

 

The start of the journey

The start of the journey

Looking back over the year I’ve realised I’ve actually done quite a lot of work, and had some pretty big wins; extension of the Rutherford and Eliot accommodation leases, creation of the community engagement project with Canterbury College SU and Christ Church SU, University Living Costs report, drink awareness campaign with Turning Point, Exam De-Stress, Medway Sexual Health Campaign, Money Week, Housing Week, Student Workers Charters, liberation training for sports and societies, The Lock Campaign… just to name a few!

residental 1It’s been great to be part of such an excellent officer team and together we have achieved a lot, from our Back to Basics tent in October, to playing a key part in developing the new Kent Union Strategic Plan. We might have seemed like an odd bunch of personalities to have in a team, but that’s been one of the best bits about how we worked together.

 

But ku awards 1all good things must come to an end, and I can’t wait to get started on working with the new team. We’ve just had our week long residential and learnt lots about ourselves, working together as a team, and lots and lots about finance! Over the next few months we’ll be out and about around the country on lots of training, and planning our campaigns for the year ahead, so keep an eye out for these.

 

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter

So here’s to another year at Kent Union, and another year of representing students, having the best job in the world.

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Megan Wells
Vice-President (Welfare)
Kent Union

Email me – union-welfare@kent.ac.uk
Tweet me – @morganmeg
Phone me – 01227824200

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