Key changes to our services

In line with the Governments’ recent announcement for England to enter a 4 week lockdown, we wanted to make sure you know what that means for our on-campus activity. Lots of us will have spent the last few months visiting shops, cafes, restaurants and places only to find that the measures at each location are slightly different and we have to learn a new protocol. We want you to be able to navigate our activities and our spaces with as much ease as possible so we’ve produced this short guide to help you understand the parts of the Union that are going to be operating slightly differently from the start of Lockdown 2.0. This should be read alongside the information that we usually produce such as on our website, social media and in the Membership Guide.

Obviously guidance has been changing regularly, any changes to the information contained in this guide will be published online and through our social media channels. If you have any questions about this or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact union@bucks.ac.uk, send us a message on social media or get in touch with a member of staff.

Have a great year!

Best Wishes
Tamsin, Tash and Tom

 

Advice Centre

If you need advice or someone to share a problem with, we are still here to help you with any issues you have with: money, the University, your course, your accommodation, your employment or consumer rights or anything else that’s worrying you.

Our service is confidential and independent of the University.

The easiest and quickest way to make an appointment is to email us at suadvice@bucks.ac.uk. We will respond within 24 hours or sooner during weekdays and we will arrange an appointment for you to speak to an adviser as soon as possible and at a time to suit you. You can also still make an appointment at the Students’ Union reception desk at High Wycombe or the Students’ Union Office at Uxbridge. 

Appointments can be:

  • by telephone – we will phone you
  • online through Microsoft Teams – we will organise this

Telephone and online appointments are preferable during this current situation and will usually be available within 24 to 48 hours of a request from 10am-4pm, Monday to Thursday and to 3pm on Fridays. Appointments outside these times are possible but may take longer to arrange.

Limited face-to-face appointments will still be available at the High Wycombe Campus, but to minimise contact we will be reserving these for students who really need to see an adviser in person. All face-to-face appointments will use the latest COVID-19 guidelines. Students will need to wear masks to an appointment, email any paperwork for the meeting in advance wherever possible and sanitise on entry. Advice will also be carried out through a protective screen. Unfortunately, we are not able to carry out face-to-face appointments at the Uxbridge Campus at present. We will inform you as soon as this changes.

 

Shuttle bus

The shuttle bus service will continue to run according to the term time schedule. Your ID will be scanned when you use the service and a face-covering is mandatory, unless you are exempt. Please maintain social distancing when you travel on the campus link to ensure the safety of our University community

 

Student activities

We have been working through the new guidelines and what they mean for student activities at Bucks; unfortunately, as things stand, will be suspending all sports sessions throughout Lockdown until the new restrictions are lifted or eased. We are aware that some exceptions exist around University provision and we’re urgently working to understand how, if at all, these might relate to sports. We know this is disappointing and we share that disappointment. We are currently working towards online activities for our sports clubs. Any changes or updates will be made here and through our social media.

Societies will be able to continue, however all activity must be online from Thursday 5 November until the new restrictions are lifted or eased, and it is safe for societies to hold in person sessions again. You still need to take registers, so please remember these in your online sessions and to send them to daniel.lawrence@bucks.ac.uk.

 

Skills sessions and recreational activities

There is a full and diverse programme of activities scheduled for this term.

All of our developmental activities are held online and they remain completely free courtesy of the Big Deal. Follow Sarah Activities Bucks on Facebook so you are always up-to-date with what’s on offer.

Activities can be booked through the What’s On page of our website by selecting the event and ‘buying a ticket’. Some activities require a deposit which will be refunded to you once you have attended and you can sign-up to as many activities as you like.

If you have reserved a ticket, we will contact you the working day prior to the activity with full information, timings and any Zoom/Microsoft Teams link you will need to join.

If you experience any problems, have any questions or have any suggestions as to what activities you would like us to run, please contact us at sutraining@bucks.ac.uk.

 

Working while you study and beyond

Finding a part-time job to support you through university may be particularly challenging under the current circumstances so we are updating our JobShop regularly to put you in touch with local employers offering flexible, part-time opportunities to work around your studies.

Our main Union Jobs page will be the place to find graduate opportunities and you should also take a look at My Bucks Career which is linked to all the main job boards and offers a whole host of resources to support your successful move into the world of work.

If you require any assistance with your CV, completing application forms, interview techniques or anything else at all that you think will help get the right job for you, please contact us at sujobs@bucks.ac.uk

 

Student media

'The Bucks student’ newspaper will continue to be published every two weeks and you can find the link to the latest edition on our website or social media. You will still be able to pick up a physical copy of the paper from the usual spots around campus when you come in.

Rusty’s Radio will continue to broadcast 24/7 online and in our cafes and you can view the full schedule here or tune in here

 

Events and The Venue

We have been operating a COVID-secure venue to enable you to still socialise in a safe and sensible way, but, from Thursday 5 November, in line with the guidelines for bars and social spaces, our events will now be virtual events.

 

Bars and café’s

Our bar, The Lounge and all our café’s will remain open as a takeaway service only. 

The Lounge will be open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am-4pm, and Friday, 9.30am-3pm, serving our usual hot food and drinks menus.

All our café’s across our campuses (including the Basin and Pulse café) will be operating as takeaway only under normal opening times. You can view our opening times here.

You may collect food and non-alcoholic drinks from The Lounge, maintaining social distancing and whilst wearing a face covering. All orders should be placed through our order link (below) to minimise contact and time on the premises. 

All alcohol must be ordered in advance and collected from outside the venue from the alcohol collection point.

Please use our mobile ordering link order.bucksstudentsunion.org 

  • fully contactless payment through mobile ordering (sorry no cash)
  • no seating and orders must be taken away
  • sanitising stations
  • screens at collection points

 

Our offices and reception

Our receptions remain open at High Wycombe and at Uxbridge. However, students will not be permitted to enter the main body of the offices to visit staff, as would previously have been the case. Wherever possible, we are asking students to help us limit contact points and reduce queues at our reception desks. So where you know the staff member you wish to speak to you are encouraged to them by email or over the phone, in the first instance, to discuss your query and any possible face-to-face meetings. If you are unsure who you need to speak to you can also email union@bucks.ac.uk or call 01494 601 600.

We are also operating a new virtual reception making it even easier for you to get in touch with us. So, if you have any questions, or just want to know a little more about the Students' Union, you can use the pop-out chat feature in the bottom right of our website. We will have staff available throughout the week, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

The entry to our Uxbridge reception has now changed and students can access the office via the door in the corner of the Pulse Café. We are asking students to sanitise before entering the reception room and for only one student to enter at a time.

 

Union meetings and student representation

All of the Union’s student-focused meetings will be moving online through the Microsoft Teams platform. This includes Union Council, Athletic Union Council and Societies Council. Meeting invites will be sent out by member of Union staff either through email or on social media and students will be able to join the meeting directly from the link provided.

Student rep meetings will also be moving online and will again be conducted through Microsoft Teams. A member of Union or University staff will send student reps a calendar invite that will include a link to the meeting, enabling them to join and effectively, to share any course-based feedback they may have. This will also be the mode of delivery to complete things such as student rep training, ‘virtual coffee sessions’ with a Head of Academic Department and the ‘meet the rep team’ sessions.

Regular updates on this situation will be posted on the Union website, social media and via detailed emails to help ensure effective communication is in place during this period.

 

Contact diary

We hope that we manage to get through this academic year with the pandemic causing minimal disruption to the student experience. However, in the event there is a COVID-19 case on campus we know how important identifying the close contacts of that individual will be to stopping its spread and minimising any effect to our students and the wider community. If you are unfortunate enough to develop symptoms and test positive a member of the University track and trace team will contact you to ask about your recent contacts. We know how hard it can be sometimes to remember where we’ve been and who we’ve seen, especially during the busy start to an academic year. So we are encouraging all of our members to maintain a contact diary, and to help with that we’ve designed one for you. Why don’t you spend a few moments at the end of each day noting down your contacts? You can download a copy from bucksstudentsunion.org/contact-diary