New ‘zero tolerance policy’ introduced in the ASS to crack down on rule breakers

One student said that library staff ‘mansplained that there was a pandemic’ and turned her away

The Arts and Social Sciences library have introduced a new “zero tolerance policy” in its attempt to crack down on coronavirus rule breakers inside the library.

A new whiteboard at the entrance states that students will be asked to leave if they are not wearing a mask at all times (unless wearing an exemption lanyard), keeping a two metre social distance or if they are found eating in the library.

Another student also told The Bristol Tab that she was turned away from the library last week, despite having a valid reason to be there.

The ASS is the only library open on campus, and is there to use only if you need urgent access to IT and digital services, or you are unable to study at home.

The sign details that “social bubbles do not exist in the library setting”, so even if you go to the library with your household you will be asked to social distance.

Despite the website saying staff “will not refuse entry to anyone fulfilling either criteria”, Bristol Uni student Katy told us that she was turned away: “They’re trying really hard not to let students into the ASS. I have no wifi in my flat and went to study (which we are allowed to do and got an email about) yet the staff were persistent not to let me in, mansplained that there was a pandemic and I shouldn’t be here and should go home despite the fact that i explained i couldn’t study at home.”

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “We haven’t had any reports of students being refused entry but are very concerned to hear that issues are being reported. Anyone who has an urgent need to access the library can do so. We do not require any proof and will take students on their word.

“We would be grateful if those who have experienced issues, could contact Library Services so we can investigate.”

The spokesperson also said that library services are “reviewing new Government guidance about the opening of facilities such as libraries and study spaces during lockdown” and will update students on any changes.

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