Another Day, Another Role

Posted on July 1, 2011


Today at students’ unions all over the country, new student officer teams will be taking post. It is a time of change and a time to both reflect and to look forward. For I, it is my first day as President of KUSU.

I think the first thing I ought to talk about is the outgoing president, TJ Esubiyi. TJ has been President of the Union for two years and has accomplished a great deal during that time. He has made the face of the President known and has had a huge impact on relations between the Union and the University. TJ’s work has meant that we are moving towards being a constructive and professional voice, and not just at Kingston but within the sector…

We are also lucky enough to have a new Vice Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors in the form of Professor Julius Weinberg and Sir Roderic Lynne, both of whom have impressed me thus far and I look forward to working with them.

I would also like to thank Bruce Armstrong and Jayne Aldridge for their support  over the last year which has been invaluable.

In the last year we have achieved a great deal and there is much more to be done… Top of my priorities for this year will be reforming our democratic structures so that each student can easily make a change no matter where they are based. We will bring in referenda on controversial issues and move away from the outdated AGM model with open forums. We will are looking at a scheme to introduce school representatives as an extension of the course representative system and reforming our support services so that they can better serve student needs.

Much of this will be detailed in our soon to be released strategic plan which will set a clear direction for the Union, which our new Trustee Board will review and monitor to ensure that we are the best we can be.

On the political front there is much work to be done. The recent White Paper on Higher Education leaves much to be desired and I am continuing to lobby our local MP’s and government ministers on the student body’s behalf.

The huge changes that will be coming in post 2012 will bring new difficulties and challenges. As such I will be visiting Universities in Australia and New Zealand during the summer to see what lessons can be learnt from well established fee systems. As this is also my holiday and I am paying for it I may catch a game or two of the Rugby World Cup whilst I am there.

The last year was a difficult one in many ways but the next one will be even more challenging. I will endeavour to do the best I can in this role.

With hopes for the future,

Chris Dingle

President – Kingston University Students’ Union

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