Happy New Year from the Sabb team! Although everything is virtual, the Students’ Union is fully open and here to support you.
As most of you know, the UK government has announced a national lockdown due to the Government’s inability to deal with the pandemic in the first place.
This has left many students confused and unclear of how this will affect their studies and what's happening. You have been ignored, dismissed and lied to by both the government and universities. We understand your frustrations and concerns! We wanted to tell you that you are not alone and we are here to push on your behalf for the best possible solutions.
Hence why we as the Sabb team are reaching out to let you know that we are still working to support you and alleviate many of your concerns pertaining both Covid-19 and the issues students are facing with the current university administration.
Earlier this week we asked what issues you were most worried about in light of these new restrictions, a lot of you got in touch and spoke of concerns on issues such as: the lack of no detriment policy; deadline extensions; accessing campus; tuition fees and assessments.
We are working hard to bring your issues to the College through a number of different avenues such as committee’s, getting in touch with senior management directly. In addition, we are in contact with different Unions across the country sharing best practices and working together for more nationwide strategies/policies.
Some of the measures we are urging Goldsmiths to implement include:
A new no-detriment policy for ALL students.
‘No detriment’ in practice means no single student should be punished or put at a disadvantage in their grades because of the pandemic. It means universal extensions and adjustments, and for continuing students pre-pandemic grades would be a factor not just grades this year.
Rent refunds and the opportunity to leave tenancies early.
You shouldn’t have to pay for an empty room you can’t use.
Tuition fee refunds.
This is obviously a bigger one that students are asking for nationally. As well as lobbying the University we are joining the National Union of Students in asking the government to step in here financially.
Urgent investment in the well-being services.
We are aware that students' mental health has severely been impacted by the government's and universities recent decisions and students' mental health must come first!
We are also urging the College to meet the vital demands of the Goldsmiths rent strike that kicked off this month!
We know if you are an international student you may be especially concerned and isolated at the moment. You may not be able to take advantage of your student visa because of travel restrictions. Your home country may have different rules to the UK and there is also the difficulty of attending classes in different time zones to the UK. We have consistently advocated to the university that you should not be forgotten and will continue to ensure your concerns are addressed so that you may focus on your studies and keep yourselves safe during this period.
We acknowledge that this statement does not answer all your questions but we want to continue to provide you with some reassurances that the Students’ Union is working very hard on these matters and it is one of our main priorities. We aim to be transparent on what we are currently doing and therefore will continue to provide as much clarification as possible regarding some of your valid concerns surrounding teaching and learning this term at Goldsmiths and your rights as students.
We also wanted to address the recent statement from our SU President, Lauren. She is at the moment experiencing some health concerns and is taking some time to recover. We support her and miss her presence within our team. We appreciate your patience with us as we continue in her absence.
Lastly we wanted to acknowledge another point about your mental health. The pandemic has contributed to feelings of isolation, loneliness and abandonment. You are not alone. We are here for you. Reach out to friends, family and fellow students, give yourself a break and don’t be too harsh on yourself. If you feel there’s something we’ve missed out and should be lobbying on don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The Students’ Union is still open and we encourage you to get in touch via the emails on our website: goldsmithssu.org
Love, rage and solidarity,
Your sabbatical officers,
Sara, Fowsia, Niquella, Lauren