To ensure you are kept in the loop with how RUSU is representing your
voice, here is an update into what we have raised with the University. We
are meeting with the Major Incident Team at the University on a regular
basis so will aim to update you at least once a week on what we have been
RUSU website – RUSU is going full on digital! We have
worked hard to move most of our services online including our Advice
Service. We are currently producing a specific web page for Coronavirus
updates so you can easily find all the information in one place.
Halls accommodation – We successfully pushed the
University to not charge rent on students not returning to Halls in
summer term. We have now asked that the University find a solution to
those students who want to leave Halls but can’t in the next two weeks.
Special circumstances – We successfully got the
University to agree they would provide guidance and outline support for
students who have special circumstances, particularly those with
accessibility needs. We had representation to give our views on how the
EC process could be adapted to support students further during this
No detriment – we notified the University of the no
detriment policy petition and open letter that had been signed by
students. We raised with them that students were seeking a no detriment
policy. We are now holding a vote to determine RUSU’s position on a no
Events – we agreed with our own events team that we
wanted to still provide you with a time to celebrate the year. This
means Grad Ball and Summer Ball are only postponed and we are currently
coming up with brand new plans.
International students – we have been talking with the
Dean of Diversity at the University as to how international students can
be supported more.
Supporting Our Students – We have successfully worked
with the University to create a buddy network called Supporting Our
Students that will allow students to be linked up with another student
or staff member who can offer support. We have pushed for this to not
only be available to students in Halls but all students at the
Compensation – We questioned whether students would be
receiving compensation – the University have now included a response in
their FAQs and have outlined that although they won’t apply blanket
compensation, they will create a complaints process that will allow you
to raise your concerns around receiving compensation.
Open letter – We wrote an open letter to the University
outlining the concerns students had about the impact of COVID-19 and
demand they provide answers. You can
read this on the RUSU website
but the themes include: exams and coursework, inconsistencies with other
University policy, learning resources, accommodation, finance, welfare
Finance – we asked the University how they are going to
provide more support to students who might be struggling financially as
a result of COVID-19. They are now updating their information and the
services they offer to provide more support to students.
Food donation – together, we helped the community by
communicating food donation points so that your food wouldn’t go to
waste before you went home.
Private Halls – We asked what the University were going
to do to support students in private Halls accommodation and the Vice
Chancellor wrote a letter to all major providers urging them to do what
they can to support students. We will now also be writing a letter to
add more pressure in the hope they will provide more support to these
NUS – our NUS delegates voted in favour of an Emergency
Coronavirus Policy at National Conference which calls for more student
support in mitigating any negative impacts of the circumstances.
Q&A session – we successfully lobbied the University to
agree to host a Question and Answer session that will allow you to have
your concerns fully answered by the University. You can
submit your question through the RUSU website, details of when and where this will be held will be confirmed next
Communication – we asked the University to share more
communications about the situation. They have since increased what they
share, more recently with specific information around the support
services still available during this time.
Sports club celebrations – we have been working with
sports teams to produce a highlight reel of their year so they can
celebrate the end of their year.
Other specific concerns that have been raised:
The impact and pressure of being a student who is a key worker and
what support can be provided in this instance.
The services that can still be provided to students who continue to
be in Halls including post, washing facilities and the reception.
- How re-sits will work.
How will student staff be supported during this time and does the
80% reimbursement scheme apply to those student staff.
We are already looking ahead to next year! We met with the Alumni
team to discuss funding distribution for students next year; this
includes our sports, societies, volunteering and media streams.
Summary of issues raised in the Major Incident Team meeting on Thursday
We reiterated our withdrawal of support in the Universities position
to not hold a no detriment policy.
We stated our decision to hold a vote that will determine RUSU’s
position that will allow us to strengthen our lobbying.
We highlighted the main issues raised in the open letter and how we
would keep the pressure on in waiting for a response and would
continue to raise student issues to the team.
We highlighted the RUSU Disabled Student Officers report and asked
that the comments be used when making decisions around exams.
A lot of the issues raised come from student feedback so if you feel you need a concern raised please do let us know through any of our channels.