Hi! I am very proud to be representing students for a second year, in the Union of Kingston Students as the Knights Park Officer and the Lead on Student Welfare. You see, I studied both at Penrhyn road and Knights Park equally, and have just completed a year as the Penrhyn Road Officer, where I also led on Union Development.

In the Student Union, we wear a few different hats of responsibility, which make us accountable for different things. First and foremost, I am proud to be the third generation Knights Park Officer elected to represent the students who study in the Kingston School of Art.

This means that whenever the Union is representing students in one of 100's of University meetings that we sit in on, there will always someone to represent the Knights Park Student Voice! This is why I will be constantly talking to students to find out what they want me to say in those meetings. You'll see me around campus, so come and say hi!

About Me

I am South African, and few years ago I arrived in London with nothing but a suitcase. I am the eldest of 7 children and also the first generation of my family to attend University. I started at Kingston University as a mature student and have just completed my joint honours in English Literature and the History of Art, Film & Design, which means I was a joint honours student in both the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (now Kingston School of Art) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. I worked very hard for my first-class degree, received a gold Kingston Award and worked passionately as a Course Rep where I ended up winning the award for Senior Course Rep of the year. I was one of those students that actually enjoyed what I studied and liked being at University, so much so that I am currently doing my MA part time is a really cool Interdisciplinary course called Gender Without Borders, while being a full time sabbatical officer. Work by day, study by night.

In my undergraduate, as opposed to studying the traditional curriculum, my interests were more aligned to cultural studies and I was fortunate that my degree at KU allowed me to study history and society through words (English Literature) and objects (History of Art/Visual Culture). My final University assignments focused on gender, identity, philosophy, psychology, popular culture, and post-colonial theory all of which enrich my student leadership role.

My Role

I represent Knights Park as a campus and the Kingston School of Art as a faculty, and I will use my campus days to connect with all students that study on or around the campus. The Student Union Office is based at Penrhyn Road, however I’ll have a space in the Student Office at Knights Park too!
As with everything in life, EVERYTHING interests me. So, with deciding on what remit to run for, I found all four of the lead remits very interesting (Academic Affairs, Activities, Welfare and Union Development), and although nervous at first, I really enjoyed being the Union Development Officer for the 2016-17 year. In that role, I was able to look internally at who we are as a Student Union and help shape the financial, organisational and strategic direction of the Union as an independent charity. That role was very internal facing and over the year I helped to develop our democratic and organisational structures, and led on recruiting the new CEO.

After looking so internally, I am happy to take on the new challenge of being the Student Welfare Officer. My new role will allow me to be more outward facing and more focussed on helping to shape the Student Experience. The Student Welfare remit enables me to represent all Kingston Students on issues concerning:

  • mental health
  • work on improving equality diversity and inclusion
  • liberation: student networks, campaigns and the history months
  • encouraging and supporting student led campaigns
  • supporting independent advice services
  • supporting the commuter experience
  • supporting the food service experience
  • supporting students in halls and private accommodation.

More specifically my role is to:

  • lead officer for the strategic oversight of Union and National welfare campaigns.
  • liaise with National and Local politicians and organisations whose decisions impact on the lives of students beyond the University.
  • develop students’ political awareness and engagement.
  • lead officer for the strategic oversight of Union Advice Service.

I am really excited to meet with students and hear what you have to say or what you think I should be working on!

‘If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far, go together!”

Join me and let’s face our challenges, united and together!

Contact Details

Email: D.Bowdutoit@kingston.ac.uk

Twitter: @KU_Officers

Instagram: @kingstonstudents