As you will have undoubtedly seen from the media coverage over the last two weeks, we are seeing a rapid increase in the spread of the virus and some of this is directly linked to the return of Higher Education. The statement issued by Universities Scotland yesterday, and the subsequent headlines, have caused some concern among our student population and we would like to clarify RGU’s position, in this joint communication between the university and the Students’ Union.
Your safety and wellbeing is of critical importance to us. The University and Students’ Union have a duty of care to each of you individually, and to you as a group, to support you as best we can throughout your university journey. We want to support students to ensure they act responsibly, and imposing sanctions is a last resort which will only be necessary if rules on the restrictions of household visits are broken in student residences or if our measures are not followed in our campus buildings.
At RGU we treat our students as rational adults who are capable of making choices. As such, we are presenting our view to you, and are asking you to consider it and to make your decisions after you have given it due reflection.
This weekend will potentially be a period of risk for our students as many arrive from around the country. Given this, we are asking each of you to make a sacrifice and avoid the use of hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafes over the coming weekend for the greater good of us all in the current situation. This urgent step will help manage the spread of the virus among students and protect the wider community.
We understand that the measures we are asking you to follow might be difficult, but this is not a normal year and we all have a role to play in helping to bring the pandemic back under control.
We want to reiterate that supporting the health and wellbeing of our students continues to be a top priority. The University and the Students’ Union have a whole range of wellbeing and support services available to you and we encourage you to use them. There are many extra-curricular activities that you can take part in at RGU, as well as excellent gym and sports facilities at RGU SPORT. Whether you are based in Aberdeen or elsewhere, make sure you remain active and healthy. For those of you attending campus, huge efforts have been made to prepare residences and the campus for a safe return.
Again, we must stress the importance of following Scottish Government and University guidance and ask that all students act with a sense of responsibility as we all have a duty of care to look after ourselves and others.
We sincerely appreciate all of your efforts. This is not a situation any of us wants to be in, but together we will get through it.
Steve Olivier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Ross Leven, Student President of Communication and Democracy
Emmanuel Akerele, Student President of Education and Welfare
Jordan Moore, Student President of Sport and Physical Activity