Students' Union Covid-19 Support Page


University Guidance

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus 


University Safety Net and Emergency Regulations (including Safety Net, Trailing Credits and Compensation)

https://exams.surrey.ac.uk/safety-net-and-emergency-regulations


NHS Guidance

The current guidance is to remain at home if you have either of the two symptoms associated with Coronavirus. You can read more about those here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 


Study Help

The University has also put together some advice to support you in studying online, which is available here: https://study.surrey.ac.uk/studying-online

If you are anticipating that the current situation with the Coronavirus will have an impact on your studies, it is really important that you let your personal tutor and Academic Hive know, and let them know what this affect is.


Contact Us

If you need to get in touch with the Union, please email ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk or for advice ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk


Assessments

Alternative Assessments 

The University has confirmed that assessments for the rest of the academic year will be conducted via alternative methods to ensure you can complete them remotely. The details of your alternative assessments should be released from Monday 27th April. 

If you receive the details for your Alternative Assessments, and have concerns as a result, please keep reading for our guidance on where you should raise those concerns. If you have any feedback about those arrangements, you can also complete our form available here to give us your feedback:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=kyaQa3QQqkCeIdiURqLrtQlzUvR4ON5PkY2FPqSmtUNURjRMVTBYVUxSNE9XTUhWOVZINEJZNDMwVC4u

It’s important to note that the University has tried to ensure that all assessments are appropriate and meet the learning outcomes for the module, and has only had a very limited time to make these changes. However, if you have major concerns that your Alternative Assessments do not meet the original learning outcomes from your module, then those concerns would be taken seriously.


What should I do if I am concerned about my Alternative Assessment(s) on an individual basis?  

What should I do if I believe that mcohort as a whole is concerned about our Alternative Assessment(s)?  

The first port of call is to contact your Module Leader to outline your concerns to them. This will hopefully open a dialogue where they may be able to resolve your concerns, especially if your concerns relating to the assessment are at a minor level.  

The first port of call is to contact your Course Rep and they can gather feedback on your cohort's concerns. If you do not know who your course rep is, you can use the form on our website to find out  

If your Module Leader can’t address your concerns, you may wish to complete our Alternative Assessments Feedback form for the attention of your Union President, Gemma, available here. 

Your Course Rep or nominee from your cohort will raise your concerns to the module leader 

Your Union President can raise your concerns with University Senior Management, who may feel it is appropriate to contact the Module Leader, or the Associate Dean for your Faculty, depending on the situation.  

If your module leader can't address your cohort's concerns, your Course Rep or nominee can raise the matter with the Programme leader.  

 

In some cases, it may not be possible to resolve your concerns about your Alternative Assessments, but we will do our best to ensure your voice is still heard.  

If your Module Leader can’t address your concerns, you may wish to contact USSU via our Alternative Assessments Feedback form for the attention of your Union President available here. 

If your concerns have been raised, and you are still feeling dissatisfied with your alternative assessment, you may wish to email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk to discuss your options. 

Your Union President, Gemma, can raise your concerns with University Senior Management, who may feel it is appropriate to contact the Module Leader, or the Associate Dean for your Faculty, depending on the situation. 

If you have specific concerns regarding any technical issues, Disability Neurodiversity arrangements, or other similar concerns, we suggest that you reach out to your Personal Tutor as soon as possible.  

Email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk for your options if the University is not able to resolve your concerns and you are still dissatisfied 



Additional Information

We have collaborated with the University to work on changes to your studies for the rest of the academic year to best support you. The University has announced changes to compensation requirements, and the introduction of the "Safety Net" Policy, and the possibility of trailing credits, all to ensure that you have the best opportunities to succeed despite the difficulties you have been placed under. 

Any students who require Extenuating Circumstances applications can also now do so ahead of a deadline or exam, or up to 5 days afterwards, without requiring evidence. Applications made after 5 days will require evidence. 

For guidance on Extenuating Circumstances, compensation requirements, the safety net policy, or trailing credits, click the link above for Covid-19 Regulations & Support, or email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk 


Are You Self-Isolating?

The University now has a new way of reporting self-isolation –  complete the form

International/EU Students

If you are an international student and want to suspend your studies to next year (eg. temporarily withdraw) please email internationalsupport@surrey.ac.uk. If you are an international student who wishes to return home to complete assessments and learning online, please let your faculty Hive know. The University will work with you on a case-by-case basis. 


If you are a Tier4 student 

Who has not withdrawn, then you must engage in Surrey Learn for online learning/teaching and you must engage with assessments or provide valid ECs in order to be visa complaint. If you are concerned then you should email internationalsupport@surrey.ac.uk


If you are an EU student who is taking temporary withdrawal

Please note that there could be government restrictions in returning to the UK to study in 2021. The visa regulations for the UK are likely to change on January 1st 2021 and therefore you may have to apply for a visa in order to return. We are waiting for advice and confirmation from the Home office on likley outcomes. Please email us if you have concerns.

 

If this changes, the University will update their guidance on My Surrey. You can visit this website to read the University's general advice on the Coronavirus: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus 


FHMS Students on placement

At the moment, FHMS senior staff are working with relevant registering bodies to obtain guidance about what students should do if they cannot attend practice due to self-isolation or health concerns.

School of Health Sciences:

  • All updates from your Faculty will be communicated to you via email, so please do keep an eye out for up-to-date guidance.
  • If you are self-isolating, or part of a vulnerable, at-risk group, you should apply for Extenuating Circumstances and report your absence from placement to your Faculty and your placement contacts.
  • If you have any questions about your placement, you should contact clinical_placements@surrey.ac.uk
  • If you have any concerns about your clinical safety, you should contact your Head of School, Melaine Coward, at m.coward@surrey.ac.uk


Wellbeing Support

We know that this is a very anxious time for some students and we want to make sure that support is available. We are working on gaining more clarity from the University regarding CWB appointments and if these will be available via Skype to students who access the service but are unable to attend in person. At the moment, appointments will be going ahead as normal.  

Alternative support can be accessed here if you are off-campus. 

You can also email the Union at ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk, however please be aware that this mailbox is only monitored during office hours.


Accommodation

University Accommodation

This email update came from the University on 31st March 2020 - 

Accommodation update during coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak

Please note: this advice supersedes the email sent to you on Wednesday 25 March. If you have emailed the Accommodation Team since this email we will be in touch as soon as possible, but please also refer to the guidance below which has been issued in response to the changing advice given by the Government on Thursday 26 March.

Under the latest Government restrictions, travelling to Guildford or the University to collect your belongings deemed as not essential travel, therefore is restricted and would be in breach of national social distancing rules and could put yourself and others at risk. The University recognises the challenge that the current Government lockdown poses to Students currently living on and off-campus student accommodation.

We are committed to supporting you regardless of your living situation, and we are increasing the support available to those who are living in University accommodation and are self-isolating.

  • Students who have left won't be required to pay new instalments due from April this includes Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students.
  • Students unable to leave because of the Government movement restrictions but who choose to leave once the restrictions are lifted will be able to claim a pro-rata refund.
  • Students who are not able to return to clear their belongings will still be able to claim a refund and arrange to collect their belongings once the restrictions have been lifted. We are working with Kelly's storage and Urban Spaceman who will be able to pack it for you, they will then store and could also arrange shipping, They are not be able to pack up your kitchen items as it would be difficult for them to know what is yours. For you to use their service you will need to contact them directly.

The University is also committed to supporting the NHS, and we are looking at how we can provide beds for use by the NHS, as they are in need of accommodation for key staff. If your room is required then you will be contacted directly by the University. You will either be given help to relocate to another flat, or we will inform you that we need to move your belongings to safe storage. To help us with this important cause, if you haven't already done so please complete this form to let us know where you are currently and to help us understand if your room could be made available.

Keep us informed about your self-isolation: If you are a student self-isolating in campus accommodation, please remember to complete our self-isolation form. It

will enable us to support you and ensure you have everything you need during this challenging time. Please do update this if your status changes.

If you have any questions about arrangements for vacating your accommodation, please contact accommodation@surrey.ac.uk. You must let the Accommodation team know if you want to be released from your contract for University accommodation.

If you have already emailed us then please bear with us whilst we respond, as you can appreciate we have had a vast amount of enquiries but are working our way through them and will respond as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Accommodation Services


Renting from Private Landlords

The following advice has been provided by University Surrey Lettings (USL)

'As a tenant you have certain rights but this relies on the type of contract you have & there are many different ones. The most common is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST). Under the terms of an AST, you have certain rights as a tenant & you are protected under The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985. 


What does that mean with the current situation?

  • You will remain liable for your full rental amount until the expiry of your contract

  • You will remain liable for the rent of your housemates if you are joint & severally liable

  • Failure to pay your rent in full can lead to a County Court Judgement being brought against you

  • You do not have the right to terminate your contract or refuse to pay

  • Your landlord cannot evict you during the next three months

  • If your landlord has a Buy-to-Let mortgage or mortgage consent, they can apply for a three month mortgage holiday. This means you work out a repayment plan if you need to supplement your maintenance loan to cover rent

  • Your landlord must get a court order to evict you which takes 6-12 months in usual circumstances

  • Landlord/agents are only doing emergency maintenance/repairs as well as checks required by law

  • Whilst the property is unoccupied, you will remain responsible for it. Notify your landlord/agent to ensure they can let their insurance provider know

  • If your landlord is unreasonably withholding your request for setting up a payment plan or attempt to evict you, speak to USL immediately


To consider

  • Let your landlord/agent know if you are self-isolating so they do not send workmen to the house

  • Inform your landlord/agent if you think you won't be able to pay your rent or it will be late, also make your housemates aware

  • Agree a repayment plan with your landlord & get it in writing

  • If you withdraw from university & are still in contract, you will be liable to pay council tax

  • Consider turning your heating & water off if the property is completely empty to help with the cost of bills

  • If paying bills are a problem, speak to the provider to see if they can delay your payment for a few months

  • Should apply for help with supplies/medication if you qualify under the extremely vulnerable group https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable


Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person

Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you'll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.

www.gov.uk



Student Activities

AGMS

  • AGMs will go ahead ONLINE. We will have an online voting platform (likely to be Microsoft Forms) and it will be administered through Microsoft Teams.
  • All society members (who are registered on the Union website) will be sent a Teams link for their relevant AGM so they can log in and there will be a Union officer in charge on the channel.
  • The voting form will be pre-loaded with options for the three signatories and labelled Candidate A, B, C etc. We think it will be too much to get a list of who is running from you all (plus some students run last minute) hence labelling a ‘A, B, C’.
  • The officer in charge will make it clear on the chat which student is Candidate A, B, C etc.
  • For non-signatory roles there will be an open text box, again the officer will make it clear who is running for each role and students will be asked to vote by writing the position followed by the name of person they are voting for e.g. Social Secretary – Jane Doe
  • The 10 student quota still applies

For now, please can you ensure all your members have Teams. They can download to a PC or Mac here and get the mobile app through Play Store or Apple Store by typing ‘Microsoft Teams’. Login is with your student account (not your club or society email!).

 

Union Ball & Colours Ball

The Union Ball and Colours Ball will take place on the 18th and 19th June by video on Instagram. Find us @surreyunion.


You Said We Did

As a result of the feedback you've been giving us through student voice channels, direct to your Union President, or through concerns you've raised to our advice team, we've been working hard to represent you and implement changes you need. 

Here's what we've been up to:

Academic Support and Representation

You asked for more protection for your grades and academic studies

  • The Support zone and academic advice team have been working with the University going through the new regulations to ensure they are fair for students throughout the pandemic.
  • We also lobbied for the safety net to be implemented.
  • Additionally, we have consulted on compensation, trailing credits and support for those on suspended years or temporary withdrawals

You asked for Union representation regarding alternative assessments

  • Your Sabbatical Officer team have been attending Faculty Boards of Studies to ensure we are up-to-date with how your learning will be run over the next semester and voice any initial concerns. 
  • In anticipation of the announcement of alternative assessments, your President and the Voice Zone have been working on a process for gathering your feedback. You can get in touch with us by clicking here

You asked for greater flexibility to report extenuating circumstances

  • We have asked for ECs to be considered without evidence for the remainder of the academic year. We also requested that this be available for up to 5 days after your assessment is due.

You asked for a refund or reduction in Tuition fees for this semester

  • We emailed senior management on your behalf with a comprehensive list of why we felt this was a reasonable request and we will publish their response in due course.

Improving Wellbeing Support

You asked for more support for bereavement

  • We have raised these issues with the University who are going to implement more bereavement support in the Centre for Wellbeing and plan on training members of staff in the practical side of bereavement for those students who have caring responsibilities.
  • The Support Zone have also been in contact with Cruise Bereavement Care charity to see what additional support they can provide to students experiencing grief and bereavement.

 You asked for more wellbeing support for mental health

  • We have discussed this with the Student Minds committee and started online Positive Minds courses for students experiencing low mood, depression and difficulty adjusting to life in lock-down.
  • Nightline are also looking into supporting students through emails, given that they are unable to open their phone-lines and IMs.
  • Finally the VP Support has been working on producing wellbeing materials, hints and tips to support students with their wellbeing whilst in isolation.

Practical changes to day to day life

You asked for support if you have been financially impacted

  • We raised this concern with the University and they have successfully increased the funds available in the Hardship fund and are now taking into account the impact of Covid-19 as part of any requests made.

You asked for increased availability of accommodation for nurses

  • We have received feedback from some Health Sciences students facing issues with their accommodation following disruption to their course flows. I will be taking this feedback forward.

You asked for us to look into accommodation for next year

  • The Union has now started discussions at Silver command and other meetings regarding how accommodation will work for students next year, with the possibility of continued social distancing

Work within the Union

You asked for help with Ramadan activities 

  • The Union has supported the Islamic Society who have been working with the chaplaincy to ensure our Muslim community are able to celebrate Ramadan in a safe manner.

You asked about the support to our part-time staff

  • As the Students' Union is closed and we're unable to operate in our normal way, we have had to make the decision to furlough our part time staff team.  This covers a team of circa 100+ who are a vital part of our day to day operations.  We are working hard to support them during this challenging time and look forward to welcoming them back in the future.

You asked for events to keep you occupied (or procrastinate)

  • We are hosting Hari's challenge virtually every Tuesday at 8pm and continuing to find live DJ events that you can stream in your bedrooms or living areas.
  • We are also ensuring the Rubix page is updated with fun activities to remind you of your great times partying in our beloved nightclub. Don't forget to check out our Spotify playlists to keep up the Rubix vibes too!

You asked for refunds for the cancelled events

  • The Union finance team have been working behind the scenes issuing over 2000 refunds! If you haven't yet received a refund please bear with us as we work through the last few.

You asked for us to continue the Union and Colours Awards

  • We have now announced the Union Ball shortlist and colours will be announced in May. We look forward to announcing the winners later in the semester. Congratulations to all those shortlisted, you are all amazing students! 


If you need to get in touch with us, please email ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk


Visit Us

Union House
University of Surrey
Stag Hill, Guildford
GU2 7XH

Contact Us

ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk
01483 689 223


The University of Surrey Students’ Union is a private limited company, registered in England & Wales with registered number 07470232, registered at Union House, Guildford, GU2 7XH. The Union is also a registered charity, registered with charity number 1142479

Copyright University of Surrey Student's Union 2018

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