We hope you’re keeping well, safe and looking forward to the new academic year. During this time, we are in full swing planning and organising our wide range of September Freshers activities, for all new and returning students at the University of Westminster. However, with COVID-19 still being a threat to our community and the need to follow Government and University guidelines, we have sadly made the decision to not hold any on-site activities until it is safe to do so. We understand that it has been a difficult time for our community, and we appreciate your patience, support and trust in us to see you through these challenging times.
September is a prime opportunity for students to get back into the university life, and for new students to start their journey with us – meeting new friends, building networks, joining clubs and societies, and so much more. We’re looking to introduce new ways for you to be part of the Westminster community, to participate in activities, connect with likeminded students and further improve our online community. With that being said, we want to assure you that we’re working closely with the University to shape your student experience for the next academic year, whilst ensuring your safety and academic interests are at the forefront of our planning stages.
For our returning students and student groups, we can’t wait to welcome you back to University life. We understand that we won’t be able to offer the same welcome experience as last year however we want to ensure you that we will be doing everything we can to ensure that it is the best possible welcome in the current circumstances. We can only hope for things to go back to normal soon, but until then we’re here to support you.
What about UWSU? We’re still open and will continue to be – mostly in an online capacity. Our services will continue to run digitally, so rest assured you can still reach out to us if you have any queries. Your new Officer team will start their term at UWSU from 1st July 2020 and will start afresh with a focus on how to best support students – you – for the first few months of University and, more importantly, to ensure your voice can still be heard and recognised at University.
We are committed to ensure an open and honest communication with our members; below you can find a list of expectations that we are upholding.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM UWSU:
1. We as a Union are still open and will offer all our services online for the first semester.
2. Our commercial spaces – the Hideaway, the Undercroft and the Loft– will remain closed until January 2021. The Corner Shop at Harrow campus will be closed for September 2020 and reviewed on a regular basis depending on the capacity at the Harrow site.
3. Student group activities such as training sessions, meetings and events will take place online, and the Union will support in delivering these activities.
4. We will be encouraging our student groups to follow social distancing rules and limiting the amount of physical interaction as much as possible.
5. Our membership pricing structure will be amended to reflect the transition from physical to online activities. Each student group will clearly detail the changes on their joining page and state what the membership price includes.
6. Dragons and sporting activities will be phased in following government guidelines, national sporting bodies, BUCS guidelines and University guidelines.
7. We will have a limited amount of Students’ Union staff on-site across campuses; be sure to email us or message on social media if you require support.
8. We will be providing a framework to support our sports clubs detailing how and when we will be able to return to play, and for Societies on how and when they will be able to resume their regular activities and engage with their members face to face.
9. We will provide the platforms for societies and sports team to support them in running their events online.
10. We will offer an opportunity for new students to engage with student groups in September, as there will be no face to face Freshers Fairs.
There are currently several ongoing meetings within the University where we are planning on how to deliver everything that needs to be done - for new and returning students in September. This also includes supporting our Postgraduate members who are studying over the summer. We have made it clear to the University that we are expected to be a part of these key decision bodies to ensure that your voice is always being represented. As we get closer to September you will start getting more details on changes that will be happening to your courses and the impact COVID-19 is having on services such as the Library and student services. We want to assure you that we will challenge the University to be open and clear about these changes as soon as possible so you can make informed decisions about your future. We also want to make sure that the University is being held accountable on their promises on what they can deliver, and if that doesn’t happen our reps and Advice Team will be there to help you with any complaints you might want to make. We will be publishing over the next couple of weeks a full list of expectations that you should be receiving regarding your teaching and academic experience.
We look forward to welcoming you all again soon and encourage you to get in touch if you have any questions.
See you soon!