What’s the current University advice?
The University guidance is informed by the government guidance, and will continue to adjust based on this. The University have released some detailed FAQ's which fully outline their guidance, which we’d encourage you to read fully.
How can I look after my own wellbeing during self-distancing?
Ruby Jones, VP Welfare & Diversity:
By following government advice, we’ll all be spending significantly more time at home, often on our own. During these difficult times, it’s so important that you look after your mental wellbeing, not just your physical wellbeing. I’ve put together some advice for self-distancing, which I hope will be useful in helping you make what is a big adjustment for us all.
In terms of continuing your studies from home, I’m sure many of you are concerned about not going to your regular study spots or the library. Studying at home will be an adjustment, and I’d recommend doing the following to help:
Get your study space right – try not to study in bed or somewhere you’ll easily be distracted. This might be difficult for some, but making a clear divide for your work/life balance is really important.
Get into a routine – routines aren’t the most glamorous of things, but they genuinely do help working from home.
Stay in contact – even though we’re not going to be with people, make use of the technology we have available and stay in regular contact with people! We’re all going through this together, so let’s support each other.
What should you do if you’re showing symptoms
Sunday Blake, Guild President:
It’s important that you follow government and NHS guidelines if you’re showing any symptoms for coronavirus – this is to look after both yourself and those around you. Take a look at the NHS guidelines to make sure you know what to do.
Is campus open?
Yes – both St. Luke’s and Streatham campus are currently open and will be until further notice.
The University have produced a Safe Community Charter. This is a challenging time for the University, our colleagues, students and the communities we live and work in. We must work together and each take personal responsibility for keeping each other safe. The University expect students to abide by the charter which sets out the personal commitments we must all make, alongside the University’s commitment to managing the risk presented to us all by COVID-19.
There are a number of safety measures and precautions in place in spaces and buildings on campus, from the 2 metres rule and hand sanitiser stations to limited capacities in rooms. Please respect and follow the guidance where applicable.
What safety measures are in place?
There are a series of safety measures on campus to ensure the safety of students and staff. These include wearing a face mask in certain areas including shops and the library, one way systems, hand sanitiser stations and more. You can find the full details of these here.
It’s absolutely essential that we all do our best to follow the safety measures to help stop the spread of the virus so that we can get back to normality as quickly as possible. Following the measures will allow as much face-to-face teaching and on-campus activity to take place as possible.
Do I need to wear a mask on campus?
In certain situations and areas on campus you will be required to wear a face mask. You can find out more here.
I don’t have a laptop or the money to buy one – how can I access a laptop so I can adjust to blended learning?
Financial help is available through the University’s Success for All Fund, which exists to support students get the necessary IT equipment for their course, as well as a range of other purposes. You can find out more about the Fund here.
What can my society do at the moment?
From Thursday 5 November to the end of Term 1, no in-person activity can go ahead (there are a very small number of exemptions listed below). Your society can still organise and run online events and encourage your members and friends to get involved in our Get Connected campaign! We’re planning loads of great stuff to keep students engaged during the lockdown. If your society would like to get involved, either attending or hosting a Get Connected event, check out our Hub here.
How long is this going to last?
Restrictions on in-person activity in general are in place until the end of Term 1. The Activities Team are still here to support your society in running online events and activities, and will be focusing on supporting students in lockdown through the Get Connected Hub, and planning Refreshers’ activity in the run up to January, in the hope we can support in-person activity to return in the new year.
The team are also working on other activity that could be support a little bit sooner. We will be working with volunteer groups whose activities are exempt under the lockdown restrictions, and we are working with departments to encourage in-person activity through academic societies. When we have more, we will be in touch with the relevant groups.
Why can't my society do any in-person events?
Before the lockdown, some societies could run activity under certain exemptions. Under the lockdown restrictions, the majority of these exemptions have been removed. Community organisations can no longer operate, and grassroots sport outside of an education context has been suspended. We are still working to understand whether clear exemptions apply to any of our society activity, and we will be in touch with groups directly to identify any activity that could be restarted.
Why can’t we continue with our sport or fitness activity that has already been approved?
The Government guidance prevents grassroots (i.e. not paid professional) sport from happening during lockdown. Fitness and other physical activity are restricted completely. Schools, colleges and Universities can deliver some sport, such as elite level programmes and course-based sessions. At this time the University are awaiting confirmation that some recreational sport can continue on University campuses. Once we have this guidance, we will contact the relevant groups if they can continue their activity.
There is an exemption for Arts Venues to remain open and orchestras and theatre companies to continue rehearsals, so why can’t we?
Although this exemption does exist, it sits underneath the workplace exemption. Therefore, only those who are employed as musicians or performers are allowed to continue rehearsing during the lockdown.
Why are the music practice rooms closed when they aren’t on the list of venues that should close?
The list on the Government website of venues that should close is not exhaustive, and we also need to consider how the practice rooms are used, and whether this fits in with other parts of the guidance. The University are closing outlets and areas of campus that are not deemed to be essential or that don’t have an exemption to remain open. Although some people use the practice rooms for music tuition, there is no way for us to ensure that activity is limited to lessons only. As we do not have the staff to manage this, the risk is too high for us to be able to keep the practice rooms open.
There is an exemption for volunteering activity. Could my society do this?
The exemption for volunteering activity is only specifically in support of vulnerable people. Although we have some volunteering activity that fits this description, we will be in contact with groups if we believe we can support it safely under this exemption. We are working to societies and groups’ core aims and activities and are not accepting any proposals for new volunteer projects at this time.
As a society committee member, I’m struggling with all this. Where can I get support?
The Activities Team continue to be available for any society support you might need. We are available on email@example.com, or you can call 01392 725060 and speak to someone on Guild Reception 08:00-16:00 Mon-Thurs, 09:00-16:00 Fri.
If you are personally struggling with lockdown, you can contact the University Wellbeing service, or to get advice on support you can receive on your academic experience, you can get in touch with our Advice Service.