On Tuesday, the national press revealed that the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) had warned the government months ago that moving non-essential in-person teaching online was vital to slowing the rate of infection in universities and colleges. We have been asking the university to take heed of this advice for the last two months, to no avail.
With rates of infection rising in Cambridge as elsewhere in the country, particularly among young people, it is vital that we do something to slow the rate of infection. We are conscious of many people in the university feeling lonely and isolated in the pandemic, and that is why more needs to be done to facilitate safe in-person socialising among students- which is happening regardless of college regulations. We are also working with the University and Colleges to give more support to JCRs, MCRs and Academic Representatives who are already putting an enormous amount of work into providing opportunities to socialise outside of academic settings.
In light of the news, we have released a pledge for students to ask for all non-essential in-person teaching to be moved online. We really encourage all students who feel able to sign up to it, and use our template email to request it from teaching staff.