Your concerns around tuition fees, no detriment policies, and rent freezes (amongst others) are not falling on deaf ears, but now your Executive need two things from you.
In March 2020 I, as Welfare & Diversity Executive Officer, was one of five members of last year’s Executive working during the first national lockdown. It was a difficult time for everybody, not least for the Students’ Union; an organisation that had historically been so dependent on its night-time entertainment as a source of income. Then, the same concerns that are being raised now were being aired by last year’s cohorts. As an Executive, we worked hard and reaped our rewards: establishing a constant dialogue between us and senior University colleagues, having significant input into the ‘Loughborough Safety Net’ policy, as well as jointly raising with the University more than £50,000 for a COVID-19 hardship fund to support students.
As we enter the third, and hopefully final, national lockdown the same conversations have begun around tuition fees, rent freezes, and no detriment policies for assessments. We are fortunate this time in that we not only have a historical blueprint to follow but we also understand better the needs of our students and how the University will react to COVID-19.
On Wednesday (06/01/2021), having been inundated with correspondence from students highlighting their concerns and frustrations, I met with the Executive to determine our next steps. We also recognise the traction a number of petitions are getting.
We’re actively engaged with University colleagues, sharing your questions, comments, and concerns, to enable us and you to better understand the University’s position, the decisions they are making, and in some cases challenge their stance. But first, we need two things from you:
1: Your input
We’re organising a series of Q&As between members of the LSU Executive and senior University colleagues. These will be recorded and published on our (Loughborough Students’ Union’s) social media channels. We want you to have the opportunity for your questions to be asked directly to the relevant people making decisions at the University. As such, we’ve launched a dedicated Q&A portal for you to submit your questions on the following topics:
- Tuition fees
- Teaching and learning
- Student support and wellbeing
- Testing and returning to campus
- Anything else!
The closing date for questions is midnight on Sunday (10th January) so be sure to submit yours in time.
2: Your patience
This is arguably the most important and relates to you whether you’ve asked a question or not. Any decisions the University (or indeed government) makes, and the trickle-down effect of the changes, are not likely to be quick. We’re talking months not days. The University is a large organisation with hoops to jump through. We’re going to need you to be patient and acknowledge the immensity of the challenge facing the University. Whilst I’m not one for cliché’s, nor speaking on behalf of another organisation, we’re all navigating this period together and reacting to obstacles at the same time.
We will do our upmost to communicate changes to you, as well as keep you abreast of updates as and when we receive them.
If you require immediate financial or wellbeing support, please reach out to the following University services:
For now though, trust us, we’re listening and acting. But remember: slow and steady wins the race.
- TURNING A CORNER: What a COVID Freshers taught me
- COVID: The responsibility is on our shoulders
- LOUGHBOROUGH FAMILY: Community in the time of COVID