We've worked with SOAS on a shared agreement for how we can make our community safer throughout this pandemic. This resulted in a 'community charter' as a way of being transparent and clear about what we can expect from each other. 

Here's the text of the agreement:


SOAS has a core value of community and we recognise that our greatest assets are our staff and students. Our community is founded on collegiality and cooperation, and the obligations and responsibilities of our members towards each other. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in and the environment we study and work in so that it is more important than ever for mutual support and responsibility towards each other's safety and wellbeing. This Charter has been created to set out the principles and approaches we share as the SOAS community.

This COVID-Safe Community Charter sits alongside our Student Charter and our Dignity@SOAS Policy. It sets out the expectations that apply to all students and staff during the pandemic and what you can expect from SOAS and SOAS Students' Union. We are all responsible for our wellbeing as a community, and have a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The health and wellbeing of our staff and students and the communities around us is the top priority for all of us.

We all undertake to:

  • Behave responsibly, following our guidance and government guidance and observing the measures that are in place to ensure our campus and accommodation spaces are COVID-Safe.
  • Be proactive, knowing that guidance is likely to change regularly, taking responsibility to keep up to date with the latest information.
  • Maintain social distancing, in accordance with our guidance.
  • Wear a face covering where required by our guidance unless you are exempt from doing so.
  • Be respectful and sensitive towards others and the communities around us, remembering that some people have legitimate reasons for not wearing a face covering, that some people will be more vulnerable than you and may be concerned about those they live with or family members.
  • Self-isolate and contact your Local Health Projection team and follow guidance on NHS Test and Trace if you develop the symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Inform Covid-CIR@soas.ac.uk at SOAS immediately, if you develop the symptoms of COVID-19 or if you test positive. You should contact your Student Support Officer in your Department or Student Engagement Officer at the Hub if you receive details of an actual or potential case.
  • Follow government guidance when travelling, including self-isolating (where required) when arriving in the UK from overseas.
  • Provide friendship, allyship, help people avoid loneliness and isolation, and support each other. We will look out for our colleagues, friends and those we live, learn or work with and if we have concerns about other's safety raise these in the appropriate way.
  • Not spread rumours or false or speculative information about individuals related to COVID-19.
  • Be inclusive and supportive of those around us.
  • If we see others behaving contrary to our guidance, we will raise our concerns directly with those people in an open, constructive, and polite manner. Where we feel unable to safely challenge, we will talk to specialist staff within the University.
  • If we are challenged about our behaviour, we will respond in an open, positive, and respectful manner – listening carefully to understand the concern, and changing our behaviour to remove it. 

SOAS undertakes to:

  • Maintain a COVID-Safe campus in line with government guidance, ensuring that our guidance is up to date and informs staff and students of any major changes.
  • Provide high-quality blended learning including face-to-face teaching for smaller groups and online learning/seminars for larger lectures.
  • Work in partnership with local authorities, local public health bodies and other partners and agencies to keep our campus COVID-safe and protect the communities around us.
  • Be transparent about the risks to our community while also respecting individuals' privacy.
  • Enable discussions about individuals' personal circumstances and reflect the personal vulnerability of students and staff in the measures that we put in place.
  • Provide digital and remote learning alternatives for students who are unable to come to campus for health or other reasons.
  • Enable staff who are working at home to work safely and with appropriate technology.
  • Be flexible and adaptable in our response, planning for possible rapid changes in the external situation.
  • Communicate openly and transparently with students and staff about changes that affect them. Our objective in all cases will be to minimise as far as possible any disruption to students' education.
  • Provide support services to students through the Student Hub, Academic and Student Support teams, Registry, Library, Careers and Student Advice and Wellbeing including face to face and online appointments, wherever possible.
  • Support the wellbeing of staff through the Employee Assistance Programme and sensitivity to individual circumstances and concerns.

SOAS Students' Union undertake to:

  • Work collaboratively with SOAS so that we are aligned in our guidance and processes and can reduce the risks for students.
  • Provide COVID-Safe spaces so that students, and student groups can meet one another safely in SOAS SU spaces.
  • Provide access to digital platforms so that activities can be held online & students can get involved and meet together in ways they are comfortable in doing so.
  • Ensure guidance is clear and accessible so that everyone is aware of the role that they must play in ensuring activity is safe and considered in our community.
  • Change our activities, events and services to reflect SOAS and government guidance to ensure the safety of students when involved with the SU.
  • Deliver relevant training, practical guidance and support for student groups, committees and representatives, have regular communication and make advice available to support students to build and run their communities.
  • Provide our confidential and independent Advice and Welfare support for students through any challenges relating to COVID-19 and how this impacts on student life, as well as helping you to access specialist support and wellbeing services where needed.
  • Represent student views in SOAS decision making reflecting how COVID is impacting your studies and student experience
This webpage was last updated on: 02 Oct 2020 16:08