What will Freshers’ 2020 and the Autumn term look like?
The Students’ Union is working hard to protect and enhance the student experience this year.
Due to the new Covid-19 Welsh Government regulations, there are significant limitations on what activity can take place. So, whilst Students’ Union activity will inevitably look and feel a bit different to before, our commitment to students is that we will deliver what we can safely within the law.
We know that for some, there may understandably be feelings of frustration and a desire to return to “normal” and take part in student life in ways you have before. It is our hope that you would all support and work with us to meet the new regulations and ultimately keep our community safe from the very real threat Covid-19 is still presenting.
Whilst Students’ Union activity will inevitably look and feel a bit different to before, our commitment to students is that we will deliver what we can safely within the law.
This week we are excited that the The Taf and Y Plas are now open. Both are operating as fixed seated food and drink spaces. Tickets need to be purchased in advance online and are on sale now. We are fortunate our vast indoor spaces mean we will still be able to engage with many students over the Freshers’ period and the term ahead. After the successful launch of our food and drink app last year, we are confident that our table ordering offer within our venues will mean great service and a chance for you to try out the delights of The Taf kitchen across a larger space within the building.
Whilst we know many of you will miss the traditional entertainments that we offer, we are running a number of seated Freshers’ events over the next week. We are working with licencing authorities to deliver you activities within the parameters of the law, however, all of these will be subject to the changing regulations (as we saw with the new ‘rule of 6’, we hope you’ll bear with us as we respond to any changes as they come in, including if we have to amend or cancel plans - you will always be refunded for anything we’re unable to deliver and we will change your booking to a free table if events are cancelled). We hope to be able to deliver more of these events over the term ahead if regulations allow.
Our student groups are also working innovatively to deliver digital events and some limited in person activities (once again, you guessed it, all activity will be subject to risk assessments and need to comply with what is permitted within the law). We will have over 100 Give it a Go type activities across our societies and sports teams, alongside other digital wellbeing sessions such as Yoga and wellness classes. There was a time we were hoping to deliver Micro Fairs for students to meet some of our groups face-to-face, unfortunately, we are at a point where that is proving not feasible, so we will double up on our digital efforts, delivering virtual fairs for now and we hope that we can deliver something in person later in the academic year.
And finally, our staff have been working exceptionally hard to find ways to deliver services that fit within the new regulations and provide both fun experiences and support to students where needed, so whilst some of our face-to-face activity will be limited, our digital presence will be enhanced across all we do. You can find out about services opening times and how to get in touch with our teams online. There are many things that excite us about our “digital first approach” this year. We know many students don’t live close to campus or study remotely at a distance, some of our digital improvements this year will hopefully create positive improvements for our services for years to come. Please continue to reach out to our incredible student support teams, all opening information including email addresses and contact numbers can be found here.
Tom Evans, Students' Union President said: “In all honesty, fresher’s planning has not been easy and this definitely isn’t the year that we would have wished for. There is a huge amount of uncertainty present and it’s been a real challenge navigating it all. However, everyone in the Union has put a huge amount of work into providing activities and services for students that are not only safe and fun but also help to build a new sense of community for those studying this year. It’s been amazing to see the ingenuity that our clubs and societies have in adapting to these changes and I am very excited for the next few weeks and I hope all our students are too!”
We also hope you will support us by ensuring you listen to the House Rules within our venues, and when at home or in other spaces, please live within the regulations and prioritise keeping yourselves and each other safe.
Our ask of the Cardiff student community
To students at Cardiff University: We know that University life for many is a time of creating memories, friendships and experiences that shape the rest of your lives. As a top 3 UK Students’ Union, we are proud that our services and activities are at the heart of that student experience that delivers all three, we cannot wait for a time when we can deliver them in the ways we have done previously. For now, we will help represent you and deal with any issues that arise from our new ways of blended learning, support you to deal with anything Covid-19 throws your way and still help you make friendships and memories in a new way.
We also hope you will support us by ensuring you listen to the House Rules within our venues, and when at home or in other spaces, please live within the regulations and prioritise keeping yourselves and each other safe. [Student loans are already a real expense, nobody wants to start the new year with a £10k fine as a student in Nottingham has already found.]