As most of you will have heard by now, England entered a new 6-week national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January. As your Students’ Union, we understand that these are incredibly difficult and frustrating times for everyone, and acknowledge the significant distress, worry and anxiety the ongoing situation is causing. Many of us also continue to face several other personal challenges in our own lives that only worsen a difficult situation.
As your Students’ Union, we will continue to do the best we can to support you. We are committed to continuing to listen to your feedback, concerns and ideas about your experience. We will also be sharing your responses to our end of term survey with the University, and will continue to listen to feedback received via your Course Reps, elected representatives, emails and social media messages. We will work with the University, and challenge them when needed, to ensure you are well supported and your experience is the best it can be in the circumstances. Your Executive Officers are working on several education and welfare issues at this time, and will release further updates later this week.
During these challenging times, please do try to look after yourself and make this a priority. For lots of ideas on how to look after both your physical and mental health during the next few weeks please check out our Be Kind campaign. Our Study Well campaign is also running to support you whilst studying. If you are in need of support please do reach out to us, or check out our Advice & Support section of our website with useful resources and links to further information and support services.
Changes to Students' Union services
Due to the worsening Covid-19 situation and the new national lockdown we have had to make some changes to our services until further notice;
Places & Spaces
Most Students’ Union spaces are now closed. However we recognise that some students continue to live on campus, are on courses that continue in-person, or still need to be on campus due to a range of individual circumstances. Because of this the following limited facilities will remain open for these students;
The Village Shop – our Mile End on-campus shop in the Student Village will continue to provide an essential service to those students continuing to live and work on-campus, opening 9am-4pm Monday to Friday. Weekend opening will resume from next weekend (16th January).
BLSA Building – the government have advised that medicine and dentistry courses will continue to take place on-campus. To support students on these courses we will continue to open the BLSA Building, Monday to Friday 11am-4pm. This is to provide space for students to use for educational activities. Unfortunately, The Griff Inn will remain closed at this time due to ongoing technical difficulties and the government restrictions.
Qmotion Sport & Fitness Centre, Ground Café, Students’ Union Hub, Multi-Faith Centre, Union Shop, Drapers Bar & Kitchen, Griff Inn Bar & Kitchen remain closed until further notice. The Shield Café also remains closed as it is being used as the testing centre for the Charterhouse Square campus. Some University spaces and Library facilities remain open for students.
Our closures will be reviewed on a weekly basis, and also in line with any changes in government guidance or the Covid-19 situation.
Academic Advice Service – this service continues to support students online. Further information about the service can be found here.
Student Voice – our representation and democracy team remains available to support our Course Reps and part-time representatives. They can also help you with education and welfare matters. Visit our website here for more.
Societies, Student Media, Sustainability and Volunteering – we will continue to support all students involved in these areas online. Many Clubs and Societies continue to run activities, view the groups here. Our Sustainability and Volunteering service will also continue to provide online volunteering opportunities to get involved in. Find out more here.
Sport – due to the ongoing government restrictions all in-person sporting activity is suspended and Qmotion Sport & Fitness Centre remains closed. However, why not check out our Wellbeing Referral Programme, online HIIT sessions or one of our Qmotion at Home workout programmes!
Events and activities
We will continue to provide a programme of online activities and events for you to get involved in. January will feature a range of wellbeing activities including HIIT classes, wellbeing workshops, speed meeting, craft sessions and study workshops.
Our Clubs and Societies will also continue offering a range of online activities and events throughout Semester 2, with memberships still being available. They're a great way of meeting new people, trying something new or continuing with a hobby or interest. Events open to all will be added by groups to our events page. View our full Clubs & Societies listing.
January events are still being uploaded to our events page so do keep checking back for the latest events line-up at www.qmsu.org/events. We hope to see you there!
Other January activities
Antisemitism Awareness Month
Activities for our first Antisemitism Awareness Month will continue online, with coverage across our website and social media pages. We're aiming to raise awareness of the danger of Antisemitism in the UK and on University campuses. It's also a month for us to celebrate Jewish heritage and culture, where hopefully all of us will learn something new!
Online Winter Fair
Our Online Winter Fair will take place on Wednesday 27th January, 3pm-6pm - so save the date! Lots of our Clubs, Societies and Students' Union services will be present. You'll be able to meet them and find out more about what they have to offer this semester. The event is a great way of finding something new to get involved with, so come along and get involved!
Annual Student Meeting
Our Annual Student Meeting takes place on Tuesday 26th January from 6pm. The event is your opportunity to get involved in debate on ideas and issues decided by you. You'll also be able to find out more about the work of your Students' Union and elected representatives and ask them questions about what they've been up to. All students can attend and vote! Keep an eye out for further information!