We’re sure you’re all feeling a mixture of emotions about the outbreak of Coronavirus and how it will affect your studies and the community. Here is everything we know about what the University is doing to ensure your safety and what you can expect during this time. Looking for the University's statement? Find it on the student hub.
Inlight of the latest government advice the University has released the following statement to all students and staff.
"We now have a procedure in place in which face coverings are to be worn within all buildings when outside of your work area/office.
Students will be expected to wear face coverings in classes. The Tutor may wear a face Visor instead of a face covering if it helps to be clearly heard and understood, and to maintain at least 1m+ distancing from others in the classroom"
As we move closer to the start of the 2020/2021 academic year, we at the Student Union feel it is important to be as transparent as possible about the likely impact government measures to protect health will have on our activities and services. The Student Union acknowledges the many challenges that we must strive to overcome and adapt to, and what that means to the expectations of our new and returning student members.
Ultimately our aim is to ensure that students are safe and protected from undue risk while providing as much of the full range of our extra & co-curricular opportunities as is practicable as possible.
Under current government guidelines, we will be unable able to run large scale social events in the same way that we usually would. We are have put in place an alternative Welcome Week for students during this period and can assure students that we will be providing many opportunities for interaction, both virtually and physically.
Check out our events page for further information!
Harper Adams SU hosts an annual Freshers Fayre event to showcase everything Harper has to offer to both new and returning students. Typically attracting over 2,500 students, the usually in-person event will be reformatted for 2020 based on Covid-19 guidance surrounding large scale events. We are adapting the event to be a week of virtual meet and greats and Q&A's with all of our clubs and societies, hosted via our youtube channel and Zoom, and supported with scheduled promotion via our website and other communication channels over the whole of the welcome week period
We are excited about these changes and the opportunities they afford all participants.
This is in addition to pre-recorded videos from our clubs and societies which can be found on our youtube and via their mini-sites.
We are also hoping to offer some face-to-face opportunities for students to find out more about our activity groups. This may involve a small number of taster sessions at specific times at the end of Welcome Week, adhering to social distancing.
The format of some activity may change but wherever possible all our sports clubs and societies will continue to run and will accept memberships from students to participate. Where an activity or group is specifically unable to undertake their usual activity due to government guidelines or safety measures, the Students' Union will work with them to support alternatives.
We pride ourselves in being open to all students and strive to make our activity groups as inclusive as they can be – we encourage students to make contact with us if they have concerns that prevent them from participating.
We recognise that this year student representation will be more important than ever! In October we will be launching our new training programme for Course Representatives delivered by our new Vice President. Course Representatives will still be elected across programmes in September/October – students can ask their CourseLeader or the Student Union for more details at the start of the semester.
The Student Services department has been operating a successful remote service since March 2020, offering online video appointments via Microsoft Teams, telephone appointments and support via email. You will be able to continue to access an online service as required throughout the year. From September it is likely Student Services will be able to offer face-to-face appointments on an individual basis with social distancing measures in place.
Over the last two weeks, your current and incoming student officers (President, Vice President, Undergraduate Academic Rep, Postgraduate Academic Rep) have been in virtual meetings representing you during this lockdown. We were aware that the University was working on their policies, but after receiving a petition from our ‘Lions and Lionesses’ we have been actively engaging with the University to ensure that your views were considered in the development of a Safety Net policy for exams and assessments affected by COVID-19.
It was important to us, that your Students’ Union reflected on your voice in our discussion with the University, to make sure all students were supported throughout this period and to ensure that you achieve a degree you are proud of and that you have worked hard for. We are extremely happy with the announced plans to implement a Safety Net policy that was passed by the Academic Board on Wednesday (23/04/2020). As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has adopted a revised approach to delivery and assessment to ensure that students are still able to successfully complete the current year of their programmes.
We’ve broken down what it means for you and answered any questions we think you might have which can be found here.
Graduation - On Friday the University released an update to students on their plans for Graduation 2020. We are still working closely with the University to ensure the best possible solution for all graduating students. The University announcement can be found here.
The UK lockdown has now been extended by a further three weeks with Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab highlighted that businesses will no be returning to work for the time being. Organisations across the country are now taking significant steps in response to the latest news following the Covid-19 pandemic. Following this news, we wanted to update you the actions of your SU. We are currently in consultation with the University regarding a safety net policy for students. We are currently reviewing the first draft and will be submitting our feedback to the University today (Friday 17th April) which will be voted on by members of the Academic Board next week. We understand that it is vital that academic standards are appropriately maintained in the current circumstances, to ensure that Harper Adams awards continue to be held in the highest regard by all stakeholders.
Your Students’ Union Director, Alastair Burr commented on the lockdown; “I am so proud of the work being delivered by our SU team – both permanent and our supporting student staff team over this difficult period. Everyone has worked extremely hard to adapt to COVID-19 and deliver the best student experience as possible in these unprecedented times. We are working closely with the university in response to all Covid-19 updates and ensuring that your voice is feedback to University management. This week we have been working hard to support and collaborate with the university on a safety net policy that fully supports students during this time.”
Furloughing SU Staff
The annual cost to run the SU is approximately £900K, of which £600k comes from our revenue-generating activities (such as the Union Bar and Balls) which have now stopped. Placing staff on furlough has allowed the Union to access key government support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - a temporary measure aimed at supporting organisations across the country that are now unable to generate revenue. This has allowed the organisation to support student staff who would have relied on wages from working in the SU Bar/Welly. Graduation
Many of you may be wondering about how Covid-19 might affect your graduation, but please note that we are working closely with the university with plans regarding graduation and the graduation party whilst assessing the Covid-19 pandemic. We will provide an update to all of you when we have more information.
Following the current restrictions that have been put in place by the government, the Harper Adams Summer Ball 2020 has been cancelled. For more information please follow the link https://www.harpersu.com/news/article/harpersu/STATEMENT-SUMMER-BALL-2020/
We understand how hard this period maybe some of our students, but we want you to remember that we are here to help. Please just reach out to a member of the team if you need any assistance via email@example.com
Stay at home, stay safe.
The University and Students' Union have co-written to local landlords and agencies to ask them for their assistance. The letter highlights the issues students are facing, including financial difficulties and the impact of COVID-19 on those of your relying on Easter work to help fund your accommodation. We have asked private landlords and letting agencies if they would consider flexible extensions of tenancies, no-penalty contract releases or afar and proportionate rent reduction or rent holiday. This is, of course, a matter for them to determine, but we hope that as many as possible will respond positively to our call for help for students living in the local community. For more details please check our accommodation update.
The University and Students' Union have emailed all students in University accommodation regarding residential fees. If you are no longer in residence the final instalment of your residential fee will be waived, with effect from 27th April 2020 to the end of the stipulated licence period. Those who paid for accommodation in full at the end of the start of the academic year will receive a refund for the element to the final instalment, amounting to 28% of the annual charger. For more details please check our accommodation update.
The University campus is now closed to all students, staff and visitors. We will continue to talk to the University and keep you updated with information as soon as we find out more.
Following the update from the Government on Monday 16th, March that additional social distancing measures are to be introduced to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – including a limitation on events and gatherings – the Students’ Union are postponing our remaining events programme.
Your health, safety and wellbeing are of utmost importance during this complex and ever-changing situation. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and understand this is a worrying time for the wider student and global community.
We have taken several decisions to protect all students and staff, in line with Harper Adams University. Harper Adams Students’ Union will be postponing all non- essential activity, with all HASU staff beginning to work remotely from tomorrow. See below for further details on how you may be affected by this and advisable next steps to take. Due to the fast-moving and evolving nature of the situation, further updates will be made as appropriate. Stay up to date by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check your emails regularly for further updates from the University.
It is our legal duty as a Students’ Union to elect our student leaders each year, and as such we must continue with our annual elections. All students still have the right to vote for the candidates they believe best represent their views and will improve their student experience. Voting takes place online at www.harpersu.com/vote. View all candidates running and the manifestos from full-time candidates at www.harpersu/com/elections.
We understand that elections are an extremely important time for all candidates and your health is our top priority. We urge all candidates and campaigners to follow advice from Public Health England if you experience symptoms associated with the virus and to continue campaigning via online platforms only.
All activities organised during the Election period have been cancelled, including physical voting stations and Results Night, and we will be announcing the winners here and on social media.
If you have any concerns or questions about elections, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Events/ SU Bar/ Welly
All HASU, Sports Clubs and Society events have been cancelled until further notice. If you have bought tickets to the next HASU SU Wednesday night, you will receive a refund within the next 14 working days. The HASU True Blue Awards will be postponed and, the winners will be announced here and on our social media if we can not hold the event in person before the end of the academic year.
The SU Main Bar/ The Welly and extension will remain closed until further notice.
If you do not receive a refund within 14 days, please complete a refund form on our website, and one of the HASU staff will look into your refund. The refund form can be found here.
If you have any concerns or questions about upcoming events, contact us at email@example.com
Sports Clubs/ Societies/ Harper Fitness (Gym)
If you are leading a sports clubs or society, at Harper, please ensure you take appropriate measures to cancel or postpone upcoming events, including recurring weekly socials to avoid further spread of the virus. In a situation where you must carry out your activities, please explore different strategies to deploy face-to-face meetings into virtual events online.
As HASU’s offices are now closed, all financial processes for Student Groups will be moved online, and further details can be found at https://www.harpersu.com/CSFAQ/, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any issues.
Due to the latest advice from the UK government, the Harper SU Gym will also remain closed until further notice.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding Student Groups, Societies or Student Communities, please email email@example.com
Student Services functions will continue to be delivered however, appointments will now be conducted over the telephone or via Skype. The team will contact individuals to arrange these. Students requiring new appointments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Student Services staff will continue to be staffed on a smaller scale during office hours.
We will be working at the university to mitigate any impact on the student experience whilst also ensuring that student wellbeing and the wider safety of our community is paramount. If you have any questions or concerns at all then please feel free to get in touch via email@example.com and please do check back regularly for further updates.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus infection, however mild, do not leave your home for 14 days from when your symptoms started. The University and the SU recommend that you self-isolate at your home address for your comfort and to minimise risk to other students. To stop the spread of the virus, remember to: