A statement from our Vice-Chancellor on recent social gatherings

A statement from our Vice-Chancellor on recent social gatherings

A statement from our Vice-Chancellor on recent social gatherings:

“I know that many people will have been alarmed to see pictures and videos of large numbers of students gathering outside of one of our halls of residence this week.

“We are clear that this behaviour is unacceptable. The majority of our students are following the rules and are taking their safety seriously, as well as that of their fellow students and our wider community.

“However, the behaviour of a minority of our students in recent days is clearly unsafe and, in many cases, contravenes the law. I wanted to take this opportunity to set out some of the measures we have taken to address this.

“Throughout the summer and ahead of the arrival of our new students, we communicated extensively with students to ensure that they understand their responsibilities - we will continue to do this. We have also updated our student conduct regulations to reflect the behaviours that we expect of them during the pandemic.

“The off campus events that led to an outbreak last week were extremely disappointing - we moved quickly to contain this, working closely with PHE. This week, large numbers of students have been gathering outside one of our halls, and I have personally spoken with senior colleagues at Thames Valley Police, as well as other partner organisations, to put additional measures in place to prevent further gatherings.

“As a result of this action, no large gatherings took place outside the halls of residence in question last night (Wednesday 16 September). We will ensure that this continues to be the case.

“We will not allow a minority of our students to jeopardise the health and safety of others, including our local community. We will be taking firm action against those students who fail to act in accordance with their responsibilities and the law on social gatherings. Where we deem students to have contravened our conduct regulations, we will take appropriate, robust action, which may include suspension or, in the most serious cases, expulsion.

“We remain committed to doing everything necessary to ensure the safety of our students, staff and the wider community.”