Laiba recently returned to campus to start the final year of her undergraduate degree at WBS. In this blog, Laiba describes her experience so far and the safety measures in place to help make the Business School ‘Covid-secure’.
At the University of Warwick, the staff have been preparing to safely welcome students and staff back to campus. Whilst many of us might be excited to get some normality back into our lives, there is still an understandable feeling of apprehension concerning the state of the world. However, I would like to reassure you that after returning back to campus myself, more specifically to WBS, I felt extremely safe and you can still feel a great sense of community even with safety precautions in place.
Although I expected WBS to look different, I was surprised to find that the learning environment carries the same, if not more, optimism, curiosity, drive, passion and sense of community. Personally, I am excited to start my final year, no matter how different it may look. If you are a first year student worried about not getting the full experience, don’t worry; the people within the buildings are the same and they are working harder than ever to help you and all students get the experience you deserve.
WBS have taken the approach of blended learning which means that lectures will be virtual whilst in-person seminars will be held in small, socially distanced groups (for those studying on campus). Therefore, you will still be able to meet new people, socialise (in some ways), spend time on campus and access the University’s eateries and libraries! As a WBS student, you will also have access to the Learning Grid if you wish to have a change of study space; it has been positioned differently this year, with 1 person per table to allow for social distancing measures, and the WBS café will open with limited seating, mainly serving take-away foods.
The university prioritises students’ health and mental wellbeing, and they will still be providing full support if you are struggling or finding it difficult to settle into university life. You can book one-to-one appointments or even attend online workshops and online skill sessions via Microsoft Teams, which will cover talks from managing stress and anxiety to improving productivity. Your personal tutors will also be in touch to speak with you and to help you with anything you might need. If you want to talk to your personal tutor, just make an appointment through my.wbs! I can’t stress enough how useful these services can be; there are so many people here to support you.
By now, you will have seen that Welcome Week has gone virtual but luckily our generation knows technology better than most, so as long you have access to a device such as a laptop or mobile and the internet, you will be able to attend all the events from the comfort of your flat!
WBS’ virtual fairs will be held on WBSLive or mini-mywbs, and you can find the events you need to attend on your calendar, with a link to access the video stream provided on the day. Welcome Week will cover essential information, including an introduction to your course and further details about how WBS has adapted to COVID-19 and its plans for the rest of Term 1. My.wbs will be updated regularly with key information, so keep checking on there for updates.
For more general events hosted by the SU, you will need to access either Microsoft Teams or Moodle, depending on what you are interested in. There will be a chance for you to attend some events in-person (socially distanced, of course) such as student cinema nights and some sporting events. Warwick Students’ Union have designed various virtual entertainment programmes such as: Scavenger Hunts, Welcome Parties, Virtual Escape Rooms, Activism Events and, of course, the societies and sports fair! For further information on attending these events, you can visit the WarwickSU website.
One small thing we can all do, since we are spending more time in our accommodation, is to make our rooms as comfortable and homely as possible! So take time to decorate your room, fill it with pictures, keep it clean and, most of all, don’t be afraid to spend more time with your flat mates! Please make sure you are all keeping in touch with your friends and family, and remember that on campus your social bubble is your flat; you can organise picnics, dinners or local trips – just be safe, wear your face-masks and regularly sanitise your hands.
Finally, I would like to stress that alongside WBS’ action to ensure the safety of staff and students by minimising the risk of COVID-19, it is crucial that everyone follows the guidance of health authorities to stay safe and protect our community. We’re all in this together!
If you are an undergraduate student at WBS and have any questions, check out the my.wbs posts and the ongoing Coronavirus Guidance webpages.
If you cannot find answers to your queries please email the WBS Undergraduate Programme Team. They are currently experiencing a high volume of email traffic but will come back to you. Otherwise, please do book an appointment or virtual drop-in with the relevant member of the Undergraduate Team (advertised on my.wbs).