Regardless of whichever stage of your Stirling journey you may be on, we know that this semester is not what any of us would have wanted. Whether you're living and studying in University accommodation, private accommodation in Stirling or at home, we want to ensure you've got all you need to support you at this time. We know more than anything, you want to be able to connect with people. You may have seen the updated University announcement on the impact of the latest Government regulations here. You can also check the specifics on restrictions in your local area here.
Whilst on-going Government restrictions make connecting difficult, we wanted to outline some useful ways in which you can engage with people just now.
Both the Students' Union and University are committed to ensuring you've got all the support you need in the circumstances. In addition to the information below, we also want to hear from you. We'd really love to know about any ideas you've got for connecting with one another. If you've got any fab ideas, do please share these with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We recognise the importance of peer support and being able to speak to other students directly - this is where STEER comes in. The scheme aims to help first year students make the most of your time at the University by being part of the STEER Crew. You will be matched with a STEER Captain (a returning student). Find out more here.
Building on the success of STEER, we have identified that students may simply want to chat to other students while we all navigate these unusual times! Whether it's about Halls, what you're studying, where you're from - our new Pandemic Pals scheme is here to help. It's open to all students (so not just returning students looking to help new) and we will look to match you up with someone who has similar interests.
We'll match people up and put you in contact - if you're in need of some additional support due to self-isolation, check out the dedicated info on that below. To find out more about Pandemic Pals and sign up, click here. You can also sign up to be a STEER Captain using this form too.
Practical support for those in University accommodation self-isolating
If you're in the position that you're self-isolating or quarantining, a range of support is available to you. For those in University accommodation, you can check out further information detailed in the University's Care Cards here along with advice for students in both University and non-University accommodation around self-isolation here.
From the weekly in person gardening sessions available on campus to the Union's Not in the Pub, Pub Quiz, we're constantly looking to provide opportunities to connect both in person and online. Our Clubs, Societies and Sports teams are doing some incredible work and their events are also listed in our What's On guide which you can access here. If you've ideas for more events we can host, let us know at the email above.
We've been blown away by the feedback to the Union's recent survey to establish your views on the student experience during the pandemic. The survey has thrown up some key themes (both on what's been really good and what needs work) and work is already underway to address these issues. We've already had success in getting the Library booking slots extended from 3 hours to 6 hours. We'll continue to keep you updated across our website and social media platforms as work progresses in this area.
Speak to your Officer team - Student Voice
In addition to the feedback provided, your Union Officer team are here to take forward your thoughts, ideas and concerns. You can find out more about the Officer team and how to contact them here. The Union also has a full system of student representatives including module reps and Faculty Officers which you can contact in Canvas. You can find out more about the representative system here.
Advocacy in your Union
Alongside the representation work by the Officer team, the Union also has a dedicated advocacy service provided by Lynn Maher, Advocacy & Inclusion Development Co-Ordinator. You can contact Lynn in complete confidence to discuss a range of issues. Lynn can be contacted by emailing email@example.com or find out more here.
University Student Support
Complimenting the services provided by Lynn, the University's Student Support Service also provide a host of ways for you to engage with them about anything you may wish to contact them about. Officers and staff working closely with Student Support Services on a range of initiatives throughout the year, aimed at providing the best possible service for you. You can find out more about Student Support and how you can contact them at the moment here.
Nightline is a student led and operated confidential service available to students. As we adapt to the current circumstances, this service (which will operate via remote instant messaging only) will run from 10pm-2am (with opening hours extending once more volunteers are trained) every Thursday-Monday (inclusive). You can find out more about Nightline here.
Clubs & Socs
Building on the great sessions offered during Give-It-A-Go, clubs and societies are running a host of events and activities you can get involved with - for example, Live Music Society have been out busking (safely) in Stirling. Beyond taking part in club activity, all clubs provide a great way to engage with other students. You can find the full A-Z of Clubs and Societies and contact details to reach out to clubs here.
Not to be left behind, your Sports teams have also been active in hosting events and recently new students were able to join training sessions. We continue to closely monitor opportunities for sports activity in line with Government regulations. You can similarly check out the A-Z list of Sports teams and contact details here.
Who doesn't love a get-together? Our Union Bar Studio is the perfect place to get together (safely, and in line with social distancing guidelines) for a soft drink, pint or cocktail in a safe and welcoming on campus location. Sadly due to the most recent Government guidelines, we'll be closed from 10pm on Thursday 8th October until Monday 26th October - we can't wait to welcome you back.
Alongside the events listed above, make sure you check out the University wide #BeConnected programme which features a range of free activities for you to take part in. Click here for the programme.
-Your Union Officers
Amy, Lexi, Edd & Josh