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HOW IS YOUR SU HELPING YOU THROUGH COVID-19?

 

Working from our bedrooms, living rooms and gardens, your SU Officers and staff are making sure we’re still here for you through Covid-19.

With each change to your education, to your housing situation and to the student communities you’re proud to be part of, we’re here stand up for your rights.

So, what have we done for you so far?

Students will transform their education.

Durham SU wants students to end this year with fair outcomes.

  • Sam (Undergraduate Academic Officer) secured a “no detriment policy” from the University, to ensure that Covid-19 would have as little impact on final grades as possible. Unlike at many other universities, this also applys for postgraduate taught students.
  • Kate (SU President), David (Postgraduate Academic Officer) and Sam (Undergraduate Academic Officer) responded to Durham University’s “Unbound Education” policy, making it clear that such sweeping changes could not be pushed through without student consultation.
  • David (Postgraduate Academic Officer) has been bringing postgraduate-specific issues up to the University, including making sure no tuition fees will be charged for postgraduate research students who need to extend their studies due to Covid-19.
  • David has worked with the library to ensure postgraduates can safely access resources over the summer through the click-and-collect scheme.
  • Kate, Sam and David have consulted students about changes to timetabling, so that your views are accurately represented in the University's decisions about next year.

We’ll make everyday life at Durham fairer.

Durham SU looks out for every students’ wellbeing.

  • We’ve been collecting and sharing some of your lockdown stories.
  • We’ve created mutual support groups for those studying at home or dealing with changes to their year abroad.
  • Kate (SU President) has written to private rented student halls with Mary Foy MP to gain assurances about rent for students living there.
  • Kate has created the Student-Landlord Pledge in collaboration with local estate agents to set expectations around housing during Covid-19.
  • Officers are encouraging the University to improve the Student Support Fund, making it more accessible to students.
  • Officers successfully made sure the Durham Grant could be accessed by livers out.
  • Amelia (Welfare and Liberation Officer) has continued to work closely with Welfare Officers and Associations.
  • We've adapted our Welfare Residential into a two-day online training programme, to help Welfare Representatives from across Durham prepare for their roles.
  • David has worked with the University to agree fully-funded extensions for funded postgraduate students and access to hardship funding for self-funded students to support the living costs of those who need to extend.

We’ll make Durham student communities stronger.

Durham SU cares for student organisations.

  • We’ve been supporting student groups run their activities online, and sharing them through our social media channels.
  • All student group elections are taking place online for the first time ever.
  • Jess (Opportunities Officer) has been working with Wider Student Experience to make sure new students have a great welcome to Durham despite Covid-19.
  • Jess has also been working on the platforms that ensure students still have access to activities during the pandemic.
  • Caragh Evans, Chair of JCR President’s Committee, continues to be part of our Leadership Team, making sure we understand how can help support Common Rooms through Covid-19.

We’ll be owned by students. 

Durham SU champions every student.

  • Our staff are working hard to make training for student leaders available online. This includes the “residential” for Welfare Officers, which will take place online in July.
  • The University Secretary’s review into the Durham SU elections has begun.
  • Anna Marshall (Opportunities Officer-elect) has started speaking to students about democracy at Durham SU and learning how it could be better. We've also launched aFacebook group to make sure the democracy review is communicated clearly.

We’ll be resourceful and intelligent.

Durham SU is a responsible and professional organisation.

  • Jonny McCausland (Chair of Assembly) led our first ever online Assembly. You can read a report or watch the recording here.
  • We’re being careful with our finances and working with the University Finance Office to plan for next year. We’re currently making use of the government-offered furlough scheme.
  • We’re looking to improve our website to make it easier for you to access the information you need. Your feedback is really important to us, and we'll be sharing opportunities soon for you to get involved.

We know there’s more to do, and the situation changes every day. We’re working with reduced staff capacity, but we’re working as hard as ever. And if you have any problems you can contact the relevant Officer here [link to meet the team] or the Advice Service at dsu.advice2@durham.ac.uk.

Page last updated: 14/07/20