A message from the LUU Exec: Our response to today’s Government communication
You will have seen a letter from Michelle Donelan MP, the Minister of State for Universities (downloadable here) outlining the impact of the new lockdown restrictions on students and universities, and reinforcing the Government’s requirement for students to remain in their current student homes until the end of term.
With this semester delivered primarily through online teaching, some of our students might have considered returning home before the end of today (Wednesday 4 November) to spend a prolonged winter break at home. Today’s communication from the Government and the University of Leeds specifically asks that you do not do so.
We do not underestimate the impact that a second lockdown may have on your mental wellbeing. However we recognise that we must all play our part in fighting Covid-19.
That said, we are disappointed by the tone of this letter and support the NUS’ statement that students should not be treated differently to other members of the public, or scapegoated in any way.
We oppose the letter’s singling out of students and specific restrictions on our movement ahead of the official implementation of the lockdown. Responsibility is not on the shoulders of the student population, who are facing a unique set of challenges which have not been sufficiently acknowledged or addressed by the Government. We will be meeting with our local MPs in the coming weeks to express our concern and continue to promote student wellbeing.
Ultimately, everyone’s situation is different, and you know what’s right for you. It is crucial that you look after your mental health at this time, and there are a number of ways LUU can support you.
Help & Support
LUU Help and Support will remain open and here for you, in the building (Mon-Fri 9-6 & Sat-Sun 12-6), over the phone or online, whilst financial advice and hardship funds are available for students who need support.
We appreciate that student houses are not always healthy working environments, which is why we will be keeping the Union building open – Common Ground, Balcony and Union Square will remain open as study spaces, although face coverings must now be worn at all times and food and drink can no longer be consumed on the premises. The Riley Smith Theatre will also be converted into a study space during this time. Libraries, study spaces and IT clusters across campus will remain open during lockdown.
Make the right decision for you going into this lockdown and reach out if you need help, support or advice in any capacity – we’re here for you, LUU is here for you, and as students we will come together to demand the support you deserve.