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Students and staff participating in the BE At King's networking event ;

How I’m making a change with BE At King’s and how you can too

Ananya Dangra
BSc Biomedical Science

27 March 2024

Do you have an idea to better your experience of belonging at King’s? The urge to engage with communities meaningfully? The thirst for change? BE At King’s is a new initiative that aims to tackle all of this and more.

My name is Ananya Dangra and I’m a first-year undergraduate student studying Biomedical Science. As someone who's passionate about solving problems by creating change within communities, I was delighted to discover BE At King’s. I pitched my idea of informal student-staff lunches to try and combat the lack of connection within the faculty and was invited to their networking event to brainstorm with other like-minded individuals.

What is BE At King’s?

The program launched last October, with a call-out to students and staff to put forward their ideas on how to strengthen belonging at King’s. Students and staff have been given the time and space to have discussions on campus about their ideas and supported to submit proposals through an online creative ideation activity, as well as creating roles for students to support other students to think about how they might bring their ideas to life via on campus engagement. Examples of which include:

  • Focus on community breakfasts and lunches, with a desire to experience international cuisines, as well as events that cater and bring together different nationalities and backgrounds
  • Free or low-cost events that are accessible to all to minimise barriers to engagement
  • More events and opportunities for meaningful social interaction to take place within faculties and courses
  • Increase social spaces across campuses that are conducive to social connection and conversation

Defining belonging at King’s

The networking event began with an opportunity to introduce ourselves to one another, sweetened by the many fresh pastries and hot cups of coffee on hand. Facilitators directed us towards a pin board to collect initial thoughts, aims and aspirations for the event, as well as to share what belonging at King’s means to us. This was then developed into a shared definition:

“Belonging at King’s College London represents being an integral part of a co-created, diverse, inclusive, and innovative community that values every voice. It’s about feeling a sense of pride in our shared achievements, embracing the opportunity to be your authentic self, and contributing to the university’s vision of making the world a better place.”

We split into groups to mingle with other like-minded individuals and discussed a multitude of topics, which included (but definitely wasn’t limited to!) enhancing campus spaces, creating collaborative events and improving existing areas to bring people together. At the end of the ideation, our thoughts – messily scribbled on Post-It notes – were sorted into their respective categories to be carried forward for the successive stages of the programme.

Making a change

The event flowed seamlessly from one activity to another and I found myself constructively engaged throughout. I’d like to thank the BE At King’s team for putting together this initiative and supporting me to give my idea depth and detail. I’m now working with both BE At King’s and my faculty to help bring my idea to life through one of the 15 small £150 grants that have been issued already.

The team have also launched their larger seed funding campaign, where you can apply for up to £4,000 to get your idea off the ground. Join now and have your say! The deadline to apply is Monday 15 April.