We know that prospective and returning students are beginning to look ahead to the new academic year and what they can expect from their ‘Welcome’ or ‘Freshers’ experience. We know that this period is very important to you and we recognise that this year it will be a bit different from the traditional Freshers experience. Our priorities are to make sure that you feel connected and supported by the SU, the University and each other.
It is clear that the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions in relation to social distancing are going to impact on the normal events and activities you would expect to see when starting the new academic year. We recognise the importance of ensuring that both our students and staff are kept safe and, with this in mind, we are changing how we have done things in the past. The current guidance in place is impacting our planning for larger gatherings and activities, meaning that traditional SU ‘Freshers Week’ events including fairs, gigs, comedy nights, large gatherings and club nights in the SU will not be taking place. All events of this nature are on hold in accordance with current government guidance, but they are in constant review and we hope to be able to deliver them again in the future. As soon as we are directed by the government that these events can happen again, we will plan to get them in place. As an SU we have a long history of delivering large scale fun events that make your time at uni better, we will do them again
What we plan to do:
Despite the current uncertainty, the SU and the University are working together on a variety of online and on-campus activities for the start of the new academic year. These will be in line with current social-distancing guidance and will help to connect you with each other and the communities available to you at the SU. We will be working closely with all student communities to help build a welcoming experience that helps you feel a part of the SU and University community.
We plan to enable students to access their communities through digital and physical platforms. We plan to extend beyond the traditional ‘Freshers Week’ so that all students have access to a diverse range of safe, social and fun activities and spaces longer into the term. We want you to have more time to meet new people.
Students will have the opportunity to explore and connect with all student groups through a series of virtual events, before deciding which to join. We are working to make sure that student groups have opportunities to deliver sessions and provide information in accordance with government guidelines so that students can meet like-minded people, find their Uni families and experience something new.
Be careful what you’re buying:
We are aware that some organisations outside of the SU and University are promoting ‘Freshers’ events and we strongly advise students not to purchase tickets for any large scale events that are being promoted across Plymouth; under current government restrictions, these events will not be able to take place. It is best to wait to see what happens over the next few months before financially committing to these activities.
We know it will feel different
We know it is going to be different to the normal, but that doesn’t mean that it will be bad. We know it will take time to adjust and at times it will feel odd and unusual. We feel that different can be embraced and celebrated and that we can adapt to the ‘new normal’. We are together as a community and you need to know that your SU is here to support you and ensure you have the best possible time at Uni.