Feeling anxious about returning to campus? We’re here to help

For University students, the last year and a half has been a very anxious and unsure time. Ultimately, returning to on-campus learning is a benefit for most student’s education, but it can be a tricky time at all levels of study. Although some people may be looking forward eagerly to the return of on campus study, others may be more nervous at the thought of getting back to “normality” after such a long time away. The University is here to assist you in any way that they can to try and make this the most comfortable and enjoyable experience it can be. 

Due to the pandemic, you may not have had many chances to connect with people that also go to the university or your course mates. Try and connect with people, as feeling like you are in it alone has the chance of increasing your anxiety. The best way to meet new people is by getting involved in Beds SU or one of the sporting teams

Whether you have an existing mental health problem, or you’re starting to find things difficult, the pandemic has put a huge amount of extra strain on students. Take a look at the below Student Minds article for more advice about returning to campus after the pandemic. 

Student Minds

If you are struggling and you need some help from the University, there are many different avenues to do this.

  • If you have symptoms of Covid or find that you are positive then you should get in touch with returntocampus@beds.ac.uk for support with this and assistance. 
  • If you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed you can get support with our counselling services for extra support and help (counselling@beds.ac.uk). They can help with a wide range of issues and help come up with solutions jointly to minimise the issue. 
  • The mental health team can also support any student who feels they are overwhelmed and that it is effecting their mental health negatively. They can be contacted at mentalhealth@beds.ac.uk. They can support and give advice and also direct you to any other university or community services that may be useful. 
  • There is also currently an option to apply for online studying between September 2021 – December 2021 for students with exceptional circumstances. For more information, please email return.campus@beds.ac.uk

Compiled by Daisie Johnson (Return to Campus Advisor)

How to be a Greener Student

Depending on where you live on the planet, life is one gigantic environmental impact from cradle to grave and beyond, as the plastic stuff you didn’t recycle or was landfilled on your behalf, will stick around in the environment for thousands of years.

Your environmental impact is also dependant on where you live. Almost 1 billion people on the planet (that’s 1/8th of the entire global population) do not have access to electricity and/or running water.

Not only does your lifestyle have an environmental impact in terms of waste disposal and resource use, these impacts have a secondary impact (Anthropogenic Climate Change and Global Warming, vis-a-vie their subsequent ‘Carbon Emissions’).

The environmental impact of a typical student

Even when you are asleep, the fridge/freezer is consuming electricity, as are the electronic equipment you left on standby and the gas central heating that comes on 2 hours before you get out of bed.

When you’re awake, your energy consumption increases dramatically. An electric shower and the associated water you consumed that had to be stored, sterilised and pumped and then the waste water that had to be sent to the sewerage treatment plant (along with your toilet waste) to be cleaned again (more carbon emissions) before being discharged back into the environment.

You then (hopefully) get your breakfast using the electric toaster and your coffee from your electrically power coffee gadget, creating food waste and an empty coffee pod capsule to be disposed of as waste.

Now you’re washed, dressed, fed and watered you’re out of the house and travelling to campus. Depending on your decision, you’re either in halls and a short walk away from campus or you could be staying with your family and be 30 miles away from campus and drive on your own to University.

When you arrive on campus, the buildings are clean, warm and well lit and there’s also fresh hot food and drink ready and waiting, if you didn’t manage to grab some before you left home.

All the environmental impacts associated with your degree are your environmental impacts. If there were no students, there would be no Universities and ergo no environmental impacts. 

How to reduce your environmental impact

You already know the causes and the impacts of Climate Change, so what difference can you make? What can you do to make a difference?

Well there is so much that you can do, the list is so long that we’ve condensed it down into some key areas:

Waste – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

  • Ditch the plastic hand soap dispenser and plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner, you can replace all of these with bars of soap, bars of shampoo and bars of conditioner that all come in cardboard packaging.
  • Eliminate all single use plastics from your life by reducing your takeaway meals, using reusable coffee mugs and water bottles, take your own reusable bags to the shops.
  • Cook from fresh to avoid food packaging, and compost your food waste, whatever waste you have that you couldn’t avoid, always try to find another use for it or if you can’t then recycle it.
  • Reduce the amount of printing, there is very little reason to print documents in the 21st Century.  
  • Say ‘NO’ to Fast Fashion, buy quality clothing that will last longer than your time at University.

Energy and carbon emissions – Avoid or reduce

  • Don’t leave any electrical appliances on standby overnight, turn everything off at the plug before you go to bed.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower 4 minutes, not 40 minutes.
  • Reduce your red meat consumption or even become Vegetarian or Vegan
  • Try and eat local produce, look on the food label to see where your food came from, and try and eat foods that are in season e.g. no Strawberries and Salad in January.
  • Reduce your travel by car and if you absolutely need a car consider and Electric Vehicle.
  • Staycation in the UK, rather than holiday in Spain or Portugal.
  • Avoid Ultra High Definition internet streaming services, download in Standard Definition and watch rather than stream, if you want to stream content always choose the Standard Definition rather than UHD. 

Improve your Mental Fitness with the Fika App

The University has teamed up with Fika to help support you.

With advice and interactive sessions around confidence, presentation skills, relaxing, breathing techniques, focus, motivation and many more, there are loads of courses available to help you.  

Most sessions take approximately 5 minutes, are bite-sized and can be undertaken more than once.

You can download the Fika app for iOS and Android devices and try out any and all of the courses at your leisure.

Upon completing courses you can download the accredited certificates that can be used on your CV. 

Find out more about Fika and how to download it to your device by visiting the Fika website.

For more information about support available at the University during your studies, visit the University of Bedfordshire’s website.

Vaccinations for Students: Staying Safe & Healthy

We want you to enjoy your university experience and to do this with a reduced risk of becoming unwell from a number of illnesses including Coronavirus.

To support you in getting the Coronavirus vaccine, if you wish to do so, be it your first or second the University is opening walk-in vaccination centres from the 17th September.

Getting a vaccination at one of our walk in sites is easy, you don’t need to be registered with a GP or have booked a prior appointment, all you need is your NHS number.  If you are worried when you visit one of our vaccination centres, rest assured that we have vaccine ‘reassurers’ on hand to provide support and advice to anyone receiving their vaccine.

If you are worried about the vaccine because of any existing medical issues you feel could interfere with the vaccination, you should contact your GP for help and advice or phone 111.

If you would prefer to book an appointment rather than just walking in you can use the University’s booking service.  

Dates and times of our vaccinations centres are as follows:


Luton Campus (Ground floor at the Campus Centre near Careers and Innovations & Enterprise)
Saturday 18 September – 10am – 4pm
Monday 20 September – 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 21 September – 10am – 4pm
Monday 4 October – 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 5 October – 10am- 4pm

Bedford Campus (Ground floor at Campus Centre, outside the theatre)
Saturday 18 September – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 22 September – 10am – 4pm
Thursday 23 September – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 6 October – 10am – 4pm
Thursday 7 October – 10am – 4pm

Each vaccination station will have three tables set out with three chairs, and approximately 30 chairs to provide a ‘waiting area’.

Once you have received your vaccine you may be asked to wait for 15 minutes before leaving, so that medical staff can monitor any potential side effects.  For more information about the Covid-19 vaccine click here.

Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are effective methods of reducing the risk of becoming unwell from coronavirus. 

All adults aged 18 or over can now be vaccinated against COVID-19.  You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.  If you were contacted but have not booked your appointments, you’re still eligible and can book your appointments anytime.

Other ways you can arrange your vaccine:

  1. Booking your COVID-19 vaccination appointments online or at a vaccination centre or pharmacy.
  2. Waiting for contact from your GP surgery and booking your appointments with them.  
  3. Attending a drop in session. You will not need to book an appointment, just turn up and wait.  Check your local council’s website for further details.

The University’s COVID- 19 pages has further information on Covid-19 vaccinations.

Other important vaccinations

Universities can be hotspots for the spread of measles, mumps and meningococcal disease. Close mixing in confined environments presents the perfect opportunity for infection to spread.

These illnesses can be very serious and lead to significant complications and even death. 

More information about these illnesses and what to do if you suspect you are ill can be found on the NHS website.

MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)

The best protection against measles and mumps is to ensure that you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. 

Some young people may have missed out as the MMR uptake was as low as 80% in 2003. Most cases of measles have been seen in young people over the age of 15.

The vaccine is free to anyone who has not received both doses as a child. 

Check with your GP to find out your vaccination status. If your vaccination status is incomplete, arrange your vaccination before you come to university. 

MMR advice and information is available on the NHS website.

MenACWY

This vaccine protects against meningitis (A, C, W and Y) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) which can both be fatal.

Young adults are particularly at risk as they are carriers of the aggressive W strain of the disease.

You may have had this injection at school in Year 9 or 10. This vaccine is a single injection.

If you have not had the vaccine: Students going to university for the first time, including overseas and mature students, who have not yet had the vaccine remain eligible up to their 25th birthday.

Contact your GP to have the MenACWY vaccine before coming to university.

MenACWY advice and information is available on the NHS website.

International Students

If you have not had these vaccines, you will be eligible for vaccination once you are in the UK. Make sure you register with a GP.

 Stay healthy: checklist

  1. Check your vaccination status with your GP.
  2. Get vaccinated, if necessary, before you come to university.
  3. Register with a local GP if you move to attend the University of Bedfordshire.
  4. Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of measles, mumps and meningitis and know what to do if you become ill.

Sexual Consent: What Everyone Needs to Know

Sexual consent means a person willingly agrees to have sex or engage in a sexual activity – and they are free and able to make their own decision or change their minds. 

Making sure you get and give consent before having any kind of sex with another person (or people) really matters. Sex without consent is rape or sexual assault.

Consent is easy as FRIES

  • Freely given. Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Reversible. Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.
  • Informed. You can only consent to something if you have the full story. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.
  • Enthusiastic. When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do.
  • Specific. Saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you’ve said yes to others (like having sex).

Consent is never implied by things like your past behaviour, what you wear, or where you go.

Sexual consent is always clearly communicated — there should be no question or mystery.

Silence is not consent.

And it’s not just important the first time you’re with someone. Couples who’ve had sex before or even ones who’ve been together for a long time also need to consent before sex — every time.

There are laws about who can consent and who can’t. People who are drunk, high, or passed out can’t consent to sex

Consent? It’s as simple as tea

Please take a few moments to watch this short film about consent.

Take the consent quiz

To test your understanding of sexual consent, take the short Pause, play, stop consent quiz.

What to do if you’ve experienced Sexual Harassment

If you’ve experienced Sexual Harassment or know someone who has, please speak to a SASH (Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment) Responder. An advisor can talk in confidence to you through the University’s procedures, how to make a complaint, support in contacting the police if you wish to do this, and also highlight what support is available.

You can speak to a SASH Responder by visiting any SiD Desk, reception or speaking to a member of security.

Discover more

Read more on the support the University can offer you.

Essential Tips for Students with Caring and Parenting Responsibilities

Written by: Laura Tamara – Co-President, Beds SU

As a student carer, you may be caring for a family member or friend while studying. The person you are caring for may have needs which require considerable support due to an illness, disability or for a different reason.

As a student parent, you may be biological, adoptive or step, a foster carer, or a legally appointed guardian.

Balancing caring responsibilities whilst studying may feel challenging at times, but the benefits are great. Studying provides fresh opportunities to meet new people and change your environment. Aspiring for your future is a great way to enrich your journey in life.

At Beds SU, we understand that caring responsibilities could affect your finances, health, academic attainment, relationships and change your circumstances. If you are experiencing any of these, please access support from our team

Essential tips for Students Carers/Parents

I have first-hand experience of being a student parent, so here are some personal recommendations for those who are about to become student carer/parents themselves:

  • Carpe Diem – cease the day. Procrastination is the enemy of success, and the early bird catches the worm. Set an alarm, wake up and get moving as early as possible to increase your productivity levels. 
  • Create a workspace in your home and use it to read, think and write. Use a calendar to manage your time and schedule assignment deadlines. 
  • If you feel comfortable to do so, tell others about your caring responsibilities. It often helps to talk to others. Finding some like-minded support is crucial to staying motivated and focused.  Accept support from others whether it emotionally or practically everyone needs a friend.
  • Inform the university of your caring responsibilities before you begin your studies. When you start your course, familiarise yourself with teaching staff and inform them of your caring responsibilities also. You don’t have to feel shy about sharing this information with the University of Bedfordshire or us at Beds Student Union. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the interruption of studies policy in case you have a change of circumstances and need to take a break. If it is all getting to be too much then do come and talk to discuss options for you.
  • Everyone feels overwhelmed at some point in their academic journey, this is perfectly normal. Provided you are not constantly feeling this way, it could be an opportunity to stretch yourself and master time management. 
  • A significant percentage of our students are considered mature and aged (21 or over on the first day of studies). Enjoy socialising with the diverse and varied students we have at Beds.
  • The University library is an awesome place and I recommend spending time there. Familiarise yourself with the e-books and other resources available online.

Best of luck

Laura Tamara X

Covid-19 Vaccines: How to Get Yours and What to Expect

University life is returning to ‘normal’ and we are all looking forward to our campuses being back with a buzz, with full lecture theatres, busy libraries and most importantly, open nightclubs!

With student life getting back to normal it is essential that everyone stays safe and protects themselves and each other as much as possible. The best way to protect yourself and those around you, and ensure that normal life can continue is to get vaccinated!

To support you in getting the Coronavirus vaccine, if you wish to do so, be it your first or second the University is opening walk-in vaccination centres from the 17th September.

Getting a vaccination at one of our walk in sites is easy, you don’t need to be registered with a GP or have booked a prior appointment, all you need is your NHS number.  If you are worried when you visit one of our vaccination centres, rest assured that we have vaccine ‘reassurers’ on hand to provide support and advice to anyone receiving their vaccine.

If you are worried about the vaccine because of any existing medical issues you feel could interfere with the vaccination, you should contact your GP for help and advice or phone 111.

If you would prefer to book an appointment rather than just walking in you can use the University’s booking service.  

Dates and times of our vaccinations centres are as follows:


Luton Campus (Ground floor at the Campus Centre near Careers and Innovations & Enterprise)
Saturday 18 September – 10am – 4pm
Monday 20 September – 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 21 September – 10am – 4pm
Monday 4 October – 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 5 October – 10am- 4pm

Bedford Campus (Ground floor at Campus Centre, outside the theatre)
Saturday 18 September – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 22 September – 10am – 4pm
Thursday 23 September – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 6 October – 10am – 4pm
Thursday 7 October – 10am – 4pm

Each vaccination station will have three tables set out with three chairs, and approximately 30 chairs to provide a ‘waiting area’.

Once you have received your vaccine you may be asked to wait for 15 minutes before leaving, so that medical staff can monitor any potential side effects.  For more information about the Covid-19 vaccine click here.

The facts

It’s normal to feel a little hesitant about any medical procedure, especially when needles are involved, but getting vaccinated is a quick, easy and a mostly-painless way to make sure that you are protected from Covid-19. 

Watch the video below for more information on what is in the Covid-19 vaccine and how it works.  

Vaccines have been a safe and effective way to combat disease for hundreds of years and have led to diseases like: Polio, Smallpox and Measles being eliminated in many regions of the world. Despite the effectiveness and safety of vaccines misinformation continues to spread, so here are the facts you need to know, directly from the NHS, about the Covid-19 vaccines you can receive in the UK.

  • Receiving a Covid-19 vaccine reduces your risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
  • Covid-19 vaccines reduce your risk of catching or spreading Covid-19
  • The vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and have met the UK’s strict standards for safety, quality and effectiveness
  • Common side effects last a short amount of time and are nothing more serious than some soreness in your arm, possibly feeling tired, a headache or feeling generally Achy and ill. 
  • Major side effects are very rare and vaccination staff are trained to look out for any symptoms
  • A vaccine does not alter your DNA or cause any problems with fertility or pregnancy
  • The vaccines don’t contain any animal products and are suitable for people of all faiths. 

Covid-19 vaccines are currently available for:

  • everyone aged 16 or over
  • some children aged 12 to 15 who have a higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 or who live with someone at high risk of catching it

Currently anyone under the age of 40 will usually be offered a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and you should have the same vaccine for both doses. 

If you are worried about the vaccine because of any existing medical issues you feel could interfere with the vaccination, you should contact your GP for help and advice or phone 111. 

Find out more about each vaccine

For more information about each vaccine you can read the NHS’s patient leaflets

  • Moderna – Fun fact the Moderna vaccine was part funded by Dolly Parton, so you could have the power of the Queen of Country in your veins. (Just don’t let Jolene know) 
  • AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer

Our very own Dr Chris Papadopoulos – Principal Lecturer in Public Health in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences urges that being hesitant about getting a vaccine is a greater danger than any side effect. He said: “Recent research by Imperial College London has estimated that vaccine hesitancy could lead to an additional 236 deaths per million population. This is far higher than the estimated 18 fatal cases of blood clots identified among 25 million Europeans who have had the jab.”

Other ways to get vaccinated

If you would like to get vaccinated but can’t attend one of our walk in centres that’s ok, there are a number of other ways to book your appointment.

Booking a vaccine appointment

To book a vaccine appointment visit the NHS booking service or phone 119, translators are available if needed. If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

Walk in vaccination centres 

Alternatively you can find walk in vaccination sites, where you can get vaccinated at a time that suits you without a prior appointment. Perfect for if you have a few gaps in a busy schedule!

You don’t need any ID or be registered with a GP, although it may help to have your NHS number ready when you arrive. 

What to expect at the vaccination centre

Going to get your vaccine is a quick and easy, here’s what to expect when you go to get jabbed!

When you arrive at the vaccination centre you will be greeted by the vaccination staff and asked to wear a face covering (if not exempt) and then directed to a socially distanced queue, giving you plenty of time to think of a post vaccine snack you can reward yourself with (we went with our favourite chocolate bar). 

Once you have gotten to the front of the queue the centre staff will ask you for your name, NHS number and whether it’s your first or second dose before directing you onwards to wait until called for your vaccine. If you’re feeling anxious you can read through the vaccination booklet you receive or talk to the centre staff who will be able to answer questions and reassure you. 

Soon you will be called over and the person who is administering your vaccine will ask you some questions about your medical history and allergies. It’s important to mention if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction, if you’re pregnant or any medical information you feel may be important. 

You’ll then get your jab! Usually you are jabbed in your non-dominant arm and you will feel a quick sharp sensation from the needle. It takes no more than a couple of seconds for the vaccine to be injected, so you may not even feel a thing!

The hard part is over, and now you’re vaccinated. Congrats!

After you’ve been jabbed you will have to wait 15 minutes before you can leave. This is just so that the vaccination centre staff can make sure that you haven’t had a reaction and that you are feeling ok. After having the Covid-19 vaccine it’s normal that you may: feel soreness in your arm, feel tired, feel a headache or just generally feel achy and ill, this is all normal and expected, but even more of a reason to treat yourself to whatever post vaccine snack you were dreaming about in the queue.

For more information on Covid-19 vaccine side effects and safety, please visit the NHS website here. And remember, you can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to. If your symptoms get worse or you’re worried, call 111.

If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have Covid-19. Stay at home and get a test.

You cannot catch Covid-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

Testing

On arrival back at university, you should take two LFD tests (3-4 days apart) using home test kits (LFD Collect) and test twice a week thereafter.

You can pick up home Covid-19 Lateral Flow testing kits from our on-campus collection points:
Luton, The Print Shop based at 45 Park St, Luton LU1 3JX – 9am to 3pm
Bedford, Gateway – 9am to 3pm
Aylesbury Campus – students can collect kits from the library 

As well as picking up home testing kits on campus, you can also get tested within your local community: LutonBedfordMilton KeynesAylesburyLondon BridgeBirmingham or order home testing kits from the government website.

 If you have tested positive for Covid-19 you are legally required to self-isolate. You must also self-isolate if you have been contacted by NHS Track and Trace. From Monday 16 August, people fully vaccinated or under 18 will not need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has Covid-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive, or if you have symptoms. 

You must follow Government and NHS guidance. After you have completed a Covid-19 test you should report your test results via the government Covid-19 test reporting serivce. You should report every test you do regardless of whether it is positive or negative.  Students with a positive test result must inform our Advisors, whether you are on campus or at home, by emailing: returntocampus@beds.ac.uk For more information about what you should do if you test positive for Covid-19 click hereYou must stay away from campus if you are feeling unwell.

The Brand New ‘Beds SU Housing Guide’ is Here

Finding housing during your studies can be challenging.

Knowing your rights and the rules that you and your landlord need to adhere to when entering into a tenancy agreement can take time. 

To help you through the process of finding somewhere to live, Beds SU has put together a Housing Guide which contains details on the above, as well as information for those who intend to share a home with other occupants.

Don’t forget, we’re always here to help. Beds SU’s Advice Service can help you to understand your rights, contracts and much more. Simply email us on help@bedssu.co.uk

The Sunflower Scheme – Supporting Individuals with Hidden Disabilities

The Sunflower Scheme is a global initiative aimed at offering individuals with hidden disabilities a simple way to make their invisible impairment visible through the wearing of a lanyard, wristband or presenting a card displaying the sunflower logo.

Beds SU is a member of the Sunflower Scheme

Beds SU proudly signed up to support the Sunflower Scheme in 2020, training all staff to recognise the ways in which individuals may need extra help to access our services or venues in the hope of ensuring individuals with hidden disabilities feel more comfortable in our spaces.  You don’t have to wear the sunflower however to ‘prove’ your disability, Beds SU believes in self-identification and so be assured you can ask for help anytime.

How and where to access support? 

You can buy an official lanyard, card or wristband from the organisers of the scheme and if you chose to can wear it or present it to Beds SU staff who will talk with you about the support you need in a safe and confidential place and then offer any assistance we can. 

The sunflower isn’t only recognised within your SU, but in a growing number of transport hubs (e.g. airports) and public spaces (e.g. shopping centres), check out the ‘find the sunflower’ locator on the site for details on all businesses supporting the scheme near you. 

Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people that you may need additional support, help or a little more time – this may include around communal areas, social spaces or catering outlets on campus. The lanyard and scheme does not entitle you to additional study support.  If you require additional support with your studies, please contact disability@beds.ac.uk or visit www.beds.ac.uk 

If you would like to tell us how we can make your experience better please contact us here or email us

Beds SU is supporting the student voice to tackle sexual abuse

A conversation focused on tackling sexual assault within education settings has recently gained national attention with commitments from professionals across the education, including the Office for Students sector setting out expectations and plans to tackle the situation.

You may already be aware of this debate which is being led by the organisation Everyone’s Invited and you may have questions as to what your SU and university plan to do to support the call for change so we wanted to share what we’ve done so far and what our plans are going forward.

What are we doing?

Beds SU is always looking at ways it can support the student community here at the University on issues both from an institute perspective and on a national level, of which this matter sits. We therefore believe that engaging the University now on how we can ensure we have appropriate measures in place to support our students is essential in delivering a positive way forward in how we tackle instances of sexual abuse. 

On 8th June 2021, we wrote to the Vice-chancellor of the University setting out nine measures we would like them to consider, to ensure the processes in place for tackling such instances are appropriate and effective. 

We want to work together with the university and all relevant stakeholders to help make sure our students are protected from experiencing sexual assault, making all our spaces safe for all students and giving students the knowledge of where to go and how to report cases and the confidence to come forward and talk about their experience.

It is worth making it clear we are NOT doing this in response to any specific incidences at the University of Bedfordshire (UoB), but given the number of testimonials submitted to spaces such as Everyone’s Invited in recent months, we feel it is important to get the University to review current measures and amend as required. 

What do we want to change?

In our letter, we have set our goals, objectives, and expectations which we feel need to be implemented to benefit students. These include:

  • The introduction of mandatory consent training for students and a consent test which must be successfully completed before registration is complete.
  • The university to make a visible and ongoing commitment to tackling sexual abuse by reviewing and updating all its policies and procedures in a transparent and collaborative way. 
  • UoB to commit to taking every report of sexual assault on campus credibly and seriously and carry out an investigation into every report – even if the reporter or alleged perpetrator has left the university.
  • UoB to end the use of non-disclosure agreements when resolving investigations into sexual assault. 

This is not all we have asked the university to consider, just a summary of some of the main points.

There is help on hand if you need it

If during your time at university you experience or witness a sexual assault please know there are teams in place to support you.  You can reach out to the University’s Support and Report facility on the main website or reach out to the SU’s team of dedicated advisors.

How to add your voice to the conversation

You can also help us by contacting us and telling us what you think we should do, sharing you experience through the Everyone’s Involved website, help us engage our students through social media, talking to one of your reps or asking for support from the university or Beds SU.