Welcome back to Bucks for the 2020/21 academic year. We are looking forward to supporting you through what we know will be a year like no other. 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 activity 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 operating slightly differently this year. 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 email@example.com, send us a message on social media or get in touch with a member of staff.
Have a great year!
Tamsin, Tash and Tom
How to book an advice appointment
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Teams – we will organise this
Telephone and online appointments are preferable during this current situation and will usually 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.
The shuttle bus service will be resuming and will operate the normal term-time schedule from Monday 21 September 2020. 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.
During the first week of Freshers’ Fortnight, the SSHH bus will be operating on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from there on after it will be on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. All students getting on the bus at Halls will need to show evidence they have booked to go to the Students’ Union Venue that evening. All students will need to scan the QR code and input their details before getting on the bus, you will need to show your confirmation screen to the member of security who will be accompanying the driver. All passengers will need to wash their hands with hand sanitiser provided on entry to the minibus. All passengers will need to wear a face covering at all times on the bus. For students that refuse to wear face coverings they will not be allowed on – unless you are exempt from wearing one. All passengers will be provided with anti-bacterial wipes to clean all touch points such as seat belt, buckle etc on entry and when leaving. Passengers to not sit in seats that are blocked out, the SSHH bus will be running at reduced capacity.
Minibuses for activities
Minibus drivers need to ensure that all students have scanned the QR code and input their details before getting on the bus before every journey. All students will be sent a confirmation which will act as evidence. All passengers will need to wash their hands with hand sanitiser provided on entry to the minibus. All passengers will be provided with anti-bacterial wipes to clean all touch points such as seat belt, buckle etc on entry and when leaving. All passengers will need to wear a face covering at all times on the bus. For students that refuse to wear face coverings they will not be allowed on – unless you are exempt from wearing one. Passengers to not sit in seats that are blocked out, all buses will be running at reduced capacity. Minibus drivers will need to clean the front of the bus including all touch points with cleaning materials provided.
For clubs and societies that go off-site, temperatures will be taken before they get on a minibus, if the temperature is too high (above 67 degrees) that person should be tested 10 minutes later. If it remains high, the student will not be allowed on, advise the student to keep an eye on their temperature and for any other symptoms. It is down to the student to report any COVID-19 symptoms to The Student Centre.
This year’s Freshers’ Fair will take place virtually and will feature sports teams, societies, Union teams, University departments and external partners.
You don’t need to sign-up to attend the event but keep an eye out for the link to the virtual event that will be circulated during freshers’ week.
There is a programme of skills and training sessions scheduled to commence from the start of term.
Currently this is a mix of face-to-face and online delivery with the option to deliver most sessions online should the need arise.
There are currently no recreational activities scheduled off campus.
Reception events have been scheduled in The Lounge from 5pm-7pm each day of the first two weeks. These events are an ideal opportunity for you to meet new people and build your social network.
The Reception schedule is currently:
- Monday 21 September – Women students
- Tuesday 22 September – LGBTQ+ students
- Wednesday 23 September – BAME students
- Thursday 24 September – Erasmus students
- Friday 25 September – Students with disabilities
- Monday 28 September – Part time students
- Tuesday 29 September – Mature students
- Thursday 1 October – Post graduate students
- Friday 2 October – International students
Events and The Venue
We are operating a COVID secure venue to enable you to still socialise in a safe and sensible way. The Lounge will be open Monday – Friday from 9.30am serving our usual food and drinks menus.
You will have to fill in a digital track and trace form and show the completion screen to the host on the door who will show you to a clean and sanitised table.
There is no ordering from the bar – please use our mobile ordering link: order.bucksstudentsunion.org.
You can order takeaway food and coffee through the ordering link too. Please wait to receive a message that your order is ready for collection from the hatch in the Lounge before coming to the Lounge.
For all our events and venues we have:
- Fully contactless payment through mobile ordering (sorry no cash!)
- Compulsory track and trace procedures
- Socially distanced tables
- Sanitising stations
- More frequent cleaning with dedicated staff
- Screens at collection points
We have a wide range of evening events for everyone’s taste. All our events need to be pre-booked through our website (bucksstudentsunion.org/whatson). Remember all events are free, but due to capacity restrictions, when you book a table please ensure you turn up to the event or let us know if you are not coming so we can release the table to others.
Tables are booked for 4 people, to ensure we are maintaining social distancing and social bubbles.
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 email@example.com or call 01494 601 600.
At the start of term we will also be running a Virtual Reception, a link for which is accessible on the homepage of our website.
The entry to our 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, 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 e-shots to help ensure effective communication is in place during this period.
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 NHS 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.
Please note: Information about student activities including sport, societies and volunteering will be added to this page shortly