As a new or continuing Goldsmiths student, you’re probably wondering what the first weeks and months at university will look and feel like under the ‘new normal’ guidance from the government around Covid-19. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs below, in relation to the Students’ Union, which we hope you’ll find useful...
What events will be taking place during Welcome Week this year?
In July we launched our Welcome Week 2020 Survey to help us work out what were the most important things to include in an introduction to Goldsmiths. We’ve used this information to help us make decisions around what might be possible given the current government advice. For those of you joining us at Goldsmiths this year, we know things are nowhere near ‘normal.' Any other year, you might have been itching to jump off the train at New Cross Gate and get onto campus right away. The situation this year is more reserved, with a focus on diligent planning for a Welcome Week that makes everyone feel safe. We will share a link to our virtual Welcome Week events (starting 28th September) very, very shortly so keep an eye on our SU website and social media channels.
What SU facilities will be open?
The SU Cafe on the first floor of the building will be open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday from Monday 28th September. We offer a wide range of sandwiches, drinks and snacks! Are you vegan? Gluten free? Dairy free? We have it all covered, and there will be a click and collect/online ordering system in place. In the meantime, get following the SU Cafe on Instagram for all the latest offers, competitions and updates. The Lounge Bar will also be open on the first floor from 11am until late. However our main bar and SU Venue (where we normally hold our club nights) will be closed until Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed. The Nursery will also be open from September.
What Covid-19 precautions are being put in place around the SU building?
While you are not required to come onto campus or the SU building, we’re working hard to make sure that if you do decide to, then the SU is as safe and accessible as possible. We will be making a single flow of student traffic in our corridors wherever possible and the lift will be declared open only for the use of those with accessible needs. We have also prepared a public messaging campaign on personal hygiene, for example hand washing, to remind anyone who enters the building that this is a priority. There will also be clear signage around the building to show you how many students can be in our spaces at any one time.
Additionally, throughout our SU spaces i.e. the SU Cafe, we have organised our floor seating to allow socially distanced dining and we will provide hand sanitiser, blue roll and hand sanitiser gel stations wherever we have identified high frequency touch points.
Whatever happens we will react to any changing advice as we receive it. That might mean a relaxation of measures or visa versa. If changes do need to be made, we will alert you via our website and social media.
What other areas of the SU might be open?
There is a small study area behind the Welcome Desk in the SU but at this current time we do not know whether that area will be available for student use.
The Welcome Desk itself will be staffed at times but also operated on a remote basis, however you will be able to reach the team online or through this page. We will make sure any vulnerable staff are fully protected. The Welcome Desk also have also launched a live chat function on the SU website so feel free to get in touch 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and the team will do their best to help.
Do I have to wear a face mask around campus?
Yes - we ask that everyone entering the building wears an appropriate face mask or covering. You can find more guidance on our policies around face coverings and social distancing here.
Will SU staff be available to speak to in person? If not, how can I reach them?
The majority of SU staff are likely to be working remotely for the first term, so in the first instance we recommend you contact them online. Contact details for all staff can be found on this page of the website.
Which and how many clubs and societies will be in operation?
Under the Covid-19 guidance from the UK Government, we have the new rule of six – this means that nobody should meet socially in groups of more than 6, and if you do, you will be breaking the law. This will apply in any setting, indoors or outdoors, at home or in the pub. It replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing 2 households to meet indoors. It is also the responsibility of HE institutions to help students follow this guidance in and around the campus. Therefore we are encouraging students to host their society meetings virtually in bubbles if they can. As soon as things ease, we will produce new guidance in line with the changes to laws. The Estates and Facilities department in the college are not currently taking any bookings for non-teaching activities but we are lobbying to get some more provisions for student groups. Our Liberation Room is bookable via the Welcome Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) for limited activity.
Can I still buy society/club memberships?
You can still purchase memberships for clubs and societies. Here's how...
1) Go to goldsmithssu.org/activities.
2) Select Societies, Sports Clubs and Communities List, and find the group you want to join.
3) Add the membership to your basket, and click on your basket.
4) Click on 'Goldsmiths Student Log In' and log in using your Goldsmiths details.
5) Complete the check out process - and you're a member!
6) If you're having problems buying a membership online, you can also ask for help via the live chat function on the SU website.
Once you're a member of one of our student groups, you can attend events (although many of these will be virtual for the time being), attend training when it's safe to do so, meet at socials and more - and you'll be added to the group's mailing list so you'll be kept up-to-date on everything the group are planning. We also have Covid-19 guidance in place for societies to ensure safety is always the first priority.