SU update on Covid-19/novel Coronavirus

We support the college’s decision to suspend all face to face teaching with immediate effect.

Our focus is now on ensuring students are reassured in terms of all of the questions and concerns they have. To this end we are in constant dialogue with the college management. For transparency, we have included some of the questions and areas we are seeking clarity on at the end of this statement (see Appendix 1). 

In terms of the SU itself, we will be doing our best to continue all services and supporting students during this difficult time. However staff sickness and some working from home will mean that we deliver this support in a slightly different way. We have covered some of this below:

  • The Welcome Desk will be unstaffed from tomorrow, however emails and phone calls will be answered remotely. Please call and email using our usual contact details - and 0207 717 2511. From here we will triarge you to the appropriate support. 
  • The Sabbatical Officer team will not be on campus this week (week beginning 16th March) due to some illness, but they will be prioritising supporting students in need and communicating developments using the SU website and social media channels.
  • The SU advice service will remain open, and you can access appointments via the online form on our website. However we will be conducting appointments digitally. 
  • Sports clubs have been informed that BUCS and LUSL activities are suspended for the time being. It is at the discretion of student leaders as to whether to continue their activities but we would recommend that societies’ and communities’ events are postponed where they might create large gatherings. The Students’ Union space is open for use but we are still waiting to find out whether student leaders can continue to book rooms on campus. The Development & Communities team staff will try to arrange over-the-phone meetings with student leaders where needed. See here for our handbook, in which you will find guidance on continuing to access finances and other resources.
  • The ongoing SU elections will continue to run their course through to Thursday morning. The focus will be on digital not physical campaigning. Results will be announced online on Thursday evening.
  • The SU building is now closed until further notice due to coronavirus, however the team are all online and working remotely for all services... click here for individual contact details.
  • The SU Bar and Lounge (Cafe) are open until 3pm today (17th March) although which it will close until further notice. 
  • The SU Shop will remain open today (17th March) until 6pm, after which it will close until further notice. 
  • The nursery remains open but will close at the end of the day this Friday (20th) until further notice. Parents and visitors are being asked to follow NHS advice and not come to the nursery, or bring their children, if they have any symptoms. All visitors to the nursery are being asked to take extra precautions with hand washing on entering the building and hand sanitising wipes are being provided at the entrances.
  • Active Bystander sessions will be cancelled and we will be investing energy into how these can be delivered online. 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact or consult our staff contact page. 

Goldsmiths SU

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Appendix 1- Areas we are seeking clarification on with the college as of 16/02/2020

* assessments — How will these be postponed and reorganised, what about physical assessments — how would these be graded considering teaching hasn’t and won’t happen for an extended period of time — will there be marking leniency if assessments happening considering everything students have had to contend with?

* online teaching — what about students who don’t have access to internet at home or certain library books or resources that need to be physically accessed?

* online teaching — how will we ensure quality in general?

* some students have been told by their programme that their courses can’t afford to be taken online — is this true?

* what alternative provisions are being made for vital counselling / mental health & wellbeing / disability services — can these be taken online / over the phone?

* will halls be kept open? Can the uni apply a rent moratorium for all?

* will international students’ attendance keep being monitored? Will they be sent assurances re: their visa status? As they have been told previously attendance is expected

* what about international students who are overseas?

* is any kind of equality impact assessment going to be done to judge how disabled students in particular will be affected? how will students on RASAs be supported during this time?

* student support fund — lots of students in zero hour contracts are not getting shifts, have been made redundant and are in increasingly precarious situations with rent / finances — can there be particular attention given to supporting these applications at this time as well as advertising this resource, if not implementing an additional crisis fund?

* knock on effect on graduations (impact of getting a job once year is finished, especially for those on visas)

* will the uni be willing to be open to the local community to use it as a hub for gathering resources, storage, small group organising etc since it’s going to be empty anyway? can there be a designated contact to facilitate this? how is it going to support local community including its students who may be struggling with food, bills, homelessness, rent at this time ? 

* What are the provisions for workers on campus (cleaners, teaching staff, student staff, security) to be able to do their jobs safely?