St Chad’s College announces social bubbles of thirty students in 2020-21 coronavirus plan

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St Chad’s College has announced social bubbles of thirty will exist from the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

The announcement, made today in an email from St Chad’s Principal, Dr Margaret Masson, stated that “planning across the University is still at an early stage”, but “that it has been agreed that colleges will be organised into student households (of up to 15) which can then pair up with another household of 15 to create a social bubble of up to 30”.

St Chad’s, alongside St John’s College, is a ‘recognised college’ at Durham University, which means it has an independent status allowing it can act independently of University policy, unlike other (‘maintained’) colleges.

However, the email stated that the College are working out how to “best operate within the constraints of Covid-19 – within government and Durham University guidelines”.

Colleges will be organised into student households (of up to 15) which can then pair up with another household.

No policy was announced for the students at St Chad’s College who will be living out in private accommodation in 2020-21. However, the email gave reassurance that more information would follow for students that planned to reside within college next year. 

In a statement to Palatinate, St Chad’s College JCR President, James Burton, voiced his concern regarding the lack of clarity for the “large proportion of students that live out at St Chad’s”.

He stated that he intends to ensure that college life “continues strongly throughout Michaelmas term” as promised by the wider University.

The announcement follows the University’s email this afternoon, stating that two reusable face masks will be made available to all students and staff in the upcoming academic year. However, the University does not plan to make face coverings compulsory on campus. 

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