Friday 27 March

This message is sent to all students on behalf of Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford.

Hello everyone,

I hope all is as well as can be expected with you and your families as we come to the end of one of the most extraordinary weeks in New Zealand’s history. As we begin to adapt to being in our bubble during the coming weeks, I want to reassure you that we are well prepared as a University to support you.

A number of you have asked why we paused our teaching until 28 April. The key reason was so that everyone in our community—staff and students—could focus on their personal priorities and get ready for the period ahead. Many of us are coping with new circumstances, such as returning to live and work and study at home, being confined to smaller spaces, having much of our social interaction online and dealing with feelings of anxiety.

It will take us all a bit of time to find a new rhythm and establish new routines. One thing that will stay the same however, is the University’s provision of services to our students. All services are operating remotely and are able to deal with your questions and to hold meetings with you through Zoom, Skype and the like.

We have comprehensive information on our website about our student services and how they are operating during alert level 4. We also have information about a range of other matters and will be updating you further on Monday about the Student Engagement Day that is taking place on Thursday 2 April.

One thing I need to stress is that our campuses are closed and the only people able to gain access are a small group responsible for essential activities. Unfortunately, anyone who did not take books or equipment with them before the lockdown is not permitted to pick them up now. Students can still access Student Health services remotely, make sure you ring ahead for appointments.

Visit our website regularly for updated information. In addition, from next Thursday, we will be sending a weekly student newsletter to keep you up to date with new information and to keep you connected to the university community.

Until then, stay safe, stay strong and stay home.