Activities and Societies over Semester 1 during Covid-19 FAQ
Will societies still run this year?
Absolutely. Societies are a huge part of university life for many students. They will still be open for students to join as members. There will be events on and off campus, as well as a variety of online activities so you will not miss out. A lot of societies are still planning / working out how they will operate / best support their students. Therefore, you may need to be a little patient, but they are wonderful committees and will do some fantastic work.
Can society members meet up like normal?
Understandably the society experience won't be the same as normal this year, but we will do everything we can to ensure society members can engage with one another safely. Some societies will be operating on campus, some will be doing 50/50 and others will be solely online for Semester 1. We will keep on top of it over the next few months to see how we will be operating in Semester 2. We ask that you wear masks where possible and help the society with keeping everything safe by abiding to their guidelines to enable them to run.
We are closely following guidelines from the Government and the University when it comes to gatherings. As such we can't give a definitive answer on this just yet, but we will post up-to-date information on this in September. Society Committee Members will be notified by email once this information is available
Do I have to pay to join societies this year?
Yes and No. We have given the option for societies to charge free memberships as they see fit for students this year as we understand the society experience will be slightly different to normal. However, some societies will still be operating in a way which means costs will be incurred so they have decided to charge. It is completely up to the society, however there will certainly be more free societies this year.
What is the difference between standard membership and registering your interest?
This year we have introduced ‘register your interest’ in any society which is not free to join. This gives you a chance to try out for the society for a few weeks before making the decision to join. However, it is NOT a membership and expires very quickly, so do select this if you want to find out more or try it out.
Standard Membership is for anyone who wants to join the society, or after registering their interest decides to join. You do need to be logged into the website to purchase this. You do not need to register for it first.
?I am struggling to log into the website/purchase membership / have an issue accessing the website. What do I do?
Please send any queries to email@example.com with your student email and ID number and stage of enrolment. They will then liaise with the Communications team and will be able to investigate it for you.
Can we still set up new / adopt societies during Semester 1?
Due to Covid-19, we have decided to put all our focus and support into our current societies due to the restrictions, challenges and support that they will be needed during these challenging times. We hope to lift this restriction over the next few months dependant on the Covid-19 situation. We will allow new societies in exception circumstances, where they can meet the criteria below. Our focus is to support our current societies on campus the best can. In addition to this, we have currently removed the element of needed to get 20 hand signatures for your new society proposal, and you can submit your signatures electronically via the document in the new societies section.
This will be looked at over the next few months and do feel free to get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk through your options first.
RSU New Society Criteria Amidst Covid-19
In addition to our general new society criteria, we ask that you need to meet the following in your new/adoptive society application:
- You can provide a wide range of online and remote activities for Roehampton Students - we are only able to provide limited campus space so this will need to be considered.
- You do not require grant funding from the RSU in order to provide activities for your Society Members.
- Your society does not revolve around external individuals/organisations/groups needing to support/assist in the running of your society.
- Provides a service which directly assists or supports the Roehampton community during the COVID-19 pandemic
Please do not be offended or upset if we cannot accept your new society at this time. We will be looking at this again over the next few months and hope by January will shall be allowed to change the current restrictions and be welcome to all new societies. You can still reach out to us and begin your plans to set up over the next few months if this is something you would like to do.
I’m a Society Committee Member. Are you still here to support me?
Yes. We’re still here to support Society Committee Members, and will be working from home and the office, and are available to contact as usual. We are trying to improve our resources online which means it will be easier for you to operate. However, we will be contacting each group individually to find out the best way to support you, so keep on top of your society emails for further information.
Can I promote my society to new students?
Absolutely! We still want societies to play a role in bringing students together. We would advise using social media channels over posters this semester as we will not be in the office to print out posters for you.
Can my society still book rooms?
Not in the same way no. We have no access to the timetabling system currently to allow timetabling to prioritise teaching. However, we do have limited space available, and Monte Hall during the day. You can also contact the College CLDO’s to book space in the Diner, Reef, etc but be warned it may be high in demand.
Can my society still borrow equipment from the Students’ Union?
Not at this time – however, we will update you accordingly as to when we are able to do this again.
Can we still pop into the Activities Office?
We are currently working from 10am till 6pm Monday to Friday for the time being. Moving forward closer to term starting again, we will be working from the office on and off but will mainly be working online. Therefore, I am more than happy to meet with any / all of you via Zoom – just let me know and I can book a meeting. If you can only do in person, that’s fine just let me know and you may need to wait until I return to campus. Things may change, however for the time being the RSU Offices are still closed, so please don’t try and come in, as usual, to come and say hello (though we are very much looking forward to the time we can go back to being student-facing and a little bit more normality ??) .
We would like to try and book College Space on Campus – is this still available?
As it stands, the colleges are still assessing the situation and will have their own rules and restrictions. There are a number of limitations, and risk assessments will need to be done. However, the spaces are still available, but need to be booked in advance, and cannot be used without the college's permission. To book the following spaces, please reach out to the following:
The Base, Digby: Please note this is not available for booking currently and is unlikely to be for the next few months. However, if you would like to enquire re space when it is available, please contact Joanna.Grennan@roehampton.ac.uk.
Please be patient – they have a lot to manage and may not allow you to have the same parties / social events as they would have done prior to Covid-19, as they need to keep everyone safe.
We are a faith society and need space to pray/put on religious events. Where do we go from here?
As always you can reach out to us and we can try and support you where we can to put on faith-based events/prayers in the safest possible way. However, the chaplaincy is still operating and may be able to help you where we may not. Therefore, do reach out to them at email@example.com. You can also find the individual chaplain details below here: https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/student-support/chaplaincy/.
Will you be running your Theatre Tuesday trips this academic year?
Currently, we have put our Theatre Tuesday programme on hold for this Semester, as we cannot guarantee whether the shows will go ahead or not. This is also as we don’t feel we can safely put this on at this time until things change. However, we do hope to go ahead with shows from January 2021, so keep checking back. We also plan to increase the number of shows during this time to make up for the ones we have missed.
Will you be doing any volunteering opportunities during this Semester?
Regarding advertising any external opportunities, I am afraid we will be unable to do this at this time. However, we will be advertising roles within the Roehampton SU Community and have several society committee roles available. Growhampton will also be running its volunteering opportunities, so do feel free to reach out to them on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. They will also be working with some external organisations. You are also welcome to reach out to our Water Aid Society who does many volunteering opportunities for the charity, and you can contact them at email@example.com. However, we will keep assessing the situation and if things change, we will let you know on the website.