Petition

Lockdown demands

by The Students' Union 10 November 2020, 12:11

Category: Students Union Petition

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Students have been seriously affected by this pandemic in many ways - over the summer many young people didn’t receive the results they deserved, leaving a generation let down by an algorithm which unfairly predetermined their futures. Then, we were sold a vision of the 2020/21 academic year that it would be the same as normal, but with a few minor changes. Students moved to Oxford in good faith but by October we were scapegoated for a rise in cases and many of us put into isolation.

Now we are being told by the government that we can’t go home, and the university has been forced into a position where it can’t keep to its commitments to provide rebates and to let students out of their halls accommodation contracts. We want all our students to have the freedom to make the best choices for their own physical and mental health and safety, which in some cases may be the freedom to go back to their permanent address and support network.

We know the university has tried to keep the academic experience high quality but as students we don’t feel that what has been provided lives up to the normal standards. We don’t think this is fair, and we are asking the university to support us by doing the following:Lobby the Government through UUK to allow students who have completed 2 weeks of isolation to return home before Christmas. The two weeks of isolation is necessary to mitigate the government's concerns of students returning home, but students should not be kept on campuses if they can do their learning online and wish to do so.

  • Allow students in halls no-penalty contract releases from their accommodation so that they can choose to move home, at any point over the rest of the academic year
  • Lobby the Council to encourage private landlords  to do the same
  • Continue to support students in halls and in the local community with a coherent student-focussed support system which provides wellbeing support, food & supplies as well as activity to combat loneliness and isolation
  • Give students in halls a 50% rent reduction from the first day of lockdown in line with the University’s Second Wave Covid Commitment as they are unable to leave even if they wanted to.
  • Give all students a 20% reduction in tuition fees, either through their own budgets or by lobbying the government to provide a universal reduction across the board
  • Publicise and increase the financial hardship funds students can apply to due to the financial difficulties of entering another lockdown.

We recognise that the university has been put in a difficult situation in relation to the promise it made in its Second Wave Commitment, however we are urging the university to use its’ considerable influence to lobby the government to treat students the same as other people in the UK, and to respect its commitments to support students financially and pastorally during this time.

This position has been arrived at through consultation with students through the Brookes Union General Meeting and those undersigned. 

Comments

  • Default avatar
    Isaac Adjei   wrote, 14-11-2020 - 22:16

    Number 10 issued PPN0220 and PPN0420 to provide guidance to commercial organisations, to give them commercial relief as a result of covid. On a similar token the university can provide similar relief to is students.

  • Default avatar