The Government has announced that there will be new national restrictions in place across England, with a 3rd national lockdown to start from Tuesday 5th January 2021. This is expected to be in place until at least the 15th February 2021.
As previously announced by the University on the 31st December, all courses (other than Nursing, Physiotherapy, Social Work, BA Primary Education and PGCE) had already been positioned to be delivered via online teaching until the 25th of January, and it is believed this will now extend until the end of 3rd lockdown – we will confirm this once the University has made a formal statement. During this time, it is also expected that student facing services, such as the library and student services will be accessible, but this may be with restricted timing or alternative provisions – again, we will confirm this once the University has made a statement.
Strict restrictions remain on leaving your place of residence, social activity and meeting others outside of your household, and it is these restrictions that result in most Student Union activity being affected. Therefore, all our planned physical activity such as events will remain postponed or will be moved online, and similarly all Activity Group participation will have to remain virtual during the 3rd lockdown.
Megan Ball – President
Victoria Hurley – Vice President, Education & Welfare
Ellen O’Dwyer – Vice President, Activities
We would also like to remind you that our advice centre will remain accessible throughout lockdown and can be contacted via www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/advice
Q. Will Student Union officers still be meeting? How will Union zone meetings take place?
We will continue to use Microsoft Teams to conduct our democratic meetings, including elected officer meetings and Zone meetings and forums. In many ways meetings via this method is more effective, and convenient to participants.
Q. Will the Student Union Elections still be taking place?
Yes, the election of Student Officers for 2021/2022 will still be taking place during February, and we had already put in place provisions for this to be done virtually. For more details about the elections or to stand for one of the available roles please see our election pages.
Q. Will there be a new ‘No Detriment’ policy for students?
The Union recognises the additional pressure that a global pandemic brings to studying at University. The Union’s officers have been working with the University and lobbying for them to establish, a fair and effective policy surrounding ‘no detriment’; ensuring results are not penalised due to external factors brought about from the pandemic. It is our expectation that the announcement of a national lockdown will influence the content and expedience of a suitable outcome for our students, and we look forward to communicating this shortly.
Q. Can I get some of my rent back?
The Student Union is currently working with and lobbying the University to provide guidance for students who live in University Managed Accommodation regarding their rental payments & contracts. We will endeavour to update our website and social media channels when we know more on this. If you live in privately owned accommodation, we recommend you reach out to your landlord or letting agency for guidance on this, and remember that the Student Union Advice Centre can offer Housing support.
Q. Can I still access support from the Student Union Advice Centre?
Yes, the Advice Centre will continue to offer appointments via online video appointments on Microsoft Teams, telephone appointments and support via email. Unfortunately, we will not be offering face to face appointments during the national lockdown.
Q. Will there be any way to access items from the Advice Centre Freebie Bin (free condoms, sanitary items, pregnancy tests, panic alarms, drug testing kits) during lockdown?
Whilst we will not be able to offer the physical Advice Centre Freebie Bin, we can offer a local delivery service of these items for students who are not on campus, and/or a postal service of items. See www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/advice for details.
Q. Will services such as the Terrace Bar & Vault be open?
Unfortunately, no we will be unable to open these services during the lockdown. You will also not be able to sit in any internal areas of the Student Union, but you are free to use the covered outside area on the Terrace, if you are required to be on campus and are careful to adhere to the lockdown restrictions – keeping to households or in pairs maintaining social distancing.
Q. Will you still be running events such as the Quiz?
Unfortunately due to restrictions on social gathering we will not be able to run any physical events during the 3rd lockdown, but working in partnership with our Activity Groups, we will make every effort to run a range of online social events via Teams and the Positive Pandemic Facebook page.
Q. Can we use the University or Union facilities for our activity group. Will my Activity Group still be meeting?
Unfortunately, physical resources such as rooms and pitches can’t be made available under government guidance. This means that during the 3rd lockdown all Activity Groups will have to switch to online virtual activity and engagement. Activity Group leaders should work to ensure virtual engagement opportunities and can liaise with the Union’s Activity Team for assistance and support.
Q. Will BUCS games be happening?
At this time, we do not have confirmation from BUCS, but it is expected that BUCS matches will be affected and may be subject to further postponement (beyond the already delayed season start of 17th February) – we will update here when more information from BUCS is forthcoming.
Q. Will I be due a refund from my Activity Group?
In most cases we hope that this will not be necessary or desirable, as Activity Groups can continue online and still provide valuable engagement opportunities in the interim. However, if your activity is unable to provide virtual engagement, or is precluded from most of their principle activity, you might be entitled to a full or partial refund and you should discuss this with the Activity Group chair or Captain.
Q. Will the SU Shop be opening/normal operating hours?
As an essential service the King Alfred Quarter shop will remain operational throughout the lockdown but will have the following adjusted opening times:
SU Shop – open Monday to Friday, 12.00 to 16.00
West Downs Shop will remain closed, but we will review this on a weekly basis.
Q. Will Laundry services still be accessible?
Yes, all 3 laundry locations will remain open, but are subject to strict social distancing measures, with additional cleaning measures.