University of Strathclyde’s Response to the Coronavirus
Dear University of Strathclyde Management,
We are the Strathclyde Student Union Executive, Executive-Elect and Faculty Representatives. We are writing to convey some of the key student worries around the University’s response to the Coronavirus crisis. We appreciate the escalating situation is causing an unprecedented challenge to the institution, but we feel it necessary to propose solutions which might lighten the disruption for students.
Strathclyde should immediately cancel all exams for 1st and 2nd year students. Exams at this early stage are non-credit bearing, are less likely to cause long-term disruption and are causing unnecessary stress. Cancelling these exams would lighten the load on staff across the institution and provide them with the ability to provide more support to later year students who will face assessments which will have an impact on their degree classifications.
Strathclyde should introduce a blanket 2 week assignment extension to all students, to mitigate the impact of recent disruption. Some Strathclyde students have found themselves having to unexpectedly relocate across the world in the last week, we need time to settle.
Strathclyde should introduce emergency crisis funding to support students. Many students are currently being made redundant from work, have had to incur significant transport costs, or simply cannot afford adequate technology required to access online learning and assessment we have been asked to partake in the next few months. The University must offer support to students.
Strathclyde needs to listen to its students and be more resolute in the understanding it is offering to us. For example, if we are expected to partake in an online Zoom assessment, we need to know that we will not be punished if there are technical difficulties. There needs to be more vocal understanding and support offered to students, including student parents, for how challenging home-working may be. Additionally, we understand why it was necessary to close the library and we support the safety of staff, however the Student Union should have been consulted on this decision to ensure student access to technology, software and materials required for learning and assessments. We need the University to allow the Student Association into its major decision-making forums responding to the coronavirus crisis, so student concerns are continuously heard and enacted upon.
Matt Crilly - President
Kayla Burns - Vice President Community & President-Elect
Eyram Ahadzie - Vice President Education
Rachel Cairns - Vice President Inclusion
Maddy Watson - Vice President Sport
Chelbi Hillan - Science Faculty Rep & VP Education-Elect
Benn Rapson - HaSS Faculty Rep & VP Welfare-Elect
Sophie Gwynne - Engineering Faculty Rep
Savvina Kritharidou - Business Faculty Rep
Ru Wallace - Vice President Community-Elect
Eilidh Sneddon - Vice President Sport-Elect