The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

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Coronavirus Updates

Key Information

Halls Lockdown Demands

Bristol SU spaces and services

Coronavirus Guidance for Student Groups

University Information

University updates on COVID-19

Student experience and study in 2020/21

Living Circle Guidance

Guidance on self-isolation

If you have any questions you should contact info-point@bristol.ac.uk

Wellbeing Resources

University Wellbeing Access

MIND

Bristol Nightline

Please note the situation around COVID-19 is likely to continue to change this term and the information here may not always be fully up-to-date. We will do our best to keep you updated here and via our social media. You can find updated information from the University at their coronavirus information page.

Most recent update

15 October 2020 - Rent Strike

Bristol Cut the Rent has called for a rent strike for students living in university halls of residence. You can find further details here.

We’ll be supporting Cut the Rent by highlighting their demands to the university in the spaces that we are in, alongside the halls lockdown demands that we have already released. 

If you are living in halls you can sign the pledge to withhold rent. 

If you would like to find out more, you can check out the NUS guide to rent strikes. If you have more questions, Bristol, Cut the Rent are running a Rent Strike Workshop on Sunday at 6pm, for you to ask any questions you have.

 

Past Updates

14 October 2020 - Update on On-Campus Teaching and Study Spaces

With the support of course and faculty reps, your Undergraduate Education Officer David has been collecting a list of courses students have highlighted as having particularly low on-campus hours. He has used that feedback to lobby the PVC Education who is:

  • Immediately working to increase the number of on-campus teaching hours for those courses outlined and others with particularly sparse timetables in TB1. People should be seeing this increase over the next few weeks.
  • Committed to a universal minimum of on-campus teaching for timetabling TB2. Bristol SU is now lobbying to set this minimum at 3hrs/week (as an average across TB2 with an awareness that lab courses will often bunch some hours together to decrease cleaning time)

We realise, however, that those who were originally timetabled low levels of in-person teaching will still be missing out on the full blended experience over the next few weeks before increases can be arranged, and this will factor in to any discussion regarding tuition fees.

Study spaces is the other issue Leah (Postgraduate Education Officer) and David (Undergraduate Education Officer) are working extremely hard on. So far they have/are working on:

  • Successfully proposed and lobbied for the university to increase staffing provision in the libraries so all study spaces can open until 8pm on weekdays. The uni are sorting staffing for this and it should be in place in the next few weeks. Next they’ll be looking at opening the ASS event longer in line with previous 24/7 coverage.
  • They asked the uni to identify unused teaching space (unsuitable for socially distanced seminars) which can be used for studying. There are 120 spaces which should become available once they’ve been risk assessed (provided use of those spaces doesn’t substantially increase the covid risk.)
  • They’re working with the uni on creating non-silent study areas which can be assigned to students with long commutes or back to back on-campus and synchronous online teaching to complete online learning on campus. That means these students won’t have to miss any online or in-person teaching because of travel between home and campus.
  • They’re looking ahead to January exams, when study spaces are likely to be even more in-demand, and are asking the uni to convert unused lecture rooms to study spaces.
  • And, of course, they’re lobbying for a raising of the 4hr limit.

There are a number of other things we’re looking working with course and faculty reps on including improving the online browsing ability so you don’t have to use library time to browse shelves, improving the laptop borrowing system, teaching online study skills.

13 October 2020 - Halls Lockdown: What we're lobbying for

We’ve been lobbying for the University to ensure plans for halls lockdown include all the support you need. We've already secured making sure that you can access food, laundry and other essentials, but here's the full list of our demands.

Food, laundry, post 

  • The food boxes provided to students in lockdown should cater for all students’ dietary requirements including halal and kosher options - there should be preemptive scoping on this 
  • There should be a hot food option for students who live in catered halls so they do not get substandard food boxes 
  • These food boxes and the hot meal provision should cover the whole 14 days of quarantine and not just 7 
  • The University to arrange laundry provision for students in locked down halls 
  • There should be a provision for getting post and physical worksheets to students in lockdown 

Community 

  • Resilife to work with Bristol SU to put on a comprehensive programme of community building events for students in halls, ensuring all events are accessible to international students 
  • Community Development subgroup to become a lockdown contingency planning group 
  • Facilitate a buddy system where students from similar backgrounds can be linked up online between Living Circles. Specifically a Care Leavers and Estranged Students buddy system should be set up 
  • Facilitate online spaces where students from specific liberation groups can create a community 

Mental Health Provision 

  • Resilife should check in with every Living Circle twice a week. 
  • Resilife provision should be moved online with clearly signposted bookable online meetings with RLAs 
  • Resilife should actively be checking in with Care Leavers and Estranged Students 

At-Risk students 

  • Resilife or Wellbeing Access to conduct an audit to identify the students with disclosed health conditions 
  • Resilife to contact these students and offer them a tailored plan either created by Disability Services or a Wellbeing Advisor on how the student will be supported throughout the 14-day lockdown 
  • Resilife or another member of staff who has been involved in supporting the student more long-term to check in with the student 1 on 1 at least 3 times each week, with the scope to increase this based on the student’s need 
  • The plan for ensuring that students can get their medication needs to be finalised 

Support with rent and financial hardship 

  • Rent in halls for the duration of the lockdown should be fully refunded 
  • Covid Hardship Fund to be properly publicised to students and more money put in to support students who can no longer work 
  • Protecting student spaces 
  • All students to have access to outdoor space in the event of a lockdown where they can exercise and get fresh air 
  • Testing sites should be located without compromising the physical spaces needed to benefit students’ physical and mental health 

We'll be updating you as we secure responses to these demands.

10 October 2020 - Further Halls Lockdown

Hiatt Baker N block has gone into lockdown this evening and we're sending love and solidarity to those students.

We're working on a programme of activity for students who are self-isolating and will have more details next week. Students who are locked down this weekend are able to join us tonight and tomorrow in a virtual common room. There are also online Give it a Go activities taking place this weekend.

9 October 2020 - Courtrooms Hall Lockdown

We’ve been living with the reality of COVID-19 for a significant amount of time now and today we’ve seen the first halls lockdown put into place at Bristol. 

There has been significant media coverage of halls lockdowns across the UK and we understand that now Bristol has locked down The Courtrooms this could cause anxiety for you. This is the first hall to be locked down but there may be more to follow. 

We’ve been lobbying for the University to ensure plans for halls lockdown include all the support you need including access to food, laundry and community building events. We are still actively lobbying the university on a number of additional things including: 

  • Access to financial hardship funding 
  • Buddy system 
  • Mental health provision 
  • Additional support for vulnerable students 
  • Rent in halls for the duration of the lockdown should be fully refunded 
  • We're also trying to secure access to outdoor space for all students currently self-isolating.

It is important in this time that we recognise our shared responsibility to each other and take the necessary precautions to ensure that we are keeping each other safe. This means following guidance in order to prevent spreading the illness further in our community.  

You can contact us via email and we’ll be communicating with you on email and social media to give you every opportunity we can to let us know what is concerning you, and stay updated with the work we’re doing to support you. 

We’re conscious that the current situation is likely to affect your wellbeing so would encourage you to use the university wellbeing access form for support if you need it. We’ll be continuing to run events online, like many of our student groups, so that you are still able to connect to other students.  

In love and solidarity, 
The Bristol SU Officer Team 

7 October 2020 - Study Spaces and Covid Cases

The university will publish the current numbers of confirmed staff and student cases each Wednesday: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/coronavirus/statistics/. We welcome this move and are continuining to ask for more open and honest communication from the university.

Following successful lobbying from Bristol SU Officers, all study spaces will be open until 8pm in line with the extended teaching day. We are continuing to push for additional access to study space and to remove the four hour cap.

5 October 2020 - Officer Update on Creating a Safe Campus and Study Spaces

We’ve been lobbying the university on a range of asks, which were developed closely with teaching staff at the UCU, to help ensure a safe return to campus. Some of our successes so far include:

  • Clarifying the university’s policy on face masks and visors.
  • Lobbying for increased testing capabilities
  • Working to improve the way the university communicates key policies, expectations and updates to students.
  • Working in tandem with UCU to ensure that teaching staff feel safe to return to teaching face to face.

We are continuing to work with the university on:

  • A clear testing strategy that communicates to staff and students the Covid situation in the university community.
  • Contingency planning in the event of a local or national lockdown.

We’re also lobbying to safely increase study space capacity for TB1. Some of what we're currently pushing for includes:

  • Extending the amount of time that students are able to book each week.
  • Extending opening hours of all study spaces in line with the extended working week.
  • Ensuring all available study spaces, including in faculty buildings and the SU, are available to book through the main library booking system.
  • Utilising teaching rooms that have been decommissioned for socially distanced seminars.
  • Utilising lecture spaces currently being used for teaching in the lead-up to January exams.

5 October 2020 - Reopening of SU Spaces

The Richmond Building, Bristol SU Living Room and Balloon Bar are all now re-open.

Please make sure you follow one way systems and follow social distancing guidance when using these spaces. Further information can be found here.

1 October 2020 - Living Circles and Student Group Guidance

We're aware that there has been some confusion recently about Living Circles. To find out who is in your living circle:

Log in to Blackboard to see a list or talk to one of your residential life team who can help.

Remember to stay in your living circle or household and keep social distancing so that you can get the most out of your university experience this year.

We have now published a series of guidance for student groups on how they can run activities safely throughout TB1. Updates can be found here >> https://www.bristolsu.org.uk/tools-to-run-your-group/training-support/coronavirus-guidance-for-student-groups 

24 September 2020 - Living Circles and Households

We know that some of you are already in Bristol and many more of you will be joining us over the next week.

It’s an exciting time but also more important than ever that we keep following covid guidance.

As you move to Bristol you need to stay in your Living Circles and keep social distancing so that we can:
-    Enjoy face to face teaching
-    Make the most of our student experience
-    Keep our community safe
-    Get to know Bristol better and avoid a local lockdown

We’re looking forward to term starting and want you to be able to enjoy it too.

There are lots of events currently running online so that you can meet new people and start your student experience. There are more details at bristolsu.org.uk/welcome 

Bristol SU Officer Team

29 May 2020 - Statement on new academic year

The University have now announced their plans for next term which include delaying the start of the Autumn term until 5 October for undergraduate students and 19 October for postgraduate students. Teaching will take place through a ‘blended learning’ model and social distancing measures will be in place across campus. You can read the university’s full statement and the details here >> bristol.ac.uk/coronavirus   

We know that in recent weeks there has been a growing anxiety about what next academic year looks like which has increased as other universities have made their plans public.  

As your officer team, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible at university next year but are aware that this will look different to usual on a ‘socially-distant’ campus. 

We’ve gathered a lot of feedback from current students and presented this to the university, as well as hosting a forum specifically focused on what a socially-distant September could look like. We’ve continued to represent your views and have made sure the university are including student voices in this important decision. 

We’re pleased to see that some of what we have advocated for has been included in the university’s plan, including giving students the time to adjust through an induction period and highlighting the value of community. 

There are still details to be worked out and we’re continuing to lobby to make sure students get the best deal, and are able to access the financial and wellbeing support they need as well as the technology and equipment required for learning in this way. We know that in some cases minority students have been particularly impacted and are making sure the university put reasonable adjustments in place. We’re also pushing to make sure that relevant representatives such as JCRs, academic reps and chairs of networks are involved in conversations with the university to work out the details of these plans. 

The university community is important and we’re working to make sure that the importance of your social experience is acknowledged by the university, including support for clubs and societies. We’re excited about Welcome Week 2020 and the opportunity to do things differently. We’re still working out the details, but will be keeping you updated throughout the summer.  

We want you to be confident that you are still getting value for money from your university degree and have asked the university for greater transparency on how your fees are being spent. You can see further details of what we have asked the university to prioritise here >> https://www.bristolsu.org.uk/articles/officer-update-on-long-term-asks  

As a team we are continuing to represent and support you, and want to make sure you can continue to shape what your next year will look like. You can submit feedback at bristolsu.org.uk/covid19feedback or contact us directly.  

We’ll be continuing to communicate with you regularly via email and social media to keep you updated with the work we’re doing to support you.

Bristol SU Officer Team

 

Useful Information

Halls Lockdown Demands

We’ve been lobbying for the University to ensure plans for halls lockdown include all the support you need. We've already secured making sure that you can access food, laundry and other essentials, but here's the full list of our demands.

Food, laundry, post 

  • The food boxes provided to students in lockdown should cater for all students’ dietary requirements including halal and kosher options - there should be preemptive scoping on this 
  • There should be a hot food option for students who live in catered halls so they do not get substandard food boxes 
  • These food boxes and the hot meal provision should cover the whole 14 days of quarantine and not just 7 
  • The University to arrange laundry provision for students in locked down halls 
  • There should be a provision for getting post and physical worksheets to students in lockdown 

Community 

  • Resilife to work with Bristol SU to put on a comprehensive programme of community building events for students in halls, ensuring all events are accessible to international students 
  • Community Development subgroup to become a lockdown contingency planning group 
  • Facilitate a buddy system where students from similar backgrounds can be linked up online between Living Circles. Specifically a Care Leavers and Estranged Students buddy system should be set up 
  • Facilitate online spaces where students from specific liberation groups can create a community 

Mental Health Provision 

  • Resilife should check in with every Living Circle twice a week. 
  • Resilife provision should be moved online with clearly signposted bookable online meetings with RLAs 
  • Resilife should actively be checking in with Care Leavers and Estranged Students 

At-Risk students 

  • Resilife or Wellbeing Access to conduct an audit to identify the students with disclosed health conditions 
  • Resilife to contact these students and offer them a tailored plan either created by Disability Services or a Wellbeing Advisor on how the student will be supported throughout the 14-day lockdown 
  • Resilife or another member of staff who has been involved in supporting the student more long-term to check in with the student 1 on 1 at least 3 times each week, with the scope to increase this based on the student’s need 
  • The plan for ensuring that students can get their medication needs to be finalised 

Support with rent and financial hardship 

  • Rent in halls for the duration of the lockdown should be fully refunded 
  • Covid Hardship Fund to be properly publicised to students and more money put in to support students who can no longer work 
  • Protecting student spaces 
  • All students to have access to outdoor space in the event of a lockdown where they can exercise and get fresh air 
  • Testing sites should be located without compromising the physical spaces needed to benefit students’ physical and mental health 

We'll be updating you as we secure responses to these demands.

Lobbying for a Safe Campus and Study Spaces

We want to make sure that campus is safe and that you are able to access study spaces and other facilities. We have secured a number of things and are continuing to work with the university on:

  • A clear testing strategy that communicates to staff and students the Covid situation in the university community.
  • Contingency planning in the event of a local or national lockdown.

We’re also lobbying to safely increase study space capacity for TB1. Some of what we're currently pushing for includes:

  • Extending the amount of time that students are able to book each week.
  • Extending opening hours of all study spaces in line with the extended working week.
  • Ensuring all available study spaces, including in faculty buildings and the SU, are available to book through the main library booking system.
  • Utilising teaching rooms that have been decommissioned for socially distanced seminars.
  • Utilising lecture spaces currently being used for teaching in the lead-up to January exams.

SU Reception, staff and spaces

The Richmond Building is now open again to students. Many SU services will continue to run online so please try and contact us via email in the first instance. Instead of dropping into the office or calling us, general enquiries should be sent to bristolsu@bristol.ac.uk and a member of our team will respond. 

The Richmond Building is currently open until 8pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends.

The SU reception desk is open by appointment only from 12 October on Mondays and Wednesdays initially and only for parcel/post collection and cash drop off. 

There are a number of changes in place to help make the spaces safe for students and staff:

  • There is a one way system in place. Please follow this when moving around the building. Where possible doors have been left open to reduce contact points. 
  • You must wear a face covering whilst moving around the building. 
  • You should follow social distancing throughout the building. Room capacities will be reduced and are clearly labelled. 
  • There are regular hand sanitization points throughout the building. Please make use of these. 
  • The building will be being cleaned regularly. You will also find cleaning products for your own use after using a study space or room. 

The music practice rooms and band practice rooms are currently closed and will not reopen in 2020.

The Balloon Bar is reopen. Opening hours will be from 08:30-18:00.

Hot food will be available on the terrace from 11am-3pm served by Bristol Eats vendor Peckers. 

Drinks and cold food will be available from the bar to eat in (reduced seating capacity) or take away. 

If you are eating in you will need to provide Track and Trace information. Orders should be made through the Balloon Bar website (there will be a QR code on your table).

Orders for The Basket should be placed online >> https://bristolsushop.com On Thursdays we will be running a click and collect service from 10-4pm.

Please visit Bristol SU Lettings via appointment only.

The Bristol SU Living Room is re-open. You will notice some changes including reduced capacity with some furniture and books being taken away.

The Bristol SU Living Room will be open from 08:45am-8pm, following Senate House opening hours.

Bristol SU Events

All Bristol SU events will be taking place online. You can keep up to date with all digital events taking place on our What's On pages.

We're working on a programme of activity for students who are self-isolating and will have more details soon.

There will be no live events or performances taking place in TB1.

Regular society activities and events

Student groups will able to run this year following government guidance and guidance from their national governing bodies. Student group leaders will continue to receive updates from Bristol SU on what is possible and how their group can continue to run. 

Guidance for student group committee members is available online and will continue to be updated regularly.

Indoor team sport is now prohibited based on the latest government guidance. Non-team sports such as gym sessions, tennis, and swimming will be able to continue.

Intramural Sport

Registration for intramural teams has now opened.

We hope that fixtures will begin W/C Monday 19 October.

We are adding two new sports: Rounders and American Football. Basketball and Volleyball will be moved outside if possible. Badminton doubles is expected to go ahead indoors. We are looking into touch rugby whilst full contact is prohibited.

Looking after yourself while self-isolating

Self Isolation Guidance and Support

Government guidance states that anyone showing possible symptoms of Coronavirus, such as a cough or fever, should isolate for fourteen days. 

If you need to self-isolate the university has committed to supporting you every step of the way. You can read their self-isolation guidance for students which will be updated in line with local and national guidance.

A Student to Student Bristol Covid relief scheme has been set up by volunteer students to provide essential items to University of Bristol students who are in lockdown.

What we're lobbying for

We’ve been lobbying for the University to ensure plans for halls lockdown include all the support you need including access to food, laundry and community building events. We are still actively lobbying the university on a number of additional things including: 

  • Access to financial hardship funding
  • Buddy system
  • Mental health provision
  • Additional support for vulnerable students
  • Rent in halls for the duration of the lockdown should be fully refunded
  • We're also trying to secure access to outdoor space for all students currently self-isolating.

Wellbeing whilst self-isolating

Self-isolating may also affect your wellbeing. For some help on managing your wellbeing while self-isolating, read through this guidance from Mind

 Some top tips include: 

  • Keep connecting with student societies online  
  • Try and keep active 
  • Find ways to relax and be creative