The Students’ Union has written to the government, along with the Vice Chancellor and the University’s executive board, to express their fears over the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as seeking immediate support and guidance.
They begin the letter by praising the efforts made by University staff to deal with the current situation. They swiftly move onto to a frank discussion over how the Government has failed to “lead from the front” by not offering the support and clarity needed to facilitate a safe reopening of universities.
The letter reflects concerns students brought to the SU over issues such as mental health and learning outcomes, alongside the very real concerns about maintaining physical health during the pandemic. There are also fears over students’ civil liberties as they “are being disproportionately and unfairly targeted for the enforcement of rules”.
The letter is ended with a reaffirmation of the NUS’ demands
These concerns in short come down to a feeling that “[leadership] have not acted as [they] should to avoid the terrible situation in which our students find themselves”. Whilst the pandemic has been unprecedented, many feel that the government and University could have planned better for a return to campus life.
The University and Vice Chancellor, Shearer West, have not responded to the SU’s open letter yet
The letter is ended with a reaffirmation of the NUS’ demands: students should face no financial burden should they choose to defer, leave, or take their courses wholly online and they should be treated the same as all others in society by the authorities, whether they be local or national.
The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, and the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan, are yet to respond.
Similarly, the University and Vice Chancellor, Shearer West, have not responded to the SU’s open letter yet.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.