COVID-19 Updates & FAQs

Page last updated: 24/04/20 

This page is dedicated to all Activities-specific guidance and updates for Clubs, Societies & Projects. The page will be updated regularly to help you stay up-to-date. Below you will find a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and a copy of any communication sent via the 'All-Club-Officer' mailing list from the Student Activities team regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

To keep up-to-date with all updates from the Union please visit: imperialcollegeunion.org/coronavirus

 

Activities Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

FAQs

 If you have any suggestions for questions to add to this list please contact the Activities team with the subject title: Coronavirus FAQ Suggestion. We'll do our best to respond and post the answer here for the benefit of all CSPs!

Trips 

  • We have an upcoming trip in the UK and wanted to know if this can go ahead?
    • Update 08/04/20:As part of the measures put in place by the government on March 16th, everyone in the UK should avoid “non-essential” travel. Unless you are travelling for essential reasons, we recommend you do not travel within the UK. Please refer to the government guidance on UK travel and transport for the latest advice.
    • For further guidance regarding travelling, please refer to the TRAVEL section of the College's Covid-19 webpage for the most up-to-date information.
  • We have an upcoming trip outside of the UK and wanted to know if this can go ahead?
    • Update 08/04/20: We advise limiting travel to only that which is essential. Please note the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British nationals against all but essential international travel as any country or area may restrict travel without notice. Please refer to the government guidance on overseas travel for the latest advice.
    • For further guidance regarding travelling, please refer to the TRAVEL section of the College's Covid-19 webpage for the most up-to-date information.
  • We can no longer go on our trip what should we do? Do the College/Union have insurance cover that will reimburse members/CSP for cancelled trips costs?
    • If you have cancelled your trip or are unable to go due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, please contact each supplier directly to enquire about their refund policies, bearing in mind that each provider will have a different policy. Some airlines, hotels and other travel firms WILL now let you cancel or rebook. It's worth checking directly with your airline or hotel even if your original booking was on a non-refundable basis, as some have started to introduce special cancellation or rebooking policies to help those affected by COVID-19.
    • If you need support to negotiate with your supplier(s), please contact activities@imperial.ac.uk and we will assist you. The Union's staff team is still working full-time to support you.
    • Update 08/04/20:We recommend you check the Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) of your booking as well as any written contracts, agreements or service level agreements before contacting your supplier to request a refund.

 

Events

  • We have an upcoming event and want to know if this can go ahead/if we can go?
    • Given the government’s recommendations in terms of travel and social distancing, we are now advising that *ALL CSP activities be cancelled* with immediate effect, regardless of whether they are being held on campus or externally. This applies to any event taking place before May 31st (this will be updated in line with College and government guidance).

 

Regular Activities

  • We have room and minibus bookings, what will happen to these?
    • Given the government’s recommendations in terms of travel and social distancing, we are now advising that *ALL CSP activities be cancelled* with immediate effect. This applies to any event taking place before May 31st (this will be updated in line with College and government guidance). As a consequence, all room and minibus bookings are cancelled during that time.
  • Will we get a refund for our minibus?
    • If your minibus booking is cancelled as a consequence of Union closure in light of Covid-19, you will be entitled to a refund from the Union.
  • Will we be able to play sport against other universities?
    • The British University and Colleges Sports (BUCS) have now suspended the commencement of any BUCS activity (inc. LUSL), both sporting and non-sporting events, until Wednesday, April 1st. For any other sporting organisation, please seek advice from them directly or contact activities@ic.ac.uk for support.
    • Update 27/03/20: In consultation with their members, BUCS have made the decision to end the 2019/20 league and knockout season with immediate effect, finalising all league tables as of Wednesday 18 March 2020. For the full decision and information on its implementation please refer to the update from BUCS published on Friday 27 March 2020.
    • Update 24/04/20: The outcomes for the 2019-20 BUCS playoffs have been finalised and can be viewed here.
  • Will our weekly training sessions still be able to happen?
    • Given the government’s recommendations in terms of travel and social distancing, we are now advising that *ALL CSP activities be cancelled* with immediate effect. This applies to any event taking place before May 31st (this will be updated in line with College and government guidance).

 

Finance & Refunds

  • Can we recover the costs we paid suppliers if we have had to cancel a trip/event/activity?
    • If you have cancelled your trip or are unable to go due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, please contact each supplier directly to enquire about their refund policies, bearing in mind that each provider will have a different policy. Some airlines, hotels and other travel firms WILL now let you cancel or rebook. It's worth checking directly with your airline or hotel even if your original booking was on a non-refundable basis, as some have started to introduce special cancellation or rebooking policies to help those affected by COVID-19.
    • Update 01/04/20: To help us understand how COVID-19 has impacted our clubs, societies & projects financially we have created a form to capture this information. Please complete the form using this link if you have had an activity/event/trip/tour cancelled due to COVID-19, and this has resulted in financial loss for your CSP. Completing this form does not guarantee any refund or reimbursement, however it will allow us to explore the options for your situation.
    • Update 08/04/20: We recommend you check the Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) of your booking as well as any written contracts, agreements or service level agreements before contacting your supplier to request a refund.
    • If you need support to negotiate with your supplier(s), please contact activities@imperial.ac.uk and we will assist you. The Union’s staff team is still working full-time to support you.
  • I have received confirmation we will be getting a refund from an external supplier. What information should I give them?
    • Once a supplier has confirmed they will issue a refund, you will need to give them the Union’s bank account details and ask them to quote the relevant Purchase Order number for our reference. Please contact activities@imperial.ac.uk for the bank details required.
  • We want to refund our members, how do we do this?
    • Update 08/04/20: The Activities team are currently working on a process to provide your members with a refund, including mass refunds for tickets sold for an event/trip/tour/sports training. Check back for updates.
    • Update 08/04/20: Your ability to offer your members a refund will depend on two factors: whether or not you have recouped expenditure via a refund from your supplier(s) and if not, whether you have enough Self Generated Income (SGI), as determined by the Deputy President (Finance & Services). We will related publish guidance here shortly. Check back for updates

 

Annual General Meetings (AGM) / Committee Elections

  • What do we do about hosting our AGMs?
    • The Union relies on elected volunteers to deliver a great student experience at Imperial. However, given the governmental and College advice to practice social distancing, we advise against holding in-person AGMs. As detailed in the All-Club-Officers email, sent on Friday 20 March, all CSP elections will need to be hosted online. The timeline for your CSP elections is below.
    • Update 08/04/20: All CSPs with vacancies in their Next Year Contact Details will be entered in these elections. CSP committees are expected to advertise this to their membership who will be able to submit nominations, manifestos and votes via the Union’s website. Please refer to the latest guidance on how to host an effective online CSP election for more information.
    • Action Time and Date
      Nominations Open 12:00 (noon) Friday, April 03
      Nominations Close 18:00 Wednesday, April 15
      Manifestos Due 12:00 (noon) Friday, April 17
      Voting Opens 14:00 Friday, April 17
      Voting Closes 14:00 Wednesday, April 22
      Results Announced 19:00 Wednesday, April 22
    • *NEW* What do we do if we have vacant positions following our online AGM?
      • Update 24/04/20:Following the CSP online elections (timetable above) any CSP positions that remain vacant will be put up for election in the Summer By-elections in May; this is the last election cycle of the academic year and is therefore your last opportunity to fill your committee positions. The timetable for the Summer By-elections will be communicated via the All-Club-Officer mailing list and posted here. Check back for updates.
      • For any positions that were elected in the CSP online elections, via the Union eVoting platform, we will upload your results to eActivities, however you will still need to submit the contact information for your incoming committee. Once the winning candidates appear in your Next Year Contact Details form you can upload their contact details and click 'submit'. Please note: this must be done before 01 August 2020.
      • For any positions that weren't elected in the CSP online elections, via the Union eVoting platform, make sure to complete your Next Year Contact Details form via eActivities ASAP. This will ensure we have the most up-to-date information on your committee for next year so that only vacant positions are inputted for the Summer By-election in May.

     

    Communications

    • Are the Union Offices open?
      • Though staff members are working from home as of Tuesday, March 17th, we are all working remotely to support students as best as we can. The Union building will be locked down as of Friday, March 20th.
    • How regular will communications for the Union be to CSPs?
      • As well as regular updates from the College, which you can find here, and from the Union, which you will find here, we are committing to send updates to CSP committees every Tuesday as a minimum. Depending on the government’s updates, we may reach out to you more regularly if required.
    • I have a specific query, who should I contact?
      • If your query is not answered in this FAQ, feel free to contact activities@ic.ac.uk.

     

    Access to Union Facilities

    • We have a package that has been sent to ICU (Union Offices), can we collect it?
      • All packages that were kept in the ICU office on Level 2 of the Beit building are now with Security in the Beit Lodge office. Given the Beit building will now be shut down, if any parcels still need to be delivered, they will be kept with Security. If you have any further questions regarding parcel delivery, please contact union@imperial.ac.uk.
    • Can we get access to the Union building or the West Basement?
      • Starting Friday, March 20th, the Union building and the West Basement will be locked down until further notice. If there are special circumstances which require you to access the building, please contact union@ic.ac.uk to seek further assistance.
    • Can we access our CSP storage?
      • As of Friday, March 20th, the Union building and the West Basement are closed and you will not be able to access any rooms in those spaces until further notice.
    • Do I still need to carry out my storage inventory?
      • Update 01/04/20: No. In line with current government guidance on non-essential travel we will not be requiring CSPs to carry out storage inventories at present. We will be in touch once restrictions are relaxed or lifted to arrange an alternative date.