As you all know, University life will look different this year because of COVID-19 and our shared responsibility to limit the spread of the virus. The University has set out its plans for a blended approach to learning and teaching with strict social distancing measures in place on campus. Many of you will have questions about what your social experience will look like when you come to Christ Church in the next few weeks: we are busy preparing an exciting programme of virtual events for the next semester, which we will keep adding to on our Welcome site.
We are still finalising our guidance on holding physical events, and more information will be available next week. In the meantime, we advise students, particularly those in Union societies and sports clubs, to hold off planning face to face socials until the Union and University guidance is published. In particular, please note that you should not plan to meet indoors in groups of more than two households: as such, parties or gatherings in your houses or flats are not permitted under government guidelines. To be clear, no Union society or sports club event may be held in a private home.
Breaking government guidance could result in severe consequences for the University and the local community: in America, several universities have already had to move all teaching online within two weeks of students returning, and the UK has seen several local lockdowns restricting everyone’s ability to go about their daily lives. Breaking the guidance puts vulnerable members of the local community, including other students and staff, at risk of a potentially fatal virus. As such, the Union and University take any breaches of government guidance very seriously and may take disciplinary action: for clubs and societies, this could result in your group being disbanded, and for individuals this could impact your academic progress.
We recognise that everyone is excited about joining, or returning to, Christ Church and we know how important the social experience is. We’re working hard to put in place guidance that will keep everybody safe, and to offer a diverse range of virtual events to suit students from all walks of life. We must remember, however, that the global pandemic has not gone away, and we must all remember our shared responsibilities as members of a University and local community to keep people safe and well.
Further Union guidance on social activity will be available next week, and we encourage students to familiarise themselves with the current government and University guidance.
Footnote: Christ Church Students’ Union disciplinary procedures are available in Section 23 of the Union’s Bye-Laws. Canterbury Christ Church University’s Student Disciplinary Procedures are available here.