Coronavirus - Students’ Union Advice and FAQs
Last updated: 15 Jan 2020, 10:00
In light of the announcement from the University yesterday informing students that there will be no face to face teaching until at least the 22nd February the Union will re-open the shop on Treforest campus from Monday 18th January on a trial basis. Opening hours will be 11.00am – 6.00pm daily. Please note the viability of these opening hours will be reviewed weekly and are subject to change at short notice. Glyntaff, Newport and Cardiff campus shops will remain closed for the remainder of the current academic year.
All-Union bars and catering will remain closed, but we are closely following Government guidance to see when we can do so safely.
Student activities and representation will be continuing. Union Officers, SVRs and Student Council members can all be contacted at their usual email addresses. More information about contact details can be found here.
As always, if you have any questions, queries, or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch!
Are there any online events I can participate in?
Yes! You can take part in our Book club, photography competition, AGM and more! Follow the SU on social media and keep an eye out on our events page to see what you can take part in and how you can stay connected to beat those lockdown blues.
Is AGM still going ahead?
Yes! This year's AGM will take place ONLINE on Thursday 28th January 2021 at 6pm. The AGM is open to all USW students and you do not have to have been previously involved in any Union activities. You should register for the AGM before 5pm on the 27th January. More information on this years AGM can be found here!
Where can I get academic support if I'm learning remotely?
If you have any academic related issues or concerns you can contact our Education Officer, Lois via email - firstname.lastname@example.org. Lois will be able to offer academic support and point you in the right direction if you require help from University services.
Do I need a covid test when on-campus teaching resumes/ returning to student accomodation after the Easter holidays?
Yes, students are being asked to have two asymptomatic Covid-19 tests, three days apart, before they return to their on-campus provision. You can book your covid test online here.
Will I receive a refund/discount on my accommodation fees?
The University has decided to introduce a payment holiday on accommodation fees from Monday 4 January until Friday 12 February. A refund for those weeks will be provided to students who have already paid this year’s fees in full. An equivalent discount will be applied to the remaining instalment for all other students. The payment holiday applies to all students in University-owned accommodation in Treforest, whether you are currently in residence or not.
Who can I contact if I am struggling financially?
If you are experiencing any financial difficulties, please remember that the Student Money Advice Team is on-hand to provide advice and guidance. The University can offer support to UK students who are experiencing financial difficulties, including via a Student Support Fund and Digital Hardship Fund.
How will the SU function differently this term?
The SU will continue to provide both academic and welfare support for students throughout the year, both online and in-person. We have been working throughout the summer, getting ready for our return in September, as well as planning for what this year will look like.
If I need a meeting with a staff member of the SU, how does this work?
We will be running a new appointment-based system for in-person support: you will need to email the officer or staff member you wish to speak to and they'll arrange for you to come into the most convenient SU space. We can be contacted via email or social media and all of our contact information can be found here.
Will societies be running during the pandemic?
There will be lots of changes to the way that our registered teams, clubs and societies operate this year, but we are determined that, if it can go ahead, it will go ahead. We are working very closely with club and society committees and team captains and managers to make sure that activities are safe - be it salsa with a stick, online acting classes or football with a friend. There are lots of rules and regulations that we have to follow and they are all different for each activity. You need to be prepared for things not to be quite as you may expect them, but it's for the best. Full updates on which activities are starting when can be found on our website.
Can I set up a society during the pandemic?
Of course you can. If it is a new activity, you will still need to submit an outline proposal to Student Council for approval. When approved, you’ll need to complete a Constitution and (subject to risk assessment), your activities can start. You can contact your Activities Officer at
Are refunds on society fees available for students unable to attend sessions because of Covid-19?
All clubs and societies look after their own finances, so this would be their decision to make. It may be that they have already committed their budgets for the year. However, the SU would encourage all its’ registered groups to be sympathetic to their members.
Will Teams and Clubs be running during the pandemic?
Yes, clubs and teams will be running during the pandemic and some have started training.
Will team trials be going ahead?
Since some students will not be physically returning to campuses until later in the year and BUCS will not resume until January 27th, it's only fair that we delay team trials - we don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity and we certainly don't want to miss superstar, who may have passed us by.
Will By-elections go ahead as planned in September?
Nominations for our vacant student officer posts will open on 28th September, with the election voting taking place on 15th October. We are looking for Student Trustees to sit on our Board, a full-time Activities Officer, Student Voice Reps and Student Council Officers.
If you want to represent other students and make sure that their voice is heard on all topics, visit our Elections page for full job descriptions and advice on how to get involved.
Can I still stand to be an SVR or a Course rep?
Course Representatives and SVR roles will still be the same however, all activities for Course Representatives and Student Voice Representatives (SVR) will be held online this year. We’ve been working over summer to ensure that all training sessions will be held virtually, that meetings for representatives are held on Blackboard Collaborate, and that all resources and support can be accessed online.
Course Representatives will still be elected in-class with their Course Leaders and SVRs will be elected online via the SU By-Elections. All information on Course Representatives and SVRs, including job descriptions, training dates, and toolkits can be found here.
What facilities at the SU will be open and what steps have been taken to ensure safety?
Due to the considerable decline in on-campus activities, we have amended the opening hours of some of our services. Glyntaff, Newport and Cardiff campus shops will remain closed for the remainder of the current academic year. However, the union shop on Trefforest campus will re-open on Monday 18th January on a trial basis. All Union bars and catering will remain closed for the remainder of the current term
Appointments for Hair and Beauty can be made online here.
Face coverings must be worn by staff and students in the SU building, One-way systems and social distancing signage are in place and throughout each day we'll be frequently cleaning high-use areas to ensure student safety.
Can students’ access and use the Amazon lockers in the Union building?
No, these lockers will be unavailable. However, students will be able to use and access the Amazon lockers located near the accommodation lodge.
When will the Zen Bar open?
At the moment we can't open The Zen Bar in Cardiff, nor Eclipse or Cables at Treforest, but we are closely following Government guidance to see when we can do so safely.
When will the SU shops open?
Our Trefforest shop will be open, with a one-way system in place from Monday 18th January. The numbers allowed in at any one time will be less than normal, so you may have to wait for a little while before being able to buy your must-have USW hoodie. Glyntaff, Newport and Cardiff campus shops will remain closed for the remainder of the current academic year.
What is the process for entering the SU building?
Everyone that enters the building will be expected to wear a protective face covering. If you are coming in to eat/drink, you will need to keep it on until you are seated at a table. If you have come in for a pre-arranged meeting, it will have to stay on until you leave.
When will Eclipse be back open?
Until such time as the Welsh Assembly Government has restrictions on the playing of music and on large gatherings, Eclipse will remain closed.
Will there/ are there any jobs available at the SU for students?
Staffing at the SU is changing for the new term. Working in bubbles, staff have been split into three teams and will be providing services across all campuses, some over seven days a week. In addition, restrictions on what we can open and the number of people permitted to work in those spaces, mean that there will not be any student worker roles available.
How can you get in touch with the Students’ Union?