Student Update: Covid-19 and complying with national guidance

Student Update: Covid-19 and complying with national guidance

Student Update - 27 September 2020

Dear student,

I am writing following reports of breaches of national Covid-19 related guidance within private halls this weekend. I am disappointed to hear these reports, especially in light of the various communications that have been issued to our community in the last week.

On Friday, University Principal, Professor George Boyne, reminded all members of our community that they are required to follow our Covid Campus Pledge and Guidelines. He also outlined the need to follow all national guidance and legislation which is in place to help curb the spread of the virus.

I must stress the importance of heeding the recently updated Scottish Government guidelines, which state that visits to other households are not permitted – this means that students in one flat must not visit other flats, even when they are in the same halls, whether these are University or private halls.

Given the events of the last few days I want to emphasise that any breaches will not be tolerated, and those found to be breaking the rules will face robust action.

Sanctions include a fine of up to £250 as well as the potential for further action – including suspension and/or expulsion – under our Code of Conduct on Student Discipline (non academic).

Regardless of whether you live in University provided accommodation, a private flat or in student accommodation from a private provider, we will still look to take the same appropriate disciplinary measures against any student that fails to follow the requirements that are currently in place to protect everyone in Scotland.

We are in contact with landlords and have asked that any incidents of a breach of our Covid Campus Pledge and Guidelines and the national guidelines are reported to the University, to enable the matter to be investigated in the usual way.

Scotland’s National Clinical Director Jason Leitch spoke earlier this week of the efforts that students can make in light of recent Covid-19 cases at universities across Scotland, including at Aberdeen, with four key points as follows:

• If you have symptoms you must self-isolate and book a test
• Download the Protect Scotland app
• If you are asked to self-isolate, make sure that you comply fully
• Do not participate in any house parties
This advice makes clear the responsibility that you have to each other, and to the wider community here in Aberdeen, to stop the spread of Covid-19. Failure to comply with national guidelines will leave us with no choice but to consider disciplinary action that may jeopardise your chances of remaining as a student at the University of Aberdeen.

I fully recognise that a large number of our students are following the guidelines and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who are doing so. I am fully aware of the very real difficulties that many of you are facing as a result of Covid-19 restrictions and your continued cooperation and support is appreciated. To those who are not, I urge you to heed the advice we have provided.

It is incumbent on all of us to follow national guidance as part of the collective effort to safeguard yourself and others, and I hope that you will play your part as a valued member of our University community.

Best wishes

Debbie Dyker
Acting Director of Operations

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