Meet the candidates running for Postgraduate Vice-President
Celebrating Postgraduates across KCL with a new position
Why should we vote for you?
Jeff Wall: Because I am relentless and will always ensure I listen to what the postgrads want from KCL and KCLSU.
Joe Attard: I’m the only overtly political candidate and my radical socialist principles have already won a 20 pay rise for postgraduate staff.
Paulina Guerrero Gutiérrez: In my 4.5 years as a postgrad (MA+PhD), I have worked a lot to support other international students, and my only interest in getting the post is to help other people, so that they do not have to deal with all the things that have been broken since I joined KCL.
Kingsley Chukwu: Because I genuinely believe that postgraduate students deserve better, and I’m willing to put in the work to demand better terms.
Mahamed Abdullahi: People should vote for me as I have an solid grasp of how the institution operates and I have already achieved a great deal for students such as the creation of a mental health policy and mapping of existing services and a crisis mental health support role.
Suhrita Kapilavayi: There are many postgraduate students who have a lot of problems as they may be International Students and cultural shock can be one of things affecting them, which many a time can lead to depression, sleeplessness and others. My first initiative would be to help them cope with the culture shock and also conduct icebreaker activities helping them meet new students. This role of mine will also give them personal advice as I have been in the same position this year and have had the experience of how to overcome it.
Name one skill that will help you in this position
Jeff Wall: Once I start I don’t stop
Joe Attard: I’m a tireless organiser and workaholic – between teaching, research and fighting for postgraduate interests: my colleagues think I own a time-turner!
Paulina Guerrero Gutiérrez: I am really good at bringing different people together and building a community, something that is particularly important for our postgraduate student body, which includes people with a multiplicity of ethnicities, nationalities, family situations, and who are at different stages in their lives.
Kingsley Chukwu: Persistence is a major skill I possess and it would be useful in my negotiations with the school while pressing for our needs.
Mahamed Abdullahi: I’m very persistent, this will allow me to continue to push for the change that students want as things often take a long time to improve in institution of this size and age.
Suhrita Kapilavayi: The most important thing is i have been a Postgraduate and new to the country which gives me more experience of how other students feel. I have been a representative of my department in my Undergrad for 4 years. I was able to find solutions for most of the problems faced by students, and will do my best for the upcoming post as well.
What’s the first thing you’ll change as VPPG?
Jeff Wall: The other officers focus on undergrads over us postgrads.
Joe Attard: I will overhaul training for postgraduate staff, demand pay increases for GTAs and will organise a across-union campaign to scrap postgraduate deposits and fees: Ed Byrne earns £450,000 a year off the back of our fees, there is no reason the postgrads should be skint and miserable.
Paulina Guerrero Gutiérrez: I will get the Graduate School to fund a counselling service for postgraduate students, because it is not acceptable that one of the groups most likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and impostor syndrome has such an insufficient support system.
Kinglsey Chukwu: Due to the number of cases that have come to us as a member of the board of KDSA (King’s Doctoral Students’ Association), I’ll press for a review of the current mental health management procedure at King’s with an inclusion of circumstances that contribute to it in order to bring about a thorough policy change.
Mahamed Abdullahi: The first thing I want to change as VPPG is how the institution handles staff on student sexual harassment, particularly at PGR level
Suhrita Kapilavayi: Introduce a suggestion box where students can put in their suggestions for an event, concern, maintenance (positive or negative) so that they can voice their opinions. Have general meetings with students so that they are aware of the position and their rights and other facilities in our college.
This role was create to bridge the gap between PG and UG. What other way will you further this?
Jeff Wall: It’s all about collaboration and working together and this role is in place to see this happen and for all students to have a fair voice and fair access.
Joe Attard: This university belongs to ALL of us: I will establish a student staff solidarity council to unify undergraduates, postgraduates and full-time staff to fight for their shared interests.
Paulina Guerrero Gutiérrez: I’ll help build a KCLSU that listens to the voices of postgraduate students and acts in their interest so they feel supported by the student body and welcome in the union that is supposed to represent them.
Kingsley Chukwu: I’ll bridge the gap by getting postgrads interested in the student societies which is the major place that contacts occur between students who study different courses.
Mahamed Abdullahi: PG and UG already interact in numerous ways, I hope I would encourage this further by giving funding to predominately postgraduate societies to host events with predominately undergraduate societies and create other spaces where this could happen.
Suhrita Kapilavayi: Not only will the gap between UG and PG will be reduced, postgraduates will have their voice heard in the college. Postgraduates have better experiences which can give us many suggestions and an improvement for our ideas and work.