Clayhill students outraged at the announcement of key charges when getting locked out of their flats

By Aneesa Anwar

Clayhill residents are outraged and confused after the announcement that they will now be charged £10 plus an admin fee for locking themselves out of their rooms or flats.

It has come as a surprise since all the doors in Clayhill lock automatically meaning keys must be taken with residents at all times but can easily be forgotten.

Clayhill resident and chemistry student Inga Tymczuk said: “I think the charge is horrible, I’m super paranoid about locking myself out and have to check my pockets five times before I leave because I don’t want to get charged.”

Although the key charge is in fact in the Clayhill contract, they were not made clear or even mentioned until after the Christmas holidays when signs were then put on the front doors of flats alerting residents of the changes.

Drama student and Clayhill resident Zoe Divers said: “I think we should have all read over the contract in more detail prior to moving in but it also should have been emphasised by staff when we first moved in.”

When asked, the receptionists said that the charge was in fact in the contract, however refused to make any further comments on the issue.

Pharmacy student and Clayhill resident Isaac Haynes said: “I’ve been locked out a few times but I’ve never been charged, unless it comes out of your deposit (£300) immediately but I’m not sure if it does.”

Many students who have been locked out since the charge was introduced have been unsure whether they have actually been charged leading to further anger and confusion.

Resident Amelia Mae said: “They are trying to find anyway to drain money from our pockets and they had seen there was a high influx in the number of lockouts so they decided to use it as a money making scheme.”

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First-year Film students feel confused after the Film Department is set to move faculties later this year

By Ellie Ideson

Film students are confused after the film department said they were moving the course to the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture later this year.

The BA Film course is currently under the Faculty of Social Sciences based at Penrhyn Road but after review, the university intends to move all film courses to Knights Park by 2020.

“I don’t understand why we need to move as the course seems to be fine at Penrhyn, we have the mac and the loans room available all the time, as well as the DVD and film books in the library.” Said Emily Walker, a first-year film student.

Kingston University has made these changes so that all research and film teaching can combine and be managed under one faculty.

But film students do not feel they have been well informed about the move and would have preferred to have more say.

Attendance

“I don’t feel that we as students have been well informed about this change. I don’t think it will affect the course in terms of how it’s structured but may affect people’s attitudes towards attendance.” Ryan Chapman, a first-year film student said.

Walker said: “All we were sent was an email which didn’t really inform us, so I feel we could have been given more information and more of an option when they decided on the move.”

Professor Simon Morgan Wortham, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has emailed the students and reassured them that there is “no need to worry” and that their degree will “continue as usual.”

Reputation

The changes are seen as a boost to Kingston University’s reputation in film and discussions are being held at the moment to discuss these changes further.

As part of the 2020 transformation programme, the film department is excited for the opportunity to be able to work together as one faculty.

Students views on the proposals have been encouraged by the faculty which can be shared by speaking to their student representatives or the Union of Kingston students.

Students at Penrhyn Road are angry after the university kept quiet on increased canteen food prices

By Ellie Ideson

Students at Penrhyn Road campus are angry with the university’s lack of communication following an increase in canteen food prices.

Food and drink prices have increased up to 29 per cent this month with bottled water increasing the most from 50p to 70p.

“I just noticed it, no one actually told us or emailed us which feels shit.” Pamelah Nunez, a second-year forensic science student said.

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Elior is Kingston University’s catering supplier and has said that the increased prices follow a review of supplier demands.

Strength of pound

The rising costs of raw materials and the strength of the pound have affected the cost of supplies Elior uses, such as tinned-tuna increasing by 35 per cent.

“I’ve noticed that the prices have raised, but the uni hasn’t said anything. I feel deceived because I think the uni should help students and convince the company not to change it or find another company to keep the prices low.” Natasza Rybka, a first-year human geography student said.

The university has labelled all the increased prices with signs below the food or drink that shows the old and new price to make students aware.

Value offers

Elior Student Experience and Marketing Manager Kirsty Robinson said: “We are acutely aware of the cost associated with attending university and will ensure that there is always a good array of value offers.”

Elior has assured the university that their products will be reviewed regularly to maintain the quality and value of the products.

The price increase has been made across all Kingston University campuses.

Kingston MA Museum and Gallery Design students hold first exhibition at Knights Park platform gallery

By Aneesa Anwar 

Students gathered at Knights park on Tuesday March 21 for the Curating the Future: Preserving the Past exhibition set up by the MA Museum and Gallery design students.

The exhibition, which was created over a period of two months, was a mixture of work the students both created and curated from all over the world.

Clayhill resident, and MA Museum and Gallery design student, Gokce Ozkan said: “We are taking a module called the challenge of change which is dealing with the futures of museums and gallery’s so as part of that we created this exhibition.”

The exhibition included a range of art pieces both created and curated by the students in many different forms and mediums: futuristic art pieces such as virtual reality 3D sculptures as well interactive art pieces for audiences to enjoy and get involved with.

Carmen Hubbard, MA Museum and Gallery design student and creator of the art piece inspired by the Cabinet of Curiosities, said: “Museums are engaging with new technologies to open up to wider audiences and we’ve had lots of positive comments about the exhibition.”

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“It is interesting to see other people’s visions of what they think the future of museums will actually become.”

The exhibition opened in the platform gallery at Knights Park and will be open there until April 5 when it will then be continued at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton.

Guest at the event Joseph Hoare said: “I really enjoyed the exhibition and I’m amazed at how varied it is and the mediums and approaches everyone has taken and created on the same topic.”

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Kingston Yoga and Vegan Festival fills up in spite complaints of poor organisation

By Ana de Liz

Hundreds of people gathered at the second Kingston Yoga and Vegan Festival at the Kingston Guildhall on March 25 despite complaints of poor organisation.

The complaints came after many who bought a ticket in advanced were not let in due to the venue being full and security reasons.

“They shouldn’t sell the tickets if they’re not going to let people in. Especially if they knew it was popular last year,” said Angela, who came from Teddington and had to wait half an hour to enter the event.

As a response to initial confusion, Kriti Sachdeva, one of the event’s organisers, said that those who weren’t willing to wait could get a refund via PayPal. Some got a cash refund at the doors of the hall.

Despite the wait, once inside those that attended the festival could take part in free yoga and meditation lessons, buy 100 per cent vegan food and products, as well as visit stalls which promoted environmentally-friendly small businesses.

“In my University there was a Vegan Fair and they were selling toothbrushes, but you couldn’t recycle the bristles and the wood they used wasn’t sustainable. So I decided I would redesign them and make them better,” said Rishi Gupta, a biochemistry student who was selling recyclable toothbrushes.

Small traders stalls

Some of the 60 stalls included local artists, handmade body creams, healing crystals, teddy owls and monsters made from recycled sweaters and groups which promoted spiritual healing.

“I’m not vegan and I’m not vegetarian, but I do eat very little meat and I am interested in kind of vegan recipes (…) so I just wanted to see what kind of things were available and I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” said Sofia, who attended the event with a friend.

When asked if she had any trouble to get inside the festival, she said she arrived early and therefore didn’t have to wait, however she mentioned her friend had been stuck in a “massive cue”.

The Festival is set up as a 100 per cent non-for-profit event, run by volunteers and the proceeds of which go to charities. The first edition of the event was held in October 2016 at the Kingston Grammar School.

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Clayhill residents expected to pay rent until June but want to move out early

By Charlotte Beasley

Kingston University students living at Clayhill Halls of Residence are expected to pay rent until the end of June despite most courses being completed by April.

Halls licence states that ‘payment for the full residential period is mandatory,’ but this means students are required to spend £1000 more after the university year has fi17622889_10209048691358212_758402057_onished.

Film student Ryan Chapman said: “We should be able to move out any time after our courses finish and not keep paying hundreds of pounds.”

Some students have already started looking for people to take over their rent as soon as possible so they can go home for the summer.

International students who receive no government support/student loans have found this system even more inconvenient.

Peter Enia said: “I will be returning to the States in May, but I still have to pay for a full month worth of rent. It is not my fault that I have to abide by my visa.”

Students have argued that the halls should be 17690138_10209048691158207_680695922_nmore flexible about the last payment, allowing residents to pay weekly and move out when they want to.

All courses finish at different times, some of which finish as early as April 24 but students have to stay and pay to live in London until June 24 or go home and still pay rent.

Rich Allo said: “There should be more communication between the university and halls, and negotiations over which students are entitled to reductions if they have to leave early.”

Most residents understand the conditions of the agreement they signed before moving into halls but they do not agree with it and wish for action to take place in the future.

Rhys Jarvis said: “As inconvenient as it is, it is part of your licence agreement which everyone accepted when they paid their deposit. Perhaps in the future they can make it more flexible.”

Students are left feeling confused due to lack of information about student housing

By Charlotte Beasley

Students want more support from Kingston University after statistic show that 40 per cent of surveyed students feel uninformed about the process of student housing.17690689_10209048699078405_19662168_n

The University will open their headed tenancy applications on April 3 2017 but only 15 per cent of students were aware that you could apply through the University.

Biological science student Jacob Callow said: “More emails would be helpful and better advertising about how to apply for a house is needed because I was confused.”

Meetings have taken place in the halls of residence and important housing information has been advertised around the University and on social media.

10 per cent attended one of the advertised meetings but did not feel confident or completely informed after and 70 per cent did not even know there were any meetings.

History student, Rianna Husein said: “Halls should do more meetings about transitioning from Halls to houses but when you do need advice, they do respond to emails fairly quickly.”

S17619193_10209048698598393_42536390_ntudents applying for housing in private sectors can be expected to pay a deposit of up to £700 and additional costs for security deposits and administration fees.

Only 5 per cent of students said they were prepared for costs that high whilst 50 per cent said it is too expensive and they would struggle to afford it.

Louise from the accommodation office said: “contracts signing is likely to take place in April/May and if some of the students cannot be in Kingston to sign the contract, this will be okay.”

Due to headed tenancy applications opening just before Easter, students are worried about the process of applying but have been reassured that not all residents need to be present to sign contracts.

A speed house-mating event will take place on Monday March 20 between 5pm and 8pm for students looking to rent in private sectors or headed tenancy.