Bristol Uni’s ‘enhanced mitigations’ are simply not enough

‘I guess an asteroid would have to hit the earth to justify sufficient support’

Bristol Uni’s attitude throughout the pandemic has been strikingly similar to that of Boris Johnson’s approach. It feels like they have chosen to withhold information as long as possible and tell us at the last minute, when really the impact would have been far greater had we known sooner.

The January assessment period is stressful for everyone and is a time where students struggle to relax over the Christmas break knowing assignments and exams are just around the corner. Now chuck a pandemic on top of that pile and the stress that students are already feeling is doubled, as we are left in the dark as to how our exams will be affected.

The first email I received with regards to the announcement of the lockdown was from the library services. Yep that’s right, the library, not the university itself. We all knew the lockdown was coming and yet the library team were faster at providing clarity and communicating with students than those running the show.

Whilst you might thank the uni for providing us with their “enhanced mitigation” policy, and believe this is the best outcome we could have received, it is simply too little too late for most students.

The mitigation policy is useless for many students whose essays were due in days before its introduction and therefore completed their work extremely stressed and not to the best of their ability. Even if we can submit an extenuating circumstances form, the outcome still wont represent our capabilities. Myself and my course mates have all agreed it has been extremely hard to remain motivated due to online learning and many of us have lost the passion for our degree that we once had, even losing sight of why we are doing it at all.

Throughout this time many tutors have remained quiet and have not been checking in on us like they promised they would. On my course many of us have not heard from our personal tutors since March. I believe this is completely unacceptable and shows how most of us are not getting our money’s worth and the teaching standard we expect, especially during such unprecedented times.

The day before one of my essays was due, I received an email from my unit tutor explaining she was available for essay consultations. However, she said that she needed at least a day or twos notice in order to arrange the meeting. How on earth is this is in any way useful the day before an essay is due? I think this sums up Bristol’s entire attitude towards its students during this time. We are the life and soul of the uni, we are paying customers and yet I feel like we are a last-minute thought to those in charge.

For a university that persistently claims to care for its students and their wellbeing, I feel neglected and overlooked. We have been provided with the absolute minimum aid they feel is appropriate during a global pandemic. I guess an asteroid would have to hit the earth to justify sufficient support.

If you feel lost with your studies and want to interact with other students who are feeling the same, check out this insta page.

If you have any questions about mitigations or university decisions, send an enquiry to the Bristol SU Just Ask service.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Students are not back in Bristol to party, so stop demonising us

• Bristol Uni security staff to wear body-cameras from Friday

• Bristol SU are asking private landlords for rent reductions for Bristol students