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Please note the situation around coronavirus is changing quickly, and the information here may not 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

29 May 2020

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

21 May 2020

The Bristol SU Officer team have revealed what their longer term asks of the University are for the next academic year.

We also held a forum last week to gather feedback for the university on how students feel a socially distant September should look like at university.

Past Updates

4 May 2020

Your Bristol SU Officer team have released a video update explaining what their next priorities will be.

Students who are currently in Bristol and in need of support if they are self-isolating can fill in this form so that they can be connected to a volunteer who will lend a hand >> https://bristolstudentsunion.typeform.com/to/Us0XK5

Following the work that George, Student Living Officer, has been doing for students living in A2Dominion properties, he has been able to give the following positive update:

For students not able to return to their rooms to collect belongings by the 22nd  of May, A2Dominion will allow for belongings to remain there until they are able to return to collect them. They will keep in regular contact with those students. 

For those who are unable to return to collect, A2Dominion will consider alternative storage/onward transportation options on a case by case basis. 

For those currently in residence, but cannot leave by the 22nd of May, A2Dominion will allow these people to remain in residence on a case-by-case basis until a mutually agreeable date and will end the tenancy at this point and not at the tenancy end date as stated in the letter. 
 

23 April 2020

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Undergraduate Education Officer, will be hosting a Facebook Live on Monday 27 April at 4pm to answer your questions! Submit your questions in advance via Instagram.

Students who are living in Woodland Court will no longer have to pay rent this term if they have left the property. More information about university accommodation can be found here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/faqs/contact/

9 April 2020

Bristol SU and the University of Bristol are now closed until Monday 20 April. If you need support over the holidays you can see the services which are still open at the University here.

Bristol SU staff won’t be answering emails during this time, but we will respond to your queries as soon as we can when we’re back.

In the meantime, there are several ways you can engage with the SU over the Easter break:

8 April 2020

After successful lobbying from the Bristol SU Officers, the university have 'topped up' the Financial Assistance Fund and International Hardship Fund meaning there is more financial support available for students in need.

6 April 2020

Last week we issued an open letter to accommodation providers and letting agents across the city. We know this is a difficult time for landlords as well and have now written to Thangam Debbonaire MP to ask for support from the government on this issue.

We're aware that a number of landlords through Bristol SU lettings have already cut or waived rent for students next term and we're hopeful this is just the start!

3 April 2020

Many of you will have received more clarification from the university today on what their ‘no-detriment’ policy, announced earlier this week, will mean in practice.
 
Our education officers, Hillary Gyebi-Ababio and Chris Brasnett, have been working closely with the University and academic reps this week to address student concerns around assessment.
 
There have been some good outcomes as the University’s guidance has developed:
 
o    Automatic extensions for students who need them 
o    A new, streamlined Extenuating Circumstances process for students who need it 
o    Ensuring the needs of disabled students, parents and carers and international students are explicitly considered in the policy and design of assessments 
o    The ability to retake an assessment without penalty
o    Bringing the date forward for when finalists will be told what their "safety net" is, by three weeks so more students get answers sooner 

While these points are positive, we still don't think it’s perfect, and will continue to push for a better deal for students, including in meetings we have with the University today.

Please keep giving us your feedback and telling us your concerns. Fill out Bristol SU’s coronavirus feedback form, or get in touch with your education officers on social media.
 

1 April 2020

Yesterday George, your Student Living Officer issued an open letter to landlords and accommodation providers to ask them to reduce financial pressure on their student tenants during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are a student concerned about having to pay rent on your private tenancy, because the coronavirus outbreak has put you in a difficult financial position, you can use this template letter to write to your landlord and request a change to your agreement.

31 March 2020

Yesterday George, your Student Living Officer hosted a live Q&A with responses to your questions. You can see what he said here.

We've been hard at work lobbying the University to offer more guidance and reassurance around the upcoming assessments and are pleased to say they've now adopted a no-detriment policy. You should have received an email yesterday with more detail. You can see the University's most up to date advice here, and if you have any questions you can get in touch with your course and faculty reps here.

Finally, the University have published an update on summer graduation. "We have taken the difficult decision to postpone our graduation ceremonies. We are working hard to schedule alternative gatherings when possible, and we thank everyone for their understanding. We will be in touch across the next few weeks with further information."

27 March 2020

Your Student Living Officer George will be running a live Q&A session this Monday (30 March) at 4pm to talk through your concerns and questions. You can drop in and watch here and ask any questions in advance here.

If you're an international student who might have to overstay their visa the home office have released new guidance about visa extensions and changes. You can find out more here. If you're worried about not being able to return home, or need extra support don't forget you can get in touch with the international office or your officer team for assistance.

26 March 2020

Students who are living in University allocated accommodation will not have to pay rent for the final term if you are not planning to return to that accommodation. Further information can be viewed online at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/contact/

This is something that your SU Officers have supported to make happen. They are currently looking into what can be done to support students living in private rented accommodation and are lobbying the university to increase the student hardship fund for this reason.

25 March 2020

Following the rapid developments in response to the situation regarding coronavirus, Bristol Students’ Union is working closely with the university to make sure student concerns are heard.
 
To help us do this, we would like to better understand:

  • the immediate issues and concerns students are dealing with
  • what more the Students’ Union can be doing to support students during this time
  • what action students would like to see from the university

You can provide us with your feedback online at bristolsu.org.uk/covid19feedback

24 March 2020

Based on the latest government advice, the University is closing all buildings across campus from today, except residences. This closure includes study spaces in the Arts and Social Science Library, which will be closed from 12 midday today. Online library services continue to be available.

The Richmond Building is now closed. The Basket online shop will be closed for the duration of the Richmond Building closure and we will be unable to process online orders.

23 March 2020

Here's an update from the officer team on the work Bristol SU has been doing:

20 March 2020

Senate House will be closed from the end of today until September. This means the SU Living Room will also be closed.

We’ve launched our new Bristol SU coronavirus community group today. This is a space for us all to feel connected during these unprecedented times.

You’ll be able to join in online activities, find a range of other online services, and have discussions with your officer team, SU staff members and each other. We’ll also be sharing regular updates, and just having a bit of fun. You can join the group here.

19 March 2020

Summary of Key University Updates:

  • The University will deliver teaching online from Monday 20 April.
  • Summer assessment will be online. If you can't be assessed online, alternative arrangements will be made.
  • Your School will contact you about plans for your assessments by Monday 30 March.
  • All university-run sports facilities are closed for the forseeable future alongside programmed activity
  • All physical libraries except the ASSL (Arts and Social Sciences Library) will be closed by the end of the week. 

The university has updated its FAQs and more information can be found here: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/coronavirus/.

You can also review the University's Facebook Live Q&A from 18 March here.

Financial hardship:

For any students experiencing financial difficulty, please speak to the team in the Student Funding Office, who will be available to advise on the range of financial support available including the student hardship fund.

17 March 2020

Statement from Bristol SU Officers:
 
As your officer team, we have seen and felt the growing fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 and how it’s affecting your lives as students.
 
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 ourselves and those most vulnerable safe. This means following the official guidance from the NHS, and ensuring we are putting into practice social distancing in order to prevent spreading the illness further in our community.
 
The situation is changing quickly, but it is clear that in the short-term at least, teaching and assessment will be different from how it’s been before. We will be working closely with the University in shaping its response. We want to hear from you, and make sure your voices are heard in discussions with the University on how to support you best.
 
We’re conscious of how this uncertainty will affect your wellbeing, and particularly if you are self-isolating. We want to put your wellbeing at the heart of any steps the university takes around teaching and assessment.
 
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’ve seen reports of discrimination and racism stemming from this outbreak across the UK. Bristol SU condemns this behaviour, and we would encourage anyone affected by it and those who witness it to report it. Now more than ever, we must come together and find ways of supporting each other. Be kind and reach out to those who you may know are struggling, and together we can get through this difficult time.
 
If you need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to University support services, which you can find details about in the University’s full coronavirus information.
 
In love and solidarity,
The Bristol SU Officer Team
 

Bristol SU student events

All student events we are supporting that fall into the newly-extended teaching break (18 – 27 March) will be postponed or cancelled. The University has also prohibited non-essential events of over 50 people from 18 March, and has extended its Easter closure to 10 – 20 April. 

We are in the process of speaking to all event organisers affected by this, and most have already been contacted. Affected events include East Meets West, SCORE, the Bristol 5k at Coombe Dingle and regular society events in the Balloon Bar. Other events that we are supporting through promotion, such as Ignit10n are likely to be affected and we are working to establish the situation with each. Students that have paid for cancelled events we are running will be refunded. 

We are disappointed to face these cancellations, and we thank all of the people involved in each event for their hard work so far. We look forward to working with them on rescheduled and future events. 

SU Reception, staff and spaces

Bristol SU reception, offices and activities rooms in the Richmond Building are now closed until further notice. 

Bristol SU staff will be working remotely for the time being but are contactable via email. 

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 SU Living Rooms in Senate House and residences will stay open  

The Balloon Bar will close at 4pm on Wednesday 18 March until further notice. 

Regular society activities and events

All student group activities that cannot be conducted online, should be cancelled or postponed with immediate effect.  

This includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Meetings, AGMs 
  • Events, Gigs, Shows, Performances 
  • Formals, Awards, Balls 
  • Fixtures, Competitions 
  • Trips, Expeditions 
  • Socials 

Societies affected by this guidance should get in touch with our student services team at bristolsu@bristol.ac.uk.  

We encourage you to keep engaging with your societies’ social media and get creative about how to stay connected with your communities remotely. 

Academic Advice

  • We’ll be working closely with the university on its response to coronavirus, particularly its plans for teaching and assessment 
  • Your officers and academic reps will be your voice in these discussions, making sure students' concerns are heard 
  • To help us do this, we will soon provide an easy way for all students to give us their ideas and feedback around these issues and let us know what they think we should be prioritising when talking with the university 
  • In the meantime, you can email your officers, or message us on Instagram – we will use your feedback to inform our next steps 
  • If you are a student rep all the normal staff support is available to you through the SU, we will just be working remotely. Get in touch if you have any questions or concerns and watch out for email updates from us over the next couple of days with more specific information relating to your role 
  • If you're worried about the impact of Coronavirus on upcoming assessments or your learning experience we would encourage you to check the University FAQs as these should answer many of your questions. If you need further academic advice you can also contact our Just Ask team.  

Looking after your wellbeing while self-isolating 

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

 You can find official guidance on how to self isolate online.

 But 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 

12 March 2020

Public Health England (PHE) has informed us of a recently confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) at the University. 

We're supporting the student to ensure they have everything they need to recover quickly from the illness.

PHE have advised us that the risk to our community is very low. Our immediate concerns are for the affected student and their family, along with the health and wellbeing of our university staff, students and visitors. 

For the University's full statement, advice and information, please see: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2020/march/statement-on-confirmed-coronavirus-case-.html

Also visit https://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/coronavirus/ for the latest updates.  

If you are concerned, please email the Information Point team on  cv-student@bristol.ac.uk

9 March 2020

We know many students will have concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), particularly as this is increasingly reported on in the press. You will have already received communication from the university which explains what the university is doing to prepare and the information which is being given. 

We are working closely with the university and encourage you to keep an eye on the student webpage to keep informed of the latest advice. 

Key information
•    Please read the FAQs that are linked to from the Current Students page.
•    For help and advice you can contact the Student Info Point at 5 Tyndall Ave or by email at info-point@bristol.ac.uk
•    All lectures and tutorials are taking place as scheduled unless impacted by industrial action.
•    Libraries, computer rooms, labs and other services including Bristol SU will remain available

Please keep an eye out for emails from the University with further updates.

What are we doing?

  • The University is acting on advice from sources including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the British Government, the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England (PHE). 
  • The University has established a special response taskforce that is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and making plans to act quickly if the situation changes. 
  • We’re in close contact with the university about how to mitigate the impact of the outbreak on studies to ensure that it has a limited effect on your educational experience. 

Staying healthy

We know that for some students the wearing of face masks is common practice as a precaution against any virus, and all members of our community should feel comfortable to do so. The expert advice to reduce the risk of infection is to wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough, or use disposable tissues.

If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice and share previous travel history with your health care provider. The latest advice from Public Health England (PHE) is to use the 111 online coronavirus service which talks you through the next steps.

If you need more support

We understand that this situation may affect you in different ways, and might be particularly worrying for those with family overseas. If you need practical help, emotional support or expert advice we encourage you to make use of the university’s wellbeing and support services and to look out for each other. 

We know that there have been racist incidents reported in the UK and would like to reiterate that we do not tolerate any form of racism. If you experience an incident of prejudice or harassment connected with Coronavirus, or with anything else, you can use the university Report and Support service to report incidents anonymously or contact the police

Useful Information

A message from your officers

As your officer team, we have seen and felt the growing fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 and how it’s affecting your lives as students.
 
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 ourselves and those most vulnerable safe. This means following the official guidance from the NHS, and ensuring we are putting into practice social distancing in order to prevent spreading the illness further in our community.
 
The situation is changing quickly, but it is clear that in the short-term at least, teaching and assessment will be different from how it’s been before. We will be working closely with the University in shaping its response. We want to hear from you, and make sure your voices are heard in discussions with the University on how to support you best.
 
We’re conscious of how this uncertainty will affect your wellbeing, and particularly if you are self-isolating. We want to put your wellbeing at the heart of any steps the university takes around teaching and assessment.
 
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’ve seen reports of discrimination and racism stemming from this outbreak across the UK. Bristol SU condemns this behaviour, and we would encourage anyone affected by it and those who witness it to report it. Now more than ever, we must come together and find ways of supporting each other. Be kind and reach out to those who you may know are struggling, and together we can get through this difficult time.
 
If you need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to University support services, which you can find details about in the University’s full coronavirus information.
 
In love and solidarity,
The Bristol SU Officer Team

Bristol SU Student Events

All student events we are supporting that fall into the newly-extended teaching break (18 – 27 March) will be postponed or cancelled. The University has also prohibited non-essential events of over 50 people from 18 March, and has extended its Easter closure to 10 – 20 April. 

We are in the process of speaking to all event organisers affected by this, and most have already been contacted. Affected events include East Meets West, SCORE, the Bristol 5k at Coombe Dingle and regular society events in the Balloon Bar. Other events that we are supporting through promotion, such as Ignit10n are likely to be affected and we are working to establish the situation with each. Students that have paid for cancelled events we are running will be refunded. 

We are disappointed to face these cancellations, and we thank all of the people involved in each event for their hard work so far. We look forward to working with them on rescheduled and future events. 

SU Reception, staff and spaces

Bristol SU reception, offices and activities rooms in the Richmond Building are now closed until further notice. 

Bristol SU staff will be working remotely for the time being but are contactable via email. 

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 SU Living Rooms in Senate House and residences will stay open  

The Balloon Bar will close at 4pm on Wednesday 18 March until further notice. 

Regular society activities and events

All student group activities that cannot be conducted online, should be cancelled or postponed with immediate effect.  

This includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Meetings, AGMs 
  • Events, Gigs, Shows, Performances 
  • Formals, Awards, Balls 
  • Fixtures, Competitions 
  • Trips, Expeditions 
  • Socials 

Societies affected by this guidance should get in touch with our student services team at bristolsu@bristol.ac.uk.  

We encourage you to keep engaging with your societies’ social media and get creative about how to stay connected with your communities remotely. 

Academic Advice

  • We’ll be working closely with the university on its response to coronavirus, particularly its plans for teaching and assessment 
  • Your officers and academic reps will be your voice in these discussions, making sure students' concerns are heard 
  • To help us do this, we will soon provide an easy way for all students to give us their ideas and feedback around these issues and let us know what they think we should be prioritising when talking with the university 
  • In the meantime, you can email your officers, or message us on Instagram – we will use your feedback to inform our next steps 
  • If you are a student rep all the normal staff support is available to you through the SU, we will just be working remotely. Get in touch if you have any questions or concerns and watch out for email updates from us over the next couple of days with more specific information relating to your role 
  • If you're worried about the impact of Coronavirus on upcoming assessments or your learning experience we would encourage you to check the University FAQs as these should answer many of your questions. If you need further academic advice you can also contact our Just Ask team.  

Looking after yourself while self-isolating

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

 You can find official guidance on how to self isolate online.

 But 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