COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) FAQs
As a result of the on-going COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak in Northern Ireland, the University has implemented a range of measures to reduce the risk of spread within Queen’s. The most recently introduced measures for Clubs and Societies are summarised below.
Why do things keep changing for Clubs and Societies?
Since March 2020, almost all coronavirus-related government guidance has impacted Club and Society activity.
This guidance has changed continuously - sometimes becoming stricter, sometimes more relaxed, and sometimes only targeting specific types of activity or gatherings.
When the government makes these announcements, we all have a responsibility to consider them carefully and put appropriate measures in place to keep ourselves and the people around us safe.
In the current circumstances, in-person Club and Society activity remains curtailed and the SU staff team are returning to work on campus on a phased basis. For now, email remains the best way to contact the team.
- Can we visit the Finance Office or access our funds?
The SU building has reopened and the Finance Office is open for visitors Monday - Thursday. The office is not physically open on Fridays, so please contact the team on email@example.com instead.
When visiting the Finance Office, be mindful of the social distancing guidance and one-way system around the building. If there is a queue in the corridor, please allow plenty of space between individuals or come back later. Remember that the Finance Office closes the door for lunch (1pm - 1.45pm) and closes the office for the end of the day at about 4.15pm.
At this time, supplier invoices will be paid as usual and reimbursement payments will be made directly into bank accounts (i.e. not by cheque).
To make a purchase at this time, soft copies of documents such as TAFs should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with all of your current committee signatories copied into the email thread. Each one should then reply into the thread to clearly say that they approve the payment (including details of the amount and the supplier). So for example, if your Club / Society needs to make a payment of £500 to Signature Works, you need to email us the completed TAF and each of your signatories (i.e. Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) need to confirm by replying to the thread “I approve this payment of £500 to Signature Works”. Signatories should always use their student QUB emails when communicating with the Finance Office.
- How can my Club / Society access support from the SU during this time?
You can continue to access support during normal working hours by emailing email@example.com for sporting clubs or firstname.lastname@example.org for societies. You can also contact email@example.com with any financial queries.
The team is receiving a significant volume of email queries, so you may not receive a reply immediately. For non-urgent queries, make sure to check the Online Handbook first and re-read any recent update emails in your Club / Society inbox.
Committee members may also wish to join the Facebook group if they haven’t already done so. On requesting to join you will be asked to provide the name of your Club / Society and your committee position.
Please only come to the building in person to speak to the Clubs and Societies team if they have asked you to do so. Do not come to the second floor staff office as it is not currently open to visitors.
- My Club / Society is expecting a delivery or post. Can we collect these from the SU?
Yes, you can collect post and deliveries by organising a collection time with the team in advance.
You must let us know when you are coming as the team is working at home some days of the week. We will organise a collection time with you when staff are in the building and available to help.
When collecting post or deliveries, please stop at the front desk and speak to the Reception team. They will phone us and we will bring the post downstairs to you. Do not come up to the second floor staff office as it is not currently open for visitors.
- Can my Club / Society access the external Clubs and Societies Store or borrow equipment from the SU during this time?
Yes, we can facilitate access to the Store if you organise an appointment with the team in advance.
Remember that only Club / Society equipment should be kept in any SU or Queen's Sport store. Personal items should not be kept on campus and we cannot facilitate access by individuals to collect personal equipment.
The Clubs and Societies bookable equipment inventory is not open at this time.
Can my Club / Society book rooms on campus?
The current government restrictions do not allow for groups to mix indoors (outside the household bubble framework). Once more, these restrictions strongly reiterate the Stay At Home guidance and the importance of limiting our social contacts.
This means that room bookings in the SU or across campus will not be available during this period.
- Can my Club / Society plan events, activities, or Offsite Travel?
Throughout 2020, we appreciate that the majority of Club / Society activity has been curtailed in accordance with the current government guidance. The University has undertaken significant measures to heed this guidance, including closing many areas of campus and moving to remote learning and working where possible.
As the restrictions are changed and updated, there will be elements which are relevant to your Club / Society activity. It is your responsibility to carefully consult all current government guidance before planning any activity.
While the restrictions are continually changing, there may be some limited opportunities for activity to return in future months. It is imperative that before organising any events or activities, your committee carefully considers whether current government guidance can be followed, and social distancing maintained. You will be required to submit a Covid-19 Risk Assessment to the SU (and to Queen's Sport for sporting Clubs) before running any activity.
In the meantime, you might want to think creatively about how you could use the internet to keep your members connected. You could try:
- Encouraging your members to try some at-home exercise or yoga practices via YouTube
- Using video-calling software like Zoom to host committee meetings, or have a bit of fun with a quiz
- Hosting a Netflix Party using the Google Chrome extension and all enjoy a movie together
- Setting up a forum like a Club / Society Facebook group to share study tips, some photo highlights from your year, and to keep connected during this period of social distancing and isolation
If you'd like to talk more about ideas like this, drop the Clubs and Societies team an email.
Please note that non-essential travel (including Club / Society trips) remains restricted and the SU Finance Office will not be processing any travel or accommodation bookings until further notice
- What about my Club / Society AGM and committee elections?
If you are concerned about any potential impact on your Club / Society governance or general meetings, please contact the Clubs and Societies office on firstname.lastname@example.org for sporting clubs or email@example.com for societies. The team will provide appropriate guidance on how to proceed.
The SU has developed some guidance on how to run your AGM online, including committee elections. You can read through the guide on the Clubs and Societies Handbook here. We can also set your online elections up for you if you submit the form here.
- My Club / Society might struggle to spend all of its grant money before the end of July. Will these funds roll over?
Grant funding must be spent during the committee year it was received. This means that any funds left unspent at the end of July will be returned to the pot. This only applies to grant money – your Own Funds balance is not impacted and always rolls over year-on-year.
Rest assured that this money is not 'lost' - it's just put back in the pot. Next year's committees will be able to apply to access these funds from August 2021.
- Can my Sporting Club return to activity?
From 12 April 2021, up to 15 people (including coaches) can take part in structured outdoor sports training run by Clubs affiliated to recognised national governing bodies (NGBs).
You should check the most up-to-date guidance from your Club's NGB and make sure to strictly adhere to all required protocol, including social distancing, hygiene practices, and other mitigations. If you're unsure of whether your Club has an NGB, or if you're not sure how to contact them, speak to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately indoor sporting activity cannot yet resume and many facilities such as changing rooms, showers, kitchens, and meeting rooms remain closed.
At this time, the PEC and OTF will remain closed and unavailable for bookings. Any queries regarding facilities at Upper Malone should be addressed to email@example.com.
Remember that Clubs must submit an updated Risk Assessment to firstname.lastname@example.org at least two full working days prior to any planned activity taking place.