Executive Committee Elections: List of candidates

 

President

Conor Bacon
Proposed by: Anjalene Whittier
Seconded by: Filip Gökstorp

Hello all,

I should probably introduce myself - I'm Conor, a first year PhD student in Earth Sciences. I have just finished 4 years at King's as a physics undergraduate, during which time I sampled pretty much everything the college has to offer. Having so far occupied nearly every computing position available in college, I have this year chosen to take a change of tack and run to represent the grad community as the President. I believe it is important to have someone that knows King's, from the perspective of an undergraduate as well as a graduate student, in order to strike a balance with college and KCSU to bring about the best for everyone.

Past experience:

KCSU
Computing Officer (2016-2017)

King's Affair
IT & Ticketing (2015 and 2016)

King's Bunker
Ticketing, Webmaster and general senior committee member (2014-2016)

King's College Boat Club
Vice-Captain (2014-2015)
Equipment and Safety Officer (2015-2016)
Computing Officer (2015-2017)

King's Graduate Bar
Treasurer (Current) - you'll also probably see me working a fair few nights over the course of the year.

Through this experience, I have learned how best to oversee the running of a student committee. I hope to get the most out of KCGS for the graduate community as a whole.

Secretary

Edward Everett
Proposed by: Tom Hall
Seconded by: Cecily Manson

Salve! I’m Edward.

By the looks of the nominations, this year’s KCGS is going to be pretty stellar. But this also means that the President is going to need a solid, reliable, organiser. Step forward Edward.

As a first year history PhD, with vast swathes of my academic diary devoid of lecture or seminar commitments, I know how to manage my time effectively and get stuff done. It also means that I can be incredibly flexible in helping coordinate the various duties and obligations myself and others on the committee will be tasked with.

Furthermore, I have previously held junior committee positions in the past outside of Cambridge. For these roles I was instrumental in securing funding, acquiring sponsorship, as well as dealing with a range of internal and external personnel. As such, I am well aware of what will be required of me if I am elected Secretary, and have a solid foundation of knowledge and experience that will allow me to fulfil these obligations.

Junior Treasurer

Alejandro Rodriguez-Pardo Montblanch
Proposed by: Alex Hobday
Seconded by: Martin Schlegel

Dear grads,

I am Alejandro, your current Treasurer. I am running again basically because there is no one else who will. Therefore, my plan is to carry on with the Treasury duties (Treasurer is one of the most important positions and can't be left unfilled) until early 2018 LATEST, unless someone runs before then. In early 2018 I will simply step down - hopefully someone else will be willing to take over. Until then, I do encourage you to approach me (email: ar820@cam.ac.uk, FB: Alejandro Rodríguez-Pardo Montblanch) and ask me about this position in the KCGS, one of the most rewarding ones.

Some reasons why you should run/why it is so important and powerful:

  • KCGS is the reason why you had fresher's, grad drinks, superformals, TV's in your accommodation, welfare day, LGBT dinners...
  • In all of these events, the Treasurer plays a central role by making sure that there is enough money for them.
  • The Treasurer oversees and controls the finances of each one of the KCGS offices.
  • The Treasurer also sits in the Finance Committee in College, i.e. Treasurer gets to also decide how the money in College is used.
  • And more...

Thanks,

Alejandro

Junior Member of Council and Governing Body (aka Joint Rep)

Charlotte Payne
Proposed by: Niamh Mulcahy
Seconded by: Anjalene Whittier

I'd love to be joint rep. I'm enthusiastic about the role and I think I could do it effectively. I've also had past experience representing King's students, so I'm familiar with how college works.

I've spent a lot of my PhD away on fieldwork, but I'm now back for the next 18 months straight, so I'm keen to commit to this position. I've spent a lot of time involved in college: I started here as an undergrad, and immediately joined everything I could...since then I've been a member of multiple college societies and committees (KCSU, King's Affair, the Cellar/Bunker, KCGS, the Development Committee, Catering Committee, Buildings and Safety Committee, etc) and co-organised many events.

As a result, I'm aware of student issues, I also know a lot of the fellowship, and I've seen through a few windows into the inner workings of this beautiful, frustrating, endearing place.

Also, and perhaps most importantly - I'm hardworking and I care. So please do vote for me!

And finally, Anjalene tells me I'd be good for this because I'm someone "who’s not afraid to speak up and fight to push through motions - but who also knows not to just start rambling bc they like the sound of their own voice" - I promise to try and live up to that!

Chair

Ronan Marron
Proposed by: Samantha Braver
Seconded by: Maja Klimaschewski

I am Ronan, an MPhil Student studying International Relations and Politics. I am a committee enthusiast and would love to be Chair of the KCGS!

I was Chair of the KCSU (Kings undergraduate students union) for a year while I was an undergrad - so I have experience in a very similar role. Having done this- as well as being on the Kings Affair Committee – has given me a knowledge of how college (and its fairly extensive bureaucracy) works – which I believe would be useful. My goal is to chair meetings efficiently and fairly. I would also endeavour to keep the meetings concise. There is a need for close cooperation amongst members of the KCGS and I see my role as mainly facilitating this cooperation! The ultimate goal, of course, is to get 30 people to come to a KCGS General Meeting but then better people have tried and failed! Please don’t vote to re-open nominations.

Social Secretaries

Alex Hobday, Maja Klimaschewski, Cecily Manson, and Luise Scheidt
Proposed by: Lewis Mervin
Seconded by: Valeria Shumaylova

Prepare for the most fun you’ve ever had in King’s… if you vote for us!

We are Alex, Cecily, Luise and Maja, and we’re running as a team to be your social secs for the next year.

We’ve already gathered bags of experience between us: Luise (social sec 2016) ushered in an era of legendary superformals such as The Oscars, Wimbledon, and A Formal of Ice and Fire. Alex (social sec 2017) recently organised such epic formals as Horrible Histories & Murder Mysteries, A Night at the Opera and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – and famously introduced smoking shishas in Chetwynd Court as a super popular after-formal activity! Cecily and Maja (this year’s freshers) are really keen to contribute to planning all sorts of fun events. As many will know, they’re already super involved in the grad community. Maja has even contributed to organising a huge range of this year’s social events - only within a handful of days after arriving in King’s!

Together, we boast an eclectic mix of American, British and German perspectives, both old and new, offering extensive experience and new ideas for future formals, ents, hostel parties, cocktails, fancy dress themes, fresher’s week 2018 (yes super keen)… the list goes on!

We already have great relations with key contacts in college (i.e. the Lay Dean, Senior Tutor, DPS and Catering) which are necessary for the mundane admin required to organise events and to persuade college to let us have more fun. We don’t mess around - so vote for us!

Welfare Officer

Georgia Cook
Proposed by: Alex Hobday
Seconded by: Laura Brassington

I am the current Welfare Officer of KCGS and I love it so much I want to do it again!

Over the last year I have successfully proposed alterations to the role of grad wardens, to increase the welfare and community-building aspect of their role, convincing college to agree to give them an annual budget and provide them Mental Health First Aid training to cope with any welfare emergencies that arise. I also organised (joint with the undergraduate Welfare Officers and some wonderful helpers!) college’s first Welfare Day, a fun day to give students the opportunity to unwind, with added bouncy castle. Amongst other things I also organised chlamydia screenings, began doing fortnightly welfare tea events, and started distributing free earplugs to the students. I am also in the process of setting up a system by which students can contact me via email without their identity being shown to me. This should be running by the end of my term.

If you vote for me to be your Welfare Officer again next year I will continue to maintain and build upon the above events and achievements, including following up on the grad wardens initiative to ensure college enacts their part of the agreement. In addition to this I will attempt to convince college to sign up to the Peer2Peer scheme, which offers training for students who want to learn to support their peers by active listening. I also plan to work with college’s new Mental Health Advisor as well as the welfare team and the KCGS executive committee to increase the welfare element in the fresher’s week timetable, including campaigning for college to provide a professionally run consent workshop, in addition to talks on how to spot the signs of mental health issues and tackle them early.

Academic Affairs Officer

Craig Lambert
Proposed by: Reuben Shiels
Seconded by: Neil Paul

Hello King's Grads!

My name is Craig - you might have seen me knocking about King's - I've been here a while! I'm a clinical medic, and having spent 5 years as a member of King's College I really feel like I'd like to use the information and contacts that I've gained to give something back to the community I've lived in for all this time.

Within this role, I would not only like to contribute as the Academic Affairs Officer, but also as an enthusiastic member of the committee. I'm an approachable and friendly person - and with the knowledge I've picked up during my time here I'm very happy to offer information or support regarding any academic matters. Failing this, if I don't know the answer, I will make it my role to find out! Other roles include disseminating information regarding conferences and academic events, and also organising evening talks and research exchange events within King's itself. I hope also to act as a channel to promote communication between KCGS and the Junior Research Fellows in order to culture a vibrant academic community.

Any questions, please feel free to stop me around college, or drop me an email on crl34@cam.ac.uk. Please don't RON me.

Best wishes,
Craig Lambert

International Students’ Officer

Api Hasthanasombat
Proposed by: Emelyn Rude
Seconded by: Nina Lutz

The range of backgrounds that are represented here in our College is remarkable, and I feel it forms an important part of the College character. I'd like to support the interaction between the different perspectives that each member brings. As with the nature of such things, it is hard to predict what sort of need will arise concerning international students. This is especially true when every year there are significant changes to the student population, and consequently, student backgrounds. I aim to be flexible in dealing with the issues surrounding internationals, and look forward to speaking to many from the community. I'm always happy for a chat, regardless of whichever part of this floating rock in space any piece of paper may label you as being from.

Cameron Silverberg
Proposed by: Maja Klimaschewski
Seconded by: Samantha Braver

Hi everyone! My name is Cameron, and I am running for International Students’ Officer because I want to help make sure that every international grad student at King’s has the best experience possible. As an international student pursuing an MPhil in International Relations, I want our college to be as welcoming to people from across the world as it is to those born and raised in Cambridge. While studying as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I co-founded an organization that sought to increase collaboration between community services organizations on campus. In this role, I got firsthand experience in running and managing events—experience that I believe would be valuable in planning events for international students as the International Students’ Officer.

If elected, I will always be available for anyone at King’s who wants to talk about how we can improve our college experience. I feel privileged to be here at King’s, and I would love to help make it even better.

Women's Officer

Sophia Cooke
Proposed by: Georgia Cook
Seconded by: Alex Hobday

I would like to run for the position of Women’s Officer of KCGS because I feel strongly about raising awareness of, and working to decrease, issues of gender inequality and believe I am in a good position to support female grad students at King’s.

Why I am suited to the role:

  • I am experienced in dealing with women’s issues and work closely with Women’s Aid Cambridge.
  • I attend events put on by the CUSU Women’s Campaign and am up to date with the work they are doing.
  • I have good knowledge of the support available to women in Cambridge and relevant local and national charities/organisations.
  • I have attended several conferences on the issue of domestic abuse and am in close contact with several experts on the subject.
  • I have a good knowledge of issues of mental health and the facilities available in the University and City of Cambridge, which I also believe to be important for the role.
  • I was a member of the graduate committee at my previous Cambridge College and worked hard to make the college a welcoming place for grad students as well as assisting with the running of various events.

What I would do if elected:

  • I am currently working with a small group of people, including two tutors at King’s, to introduce a protocol in College to be followed in the event of any student reporting domestic abuse. This is a much more common occurrence within the University than you might expect and yet there is almost nothing in place to deal with it, in the Colleges or the University as a whole.
  • I would like to consider, with the Welfare Officer, running occasional Women’s Welfare teas, in addition to the Welfare events already in place. These would be relaxed events, in a private setting, in which female students could simply get together and chat, but would also have the chance to share any concerns or worries and advise and support each other.
  • I would make sure women grad students know they can contact me at any time and make myself available should anyone have an issue and need someone to talk to.
  • I would like to work with the Welfare Officer to increase education in college on issues of consent, harassment and domestic abuse. In particular I would like to look at how we could make sure all incoming students are taught about the topics, either before or very soon after they arrive and would like to organise talks throughout the year as well as advertising relevant external events that students may wish to attend. I would also make sure everyone is aware of the details of the new harassment policy.
  • I would make sure every incoming woman student is given information before they arrive about what services are available to them and what they should do/who to contact if they feel they need support.
  • I would work with the KCSU Women’s Officer to put on a cracking King’s Women’s Event!

Shiyin (Judy) Zheng
Proposed by: Samantha Braver
Seconded by: Ronan Marron

Hi! I am Judy (Shiyin), an MPhil student in Gender Studies. I am running for KCGS Women’s Officer!

My academic training in Gender Studies allows me to apply what I have learned in daily activism. I organized and participated in feminist workshops, seminars and reading groups. Besides, I founded ARTspeaks, a non-profit that provides art education for underprivileged 7000+ children in China 3 years ago and I organized initiatives that highlights art works of girls. This June in Beijing, on behalf of ARTspeaks, I attended UN Women Conference on Gender and Philanthropy Development 2017.

My goal is to champion women’s issue amongst the graduate students and the wider King’s community. The events and campaigns will be an inclusive space for Trans-women, non-binary women, etc. When I ‘represent’ interests of women in relevant affairs, I would be sensitive about intersectionality. As for the King’s Women’s Event in March, I have consulted Giulia, current Women’s Officer and feel excited about inviting to the Women’s Dinner inspiring speakers who care for feminist agenda and struggles. I am ready to work closely with Development Office, the KCSU Women’s Officer, the Tutorial Office and other relevant officers. I will be accessible and open to dialogues, discussions and recommendations from all members amongst King’s community. Through my experiences, I came to realize that transformative power came from within the community, and I am running for Women’s Officer to bring together King’s community and contribute to providing a supportive environment for women here.

LGBT+ Officer

Nina Lutz
Proposed by: Georgia Cook
Seconded by: Maja Klimaschewski

Hello everyone! I’m Nina, an MPhil student in Psychiatry. I joined the KCGS in October of this year as Equality Officer and have really enjoyed the position. My primary role has been to assist the liberations officers with their duties, including planning the LGBT+ and BME formals. I will also be filling in as Welfare Officer for the rest of Michaelmas term, organizing fortnightly welfare tea and keeping the sexual health supplies stocked in the graduate suite.

Prior to coming to Cambridge, I majored in clinical psychology and worked in a several mental health settings. The listening and problem solving skills I gained through those experiences will no doubt prove useful to the KCGS. I want to create a positive environment for students who wish to speak to me about issues of LGBT+ rights at Cambridge, or about any other difficulty they may be experiencing. No matter what the problem is, I will do my best to address it.

In addition, I worked as an intern at the LGBT Center of my undergraduate university, assisting the director with all center activities and creating a new organizational system for the LGBT library on campus. If I am elected as your LGBT+ officer, I hope to take some of the experiences I had there and bring them to Cambridge. For instance, I would like to create an LGBT+ book display in the graduate suite with monthly recommended readings for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of the LGBT+ community. I would also plan LGBT+ events, such as tea and cake or movie showings.

Going forward, I would love to create LGBT+ spaces within the KCGS community. I hope to contribute to a graduate society that is welcoming to all students, of all identities, and would like to hear from anyone with suggestions for how to make the King’s experience even better. Thank you!

Equality Officer

Samantha Braver
Proposed by: Shiyin (Judy) Zheng
Seconded by: Cameron Silverberg

Hi! My name is Samantha and I’m running for Equality Officer because I hope to create a more inclusive and welcoming grad community at King’s. I served in student government during my undergraduate at college in the U.S., and worked to program diverse initiatives for my campus body. I’d love to do the same at King’s! I hope to coordinate programming with the LGBT+ Officer and Women’s Officer in particular, but I also want to address other aspects of diversity that we don’t often talk about, like mental health/neurodiversity. In addition, I know firsthand that being a minority student at a predominately white institution can be quite uncomfortable and disheartening, so I would love to host weekly “coffee talkies" where students can come talk to me about their experiences and address any concerns. I’m currently pursuing an MPhil in International Relations & Politics, and I’ve been working closely with Amnesty International as a human rights investigator with the Digital Verification Corps; I’m also part of the student group for the Centre for Governance & Human Rights at Cambridge. I hope to use these experiences to elevate the voices of others and invite speakers fighting for equality on a daily basis to come to King’s and speak. My goal is for any member of King’s to feel comfortable approaching me so we can work together to create a more equal environment where everyone feels at home. We all belong here. We all deserve to know that.

Nina Lutz
Proposed by: Georgia Cook
Seconded by: Maja Klimaschewski

Hello everyone! I’m Nina, an MPhil student in Psychiatry. I joined the KCGS in October of this year as Equality Officer and have really enjoyed the position. My primary role has been to assist the liberations officers with their duties, including planning the LGBT+ and BME formals. I will also be filling in as Welfare Officer for the rest of Michaelmas term, organizing fortnightly welfare tea and keeping the sexual health supplies stocked in the graduate suite.

Prior to coming to Cambridge, I majored in clinical psychology and worked in several mental health settings. In addition, I worked as an intern at the LGBT Center of my undergraduate university. The listening and problem solving skills I gained through those experiences will no doubt prove useful to the KCGS. I want to create a positive environment for students who wish to speak to me about issues of equality at Cambridge, or about any other difficulty they may be experiencing. No matter what the problem is, I will do my best to address it.

Going forward, I would love to stay involved in KCGS as Equality Officer. I hope to contribute to a graduate community that is welcoming to all students, and would like to hear from anyone with suggestions for how to make the King’s experience even better. Thank you!

Sports & Societies Officer

Zack Case
Proposed by: Tom Hall
Seconded by: Cecily Manson

Who am I?

  • A King’s College Football Club veteran – KCFC extended my contract this year which is the main reason I am still at King’s
  • A diehard sports fan - e.g have had very strange sleeping patterns in October/early November because I’ve been watching the baseball Playoffs from roughly 1-4am on many nights (sad), haven’t missed an Arsenal match since December 2003 (sadder) etc
  • A King’s pan-athlete, having represented this college in no fewer than five different sports and captained two different teams
  • A former KCSU Sports, Societies and Freshers Officer
  • An MPhil Classicist

What have I done for King's?

  • Started the weekly sports report
  • Instituted sports day at fun day
  • Established the annual sports captains’ drinks and dinner with the Provost
  • Screened the England matches during Euro 2016 in the bar, despite major protest from senior college members to showing England vs Wales on the day after KA
  • Made the SSF position on KCSU not a joke

What will I do for King's?

  • Show more sport in the grad suite. I have BT Sport and Sky on my laptop (thanks dad) which I will connect to the TV for major sporting events
  • Organize friendly sporting events on Queen’s backs when the weather improves (e.g. Frisbee throw arounds, dodgeball games etc)
  • Make sure grads are fully involved in sporting life at King’s
  • Open to any suggestions!

Computing Officer

Filip Gökstorp
Proposed by: Conor Bacon
Seconded by: Danny Vagnozzi

Hey everyone!

I’m Filip, 1st year PhD in Engineering and 5th year at Kings. As a weathered veteran of this community I have seen a lot and I am now ready for the next level: KCGS Computing Officer 2-K-17!

As for qualifications for the role I’m familiar with computers, emails, programming, web stuff, other stuff, IT stuff, stuff in general. Having gained a good 50% of my computing-related knowledge from the IT Crowd, I have assimilated their mantra: “have you tried turning it off and on again,” which should have me amply prepared for the role.

Furthermore, a whole year’s worth of experience as Vice President for Internal Affairs (glorified Secretary) for KCSU gave me valuable committee experience (cue flashbacks), and I aspire to apply my hard-gained skill set to my role in KCGS.

Importantly, I’m keen to put in the work to maintain and improve the webpage, formal ticket store, mailing lists and to be on the College Computing Committee, and of course, to help KCGS!