COVID-19 BANNER
 

 

OUR RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Recently, we've seen the impact of the Coronavirus across the world and it has also impacted us, the Union of Brunel Students, and our members at Brunel University. Within a number of weeks, we've closed our face to face operations to our students who would have regularly come into our Bar & Nightclub, sought advice from our ARC Department, talked with our elected officers, and taken part in our Clubs and Societies. Now, we are working to become as digitally focused as possible with our new "Staying Healthy At Home Campaign", encouraging students to engage with our new Advice Pages and operate our Student Democracy using new digital technology. For more information on our work during this time, you can read our Statements below or email us at Union.Reception@brunel.ac.uk

 

UNION STATEMENT (31/03/2020)

This is our third, and the most recent, statement that we've made on the Coronavirus, on the 31st of March, 2020 at 08:25

 

Dear Students,

 

We hope you are well and keeping safe in these challenging times. Today, we just wanted to update you on some of the work that the Union and University is doing and how you can engage with us over the next few weeks and months.

 

Firstly, this has been an exceptionally challenging time for both the Union and Brunel University London. No one expected that in the space of two weeks:

 

  • We would see large numbers of our students move out of their Campus Halls.

  • We would cancel or postpone our events & campaigns and close our face to face operations.

  • The university would be forced to completely rethink their assessment criteria and methods in order to continue to provide a high quality education to our members.

 

On this last point, we understand that over the next few days we will start to get a better picture of what these assessments will look like. These might include online exams using existing technology, or an increase in coursework, essays or final projects. We are working alongside the university to ensure that any decisions made during this time will be communicated to you in a timely manner.

 

Given this, and many other changes that our bound to take place over the next few months, we’d ask our members to be patient and considerate of the current situation. Both the University and the Union have been working round the clock to ensure that the impact to your experience is limited as much as possible. The portal is being updated daily and you can expect more details from the university in the coming days and weeks.

 

Please ensure that you are checking your emails and the portal regularly as all updates will be posted there. There has been some misinformation circulating on social media during the past few weeks, so we kindly request that you dont perpetuate the misinformation and if you have any questions about any of the information being sent out,  please get in contact with a member of the Officer Team who will be able to clear things up for you.

 

There will be very important information released today on what the assessment programme will be and why, which hopefully will enable you all to be more confident in what lies ahead for the remainder of this year, so please keep an eye on your inbox  The University will still be posting daily updates through email and updating their portal here.

 

During this time, it’s important that you ensure that you are looking after your wellbeing at home, whilst also preparing for your upcoming assessments. We’ve just released a new guide on these assessments here and you can check out our Stay Healthy at Home pages which are full of tips and resources to help get you through this period.

 

If you have any concerns about your assessment methods, housing or any other topics that are uncertain in the current climate, our Officers and Advice Team are on hand to offer guidance and support. You can make an enquiry here.

 

Remember to keep an eye on our Coronavirus portal which hosts our statements, frequently asked questions and other resources here.

 

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on the email addresses below.

 

Ranjeet Rathore - Union President (SU.President@brunel.ac.uk) 

Peri Sherif - Vice President CEDPS (VP.CEDPS@brunel.ac.uk)

Awais Khan - Vice President CBASS (VP.CBASS@brunel.ac.uk) 

Sam “SJ” Johnson - Vice President CHLS (VP.CHLS@brunel.ac.uk) 

George Wardle - Vice President Student Activities (VP.Activities@brunel.ac.uk) 

 

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (17/03/2020)

This is our second statement that we've made on the Coronavirus, on the 17th of March, 2020 at 11:00 AM

 

Dear All Members

 

This Statement follows on from our the message that we put out yesterday (16th of March, 2020)

 

Following on from the guidance from the UK Government, we have taken the decision to close The Venue and Loco's immediately. We are working to ensure the safety of our Staff and Members by limiting our contact with the public.

 

We have also taken the decision to close our Union Reception and Finance Department to students. Our ARC Advice Service has also closed physically, but we are still supporting students - You can still submit Inquiry Forms and you'll be contacted with advice or a Skype/Telephone call.

 

Advent Advocacy

Our resident Advocate, Devina, will still be working during this time but instead of the Atrium - They will be based in the Library. If students would prefer, they can contact us remotely on the following channels:

 

By email at students@adventadvocacy.co.uk, by telephone at 01325 373 301 and also their social media channels: @uniadvocates

 

Finally, we'd ask that you continue to follow the advice from the University, NHS and the Government.

 

We will add to this statement as we learn more today. You can find all of our statements on the Union Website at www.brunelstudents.com

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (16/03/2020)

This is our first statement that we've made on the Coronavirus, on the 16th of March, 2020 at 4:00 PM

 

Dear All Members

 

Last week the Government announced that its approach to Covid-19 (also known as the Corona Virus) escalation was to move from a containment phase to one of delay.   This decision has triggered various actions from the University which are currently being communicated and has prompted us to make some specific decisions too on activities and services provided by the Union.

 

None of the decisions made by the University or the Union have been taken lightly and all have been made with the best interests of Brunel students and society as a whole.

 

Below is a summary

Our Events

From Friday (20th of March), we will be postponing all of our events and temporarily closing down services from our Union Reception, Loco’s Bar and The Venue.

 

This week, our core business will open as usual. However, this may change at short notice , and we will be reacting to advice from government, and health professionals. This means that our St. Patricks Day, and Cave Night celebrations are continuing as planned.

 

With Varsity 2020 on the 25th of March, we have made the decision to cancel this event in partnership with St Mary’s Student Union. We will be contacting all students who have ordered Varsity Packages and T-Shirts

 

With regards to the Team Brunel Ball, we have taken the decision to cancel the event.  After assessing the risks we felt that despite the disappointment of all involved our priority is the safety of our members and the wider public.  Our Student Activities team will be making appropriate provisions to announce and celebrate all those that have been nominated or who would have been receiving awards on the night, please keep your eye on our Website for details .

 

Clubs and Societies

Our Club and Society meetings, events and training sessions will be cancelled from this Friday (20th of March). Our Student Activities team will be in touch to discuss this with our Student Groups.

 

With regards to BUCS Sport Fixtures (British Universities College Sport). We have received clarification today from BUCS that all fixtures have been postponed until at least April the 1st.

 

With regards to Sports Tour in June, we are working closely with Outgoing (the Tour Provider) to ensure that our members are being informed. We know that at the moment, Outgoing are in discussions with both the Spanish, French and UK Health Authorities with regards to the trips, and that some of the Tours have been cancelled by other providers.

 

Nearer the time we will be in a better position to assess the situation to travel or not and if the trip is cancelled, we will ensure that all students are refunded in a timely manner by Outgoing in line with their cancellation policy and guidance from the governments involved.

 

With regards to Bournemouth 7’s, we again are working closely with the festival organisers to ensure that students are kept informed as any decisions are made.

 

Our Campaigns

We will also be stopping all campus based campaign events, such as those for Green Week & Women’s Month. However, we will still be running these campaigns online and we will continue to organise campaigns relevant to our members.

 

Our Staff

We may start asking a number of our staff to work from home, this will result in a loss of face to face contact with staff from Student Activities, ARC Advice Service, Bars and Venues, Finance and our Student Officers.

 

Please be assured that our services will continue and our staff will still be able to respond to your emails, and where appropriate we may ask to meet with you over Skype phone and video.

 

If you have a query with regards with your course that cannot be answered by the University, that needs Union Support, please contact our ARC Advice Services by completing our form here.

 

Course Reps

With regards to upcoming Course Rep Elections, we will be planning for these to happen in September, and we have also taken the decision to post-pone Course Rep Training too.

 

University Response

We will continue to work with the University closely to ensure the safety of our students however, we are aware of a number of key messages for our Students that we want to make clear.

 

The University have stopped all face to face teaching for the remainder of this academic term, and is making alternative assessment arrangements to replace on-campus exams

 

During this time, the University have also clarified that you can submit EC’s (Extenuating Circumstances) for any assessments, and that whilst you will be able to “Self-Certify” if you choose to Self-Isolate for 7 days– If you do have COVID-19 then you will need to provide medical evidence.

 

You may also have further questions, which may be more appropriate to be for the University. If this is the case, then you can email c-virus@brunel.ac.uk

 

We’d ask you to continue to follow NHS Guidance on this issue, especially by using the new online Coronavirus Service or by calling 111.

We may release further statements, which will be communicated to our members (Brunel Students) by email, social media and our website. We are planning to release further communications on Tuesday, and Wednesday

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What's going on with Term Three Halls Rent?

The Union has been working closely with the University recently to resolve concerns raised by students in relation to their accommodation contracts.

Brunel University will now not charge rent for the third-period tor unoccupied rooms. All students with rooms in halls, should have received more information on this from the University but for more clarity, you can contact the Accommodation Office by emailing them at bac@brunel.ac.uk, calling them on 01895 267900 or texting them at 07860 023026.

 

Do I have to submit Excentuating Circumstances because of the Corona Virus?

No, we've recieved the following from the University...

"At the current time, the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure has been suspended.  Students who do not engage with an assessment will automatically be allowed to take the assessment at the next opportunity.  Students who undertake their assessments will have deemed themselves ‘fit to sit’ and will be graded on that basis; anyone who fails will automatically be granted a second attempt, in line with Senate Regulations.  Boards of Examiners will exercise their academic judgment as normal when considering mark profiles.

Students, therefore, do not need to submit Extenuating Circumstances at this time, as we will assume that if they do not engage with assessments, that is due to Coronavirus or other circumstances affecting their performance which are unavoidable, unexpected and beyond their control."

 

Are you still offering advice & support for students?

Yes, even though our drop-in sessions have stopped - we'll still be able to support students with our ARC Service through email, telephone and video calls. Our Advice Pages are here and you can contact the team with this form here.

You can also find our new ARC Guides to AssessmentsHousing & the new Government Job Retention Scheme here which are specifically tailored to advice on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Can I get a refund for Team Brunel Ball, Easter Mega Global & Varsity?

Yes, the majority of people should have received their refunds now but if for whatever reason you haven't then please email Union.Reception@brunel.ac.uk

 

How are you selling off some of your drinks stock that you didn't sell in Term 2 & Term 3?

You can find the details of our stock sale, with prices and details on delivery here.

 

What can I expect from the Union over the next few months?

We'll be running our new "Stay Healthy At Home" campaign where we'll be aiming to improve or maintain your wellbeing whilst your self-isolating at home where ever you are in the world. We'll be bringing you at home workouts, video hangouts with the elected officer team, opportunities for learning new skills and takeovers from our Clubs and Societies.

 

We'll be highlighting some of our impact over the last year, including our work on the General Election in December, 2019; our new BruNight Lights & Athlete Spotlight which focuses on our sport at Brunel; our lobbying to give students the option to not pay their third instalment of Halls Rent and our campaigns across the year.

 

You'll also be seeing some snippets of our future work as we start the drafting phase of our new Strategic Plan. Working out what the Union will be prioritised over the next five years from 2021 to 2026.