We speak to the freshers moving into halls this month
55 per cent of students think that the halls outbreak will be worse than last year
Moving to university can be a stressful time in normal circumstances, but in the middle of a global pandemic, students are understandably a lot more worried than they would normally be. Last year there was a significant outbreak at the university with over a hundred students testing positive in the first week. Glasgow University was all over BBC News and many other news outlets as the first student halls to be badly hit by the virus. But this time last year the cases in Scotland were a lot lower than they are now which has left us all wondering will there be another halls outbreak? And will it be a lot worse?
In a poll conducted on The Tab Glasgow Instagram students gave their views on the situation. Almost half of those surveyed said that they were worried there would be another outbreak. And when asked Do you think the outbreak will be worse than in 2020?, 55 per cent responded with a “yes”.
The students were then asked Do you trust that the university will deal better with an outbreak than it did last year? To this, 82 per cent responded with a “no”.
We then asked freshers to tell us more about their thoughts on moving to live in student halls.
Olivia, a Psychology and Theatre Studies student moving into Winton Drive, says: “I’m pretty worried about covid in halls, but I’m hoping that people do get a PCR test before moving so there’s nothing immediate. I’d taken a gap year after I finished school in 2020 planning to travel if I could, but Covid stopped that… I was glad I wasn’t going until 2021 as I hoped it would be more in person by then.”
Holly, a Business Management student moving into Murano, is less concerned. She says, “Not too worried about an outbreak due to vaccine and relaxation of rules. General nerves about moving into halls and meeting all the new people but looking forward to it.”
A spokesperson for Glasgow University said: “Safety is our priority, and we are following Scottish Government guidance to ensure the ongoing wellbeing of all members of our community.
“The University has implemented a series of measures including: No large classes of more than 50 people on campus
- Improved airflow in our buildings, increasing both supply of mechanical ventilation and fresh air
- Unless you are exempt, face are mandatory when moving around indoors on our campuses
- Enhanced cleaning, focusing on heavily used areas.
“In semester one, we are planning on a blend of campus and online teaching, however due to physical distancing restrictions, lectures and classes held on campus will not generally exceed 50 students. Larger group classes will be online.
“There will also be programme specific on campus activities such as peer-assisted and group study sessions and guest speaker events that do not appear in formal timetables and that will be scheduled by the Schools.
“We will review this over the course of the semester, with the hope that we can increase the amount of in-person teaching over the course of the rest of the academic year.
“We continue to strongly encourage all students to get two vaccinations if they haven’t already done so.
“To assist students, the NHS is operating pop-up vaccination centres across UofG campuses and halls of residence. Students will be given the most appropriate vaccine, based on their personal circumstances.
“For International students, if they have received a first vaccine that isn’t available in the UK, but want to get a second vaccination here, the most similar alternative will be offered by the NHS.
“An integral part of the University’s arrangements for the safe return to campus is encouraging students to get tested twice a week.
“Most international students will be required to test as part of their travel arrangements. UK-based students are encouraged to test before they travel.
“Asymptomatic test kits will be available to collect on campus.
“Students will all have access to the University’s support and welfare services – including the Counselling and Psychological Services, The Student Representative Council’s Advice Centre and the Living Support Team.”