University College Dublin (UCD) has issued new guidelines and plans for the trimester this afternoon following the implementation of new COVID-19 restrictions by the government. The guidelines and plans include not attending campus if you have cold-like symptoms as well as there being no change to the current exam schedule released two weeks prior. Upcoming conferring ceremonies are to go ahead as scheduled in December. 

UCD Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Mark Rogers, reminded students to “remain vigilant to the symptoms and manage [your] social contacts”. Students have been advised to not attend campus or in-person examinations if they have even minor cold-like symptoms. Furthermore, close contacts to a positive COVID-19 test have been advised to do the same if they are required to restrict movements. Finally, it has been recommended that students should reduce social interactions to a small number of people when attending social or sporting events. 

Rogers also states that “the timing and nature of your assessments remains as published unless you are informed otherwise”. 

However, there are no extra supports to be provided for those students who test positive for the virus or are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms and are unable to attend their examinations. These students have been advised to apply for extenuating circumstances and further details are to be provided in the FAQ section of UCD’s website as it is updated. 

In a bulletin sent to staff this afternoon, UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks, reassured recipients of the bulletin that “our planning to support face-to-face end of trimester examinations will continue”. However, faculty planning in-person exams have been advised to have “alternative assessments in place in the event of any change in government advice”. 

The bulletin states that the University is continuing planning for the Spring trimester to have a full on-campus student experience. 

Conferring ceremonies in December will go ahead in O’Reilly Hall with guests being permitted to attend. However, COVID-19 certificates will now be required for entrance to the event and participants will be required to wear face masks. Deeks states that “the order of proceedings will be modified to minimise interactions […] We will be forgoing the traditional after-ceremony receptions”. 

UCD Staff has been advised to conduct activities that can be done at home “effectively and effectively” to do so and meetings involving individuals from different work units to “utilise Zoom where practicable”.

Mahnoor Choudhry – Co-Editor

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