Loughborough Students’ Union has released a statement giving details of what Freshers will most likely look like.
In the statement released today, Union President Matt Youngs has said that “We’ve been working on a programme of events and activities throughout September and October” to ensure “an incredible start to the year” and announced that LSU will be releasing more details – including a schedule of events – next week.
Contrary to previous plans, there will be a “Digital Freshers’ Bazaar” for the first time similar to most other students’ unions, which will enable students to “meet fellow students, find the hobbies you love, and experience new things.”
The Students’ Union has also announced that “in-person events will be run” as part of LSU’s license as a pub, although nightclub operations will not be resuming until government guidance changes.
LSU has also “adapted our venues in line with social distancing guidelines”, as well as creating entirely new venues to attempt to match previous venue capacity.
Mr Youngs said in the statement that student activities will continue to run, although this will mostly be “digitally” where possible, adding that there will be a continuation of “core sectional activities” although on a more limited basis than before COVID-19. However, Mr Youngs also said that student activities are exempt from the ‘rule of six’ as they are classed as “voluntary activities” under the new legislation.
“Nevertheless all student activity is thoroughly risk assessed” in line with Public Health England and University guidance, as well as additional steps being introduced such as PPE, social distancing, and hand sanitisation.
Mr Youngs has also announced that LSU will begin to be operating a Track and Trace system for all attendees in both the venue for social activities, and for student activities.
Loughborough Students’ Union have also launched a “dedicated Coronavirus Hub” on their website, where students can find “detailed information on the events we have planned for Freshers”
Each LSU Section will also be releasing statements of intent next week.
Rounding the statement up, Mr Youngs highlighted that “we know this isn’t the way you would have wanted to start your year at University.” but has made a guarantee that LSU will have “useful, fun and exciting events for you to take part in” both online and in person.
The statement follows the announcement from the Government that the ‘rule of six’ will come back into force in England from the 14th September and replaces the previous limit of 30 people from 2 households – although there will be limited exceptions including hospitality, gyms, work and education settings.
The Prime Minister on Tuesday said that “these measures are not another national lockdown” and pleaded with students that are going back to University to follow the new rules.
‘COVID Secure Marshalls’ will also be introduced across towns and cities up and down the country to assist local councils in enforcing social distancing.
England Cheif Medical Officer Chris Whitty on Tuesday warned that cases have “risen really quite sharply” amongst 17-21 year olds since mid-August.
The University has also announced that if students are found to be in breach of the COVID rules put in place of the government then they may face a 14-day ban from campus – if students breach this then they may be suspended and excluded for the remainder of the academic year.
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