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How has the University’s response to Covid-19 affected you? — 27 August 2020

Hannah Buchan, President
Jack Buksh, General Secretary

 

 

 

Since the start of Semester 2 we have been told by the University that it won’t be making any more money available to students experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. We saw that they waited until mid-August to let students know that they had decided to extend the WAM amnesty but, at the same time, they had asked faculties and graduate schools to make decisions about which subjects should be included by 31 July. This delay caused untold stress and anxiety for students.

Recently, they announced plans to cut 450 jobs and this will inevitably have an impact on the level and quality of support available for students, and now on top of this, they’re introducing changes to the Special Consideration policy at a time when we need it most. You can read more about these changes here.

Over the past five months UMSU has worked with you as a student body to make your voices heard by the University. We’ve delivered petitions, conducted research and submitted reports, and campaigned online, over Zoom meetings and phone calls, and in inboxes and comments on social media. This campaigning has delivered results for students like the introduction of the Emergency Support Fund in Semester 1 and the changes to WAM calculations and a number of other improvements for students.

What we see from this is that the University will not take significant actions to support students unless it is backed into a corner by students. If students are at the heart of everything the University does, then students should feel like this is true.

We know it’s tiresome, but we need your help again. We need you to tell us how the University’s actions are affecting your wellbeing — whether that’s related to the pandemic or not. Use the form below to provide anonymous feedback on how the University actions and decisions have affected you. This might be about how you will be impacted by changes to Special Consideration, the University’s approach to the Emergency Support Fund, your experience of remote learning or just how you feel you have been supported by the University during the pandemic.