Collective responsibility to keep our community safe: Advice for students
We have set out below what you can expect from us in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020/21 academic year alongside what we expect from you in order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our community. Our expectations of you are in addition to our normal student conduct regulations, and you must adhere to them.
Our aim is to create a vibrant and active campus environment for you to live, study and socialise in, while protecting the safety and wellbeing of our whole community. To do this effectively, we need to work together, as well as being flexible and considerate towards each other as we continue to adapt to the changing environment.
We must all remember that we have a collective responsibility not just for our own safety, but also for those around us.
Your personal health and wellbeing
Work with the relevant health authorities to prepare for and respond to any changes in the situation, locally or nationally
Provide advice and information before the start of term and throughout the year to help you take practical steps to protect your health and wellbeing, as well as that of those around you
Keep you updated with changing government and institutional advice, through these webpages and, as required, through your student email account
Offer academic and pastoral support through our Academic Tutors, Student Welfare Team and wider network of specialist teams
Provide appropriate support for students with underlying medical conditions.
Adhere to all UK government and university regulations and instructions and ensure you keep up-to-date to comply with new guidance as and when it is introduced
Make sure you know the symptoms of COVID-19 and how it is spread
Understand the steps you should take to minimise the risk of catching or spreading the virus, both on and off campus, including:
using a tissue if you sneeze or blow your nose and dispose of it immediately
washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser where this is not possible
avoiding close contact (under 2 metres) with other people,
avoiding inviting visitors inside your home (whether you are living in halls or private accommodation)
regularly cleaning re-usable face coverings and responsibly disposing of single-use ones
Self-isolate (stay at home) if you are required to, whether that is because you have symptoms, someone in your household has symptoms, you have been advised to by NHS Track & Trace, or asked to for other reasons
Notify the University if you receive a positive test result for COVID-19 using our online form, as well as:
- Follow government advice to self-isolate (stay at home)
- Follow all instructions from the NHS and engage with the Test & Trace system (including advising Test & Trace that you are connected to the University)
- Report your absence to your School in the usual way (contact your Support Centre or Henley Helpdesk if you’re not sure how to do this)
- If you live in University halls, use the Home at Halls app to notify the team so they can support you
- Let all members of your household know, as they will need to self-isolate in line with government advice
Ensure you understand your personal obligations to use the NHS Test & Trace responsibly, which includes making them aware of your connection with the University
Take responsibility for keeping a record of your activity, so you can co-operate with NHS Test & Trace and, on their request, be able to provide details of your activity and those with whom you have been in close contact
Keep your term-time address up to date on your RISIS record for contract tracing purposes
Be organised and plan appointments and meetings in advance.
If you have any concerns about your own wellbeing, or that of someone else you know, please contact our dedicated team at email@example.com for advice.
Staying safe on and around campus
- Undertake thorough and regular risk assessments for all areas of our campuses and activities
- Adapt our campus facilities to adhere to government social distancing guidelines and minimise close contact between people, with signs to indicate one-way systems, designated entry/exit points, maximum capacities, etc
- Promote UK government face covering requirements, including expecting everyone in our community to wear a face covering in teaching spaces and other areas where it is difficult to maintain a 2-metre distance from other people
- Clean common areas and facilities regularly and thoroughly and provide cleaning materials for workstations and study spaces
Provide hand hygiene stations across campus
- Let you know if there are any specific safety precautions you need to take in higher risk areas, for example in labs
- Support any students who need additional precautions to be taken due to health conditions.
- Maintain a 2-metre distance from other people outside of your ‘household’ whenever possible
- Follow guidance about face coverings in confined spaces where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance from other people. This includes retail spaces, take-away venues, museums, places of worship and on public transport, as well as any other areas such as teaching spaces and the Library
- Carry ID (such as your Campus Card) with you at all times and show it promptly when requested by a member of University staff
- Follow all one-way systems, designated entry/exit points, and maximum room capacities
- Make sure you know any specific safety precautions in buildings you use.
- Avoid congregating in enclosed areas by arriving promptly at the start time of your classes or other activities, and leaving buildings as soon as you have finished
- Book in advance to meet support services on campus or use facilities, where this is required
- Clean your study space and computer equipment before and after your use using the cleaning materials provided
- Comply with specific health and safety guidance within halls of residence
- Be respectful of the preferences of those you live with
- Let us know if you have any health conditions that may require additional arrangements, by contacting the Disability Advisory Service (DAS)
- Speak to a member of staff (for example, your Module Convenor, SDTL or Support Centre) if you do not feel the arrangements in place are suitable to protect your health. If you would like to report more formal concerns about behaviour please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Report any safety incidents to us using our online form.
Parties are not permitted in Halls
Hosting or attending a party in Halls is not permitted in line with of our normal regulations. While the UK government has introduced new legislation and guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important that you do not hold gatherings in halls at this time.
Campus Security and ID
Our University Security team has a really important role in keeping our community safe, and during the current pandemic that includes making sure that everyone is abiding by COVID-19 regulations. This will sometimes involve having to identify if people on campus are part of our University community or not.
It is a requirement for students to show identification to a University staff member if asked. This can be any form of identification but carrying your campus card with you at all times means that you can quickly and easily show not just who you are but that you are a University of Reading student. To help keep your card accessible, after Week 6 there will be free lanyards available through the Support Centres and the RUSU main reception, and we encourage you to collect and wear one.
You can also collect a free ‘sunflower’ lanyard from the Support Centres, which you can choose to wear if you have a hidden disability, and in particular if it means you are exempt from wearing a face covering.
Respect and tolerance
- Foster a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students
- Provide support through our Student Welfare Team and wider network of specialist services, so you always have someone to speak to about any difficulties you may be facing
- Investigate reported incidents of misconduct and take appropriate disciplinary action.
- Be courteous, respectful and patient towards all members of our community, including students, members of staff and neighbours, whether you are interacting in person, online using University systems, or on social mediaTake steps to protect the health and safety of those around you, being mindful that their concerns and preferences may differ to your own
- Be tolerant that, at times, we may all make mistakes or get things wrong – you should feel able to raise this with people in a polite and supportive manner and, likewise, be understanding if someone alerts you to behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable
- Remember that some people are not required to wear face coverings (for example, those with specific disabilities, which may be hidden) and these people should not feel they need to explain themselves to others.
Our health and safety measures are in place not just to protect you but all members of our community, including those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. It is essential that students and members of staff can safely study and work alongside one another.
The University’s disciplinary procedures provide for a range of disciplinary outcomes ranging from warnings to fines for students, starting at £200 for those who do not adhere to these rules. In serious cases (such as organising a party) or where there is repeated breach of the rules, fines can be increased and you could be expelled from Halls and/or the University.