The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

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Coronavirus Updates

Key Information

University updates on COVID-19

Student experience and study in 2020/21

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

Wellbeing Resources

University Wellbeing Access

MIND

Gov.UK

TalkCampus

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

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

23 September 2020 - Richmond Building Update

We've published some updates on what you can expect when our building and services start to reopen.

Past Updates

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

21 May 2020 - Long terms asks of the University

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

8 April 2020 - Financial Support

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.

3 April 2020 - Assessment clarifications

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.
 

1 April 2020 - Open letter to landlords

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 - No detriment policy and graduation

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."

26 March 2020 - University allocated accommodation

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.

 

Useful Information

Bristol SU Events

All Official Welcome events will be taking place online. The full programme can be viewed at bristolsu.org.uk/welcome

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

You can keep up to date with all digital events taking place on our What's On pages.

SU Reception, staff and spaces

The Richmond Building will be open to students again from Thursday 1 October (planned date - subject to change). 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. 

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 Balloon Bar will reopen on Thursday 1 October. 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. 

Orders for The Basket should be placed online >> https://bristolsushop.com/  

Please visit Bristol SU Lettings via appointment only.

Opening of the Bristol SU Living Room is still to be confirmed. You will notice some changes including reduced capacity with some furniture and books being taken away.

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. 

Room booking information will be sent shortly. 

We've also issued guidance to groups on staying connected online by running digital events and building communities via social media.  

Intramural Sport

2020/21 planning is now in the advanced stages. We hope to open registration for returning teams on Thursday 1 October.

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

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