University warns students over reports of ‘numerous’ Covid rule breaking

University students have been warned they will have ‘no second chance’ if they break coronavirus rules – and risk fines or the future of their studies.

The message sent to Swansea University undergraduates follows a number of breaches across both its campuses, in Oystermouth Road and Fabian Way, including student parties which have taken place during lockdown contrary to emergency Covid-19 laws.

The warning applies to those living both on and off campuses, including areas with large student populations such as Uplands and Brynmill.

The university has been working with South Wales Police to draw up measures it will take to tackle offending.

Swansea University’s registrar and chief operating officer Andrew Rhodes has written to all its students, outlining steps that will be taken against people identified to have breached rules.

Get our best stories straight to your inbox every day

Sign up to the WalesOnline newsletter to receive our top stories straight to your inbox.

It takes just seconds to sign up – simply click here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also subscribe to tailored content for rugby, politics, Swansea, Newport, Cardiff City FC, Swansea City FC and more.

Changed your mind? There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out.

In it he warns: “There have been numerous breaches of our guidelines and expectations as agreed to by you when you signed the Covid-19 supplemental student charter and this behaviour breaches the terms of the charter.

“Coronavirus remains a very real threat to our university community and the wider communities around us and as you will be aware socialising in large groups is forbidden currently”.

He adds: “There will be no second chances.

“You must not gather in mixed households or large groups anywhere especially in your flats but also outside in courtyards or other open areas.

“Please take your responsibilities as a member of our community seriously.”

In November, the university suspended 15 students after ‘unacceptable’ student parties were thrown over Halloween weekend.

People living Brynmill have also complained about house parties during lockdown with ‘loud music and flashing lights’.

Large groups of students in fancy dress have also been seen gathered on campus.

The rules you have to adhere to over coronavirus:

Students have now been warned that anyone reported to have breached regulations by police or the university’s security teams will immediately receive a final written warning and be required to sign a behavioural contract, both of which will remain in place for the duration of the rest of the individual’s studies.

And all tenants of a flat identified as hosting a gathering will receive the same, in addition to a notice of pending eviction.

Any students served with a fixed penalty notice by police for a Covid-19 breach also face further disciplinary action. And any students without identification will be removed from campus by security and not allowed to return without legitimate student ID.

Large numbers of young people, many believed to be students, gathering on a Brynmill Street in September
Swansea University students were spotted gathered in large groups over Halloween weekend

Students have been ordered to follow university and Welsh Government coronavirus rules, including on social distancing, in study spaces, halls of residences, all other locations on campus and across the wider community.

Swansea University’s director of student services, Kevin Child, said: “Our priority is the safety, health and wellbeing of the entire university community, especially in these very challenging times.

“This [letter] was sent to all students across university campus accommodation to emphasise the very real threat of Covid-19 to our students, staff and wider community populations.

“The intent was to raise awareness and prevent individuals from entering the disciplinary process, which is the last thing we want for any student.

“It is a reminder that irresponsible behaviour breaching not only our Covid-19 Supplemental Student Charter – which all students agreed to when enrolling – but also current government guidelines will be addressed robustly.

“Students who are not on campus or those who abide by the regulations have absolutely nothing to be concerned about.”

WalesOnline – Swansea