William Bowkett



Bill is the Website News Editor for InQuire. He’s currently doing a BA in politics, and therein lies his interest. If you’re looking to break regular news online, both locally and nationally, drop him an email at website.news@inquiremedia.co.uk

Aaron Thompson and Rowena Bicknell will go head-to-head tonight to win your support in this year’s presidential debate.

The debate follows Monday’s debates between the candidates running for VP Activities and VP Education from the Pavillion, and Tuesday’s VP Welfare debate from the Student Media Centre.

With voting opening today, the two will battle it out in front of a live audience in the hope of becoming the next President of Kent Union.

Here is everything you need to know about the encounter:


Where is the debate being held?

The Pavilion Cafe and Bar.


When is the debate?

VP Sport candidates will have their debate at 6pm, with the Presidential Debate being presented shortly after (7.15pm EST). We recommend watching the VP (Sport) debate first in order for you to grab a good seat for the main event.


I cannot be at The Pavilion for some reason. How else can I watch the debate?

The debate will be streamed on KTV’s Facebook page and Youtube Channel, as well as the Kent Union Facebook page. The debates will then be available to catch up on demand.


Who is taking part?

Two people are running this year to become Kent Union’s President: Aaron Thompson and Rowena Bicknell.

Aaron Thompson is the current Vice-President for Activities and has asked voters to ‘once again to elect [him]’. He added in his manifesto that ‘now I want to do more’ and that ‘If you elect me, I pledge to be a bold, inclusive and supportive leader’.

His opponent for President is Rowena Bicknell, the current President of the Kent Graduate Student Association (KGSA). Ms Bicknell mentioned in her manifesto her experience and knowledge of Kent, which she believes gives her the upper hand to ‘get things done that students want’, in order to make the Union more ‘transparent and accountable’ in order to bring ‘bold change’.

You can read the candidates full manifestos here.


Who is moderating

Jake Peach of CSR FM will be moderating the debate and will be asking questions submitted by students on the Kent Union website. Questions will also be asked from social media by presenter Tiree Niven.


What is the format?

The 60-minute broadcast will see each of the candidates make short opening statements explaining their key policies and why they feel they are best suited to become the next President of Kent Union. It will then be followed by questions from Peach, Niven and the live studio audience. The debate will then finish with closing remarks from the two candidates.


What topics are likely to come up?

Some of the issues and subject that could come up in the debate are the following:

  • Medway
  • Clubs and Societies
  • Mature, Postgraduate, Part-Time and Foreign Students
  • Employability on campus
  • Housing and Home Stamping
  • Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
  • Free Speech
  • Post-18 Review into Further Education
  • Facilities and Funding


How can I ask the candidates a question?

You can comment questions during the KTV live stream on Facebook or YouTube. Alternatively, you can submit them on our Facebook page. The post will be pinned at the top of the page.