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

 

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UNION STATEMENT (11/05/2020)

This was written & released on the 11th of May, 2020. We've got updates on our NUS Referendum, Repatriation for International Students, the Student Led Teaching Awards and Sports Tour

 

 

Dear Members

Dear Members,

 

This week, we have three massive stories for our update. Firstly, tomorrow is our Referendum on our membership of the National Union of Students which you can start voting for at 12 Midday. Next, we had a huge win on Friday; the University is not charging students for University Accommodation in Term 4 that is no longer being occupied. Finally it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, where we’ll have events and messages from our partner Fika over the course of the week. 

 

Students Released from 4th Term Rent

 

The University announced on Friday that they will not charge students for their fourth term rent for campus rooms that are no longer occupied. This also follows the decision in March to release students from their third term rent, which we campaigned for.

 

The fourth term instalment was due to be collected on the 29th of May to cover the period from the 8th of June to the 16th of September, 2020.

 

We’ve only been able to do this because of the campaigning done by our officers and through the feedback from you, our members, despite the enormous amount of pressure that has been put on the University. You can find the information below from the University on what you need to do at this time. 

 

You have less than two days to contact the University, so you should respond ASAP.

 

“Please read the following information carefully and respond as soon as possible. If you respond by 20 May we will be able to cancel the direct debit payment before it is due. Otherwise a refund will need to be issued which will take longer to process.

 

·   In order to ensure you are charged the correct amount, we need to know your plans – please complete our online form by Wednesday 22 May

 

·   The fourth term instalment is due on 29 May, covering the period 8 June to 16 September. Should you wished to be released from the fourth term, but are unable to leave by 8 June you will be charged on a pro-rata basis up until the date you vacate

 

·   Any students who have paid in advance for this part of their agreement will receive a refund for the relevant amount. You will receive this automatically once you have checked out or notified us on the online form

 

·   If you leave on a future date, please check out by dropping your keys in the letter boxes in Bishops or Concourse receptions. There is no need to come into the office. We will vacate you on the system when you return your keys/notify us that you have left

 

·   If you have left belongings in your room and wish to be released from the fourth term please indicate on the online form. Arrangements will then be made to ship your belongings to you. You will be required to pay for the shipping costs.

 

·   If you have already fully vacated and are not planning on returning please ensure you return your key by post to: Concourse Hall Reception, Isambard Complex, Station Road, Uxbridge, UB8 3FG.

 

·   We will continue to update students living on campus on available services via our coronavirus portal

 

If you remain on campus, please be assured that we will do all we can to support and assist you while you are here. You can read about available services on our coronavirus portal. If you have left, or intend to, then we wish you a safe and healthy summer and we look forward to seeing you when you return to campus. If you are graduating this year, we wish you the very best for the future and hope to see you at Graduation, which will be rescheduled as soon as possible.”

 

NUS Referendum

 

Tomorrow is our first referendum for a few years, where we’ll be asking you - our members, what we should do. Do you want us to stay as a member of the National Union of Students UK? Or do you want us to leave the membership organisation?

 

We’ve had campaigners from both the Yes & No campaigns on our social media, and you can find the arguments on our webpage at www.brunelstudents.com/ref and vote from tomorrow at Midday.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week

 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year's theme is Kindness - Not just kindness to others, but are you being kind to yourself? We’ll be working with our partner Fika to bring you support and information this week to help you during this time. 


You should definitely be checking out online events from the University, and you can also check out Fika’s Masterclass: The Science of Kindness with Dr Fran Longstaff with you can sign up for here.

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (11/05/2020)

This was written & released on the 11th of May, 2020. We've got updates on our NUS Referendum, Repatriation for International Students, the Student Led Teaching Awards and Sports Tour

 

 

Dear Members

 

This week is the last of online assessments. From numbers given to us by the University, 80% of students have taken part in the assessments in May and we hope they’ve gone as well as you hoped. This week we’ve got updates about our NUS Referendum, the Student Led Awards, Repatriation for International Students and the announcement yesterday from the UK Prime Minister.

 

NUS Referendum

 

Next week, on Tuesday & Wednesday, we’ll be running our online referendum on our membership to the National Union of Students. All of our members (That includes you!) have the opportunity to vote. We need 5% of our members to vote in order to meet quoracy.

 

You can find all the information on our page here at www.brunelstudents.com/ref

 

Repatriation & International Students

 

We have had several enquiries from students within our Indian community regarding rumours around repatriation flights for those that want to leave the UK. If any students are concerned or want to find out more information then please seek that information directly from the Indian High Commission and not from Agents or third-party sources.

 

You can register with the high commission directly and they will then keep you updated on official Indian government advice or actions they are taking concerning any repatriation.  https://www.hcilondon.gov.in/news

 

Similarly, if you are an international student from anywhere else in the world and are concerned about travel during this pandemic then please contact your respective embassies, commissions or consulates for the advice relevant to your country of origin.

 

Sports Tour - Cancelled

We’ve had confirmation this week that the Sports Tour (Lloret De Mar) for our Team Brunel members has been cancelled. All students who have paid their full amounts, or just a deposit, will be contacted by either SportsFest or Student Activities Staff.

 

Student Led Awards

 

Whilst we’re waiting to hold our SLA’s Awards Dinner, we’ll be announcing the winners on our Social Media next week with videos from the University Staff Members and Student Reps who have worked so hard this year to make your experience the best it can be.

 

We’ll keep you updated every week and you can follow us on our social media here to get updates and news every day.

 

Thanks,

 

The Union of Brunel Students

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (04/05/2020)

This was written & released on the 4th of May, 2020. We've got updates on our COVID-19 Crisis Fundraiser, NUS Referendum, Study Tips and Stories from our Students!

 

 

Dear Members

 

This is our update for the 4th of May, 2020. 

 

This week, we’ve reopened our Covid-19 Crowdfunder - We’ve just reached £8,000 of donations and we’ve awarded over £3,000 to students for food, rent and other essentials. We’d like to thank everyone who has donated, supported and promoted the scheme. If you need financial support during this time, then you can apply using the link here.

 

In a few weeks time, on the 19th and 20th of May, we’ll be running our online referendum on our membership to the National Union of Students. If you're passionate about the issue of us either staying or leaving then you have the opportunity to campaign for either position and every student will be able to vote online. You can find all the information on our page here at www.brunelstudents.com/ref


We’ve also been continuing our Study Tips to help you through your final assessments including recording your own audio notes, writing your own questions & using your walls to create a mind map of your revision topics and subjects. You can find them on our social media and we’re also interested to hear if you have any new approaches to revision that you want to share with us.

 

Finally, last week we announced the Societies who were awarded C.A.S.E.S (Club & Society Evaluation Scheme) this year but we’ve also seen a huge number of our groups and students getting in touch to support people during this time including our Netball Club who have been running 522km between them to raise money for the Tom Moore fundraiser, our Robotics Society and MadeInBrunel Students have been creating facemasks for the NHS, and students & lecturers in the College of Health & Life Sciences have been volunteering at Hospitals across the UK.

 

If you have any stories that you’d like all Brunel Students to know about, let us know at SU.Comms@brunel.ac.uk 

 

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (27/04/2020)

This was written & released on the 27th of April, 2020. We've got updates on our new partnership with Fika, Food Deliveries for Students on Campus & our Crisis Covid-19 Fundraiser.

 

 

Dear Members,
 

This is our update for the 27th of April, 2020. We’ve got updates about our Crisis COVID Fundraiser, Online Assessments, New Food Deliveries for On-Campus Students and University Accommodation.

 

FIKA - Student Skills

 

We know that it’s been difficult to readjust to our current situation, and that’s why we’ve partnered with FIKA to provide all our staff and students with remote mental fitness support

 

We’ll be sending out more information about FIKA shortly, but you can check it out today by downloading the app and registering with your university email address today - let's get mentally fit together. 

 

 

New Food Deliveries for On-Campus Students

 

If you’re on campus right now, then you may have already had an email recently to let you know about TasteKingdom’s new food delivery service for breakfast, lunch and dinner which will deliver food to halls. We’d like to thank TasteKingdom for stepping in and providing this service to students, especially as students start their online assessments and revision timetables.

 

You can find the Menu down below and register for food deliveries with this link.

 


 

Crisis COVID Fundraiser

 

After we launched our COVID Fundraiser last week, we saw a huge number of donations from Brunel Staff, Alumni and current students - We’d like to thank you for your continuing support to get the stage where we’ve raised over £7,000 for students. Here’s what George Wardle, Vice President for Student Activities, had to say about the fund...

 

“The Union of Brunel Students’ would like to thank every one of you for your kind and invaluable contributions to the Union of Brunel Students Covid-19 Emergency Hardship Fund.

The support has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for every donation that has been made so far. This Fund will be a lifeline for many Brunel Students’ so again thank you.”

 

We’ve already started awarding money to students in hardship, totalling £1350 for students who are struggling with rent, food and other necessities during this time.

 

First Day of Online Assessments

 

After plenty of revision, today is the first day of online assessments. We hope that you’re prepared for the next three weeks when Exams would have normally been and that you’ve been checking out our Social Media where we’ll be posting a tip every day to help you study including making audio recordings of your revision notes, pinning up notes on your wall, setting goals and turning your phone off as part of our #StayHealthyAtHome campaign.

 

Distribution Centre

 

Due to reductions of services throughout campus, there will be no staff in the distribution centre on a Tuesday, Thursday or over the weekend to receive deliveries. We have heard that our members have been struggling to get deliveries because of this. 

 

We recommend that for those that are still on campus - If you are ordering deliveries and you can choose a delivery date - that you only choose a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

 

If there is the option to detail delivery instructions, we’d recommend you explain that the distribution centre can only accept deliveries on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Whilst this may not stop some attempted deliveries, it should prevent the vast majority making unnecessary trips and will improve the chances of your post being successfully delivered.

 

For more information about University Services during this time, please contact C-Virus@brunel.ac.uk

 

Campus Accommodation in Term 3 & Term 4

 

If you have moved off campus and left your belongings in your Halls Accommodation room then…
 

  • You can leave your items in your room until you can safely travel back to campus to collect or arrange collection.

  • Your belongings will be safe and secure while they are in your room and your room is locked.

  • Providing the restrictions on movement have been lifted, all belongings should be collected by the end of your original contract date.

  • If at that time you are unable to collect your belongings, please contact res@brunel.ac.uk to make alternative arrangements.

To continue to ensure the safety of students and staff we are now looking to re-use some rooms on campus and, in those cases, we will need to pack up individuals' belongings and store them securely until they can be safely collected. Students affected by this have been contacted directly. 

  

If you need advice on this please contact the Advice and Representation Centre.

 

“Can I stay on campus over the summer?”
 

  • The University will make provisions for students currently living on campus and who have nowhere else to go.

  • The University will contact students about their needs in the third term.

  • The University won't currently be able to offer accommodation over the summer to students who have left campus.

 

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (27/04/2020)

This was written & released on the 27th of April, 2020. We've got updates on our new partnership with Fika, Food Deliveries for Students on Campus & our Crisis Covid-19 Fundraiser.

 

 

Dear Members,
 

This is our update for the 27th of April, 2020. We’ve got updates about our Crisis COVID Fundraiser, Online Assessments, New Food Deliveries for On-Campus Students and University Accommodation.

 

FIKA - Student Skills

 

We know that it’s been difficult to readjust to our current situation, and that’s why we’ve partnered with FIKA to provide all our staff and students with remote mental fitness support

 

We’ll be sending out more information about FIKA shortly, but you can check it out today by downloading the app and registering with your university email address today - let's get mentally fit together. 

 

 

New Food Deliveries for On-Campus Students

 

If you’re on campus right now, then you may have already had an email recently to let you know about TasteKingdom’s new food delivery service for breakfast, lunch and dinner which will deliver food to halls. We’d like to thank TasteKingdom for stepping in and providing this service to students, especially as students start their online assessments and revision timetables.

 

You can find the Menu down below and register for food deliveries with this link.

 


 

Crisis COVID Fundraiser

 

After we launched our COVID Fundraiser last week, we saw a huge number of donations from Brunel Staff, Alumni and current students - We’d like to thank you for your continuing support to get the stage where we’ve raised over £7,000 for students. Here’s what George Wardle, Vice President for Student Activities, had to say about the fund...

 

“The Union of Brunel Students’ would like to thank every one of you for your kind and invaluable contributions to the Union of Brunel Students Covid-19 Emergency Hardship Fund.

The support has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for every donation that has been made so far. This Fund will be a lifeline for many Brunel Students’ so again thank you.”

 

We’ve already started awarding money to students in hardship, totalling £1350 for students who are struggling with rent, food and other necessities during this time.

 

First Day of Online Assessments

 

After plenty of revision, today is the first day of online assessments. We hope that you’re prepared for the next three weeks when Exams would have normally been and that you’ve been checking out our Social Media where we’ll be posting a tip every day to help you study including making audio recordings of your revision notes, pinning up notes on your wall, setting goals and turning your phone off as part of our #StayHealthyAtHome campaign.

 

Distribution Centre

 

Due to reductions of services throughout campus, there will be no staff in the distribution centre on a Tuesday, Thursday or over the weekend to receive deliveries. We have heard that our members have been struggling to get deliveries because of this. 

 

We recommend that for those that are still on campus - If you are ordering deliveries and you can choose a delivery date - that you only choose a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

 

If there is the option to detail delivery instructions, we’d recommend you explain that the distribution centre can only accept deliveries on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Whilst this may not stop some attempted deliveries, it should prevent the vast majority making unnecessary trips and will improve the chances of your post being successfully delivered.

 

For more information about University Services during this time, please contact C-Virus@brunel.ac.uk

 

Campus Accommodation in Term 3 & Term 4

 

If you have moved off campus and left your belongings in your Halls Accommodation room then…
 

  • You can leave your items in your room until you can safely travel back to campus to collect or arrange collection.

  • Your belongings will be safe and secure while they are in your room and your room is locked.

  • Providing the restrictions on movement have been lifted, all belongings should be collected by the end of your original contract date.

  • If at that time you are unable to collect your belongings, please contact res@brunel.ac.uk to make alternative arrangements.

To continue to ensure the safety of students and staff we are now looking to re-use some rooms on campus and, in those cases, we will need to pack up individuals' belongings and store them securely until they can be safely collected. Students affected by this have been contacted directly. 

  

If you need advice on this please contact the Advice and Representation Centre.

 

“Can I stay on campus over the summer?”
 

  • The University will make provisions for students currently living on campus and who have nowhere else to go.

  • The University will contact students about their needs in the third term.

  • The University won't currently be able to offer accommodation over the summer to students who have left campus.

 

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (20/04/2020)

This was written & released on the 20th of April, 2020. We talk about the new No-Detriment Policy from the University, Emergency Financial Support for Students and Staff Furlough.

 

 

Dear Members

 

Today, it’s the start of term three and next week is the start of your new online assessments. If you’ve also read the University’s guidance on exams this year, you’ll know that you have the option to sit your assessments in April/May or take them in August without having to submit an Extenuating Circumstance form.

 

We understand that this has been a difficult time for all students and staff at Brunel, and so we want to support you as much as possible with these assessments. If you have any questions, then you should enquire with your department as soon as possible. If you’d like support with Academic enquiries with our independent ARC team then you can put in an enquiry with our team here.

 

No Detriment Policy

 

Brunel has also given more information about it’s safety net or no-detriment policy which aims to support students with their academic studies during this time. This university has said the following...

 

“We have a policy in place which is designed to be fair to all students, including those students on programmes accredited by professional bodies and applies irrespective of how many assessment credits (and with what weighting) they have accumulated so far this academic year.”

 

You can find more information on this on the University’s webpage here.

 

Financial Hardship

 

If you are facing a sudden financial impact, then we can support you during this time either with emergency funding from the Union or help you access funding from the University. We do this for those students who are most in need, throughout the year. You can apply for University Hardship Funding by clicking here and through our Union Hardship Funding by clicking here. 

 

You can also now apply for specific financial support from our Covid-19 Crisis Crowdfunder (see below) with this link here.

 

Covid-19 Crowdfunder

 

Since last week, we’ve also been working with the University’s crowdfunding team to raise money for students facing extreme financial hardship during this time - At the time of writing, we’ve raised slightly less than £5,000 of a total aim of £15,000. Some of the supporters have left some of the following messages: 

 

“This is the hardest time to be at university. It should be the best of times, as it was for most of us. Keep your heads up and know that things will get better.”

 

“I hope the students at Brunel can benefit from this donation and all their friends and families stay safe. Study hard and build a brighter future.”

 

If you’d like to donate or promote the scheme, then you can find it here

 

Laptops for Students

 

We’ve been speaking to the University for the last few weeks about support for the 1,500 students who are still on campus, especially for those who do not have laptops. Last week, the University announced that it has started a scheme for students who are…

 

  • Undertaking assessments in April/May

  • Live on Brunel campus

  • Do not have access to a computer

 

If you fall into this criteria, then we’d encourage you to contact computing-support@brunel.ac.uk

 

Distribution Centre

 

The Distribution Centre has now reopened every day and You can collect your post from on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am-3pm.

 

We understand that there has been some disruption to the distribution service during the Easter break. We are in conversations with the distribution centre to make sure that the receiving and distribution of post and parcels this term will be as near normal as possible. As soon as we have more clarity on the service, we will publish them here.
 

Staff Furlough

 

Finally, last week, The Union has taken the decision to use the government’s Job Retention Scheme and placed a number of our staff members on furlough. Furloughing effectively means putting jobs on hold temporarily which allows the Union to continue employing and paying staff during these exceptional times. This will follow from today, the 20th of April, until the 31st of May. This decision will help to keep our Union financially sustainable during this time. 

 

Key services will continue, including our Advice Service, our Stay Healthy At Home Campaign and our Union Democracy. We’ll also be using this time to plan for the next Academic Year.

 

How To Contact Staff

 

 

We’d like to thank you for your support at this time, and encourage you to continue to check the University’s support page. We really want to make sure that you, as our members, are well prepared and positive about your assessments during this unprecedented time.

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (06/04/2020)

This is our fourth, and the most recent, statement that we've made on the Coronavirus, on the 6th of April, 2020 at 11:00 am

 

 

Dear Students,

 

Following on from our statement last Tuesday, We’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. This has been an unprecedented period for our Union and it’s because of you that we can continue supporting our members. Below, we want to let you know about some of the work we are currently doing especially in the areas of New Assessments, Housing, Finance, Internet Connectivity & Technology for Students.

 

If you have any questions for us, then today and tomorrow we’ll be organising an Instagram Takeover with our Officers and you can also always email our team at Union.Reception@brunel.ac.uk 

 

Also, there may continue to be questions that are more easily answered by the University during this time. You can find their Coronavirus information page here and you can also email them at c-virus@brunel.ac.uk. You might also want to check back through your emails to find messages from the Vice-Chancellor, Julia Buckingham and other senior University Staff.

 

New Assessments for Students

 

Students have been concerned for some time now about the change in assessments, including Summer Exams, which have been announced by the University. We’ve been speaking to several Student Reps about the impact that this change might have on them. At this time, the University is doing everything it can to completely redevelop assessments

 

If you have any concerns, we would encourage you to speak to your College or Department and your Student Rep or Vice President for College who can either bring clarity to your assessment or support you further.

 

  1. College of Health and Life Sciences - Sam Johnson
  2. College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences - Peri Sherif
  3. College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences - Awais Khan

 

Housing

 

We are still in discussions with the University regarding campus accommodation. At the moment, all students should have let the accommodation team know if their halls will be unattended by the 25th of April so that you do not have to pay for their Term 3 instalment.

 

The key issue for students who have already left halls has been what would happen to their belongings in their room. The University has said the following “You can leave your items in your room until you can safely travel back to campus to collect them or you can organise for someone to collect them. Your belongings will be safe and secure while they are in your room and your room is locked”.

 

However, at this time - No friends of family can currently pick up your belongings because it would go against the current government advice on travel. 

 

We’d like to get clarity on what the future looks like on this issue, especially given that some students may not be able to travel back to Brunel for some time. Some students have been told that their belongings will be put in storage, so we would recommend that you read the guidance here and get in contact with the Accommodation Team.

 

Finance and Tuition Fees

 

We understand that because of the Coronavirus, your finances have and will continue to be impacted. Students are often in the most tenuous of situations financially, and so we understand that during this time - your finances can have a massive impact on your mental health, and your continuation at Brunel.

 

During this time, you can apply for the University’s & Union’s Hardship Fund which can help support you in the short to medium term. 

 

The University will not be refunding tuition fees and has said the following on their website “We are making every effort to ensure that there is no detriment to the value or quality of your Brunel education, despite the changes. We hope therefore you will understand that we will not be refunding tuition fees, but instead focusing on investing in a rapid and effective response to what is a global crisis.”

 

However, on a case by case basis - Tuition Fee “Remission” (or waivers) can be requested and granted in very exceptional circumstances. For you to be successful, students should be able to prove the following:

 

  • That you have made every reasonable effort to meet their fees from other sources, 
  • That there is good reason to believe that a single remission of tuition fees should be sufficient to permit them you complete their programme without further recourse to financial support from the University 
  • That you have been in good financial standing with the University throughout their programme; and
  • That they are in good academic standing with their academic College.

 

Internet Connectivity

 

Over the last week, we’ve been contacted by students on the reduced quality of internet speed and connectivity on campus and more specifically in halls of residence. Whilst this seems to be a result of students using more data through the University network, we have started conversations with the University on what they can do in the short and medium-term to improve the situation.

 

Internet quality is not just important for staying connected to friends and family, but also for students to complete some of their new online assessments without disruption.

 

Laptops for Students

 

Following on from a Student Rep Congress last week on Friday (03/04/2020), we’ve become increasingly concerned with the number of students who lack laptops and other equipment needed to complete online assessments. We are in conversation with the University, and if this changes then we will be in touch with students to promote the scheme to provide laptops to students.

 

We understand that this has been a challenging time, but the Union is committed that we can support students and plan for the next academic year during this time. If you have any questions on our work, please contact us and we hope that you continue to check out our “Stay Healthy At Home” campaign.

 

 

 

 

UNION STATEMENT (31/03/2020)

This is our third 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 Extenuating 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."

 

I'm finding myself drinking more or worried that I might start drinking more whilst I'm at home?

You can find support from the alcohol charity drinkaware.co.uk with this link here

 

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.