Accommodation and City’s rent strike
VP Community and Wellbeing has been working closely with students on rent strike. We were successful in organising a meeting between the University and students which took place on Wednesday afternoon. The students were able to express their wellbeing concerns and dissatisfaction with the way University handled and continues to handle the rent strike. The Students' Union will continue to support our students to ensure their demands are met!
Your officers sent a letter to UNITE, echoing the demands of our students in accommodation and calling UNITE to do the right thing. Students should not be paying for accommodation they cannot occupy.
Your officers have sent a letter to Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Universities, and 4 technology companies (Three, Vodafone, BT, and EE) asking them to extend the offer of free data and unlimited broadband to students in Higher Education who are also now being forced to learn from home and where digital poverty poses a severe threat to the ability to learn.
A working group has been set up to discuss No Detriment, which the VP Education attends along with representatives from each of the Schools. The working group had their first meeting on Wednesday. As part of No Detriment, we discussed the current Extenuating Circumstances (EC) policy. We also discussed the possibility of reimplementing the ‘SYAS’ (Supporting Your Academic Success) policy where students are entitled to a resit without evidence if they feel that their ability to complete an assessment has been impacted by their circumstances relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was clear that this is wanted by both the SU and the majority of academics, who are struggling with processing a large volume of Extenuating Circumstances (EC) applications. However, an important disclaimer is that SYAS is not guaranteed yet, it is only being discussed. It was explained that the University understands that obtaining evidence for EC’s at the moment can be difficult with the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, students are encouraged to submit an ‘EC without evidence’ under the existing EC policy if you are unable to complete an assessment to the best of your ability due to unforeseen circumstances. If you are struggling with an EC application, please visit our website for support: https://www.citystudents.co.uk/advice/selfhelpguides/extenuatingcircumstances/
Student hardship Fund: The University has been given a lump sum of £83,000 from the Government to support students who have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. The SU are working with the University to ensure that these funds are allocated to the student groups that most need it. This will be in addition to existing funds that the SU and University have established for students who are struggling, such as the Digital Inclusion Fund:https://www.citystudents.co.uk/news/article/6013/Are-you-struggling-with-access-to-technology/