Term 1 Closure
As term 1 draws to a close, it is true to say that it has been a term like no other. Despite all the challenges and restrictions, it has been great to see so many of you get involved in many Students’ Union services and activities, even if they look quite different to what we would normally be offering.
We know it hasn’t been plain sailing for everyone, most of you have had to rise to the challenges of online learning (not to mention the dodgy wifi in halls of residences and shared houses!) and having significant restrictions on general life - which may have made making new friends a bit tricky and taking part in your favourite activities a bit challenging.
With some promising news of vaccines on the horizon, it is our hope that at some point in this academic year, more “normal” can resume. Rest assured, as soon as we get the green light to be able to deliver our show stopping events and allow our student groups to resume activities to their fullest ability – we absolutely will. Stick with us as we navigate these times, and please do reach out for support if you are struggling at all.
We look forward to welcoming you back next term, we’ve provided a full list of opening and closing times over the holidays, make sure you get them in the diary! However, you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a fantastic break over the holidays. If you’re staying in Cardiff over the Christmas break, don't forget to check out our guide to Christmas for more information on things to do, where to get support and more.
Students' Union Building
- Due to changing Welsh Government regulations, the Students’ Union building is closed from Friday 18th December – Monday 4th January.
- You can access shops and services on the ground floor via the entrances on Senghennydd Road.
- The Taf evening operations close on the 3rd December in line with the Covid-19 testing for student Christmas travel plans. The Taf will open for the final day time trading of 2020 on Friday 4th December from 10am – 6pm in line with newly announcement hospitality restrictions. Doors will reopen Wednesday 27th January to help students celebrate end of exams and start the new term (all activities subject to Covid19 restrictions).
- Love Cardiff and the Post Office will close it’s physical doors on Friday 18th December – the online store will remain open throughout the holidays and all online orders will be processed within 10 working days. The store will reopen in the new year, subject to easing Government regulations.
- Cardiff Student Letting will be closed from the 18th December until the 4th January. If you are living in a house managed by Cardiff Student Letting and have a maintenance emergency, please refer to your tenant information pack email. This was sent to you at the beginning of your tenancy and contains emergency procedures and contact numbers.
- Many retail outlets in the Student Arcade will remain open throughout the holidays, for the list of stores and opening hours see here. You can access these via the entrances on Senghennydd Road.
- Study Caffi will now close on Friday 18th December, and will reopen in the new year, subject to easing Government regulations.
Students’ Union at the Heath:
- The Heath Park Team will be in the IV lounge hub every Monday and Friday until the 18th December. The department will be closed for two weeks and will then be back supporting virtually until the physical hub space reopens every Monday, Thursday and Friday from 18th January 2021.
- Face to face activity of student groups such as Clubs, Societies and Volunteering activity will cease from Sunday 6th December in line with the start of testing and the departure of students for the Christmas period.
- The Students Activities department will close from the 18th December until the 4th January. Student groups may continue to host virtual activity during the Christmas and New Year period, however, face to face activity will resume in January in line with Covid-19 regulations. Look out for re-freshers’ events and activities from February onwards.
Post Firebreak Update
The Welsh Government introduced a short, sharp firebreak across Wales to help regain control of Coronavirus. This has meant that a series of restrictive measures have been in place from 6pm Friday 23 October until 12:01am Monday 9 November 2020. Please click here to see the changes that are in place at the Students' Union until 9th November.
A huge thank you to all students for following the stricter firebreak rules over the past two weeks, your actions are keeping yourselves, each other and the wider community safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. We know it’s not been easy and we have missed delivering our physical activities for you to take part in.
The Welsh Government have confirmed the regulations that will be in place after the Firebreak period. This means, we are now in a position to resume some Students’ Union activity.
From Monday 9th November, the following changes to Students’ Union activity will commence:
The Taf will reopen its doors and will now open from 4pm on weekdays. You can book a table here.
There are changes to Welsh Government guidance on who you’re able to attend pubs with with, this now allows 4 people from any household to meet inside. Please read the guidance here to ensure you’re following the rules when attending our venues and other venues across the city.
Love Cardiff and the Post Office will reopen. You can shop in store Monday – Friday from 11am. If you’re not able to make it onto campus, you can continue to order from the online store.
Many of the ground floor retail units will reopen. You can check the opening times for the shops in the Student Arcade here.
In addition to resuming the above services, we are launching a new day time Study Caffi, to provide you with the space to study from our venues during the day. The Study Caffi will be available Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm, you don’t have to book in advance to attend, but you are required to book in at our Welcome Centre for track and trace purposes. You will be able to feed your brain by ordering food and drink from the CUSU app to be delivered straight to your table.
The restrictions imposed by Welsh Government during the firebreak led to a suspension of all in person activity for Sports Clubs, Societies and other student activities. Whilst there is still some detail to be released regarding exact regulations, we are hopeful that some student group activity will be permitted to commence once again.
- Sports Clubs to be able to recommence their "return to play" activities in line with national governing body guidance. This will require all clubs to ensure their risk assessments and operating plans are reviewed in light of any changes, limited to 30 people outdoors and 15 people indoors.
- For non-sporting groups, we continue to support the return of face to face activity when permitted. We will be engaging with Society Committees and Volunteering project leaders regarding access to Union (or external) spaces.
Our student services remain online, it’s been great to see many of you engaging with them virtually from the comfort of your home. For details on how to access our Student Advice service, register for the Jobshop or attend a virtual skills session, head here.
Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced a two-week firebreak lockdown to begin on Friday 23rd October at 6pm.You can read the FAQ’s page from the Welsh Government here.
For the Students' Union, this will mean some of our face-to-face services and activities will have to pause throughout this time. We have provided a list of those changes below. We know that for some this will be disappointing; however, this is an incredibly important time where we need to pull together and follow the rules to keep each other and the wider community safe.
Changes to Students' Union operations for the fire-break period from Friday 23rd October - Monday 9th November.
- Our food and drink offerings delivered in Y Plas and The Taf will be paused for two weeks. Get ahead and book your spot for post lockdown here.
- Love Cardiff will move to an online-only operation (this means the Post Office will also temporarily close), you can get your official Cardiff University merchandise delivered to your door, take a browse of our website.
- The Heath Park drop-in service will now operate virtually, you can contact the team here.
- All sports clubs, societies and other student group’s face-to-face activity will be paused. Get in touch with your Society or Sports Club to find out more.
- You can continue to access our student services digitally throughout this time. Contact details are available on our website.
- Some of the retail units operating in our ground floor Student Arcade will continue to operate if permitted under the new guidance, check here for opening hours.
Throughout the pandemic, your Students’ Union has worked to transition our support services online to continue to provide a great experience for our members. You are now able to seek support from our exceptional Advice Team, attend an online training course from our Skills Development Service and register for our Jobshop service, all from the comfort of your home – making us more accessible than ever before. We have been working with our student groups to support them, where possible, to engage students and building communities online.
Our independent Student Advice Team have been working hard to update guidance and support students to understand the changing University and Welsh Government regulations. We know that for many students there are incredible challenges to completing your studies. If you want support understanding extenuating circumstances, help with housemate conflict resolution or guidance on improving your health and wellbeing, please reach out to the team.
Finally, The University has confirmed that face-to-face teaching will be continuing throughout this time, as will access to study spaces within Libraries. Please inform the University if you need to self-isolate so that you can get the support you need.
We cannot wait to be back delivering our full range of activities that contribute to the exceptional student experience at Cardiff – for now, let’s follow the rules, stay safe and look out for each other the best we can.