KWAF: Why should you care? by Olly Shearman

Whether you are new to the University or this is your final year at Surrey, you have all been educated so far to understand that your degree alone will not necessarily lead you to the career you are looking for. You have been taught that you need to show potential employers that your University life has involved experiences, you have gained transferable skills, volunteered, been part of a team, managed a project – the list goes on.

However as students, you do not just want to take part in these additional activities because they make you ‘look good’ to potential employers, but also because they make you feel good. You all enjoy what happens outside of your lectures – the society events, sports matches, charitable volunteering – often it’s where you meet new friends and gain a better insight into what you want to do when your journey at Surrey comes to an end. We all know the benefits of exercise for both our physical and mental health, and taking part in any activity that makes us happy is great for student wellbeing.

Traditionally, Wednesday afternoons have been kept free from teaching, to enable students to have the time in a normal week to enjoy these valuable extra-curricular activities. This is appreciated by so many students, who need to use their evenings to earn money and study. KWAF stands for ‘Keep Wednesday Afternoons Free’ and is a national campaign adopted by a number of Student Unions across the country, in order to protect Wednesday afternoons from teaching. With so many students here at Surrey, and limited space, we have seen that some scheduled teaching has been taking place on Wednesday afternoons. This is a practice that we aim to eliminate through our work with the University on the new timetabling policy, and through our influence with University decision makers.

As your VP Voice, I have been elected to represent your views to the University. This year I will be making the KWAF a major part of my plans. I want to hear from students about your experiences of teaching on a Wednesday afternoon and the impact that has had on your University life. Please feel free to get in touch with me on ussu.vpvoice@surrey.ac.uk and share your experiences.


Created with images by Pete Nowicki - "Rowing into the sunset"

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