I’m pleased to be able to write my first bi-termly round-up reflecting on a very exciting couple of months in the KCL Conservative Association. At our most recent meeting, my committee and I, while identifying several areas in need of improvement, have ultimately judged our first half-term in charge to be successful.
One of my first goals on becoming President was to ensure that the Association has a thriving speaker series. Members who were active in the Association last year will notice that the most obvious transformation will be the format of these speaker events, shifting from a typical speech to an ‘In Conversation With’ style. My reasoning behind the change was twofold; first it’s far more interactive and has the ability to cover a far greater range of topics. Second, it requires a lot less preparation on behalf of the guest and they, therefore, are more likely to accept our invitation into the Association. I believe that this was a worthwhile change and have received very positive feedback from both members and speakers for which I’m very grateful. This half-term, we welcomed Graham Brady, Nigel Lawson and Michael Heseltine into the Association and after reading week, we look forward to hearing from Peter Hitchens and Secretary of State, Greg Clark. I have no doubt that the phenomenal quality of our guests makes our speaker series one of the best in the university; it is certainly better than the other London universities Conservative societies and, it’s probably fair to say, the best one in the country. I’m conscious that the Association currently has no women speakers this term and I’d like to assure members that this is not deliberate. When putting our term-card together in the summer we contacted a roughly equal mix of men and women, however, those who were able to come into the Association happened to be men. We are currently looking to amend this imbalance for next term.
One of the main problems our Association has is advertising. Communicating our fantastic events to a wide audience is always a problem for any party-political society and, while I’m pleased that attendance is far higher than in previous years, the calibre of our speakers deserves better turnout. Other political societies and university departments are often not willing to promote our events in order to appear ‘non-partisan’ – I’m not asking them to endorse austerity… but nonetheless I respect their choice. My committee and I have recently developed a new strategy to tackle this problem by expanding our presence on social media to reach a bigger student population.
I apologise that the 1828 Journal has produced little content thus far; this will change upon the appointment of a new Editor after reading week. Similarly, over the break I shall be putting in place the relevant motions in order to hold an election for the First Year Representative. After reading week, we’ll be hosting more socials, think-tank networking events and debates (which I’d love to see freshers having a bash at). Please find a full list of events on our website.
Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the Association members for making this first half-term particularly enjoyable for me, especially my committee; Sam, Jack, Geo, George and Harry.
Do get in touch if you have any ideas, questions or issues regarding the Association with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org