We know many students continue to be worried about the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and what this means for them and their studies at the University of Winchester, as well as for families and friends.
Winchester Student Union continues to work closely with the University to ensure the wellbeing of students and staff during this time and we have and will continue to respond to the situation as it develops. As you are probably aware many of the issues that have arisen due to Covid-19 are unprecedented, and this has resulted in some issues taking longer to resolve than anticipated. We appreciate your continued understanding and patience.
Status of the University: The University is operating but the campus is on lockdown, with all non essential services curtailed or provided remotely. All teaching is now online.The Library is closed, but most course books are available online. The only University catering outlet open is the Food Hall and it is open for take-away food only. Reception, Student Services and the Chaplaincy are operating remote support. The IT Helpdesk is also operating a remote service.
Status of the Union: The Union has likewise gone on lockdown and note that we will only continue to operate our shop 'face to face', with all other services provided remotely where possible.
All events and social gatherings remain cancelled. Whilst we understand that this is a disappointing outcome, particularly for our final year students, we take our responsibility to our members seriously and have decided on these actions expressly for their benefit and in line with government advice.
Should you have need, please seek to contact the Student Union via email, telephone or our official social media channels:
Tel: 01962 827418
Email (general enquiries): email@example.com
Email (for activity group enquiries): firstname.lastname@example.org
Web (for wellbeing enquiries/to book a virtual appointment): https://www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/advice
Current Government instructions: Everybody must stay at home unless they are designated essential staff/key workers.
Please see our FAQ below for more details or contact email@example.com with any queries.
The Positive Pandemic - Facebook support community for Winchester Students.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled some FAQs for our members about the current situation:
What are the University doing?
We are working closely with University to ensure the wellbeing of students and staff. The University Senior Managers are meeting on a daily basis and are providing frequent updates to all staff and students.
In addition to the decisions already taken to alleviate pressure on assessments for students, there are some significant policy decisions still to be made, including those affecting students living in halls. As you might appreciate, these are complex decisions in which the University have to weigh up many factors to make the best decision for those students affected and for the long-term future of the University. They are aiming to have a decision on this by the end of the week. The University is also considering their response to student petitions relating to ‘no detriment’ policies. It is our understanding that they are awaiting guidance from sector bodies, including the Office for Students, before confirming a response. The Union continues to advocate for our members in these issues.
Are Shops & Bars still open?
Our King Alfred Quarter Shop remains open, but all bars and venue spaces are closed. West Downs Shop will be closing on Wednesday 08th April. There are further limitations on using our shop services including, cashless only, no more than 3 customers in the store at any time, and please remain at least 2m away from staff and other customers.
Is ILOVETOUR Sport Tour still taking place?
I LOVE TOUR have confirmed that this event has now been cancelled. They will be contacting all customers to advise how to claim a full refund. Any affected student should contact I LOVE TOUR.
How can I reduce the risk of infection?
We recommend following NHS advice which includes:
Are event bookings at the Union effected?
We are happy to continue to facilitate event bookings for June and beyond, unless the Government issues further advice about this type of activity. Unfortunately we can't consider a booking between now and June 1st. If you have an existing booking then one of our team will be in touch to discuss your plans. Alternatively, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I've bought tickets for a cancelled event, will I be refunded?
Yes, all event tickets have been automatically refunded to the card holder. However, while this process would normally have been undertaken within 15 working days of the point of refund (16th March), our website provider has advised us they are experiencing unprecedented levels of requests for such refunds at this time. This has resulted in a delay to their expected schedules, which is outside of our control. We will continue to work with our web provider to expedite these refunds.
I work for the Union; will I still have shift to work?
Yes, for w/c 16th March Winchester Student Union had many services open as usual and, scheduled shifts were expected to be worked and were paid where they could not be worked.
From w/c 23rd March very few shifts available, for our shops only. We understand that this may have an impact on a number of staff and have not taken this decision lightly. In case of hardship, please discuss with your Line Manager in the first instance who may be able to consider alternative options, or offer advice. Please do also discuss any concerns you have about working your assign shift with your Line Manager.
Will assessment week events, such as the Summer Ball, still take place?
As the University has indicted that they will not by requiring students to return after the Spring break, we have unfortunately taken the decision to cancel the Summer Ball. Anybody who has purchased a ticket will receive a full refund within 10 working days from 16th March. We will continue to assess the situation and may look to provide several early summer events in lieu of the ball, if practicable. We will also monitor the situation in regards to planned celebration events such as Colours and Student & Staff Recognition Awards, and update here in due course.
I need to organise an activity group election, what do I do?
We would encourage all society, sport or network leaders to ensure that all their members have signed up via our website. We will then be able to assist you with running online elections and handovers. We will be contacting all activity group leaders shortly with more information.
Can sports/societies/networks still meet?
We are urging that all activity groups adhere to the social distancing measures that the University is putting into place and is being reccommended by government. This means that all University space and facility bookings will be automatically canceled and no sport/society/network meeting, social or gathering should take place.
BUCS have postponed or cancelled all matches and competitions.
If you have any specific concerns about existing commitments, please email email@example.com.
I’m worried about my studies.
Winchester Student Union is working with the University to ensure that everything possible is being done to minimise any negative impacts of ending the semester early. If you have any concerns about the alternative arrangements put in place by the University, the quality of your academic experience or practicality of your assessments, please contact our for guidance and support.
The University has also brought into place the following emergency measures:
Blanket assessment extension - two weeks. To recognise the changes to teaching and assessment the university put in place and to help give some extra opportunity to adjust to a different way of working, the University have extended all assignment deadlines for students by two weeks for all assignments due between 18 March and the end of the scheduled assessment period (22 May). Read more about blanket extension here.
Self-Certification in cases of suspected or actual Covid-19, or significant caring responsibilities for an individual with suspected or actual Covid-19.
Applications for Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) due to IT related problems, following learning, teaching and assessment activities moving online.
Self-Certification due to an unexpected caring crisis.
Applications for ECs for Forces Reservists being called into service.