Coronavirus Union Update

Wednesday 8 April 2020

08 April 

14:15
We close today for the Easter Break during which some members of our Imperial College Union community will observe the end of the lenten season. For all of us, whether we observe these traditions or not, it is a time for rest and reflection. Our community has had a really arduous time in the past four weeks and we urge everyone to take a mental break. Our staff will be doing that, along with all other professional departments at Imperial College, until next Wednesday 15 April. We will be available online on the 15th.

Online AGMs for CSPs
We're currently holding online elections for all CSPs who were unable to complete an AGM prior to the lockdown. The timetable for these elections and other CSP updates can be found on the Activities page.

Minibuses for Medics and volunteers
We are currently providing minibuses to medical students to help with travel to hospitals to treat patients. Minibuses are also available for students and staff involved in the production and transportation of medical equipment to hospitals. Contact the Activities Team for more information. Please note, minibuses cannot be rented for any other purpose until the lockdown is lifted.

What's On
Members will continue to share with each other online during the break with more icuConnect activities. See what's on.

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03 April:

 

19:00

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey on remote assessments and helped us gather 6,940 responses in just 48 hours. Shervin, Deputy President (Welfare) has shared a short report on the survey results here

 

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02 April:

 

19:18

How's everyone doing? This update is about Rental Accommodation during Covid-19. Our Advice Centre has been supporting individual cases and we're now happy to report on the moves that College has been making in this area.

The Student Hub Team has been talking to landlords on behalf of students who have year long rent contracts and may still be paying for accommodation they no longer use or need due to the coronavirus.

The team has written to all agents, private accommodation providers and landlords registered with Imperial Home Solutions and is reporting that most landlords are happy to exercise discretion. You are being asked to discuss your individual situation with your landlord as soon as you possibly can. Options may include a rent reduction, a payment plan, or early release from your contract. 

For more information, please read the FAQs on tenant rights and COVID-19 provided by College. Contact the Student Hub Team for help in checking your contracts or other advice. If you're still having challenges, you may also reach out to the Union's Advice Centre for support.

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27 March:

16:00

 

Union Reception 

Whilst Reception remains closed, our phone line is open again for enquiries during office hours : 020 7594 8060. Or alternatively, you may reach us at union@imperial.ac.uk

 

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25 March:
 

19:30
How's everyone? This update is about exams and assessments. The Union has been working with College on how to approach these during the shut down. Read on for details and how to provide feedback. 
 

What is happening with assessments now? 
You should have received clarity from your department about this today or will do so in the next day or so. The College has decided to deliver remote, timed assessments in lieu of exams in person, which are no longer possible due to social distancing measures. 

 

Departments have received instruction from the College about how these should be delivered including:
providing opportunities for dry-runs where students do not already have experience of digital assessments

 

  • what changes to exams are allowed
  • reviewing time limits on exams; the technological requirements
  • how to maintain fair marking and moderation; and
  • how to support students through communication and applying mitigating circumstances. 

 

What has the Union been doing about this? 
We have been in the rooms (or rather, Teams meetings) where a lot of decisions around the implementation of remote, timed assessments have been made. There has been a much-appreciated sense of partnership with the College about this.

 

Over the last week, we worked with reps to centralise concerns and expectations from students across the College about the new style of assessment – you can find the result here. Many of these have been taken on board by the College and are covered in the guidance issued to departments. 

 

What if I’m not happy about this decision? 
We expect some students won’t agree with this decision, and we can understand why. While the College is firm on the decision to deliver remote, timed assessments, we’re very keen to work with them to make this work as well as possible for students. We want to minimise stress as much as possible, ensure the College err on the side of generosity to students, and to make sure you can progress and be awarded your degree. 

 

Please continue to get in touch with the officers or your reps about any concerns, suggestions and/or questions about this matter. We will continue to do all we can to make sure decisions taken regarding the COVID-19 situation continue to be in the best interests of students. 

 

For more, contact:
Abhijay - President
Ashley - Deputy President (Education)
Shervin - Deputy President (Welfare)

 

More:
See what's online this week for you in #icuConnect 
 

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24 March:

22:16
Week 2 - how are you?
How is week 2 exercising social distancing? The Government has issued even more stringent guidance this week which you should observe without exception. Essentially, you should remain at home unless you:

  • need to buy food
  • work in very specific jobs considered essential
  • are out for health reasons or your daily exercise (in which case, remain at least 2 metres from the nearest person).

It's not very easy, but remember we're all in this together and it's all for your own good, that of your family, friends and the wider community.

 

We're doing our best to keep our Imperial student community connected during this challenging period. If you haven't, check out our #icuConnect events. Digital is all we have and we're trying to make the best of it. Why not join in with #icuConnect and tell us how you're doing. Someone else may be motivated by it or just feel less lonely reading it. 

 

CSPs FAQs

CSP activities, including trips, fixtures and face to face events have had to pause and we know this is tough since activities are the lifeblood of our students' union. Our DPCS, Tom, and the team have prepared a FAQ to respond to the questions we have been seeing a lot over the past few days. Read it here and be sure to catch Tom tomorrow on Instagram Live at 14:00. Here's our Instagram if you're not following already. Tom's also doing a draw for the voluntary training prize so don't miss that one.

 

CPS Events 

We're happy to help CSP host events online so erach out to us and we'll help you with set up and promoting it to your members. Or just go to eactivities as usual and upload. 

ADVICE

Do you need to talk advice or support about College regulations or a specific challenge you're facing at the moment. Our Advice Centre is still available - the only thing that's changed is lack of access to face to face appointments. Send an email if you need support.

 

Netflix Party

We're hosting a viewing party - join us on Friday evening and help us choose a film! 

 

Take care of yourself - you deserve it smiley

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21 March Daily:

 

#icuConnect
It's been quite a week and we hope everyone's okay. If you're not doing so great, make use of the resources featured under Health on this page provided by College. Don't forget to join Shervin, our DP (Welfare) tomorrow on Instagram to talk about the support arrangements in place for students. He's been hard at work all week ensuring it happens.

 

Shervin will be live on Instagram at 14:00. To see the full line up of Instagram Lives and membership takeovers, go here. We'll be adding more on Monday from all the submissions we've already got. If you wish to do a takeover on Instagram or host an event online, submit here and we'll help you make it happen.

 

Have you been keeping track of the news? Be sure to keep up with the latest so you don't miss any new guidance from the government. But try not to spend all your time tracking the virus as tempting as it is. Do something fun, and remember to stay connected 

 

Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe. 

 

#icuConnect

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19 March Daily:

 

19:30

It's been a fast moving week but our Officer team has been keeping pace to ensure our members are fully supported and properly represented. Join us for a series of Instagram Lives to talk about College decisions, exams, and how we'll support each other and stay connected over the coming weeks. We're starting tomorrow with our President Abhijay.

 

Instagram Live

16:00, Friday 20 March: Union President Abhijay

14:00, Monday 23 March: DP (Welfare) Shervin

14:00, Wednesday 25 March: DP (Clubs and Societies) Tom

14:00, Friday 27 March: DP (Education), Ashley

 

Follow us on Instagram here

 

INSTAGRAM TAKEOVERS

We're also hosting takeovers! Teach something, do a solo performance, show us how to cook something or just tell us how you're spending your time. If you're interested, sign up here!

 

HOST A CSP EVENT ONLINE
We'll be hosting more events online during social distancing and we invite clubs and societies to do the same. Were you planning a talk? Ask the speaker if they can host it online. Offer a taster session from your living room. We'll help you host - just bring your ideas. Reach out here

 

STAY CONNECTED

We're using the hashtag #icuConnect so add it when you're sharing online so our whole Imperial community can benefit. We're all relying on digital communications, now more than ever so let's keep talking and stay connected.    

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18 March Daily:

18: 30
The Union building is now locked until further guidance from College. If you had a parcel at Reception, you may now collect at the security post at Beit Quad on Prince Consort Road or email union@imperial.ac.uk. See below for other contacts and operational changes now that we're functioning remotely as a membership.

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17 March Daily:

18:00
The Union remains closed to in-person services, but continues to operate remotely. Continue to read College updates here and read below for the latest on our activities and operations.

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES
ALL CSP activity will cease with immediate effect until further notice. This refers to all trips, events or regular CSP meetings. Contact Activities if you have to cancel events and need support. AGMs will be conducted online. Look out for a FAQ soon on the Activities pages

EMERGING LEADERS 
Th Speaking with Confidence workshops on 4 April will be rescheduled. You can join the waiting list here and we will contact you about the new sessions when we are confident we can reschedule. There will be no other workshops this academic year 2019/20. Please continue submitting your reflective pieces and contact the Student Development Team here.

REPRESENTATION:
The DP (Education), Ashley and DP (Welfare), Shervin are in touch with faculty staff and reps to ensure students are in the room when local decisions are made regarding teaching and assessment. DPW Shervin is also working with Faculty Wellbeing Reps on how we can help mitigate isolation and loneliness in the student community during this challenging period. If you have concerns about teaching and assessment or wellbeing issues contact Ashley or Shervin directly. 

ADVICE
The Advice Centre continues to accept cases via email and appointments will be done via telephone. The quality of advice you receive will not be affected by the change in operation. 

RECEPTION
The Level 2 Offices at Beit Quad are closed. If you have a package, you will be able to collect them at Beit Quad Security post at the entrance to Beit Hall. For any other issue, please email union@imperial.ac.uk

SHOP
Both shops are closed and we will not be able to take online orders due to an inability to process shipping requests.

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16 March Daily News:

21:00
The Government has issued new guidance on the Coronavirus. In light of that, and College's latest guidance which can be found here, we have made some changes to our operations.

Services
Effective 17 March, we will be closing our in-person services. This will include the offices on Level 2 of the Union building, the bars, and the shops. Support will still be available to members remotely and you will still be able to reach support staff (e.g. the Activities and Representation teams, the Sabbatical Officers, and our Advice Centre ). 

Student Staff
We are working on a case-by-case solution so that student staff members who rely on working in the shops and bars as a source of income aren't left out of pocket.
 
Assessment & Teaching
This is a fast-moving situation, and both the College and Departments will be sending updates frequently. If you have any concerns, contact your student reps: they can be found here. We'll be sending guidance to student reps this week.
 
Halls
We’re involved in conversations with the College at the highest level on Coronavirus planning. We will continue to influence their position, including on the question of what will be done for Halls in Term 3, acknowledging the concerns some of you have already raised to us.
 
Events
We are cancelling events for the next two months, including the Spring Carnival. Any tickets to these events will be refunded. The Summer Ball is still quite a long way off, so we aren't making a decision about it just yet, but we will refund tickets if it has to be cancelled.
 
Our clubs and societies should do the same. We will provide eVoting to any club that can't run an AGM. Further guidance will go out to CSP committees tomorrow morning.
 
Travel
Several countries have introduced travel restrictions for the United Kingdom. These may affect planned trips for CSPs and other groups - please get in touch if you have a Union funded trip planned and need advice on how to proceed.

Please continue to follow PHE guidance and check your emails regularly for updates from College.

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16 March 2020:

19:00
We are aware of the latest government guidance issued this evening by the Prime Minister on the coronavirus and are preparing an update for our members shortly. College has just issued an update in light of the government's latest guidance. Please check your emails or check for updates on the College Covid-19 webpage.

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15 March 2020

The Union adheres to Imperial College London and Public Health England guidance on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) for both our staff and student members. There have been two important updates from College this weekend - please go here to read them and remember to check your emails regularly to see them. 

UNION OPERATIONS:
In keeping with College guidance, the Union remains open to members and as a place of work. However, there may be changes to the way we function as more staff work from home, and fewer students are on campus while teaching and assessment are delivered remotely. We will communicate any changes to our operations as they happen.

ADVICE CENTRE:
College has announced changes to the way learning and assessments will be conducted this week. Please read about them here and note the guidance regarding mitigating circumstances or students affected by the virus. Since the situation is fast moving, we encourage you to keep abreast of updates from your department and College. The Advice Centre will still be available to provide guidance, but this may be done remotely. Continue to contact: advice@imperial.ac.uk. for support.

UNION EVENTS
There is no advice for the Union to cancel events. However all upcoming events on the calendar for the next few weeks are under review and we will advise of any changes and refund options. In the meantime, if CSPs wish to cancel their events, they are free to do so and will be supported by the Union through the Activities team. Please contact activities@imperial.ac.uk.

TRAVEL
A number of countries have introduced travel restrictions for the United Kingdom. These may affect planned trips for CSPs - please get in touch if you have a trip planned.

Please continue to follow PHE guidance and check your emails regularly for updates from College.