Loughborough Students’ Union is reopening it’s doors to the student population after more than 20 weeks since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

From the 5th August, LSU will be reopening the Union Shop between 10am and 2pm Monday-Friday. As well as this, the Piazza will be open to the public from 8:30am till 2pm, however this is only in order to access Café Piazza.

As per the Government guidelines, facemasks must be worn whilst in the building.

This forms part of a phased reopening of services which began with the end of furlough for the Union Executive and the start of full-time staff being allowed back into the building on a part-time basis.

With Freshers’ Fortnight just over a month away, planning has taken full-swing, speculation amongst the students has begun to grow about what Freshers will look like, as well as growing fear about what will be missed out as a result of Covid-19.

Label asked one incoming Fresher what they thought…

“My main worry is that we’re not going to get the same experience as everyone else in previous years.”

They added that they were worried about not making as many friends due to social distancing, as well as feeling like they won’t have as much fun because they won’t be able to stop thinking about Covid-19.

“It’s already ruined our exams and our summer, so I really want a new start!”

Another student told us that they were concerned about making any plans for Freshers’ Fortnight,

“Things can change so quickly and measures can be adjusted with little notice… it’s hard to feel too positive about the prospect of freshers”

There are concerns from some students that there will be negative mental health implications if Freshers does not go ahead with events taking place,

“I think if you aren’t forced to go out in the first two weeks, you will end up staying in, become creatures of habit and it’ll be a lot harder to go out”

Another concern raised by those we asked was that the Union will lose out on a lot of money as a result of social distancing, which they believe will have a negative impact of student activities:

“The union are going to lose out so bad because freshers won’t be taught to go to the union, they’ll go town, so they’ll never go out there when it’s reopened normally”

Loughborough University has already announced that come the start of the Academic Year there will be a return to campus study, with at least some face-to-face learning being made available, as well as student activities such as “[S]port, Rag [and] Action” taking place next year.

Halls of Residence will also be reopening to students at the end of September, however Label understands that each block or floor that share a kitchen will be classed as a ‘social bubble’ but will not be able to interact as a Hall all together.

This comes after Universities have been encouraged by the Government to put tough restrictions on social interactions, with Universities such as East Anglia, banning overnight guests in Halls of Residence.

What do you think Freshers’ Fortnight will be like? Do you think it will ever be the same again? Let us know



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