Students at the University of Birmingham (UoB) could face consequences under the university’s Code of Conduct if they are found to be breaking any government rules regarding COVID-19 and social distancing, News Editor Becky Gelder reports.
Students at the University of Birmingham (UoB) could face consequences under the university’s Code of Conduct if they are found to be breaking any government rules regarding COVID-19 and social distancing.
The university released their new Covid-19 Community Conduct Commitment to students via email on the 9th September, just two weeks before Welcome Week is due to commence. The updated piece of conduct legislation outlines the measures students will be expected to take in light of new government guidance. Students, staff, and visitors to UoB are required to adhere to regulations regarding social distancing, social gatherings, hygiene, the wearing of face coverings, and participation in test and trace initiatives.
Students at the University of Birmingham are to be issued with their own UoB branded face-masks.
If members of the university community are found to be breaking these rules, under Section 8 of the university’s regulations they may be subject to disciplinary action. This could include ‘suspension or withdrawal from the University.’
Other universities have also taken steps to ensure their students abide by government rules, with Loughborough University warning that their students will face a two week ban from campus if they are found to have breached the rules.
In an announcement made on Tuesday night, the government banned social gatherings of more than six people in both indoor and outdoor spaces. This measure will come into effect from the 14th September onwards, but will not apply to schools, workplaces, or other specified exceptions. Those found breaking these rules will face fines.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced further measures, including the introduction of ‘Covid-secure marshals’ to ensure social distancing in town and city centres. A new slogan has also been adopted: ‘Wash your hands, cover your face, make space.’
As well as these government mandated rules, Birmingham City Council has announced new restrictions aimed at driving down the infection rate in the local area. From 15th September, ‘residents will not be able to mix with any other households, indoors or in private gardens, except for those in a support bubble.’ However, pubs and restaurants are to remain open.
Students at UoB have already expressed concern about the new government rules through the anonymous confessions page ‘Brumfess’ on Facebook. One post stated ‘This government as of tonight is an ABSOLUTE shambles […] The ‘track and trace’ system should have figured out where they actually got the virus before visiting a house.’
Further debates over student house-parties have also raged on the confessions page, with many overtly criticizing others for hosting gatherings in the Selly Oak area. Those rumoured to have hosted gatherings have been labelled ‘selfish,’ with one post questioning whether it was ‘worth setting the clocks back a few months’ in order to have these parties. Other anonymous writers have criticized these anti-party posts, with one saying ‘for the love of god stop writing these moany brumfesses about people breaking lockdown.’