officer blog

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lizzie payne

activities & opportunities
elizabeth.payne@uea.ac.uk

student group COVID-19 faqs

Hi everyone!

I know how hard these past few days have been for a lot of people and there is some uncertainty around about what is going to happen. I’d like to say that I don’t have all the answers about what will happen with the world, but I do have some answers about clubs, societies and events!

Before you go ahead and start reading some questions, please make sure you are all looking after yourselves, keeping in *distanced* touch with each other and don’t forget to download the Netflix Party chrome extension! Remember that this is a hard time for everyone and the Student’s Union is here to support you as much as possible.

And without further ado, here are some of the most searched questions students can’t wait to know re coronavirus and students groups:

 

Can my event go ahead? 

Government guidance suggests avoiding all non-essential contact, our stance now is to cancel all student group activity for the rest of the academic year or until you’re are notified otherwise. Students aren’t required to be on campus so now we will avoid this contact. 

 

Can I reschedule my event? 

Currently we aren’t taking any bookings for a re-arranged event in any of our venues as the situation is ever changing. Students are not expected back on campus for their exams. 

If you have booked an external venue, we recommend you try get a refund as best as possible or perhaps postpone and rebook for the society next year. 

 

How do I refund my members if they have paid for an event? 

You must first seek the refund from that venue or organisation you have purchased from, once this has been confirmed email su.accounts@uea.ac.uk to get the finance details for a refund to be paid into. When the money has been received by the SU we will then be able to issue refunds to your members. (Please note refunds are not guaranteed by suppliers or venues) Without this money coming in the SU are not able to issue refunds to your members in advance or cover any shortfalls for student groups. 

To get a refund, please DO NOT request this through the expenses 365 app. 

Please note that refunds will either be done in bulk for everyone who has a ticket, on an individual basis, or a partial refund via Sage Pay.  

This will be done via conversations via su.accounts@uea.ac.uk

Key messages for this are: 

  • Clubs and Societies are responsible for arranging a refund back into their Subs Account from the venue, supplier or organisation 
  • 3 Approvals would still need to be required to authorise refunds 
  • Clubs and Societies need to be clear / cannot state that refunds are to be expected for their members, and should be thinking realistically of the impact this has on their accounts 
  • Refunds may be taking a little longer than normal as we work through this situation 

 

As a member how do I get a refund? And what if the event is still going ahead and I can’t go? 

If you would like a refund from a society event in the first instance liaise with your committee, they will be doing the above. Please note again no refund will be issued until there are three approvals. Please note there are several refunds being issued and they may take a little longer than normal. 

 

What happens with socials?

Following Govt guidance, the Students' Union has decided there is to be no club or society activity for the foreseeable future unless it is online. We will issue a help sheet to you all in due course to stay in touch with your members. 

 

Can we still hold small meetings? 

As above we are suggesting that no club or society activity takes place, the guidance doesn’t prevent small groups meeting if precautions are taken but we advise to avoid this, for the foreseeable future. 

 

Clubs

What is happening with training? 

All training is currently cancelled. 

 

What is happening with fixtures BUCS and Non BUCS fixtures? 

All BUCS fixtures have been cancelled with many Non BUCS NGBs following suit. 

 

What is happening with Derby Day? 

Derby Day – unfortunately due to the cancellation of university events and gatherings both here and at Essex university, this year’s Derby Day has been cancelled. We know this will be a big disappointment to many, but we must follow the guidance from our universities and PHE. The plan is to host Derby Day in 2021 on the Essex Campus. 

 

Societies

What is happening with committee elections? 

We are continuing with our online elections to ensure new committees can be elected in time for next year. If you weren't planning on doing this, we are now saying this is compulsory to carry on your society for next year. If you want to find out more please head to the SU website for more information. Or email union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk for more information. 

 

How can you support your members as a committee? 

We will be issuing a staying in touch document in the next few days to do a range of activities online. We will be encouraging societies and clubs to lead the way on this, so if you have any ideas we can help with, let us know! 

 

Can we hold events next term? 

Club and society activity is NOT to be planned for next term due to the ever-changing environment were operating in. Please do not outlay any money or book activities. 

 

Is it possible to get reimbursements through the 365 app? 

Yes, if your society has the money and approvals our finance team are working remotely and will be doing payment runs for any approved app claims, please note though there may be some delays in certain scenarios. But please note as activity is now cancelled new claims any new activity will not be processed, only claims from previous activity will be processed. 

 

I’ll take the risk and pay for something myself? 

Please don’t, all club and society activity are suspended during this period of uncertainty we suggest maintaining both your financial stability and the societies not to risk anything during this period. 

 

I have a trip. It’s been postponed or cancelled?  

Advice states that all non-essential travel should be avoided. Where possible you should seek a refund or postpone the activity. If you cancel the activity before the operator does it does often mean you will lose your money so bear this in mind. 

 

Are the UEA Sport and SU Opportunities Team available? 

Yes, many of us will be working remotely over email so should you have any queries please do email us. Please note there may be a slight delay if anyone becomes unwell. Your Activities and Opportunities Officer is also still available to contact on a.perez@uea.ac.uk 

 

Will the Student Transformation and Sports Awards be happening? 

At this stage it is highly unlikely that these events will go ahead unless the current circumstances change dramatically, but we may be in touch to encourage some joy in time to celebrate your success. 

 

I'm not sure what to do about any symptoms and/or concerns about my friends? 

For further information on anything to do with your health, friends, family, travel or university-related queries you have please head to this link

 

You can find all this information in our Committee Hub FAQs.

For more general guidance from the SU please click here, and from the university here.

Much love,

Ali xx

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