Coronavirus GUSRC Exec Update | May 12th
An update from the GUSRC Executive on what they have been doing to represent and support students during the coronavirus crisis.
Hello again Team UofG,
We hope you and your families are all safe well. In Scotland the lockdown has been extended for another three weeks and our message to you is this: you’re doing great and please keep it going a bit longer. By continuing to stay at home you are lowering the rate of infection and saving lives every day. We know it is tough, but we’ll get through it. This excellent excerpt from our very own Glasgow Guardian sums up very well how we’re feeling:
“There is no right or wrong way to get through a pandemic.
We’re all learning, mourning, grieving, and trying to make an incredibly difficult and abnormal time, as normal as it can possibly be. We’re all managing the stress that the virus brings, that the media brings, and the stress of making sure that we and our loved ones are well, all whilst trying to keep up with work, assignments, staying connected and having some time for ourselves. That is why it is incredibly important to not only look after your physical health during this time but your mental health too. Mental health can become extremely fragile in times of acute distress.”
Below you’ll find a summary of what we’ve been doing to support you, engage with you and represent your voice during these difficult times.
You can always contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary of activities:
#FreeTheStudents – Coronavirus Scotland No.2 Bill
We have put out a call to all University of Glasgow students to please get in touch with your local MSPs in order to help students who have been trapped in unfair housing contracts. We want MSPs to support the Coronavirus Scotland No.2 Bill when it is discussed in parliament tomorrow. The Bill will help the many students across Scotland who have been paying rent to Purpose Built Student Accommodation providers despite in many cases not being in the flats. You can help us by retweeting this video and tagging your local MSP (find out who they are by visiting tweetyourmsp.com). If you are having issues with housing remember you can contact our Advice Centre for free, confidential and impartial help (email@example.com)
Later this week we will be meeting Patrick Grady MP and Bob Doris MSP to talk about how students need to be supported going into the summer. There are conversations around Universal Credit and how the criteria could be made more flexible to allow more students to access it, and how graduates should be supported after they graduate as they are entering a relatively uncertain job market.
Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
We have spoken directly with the Principal of the University regarding the issues that cropped up last week. We highlighted to him the need for GTAs to be embedded as part of next year’s Learning & Teaching experience and emphasised that GTAs should be looked after as a key part of the University community.
We are beginning discussions around how to safeguard the student experience next year and thinking about how measures may be put in place to ensure that this is prioritised. We are looking at ways in which the SRC and University can support both new and returning students from their induction into the new academic year, as well as considering how we continue to offer that famous UofG experience, albeit from a distance, throughout the year.
We are looking into what can be done during the summer as a way of acknowledging the final year students who are finishing their university careers. This will not be as an alternative to graduations, as they will be held later this year hopefully, but as a way of really signifying to our students that they are valued and that they have dealt with a lot this year. The fact that students are finishing their degrees despite all that is going on should be acknowledged and celebrated.
We had the chance to meet with the new University chaplain, Reverend Carolyn Kelly, and discussed a little how we could better utilise the connection between the chapel and the SRC in future.
Student Teaching Awards
Watch this space for our online Student Teaching Awards set to take place in June…
Clubs & Societies
We have been coordinating clubs and societies’ engagement in our de-stress campaign including working with UofG Bhakti Yoga Society, the Dialectic Society, the South Asian Society, and the Art Appreciation Society. We have also been looking into how we improve clubs and socs support, catering and training alongside Graduate Attribute and HEAR continuations.
We are preparing resources on how to be an effective representative online but also for when and who you can reach out to; whether that’s at a class, school or college level!
We are working on adapting the Learning & Teaching Project Development Fund (LTDF) project workshop to be applicable for clubs and societies.
We are looking into a new digital plug in for Moodle as an accessibility checker and tool for ensuring content is as accessible as possible.
De-stress at a Distance
We have been putting out more content for our de-stress campaign such as meditation sessions and cooking tutorials, with upcoming workshops and mindfulness activities in the pipeline. Keep up with events by following us on Facebook – we post the new week’s events every Monday.
Meeting of the EHRC Working Group
We have been working with Cassie Masterson in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit (EDIU) to put together a survey regarding racial harassment which will be released soon.
We have been having discussions with University Commercial Services about ongoing accommodation support, asking what provisions are in place going forward over summer and how to best proceed with looking after students’ belongings or the extension of contracts.
Glasgow International College (GIC)
We worked with GIC on a workshop for incoming second year students to introduce them to the many types of extra-curricular activity available at UofG.
Thanks as always for reading our weekly update. Please remember that our staff are still working away remotely to support you. For general enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – for advice and guidance get in touch with email@example.com
Scott, Kirsty, Liam, Tom
GUSRC Executive Officers