Latest information as of 30/03/2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

The following is the latest update from the Guild of Students which details our current response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will continue to update this page with any new information as the situation develops. Please keep checking your University emails and following the University’s regularly updated COVID-19 statement and FAQ’s page for up-to-date information and advice.

Current Response
Virtual Neighborhood
FAQs
Useful Resources
Student Groups Information
Latest News

The Guild’s current response

Following the escalation of the UK Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Guild of Students would like to clarify our current position regarding Guild activity and events.

Like other Universities, students’ unions and other higher education facilities around the world, the Guild is responding to the evolving situation regarding the outbreak and making changes to daily practices accordingly, taking into consideration the Government’s latest advice.

What does this mean?

Guild Services

The Guild building is closed. We are currently due to remain closed until 1st June, in line with the University. All Guild events and activities that were due to take place during this period have been cancelled. However, Guild staff are now working remotely to support our student community and all Guild services are available via email:

Guild Central Events

As ever, our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff and any furhther action we take will be with this concern most firmly in mind. Therefore, we have come to the decision that, as of 17th March, all Guild events for the rest of term, including Guild Awards 2020, will be cancelled.

Please see our FAQ's for more.

UoB Virtual Neighbourhood

If you're social distancing and are wondering how you can still get involved with your campus community, we've got you! The Guild is so much more than just a building, so we have now set up a UoB Virtual Neighbourhood on Facebook, so we can stick together as a community.

From morning workouts, to recipe sharing, to book reviews or watch parties - this is a home from home - a place for us to support and entertain each other throughout these strange times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guild Events & Activities:

All students who have purchased tickets for Fab, Guild Awards and Sports Night will be receiving refunds as soon as possible. If you’ve purchased tickets online you should be receiving your refund automatically in due course, however if you’ve purchased a paper ticket we ask that you please hold on to these, so we can arrange your refund at a later date.

We’re still in the process of confirming the process for all refunds, but we are hoping to resolve this as soon as possible. Please watch this space for more details regarding your refund.

As all Guild activity has been cancelled, we’d ask that you postpone your event and communicate this to your members, potential attendees and also inform the Student Groups department at: studentgroups@guild.bham.ac.uk
We’ll be continuously reviewing the situation by working closely with the University and responding to Government updates - to make decisions regarding Term 3 events. We’ll publish any updates or guidance about Term 3 events on this page and via our social media channels.

Guild FAQs:

Student staff will be paid for their agreed shifts up until the last day of term (Friday 28th March), updates around Term 3 will be published in due course.
Joe’s Bar is now closed and will not be re-opening until further notice.

University FAQs:

Yes, students are encouraged to go home. (Please don’t feel obliged to stay in the campus community). Please go wherever you feel most safe. If you’re unable to attend University owing to Coronavirus you can inform the University by filling out the Exceptional Leave Notification form (for home/EU students) or following the Authorised Absence process (for Tier 4 students).

The University are continuing to increase access to online delivery of teaching and learning. From Monday 23rd March, there will be no face-to-face teaching activity, with any remaining taught content and materials for this term to be delivered through Canvas and other online platforms and channels.

This is an ever evolving situation, so you can view the latest updates regarding the teaching situation here and via the University’s FAQs and Coronavirus statement.

The University has now developed a framework for the summer ‘exam’ assessment period to be delivered online. This online assessment period will operate during the original summer exam period in May/June. The exam timetable will be released by 3rd April 2020.

Please see the University’s FAQs page for more information.

If your learning has been disrupted by Coronavirus, you should follow your school’s normal processes and deadlines for requesting extensions, deferrals or submitting extenuating circumstances.
You can also email Guild Advice, for any further support and guidance by emailing.
We appreciate that you may not be able to provide evidence that you have been advised to self-isolate (for example, if NHS 111 have provided you with advice over the phone). Please do not worry about this - you can still apply without evidence, as long as you explain clearly why you have been advised to self-isolate.
As this is an ever evolving situation, we unfortunately don’t currently have any information on how this will affect tuition or accommodation fees. We will be posting any updates here, so stay tuned for further information.
If you are struggling financially we’d advise that you contact Guild Advice and you can also apply for the Student Support (Hardship) Fund.
Conversations about Meal Plan are currently ongoing with the University. Updates will be posted to this page as soon as possible.
We’d advise that you speak to your International Officer who should be able to help, or point you in the right direction.

Accommodation and Living in the Community:

We can confirm that accommodation sites are remaining open.
Here’s some tips to ensure you leave your property safely and in a good condition:
  • Take our your rubbish and clean the property - you might want to share this between your housemates to make it quicker and easier. This includes throwing away, taking home or donating any perishable foods from cupboards or fridges (otherwise spoiled food can encourage vermin)
  • Tell your Landlord the property is empty and keep them updated on your return
  • If you have an alarm, make sure it is set
  • Where possible, try to take valuable items with you, if this isn’t possible, you should take out insurance on any belongings you’re leaving behind
  • Share contact details with your flatmates and course mates - it’s important to stay in touch - even if it’s from a distance!
Students with symptoms should:

- Self-isolate for 7 days where they are and NOT go home during the isolation period.
- They should discuss this with the management of their halls.
- Only return home once the isolation period is over and if they can do so without using public transport.
- Once they return home, the whole household should begin a 14 day isolation period.
- Students should get in contact with their halls manager when they return home.

If you live with someone who is showing symptoms, the advice is to self-isolate for 14 days.
It is advised that students only go home if they can do so WITHOUT using public transport.
Your hall and building managers should be assigning procedures for staff to ensure self-isolating students can receive food and medicine during isolation (especially disabled students). So we would advise that you get in touch with your Hall Managers.
Your Student Mentors will be offering online support from 11am-6pm on weekdays. You can contact them via email, Facebook, Instagram or Skype (add Student Mentors).

How can they help?

  • Mentors offer friendly conversation if you’re feeling lonely, isolated or just need a chat.
  • They provide wellbeing guidance on staying happy and healthy during this disruptive time.
  • They’ll signpost and advise on financial, academic, housing, shared living and other issues.

University Accommodation

The University have announced that, if you leave your University accommodation before 11th April and don't wish to return to your accommodation in term 3, you will be released from your contract. If you don't wish to return, you will need to register your Early Release Request with Living by Friday 3rd April - you can do this on the Accommodation Portal.

Partnered Accommodation

Liberty and Unite have also confirmed this, the only partner accommodation that hasn’t is Host. Host have stated that this is something they’re continuing to look into, but Millie, Joshua and the University are in talks with them to release students from their contracts. We will continue to keep you updated on this.

Coronavirus FAQs:

Symptoms of Coronavirus include:
  • feeling tired
  • difficulty breathing
  • high temperature
  • a continuous cough.
For more information about symptoms please visit the NHS webpages.
If you are displaying a cough or fever, the advice is to self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with someone who has developed these symptoms, you must all self-isolate for 14 days.
The Government have specified that you are only allowed to leave your home for the following very specific purposes:
  • Shopping for basic necesities (food), as infrequently as possible
  • You can go out for one form of exercise a day, I.e. a run, walk or cycle. You can do this alone or with a housemate
  • Any medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely essential and work cannot be done from home.
The University are continuing to increase access to online delivery of teaching and learning. From Monday 23rd March, there will be no face-to-face teaching activity, with any remaining taught content and materials for this term to be delivered through Canvas and other online platforms and channels. So you should still be able to continue with your studies without having to leave your home.
The University are continuing to increase access to online delivery of teaching and learning. From Monday 23rd March, there will be no face-to-face teaching activity, with any remaining taught content and materials for this term to be delivered through Canvas and other online platforms and channels. So you should still be able to continue with your studies without having to leave your home.
If you or anyone in your household has a cough or a fever, stay at home and let the University know immediately by filling out the Exceptional Leave Notification form.
As of 18th March the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an exceptional travel advisory notice confirming that the FCO advise British nationals “against all but essential international travel”. This restriction takes place immediately and will remain in place for the next 30 days.
The above advice does not affect EU and other international students who are still able to return to your home countries. This is subject to local travel restrictions and you should check the situation at your destination before travelling.

Useful resources and information

It continues to be the University’s policy to follow Public Health England’s advice about COVID-19, along with guidance from the NHS and the Foreign Commonwealth Office in the UK. As previously outlined, the Guild will take its lead from the University and follow its policy where possible.

International students

If you’re an international student on a Tier 4 visa and need to request Authorised Absence, you can view the process here.

Accommodation and Housing

From keeping your belongings safe, to looking after your wellbeing to keeping yourself entertained during isolation, your Student Mentor and Community Wardens teams have put together some tips and advice to help you out during these strange times.

  Keeping Your House and Belongings Safe
  Keeping Your House Clean and Tidy
  Looking after yourself during the Coronavirus outbreak
  Supporting the local community

Remember, if you are feeling worried, need some academic / wellbeing advice or just wanted to talk, the Mentors are also available to support you Monday to Friday, from 11am - 6pm. All you have to do is email them.

If you’re living in Selly Oak or the wider community, you can also email Community Wardens.

Updates / Latest Information

Latest Guild News Articles

Please keep checking University and Guild websites and social media channels for the latest updates. If you have any questions, queries or concerns please contact us at communiations@guild.bham.ac.uk.

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