This partnership initiative was established to inform students staying off-campus of their responsibilities under the Covid19 legislation and to ensure that students are supporting each other, and the local residents by continuing to behave responsibly and abiding by the public health guidance. Students were also provided with information on council good neighbour guidelines. The initiative provided the opportunity to highlight support services that are available to assist students that may need support or advice. The letter drop was well received by residents, who were appreciative of receiving support from the university and external bodies.
Professor Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of the Magee campus, commended the efforts of those involved in the partnership saying,
“At Ulster University we welcome this partnership approach with the Derry City and Strabane District Council and the police, to ensure that our students are well informed about the latest COVID-19 public health guidelines, for the safety of themselves and the local community. We are delighted to welcome both new and returning students to the city, and whilst students will be receiving a slightly different learning experience, we understand how important it is that the students experience all aspects of university life, which is why we have provided students with this important guidance, to ensure they are experiencing university life whilst respecting the guidelines. The Student Wellbeing Team are also available to provide students with advice or guidance, and I would encourage any students to avail of this service if they require it.”
Kieran Thompson, Community Safety Warden from the Policing Community & Partnership Scheme thanked all those involved in the initiative, saying
“I would like to thank Ulster University and Derry City and Strabane District Council for their efforts in communicating with the students to ensure compliance and co-operation during these uncertain times. I would also like to thank the students who are complying with the rules and regulations and doing their part in keeping the local community safe.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney has welcomed the proactive approach taken by the Ulster University in partnership with Council’s community safety wardens and environmental health teams, and the PSNI, to engage with students and to offer support and guidance to them during this difficult period of time for everyone. He said:
“I think its hugely important that we engage with our students in a positive way by keeping them informed of the regulations and their responsibilities. It is also important that we provide the relevant care provision to ensure the students have access to the information and support mechanisms they need at this time. Our students have a huge role to play in helping us reinforce the public health messaging around regular hand washing, keeping a 2m distance and wearing face coverings and I believe that by engaging in a positive way with them, they can help bring about real and positive change in attitude and behaviour and help us reduce the spread of the virus in our area.”