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, some in-person Club and Society activity may now return, in line with the current government guidance. However, you should make sure to discuss any plans with the Clubs and Societies team first, and submit an up-to-date Covid Risk Assessment.
The SU staff team are returning to work on campus on a phased basis so email remains the best way to contact the team for now.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
Remember that 2020-1 committee members are account signatories until 31st July. Incoming committee members will be able to transact through the account from 1st August onwards.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for sporting clubs or email@example.com for societies. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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 do not come to the second floor staff office as it is not currently open to visitors. If you need to speak to staff in person, stop at the Reception desk and they will phone the team for you.
- 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 available at this time but will be reopening in late May. You will be able to submit booking requests here.
Can my Club / Society book rooms on campus?
The current government guidance now allows groups to gather indoors in certain settings, so we are working towards safely reopening our spaces.
All Clubs and Societies will be notified by email when room bookings are available again.
Any room booking request must be accompanied by an up-to-date Covid Risk Assessment.
- Can my Club / Society plan events, activities, or Offsite Travel?
As the current government guidance is updated, there may be some events and activities which your Club / Society can safely run.
If you're not sure, read through the government guidance and ask yourself:
- Is my activity explicitly allowed (or prohibited) by the government guidance?
- Are there are restrictions on attendee numbers which might prevent my activity going ahead safely?
- Will attendees at my activity be able to maintain all relevant mitigations, such as social distancing and hand washing?
- Will there be fresh air and good ventilation at my activity?
Then, work through drafting a Covid Risk Assessment and send it along to the team for discussion. Staff will then consider your plans and let you know if they're okay to proceed.
Restrictions on travel remain complex and dependent on a number of factors (e.g. reason for travel, need to self-isolate, green-amber-red list destinations, vaccinations etc.). As such, travel on University business (including Club / Society business) outside Northern Ireland remains restricted. More information from the NI Executive is available here.
- 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 email@example.com for Sporting Clubs or firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that Clubs must submit an updated Risk Assessment to email@example.com at least two full working days prior to any planned activity taking place.