We understand that this has been an extremely challenging year for our students. Many students who were affected by the first and second lockdown, are once again finding their academic experience disrupted.
Over the past few weeks, dedicated student campaigners and Student Voice Representatives have been taking action on behalf of students which has already resulted in some fantastic wins such as a commitment from the University to rebate rent for the duration of the third lockdown.
Elected Officers at Keele SU and the KPA have been representing your views and lobbying on your behalf in University meetings to push for the best outcomes for students.
Look out for updates from the University on your student email over the coming days which will explain the mitigations being put in place to try and prevent students being unfairly disadvantaged by the third lockdown.
Whilst we will always be able to fight for the rights of our student members at a University level, we have little influence over the decisions imposed on universities by the government. We do still have a voice at this level though, which is amplified through the National Union of Students.
Our Education Officer attended an NUS taskforce meeting this week. The NUS is focusing on three main areas for students in Higher Education. These are:
- Renters rebates
- No detriment
- Digital poverty
What would we like to see?
Central funding from the Treasury to ensure that no student is out of pocket for homes they cannot access. Rent rebates for students in on and off campus accommodation.
The University have agreed a rent rebate for the third lockdown for students who have not returned to their campus room. There is no expectation that private landlords will take this action. We are able to advise students who have queries about their renting rights through our Advice Centre. (ASK link)
What can you do?
- Have your say on the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Students. This is a cross party group of MP’s and Peers who have launched an enquiry to investigate the impact of COVID19 on students’ tuition and accommodation, and the case for compensation. This is a massive campaign opportunity to convince MPs that students need rent reimbursements! We can also use this inquiry to get our voices heard on quality of learning and the need for fair assessment. If the evidence to the inquiry shows why students need this funding, it will empower MPs to lobby on our behalf to the government.
- Contribute to the APPG here. (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VMXz5H7VWMhq4MlsV3siDMqcmGDvsNz95LeCU3lu_ag/viewform?edit_requested=true&dm_i=5BGA,B59I,1QQED2,19QZO,1) You also do not to fill out every question.
- Write to your MP asking them to lobby for central funding from the treasury. You can find your MP’s contact details here. (https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons )
Keele SU and the KPA will continue to push to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on students. We hope to have more updates for you on this soon.
The pandemic has pushed much of our lives online. Learning, working, socializing and shopping are now all dependent on being able to access the internet. We know that easy access to the internet is not a universal privilege for all students.
Struggling with digital poverty?
No matter what, Keele SU remains here for you. As always, you can submit and idea to your Students’ Union here (https://keelesu.com/yourunion/ideas/)
Click on the questions to reveal the answers.
Can I contact my elected officers?
Absolutely, they’re here to support you through this difficult time by raising issues on your behalf to the University and help point you in the right direction if you’re unsure what to do. All contact information for each officer can be found here https://keelesu.com/yourunion/electedofficers/
Is the SU Building open?
No, the SU building will remain closed during the lockdown, this includes the bars, catering and click & collect. The University shop (Costcutter) remains open and details on other catering, building and opening times can be found further in the University FAQs.
Is the any retail open?
No retail is open for walk ins, but you can order from our online shop (orders will be posted on a Friday) https://keelesu.com/shopsandservices/shop/ The Print Shop will be monitoring the email account for any enquiries email@example.com
Can I access advice from ASK?
Yes, ASK continues to operate online, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiry or to make a telephone appointment. Further support information can be found at https://keelesu.com/advice/
Are the SU elections still going ahead?
Yes they are, voting will be online as always and we expect campaigning to also be online. We will keep you fully updated about this, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please contact email@example.com
Is any sport happening?
As per Government guidelines, no sport, training or activities will be taking place. If you have any specific questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org We will continue to liaise with BUCS and will update you when we are able.
What about Student Societies, are we still being supported?
Yes, we will still be supporting you to run online activities and be encouraging students to join. Please get in touch with any questions via email@example.com
Is any volunteering going ahead?
In a national lockdown, some in person volunteering may not always be possible, but for any enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I still get a bus up to campus?
Local bus services have confirmed that in response to the current lockdown, and government requests for providers to reduce their service, the following changes will be made to the services that run through Keele University: No 25: the service will be reduced (Mon - Fri) to every 15min at peak times and every 30 min at off peak times. No 85: the Sunday service will be suspended. Users of these services should check the individual bus service providers websites for detailed information on these changes and up to date timetables.
I have a question which isn’t covered here, who should I contact?
You can either drop us a message via social media, or email email@example.com