Students sitting outside

The student community pledge

Liverpool John Moores University students have begun taking a pledge to help protect each other and the public from the coronavirus.

As 23,000 students return to or start their courses, LJMU and John Moores Students’ Union are asking them to join in with our shared commitment to respect the health and wellbeing of the university community and the wider population of Liverpool.

The pledge, which aims to maintain “maximum awareness” of COVID-19 safety through Freshers’ Week and beyond, is being taken by students at all higher education institutions in the city, including The University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).

Students Union President Lila Tamea, who took the pledge today, said in a blog post: “The UK is now seeing four times as many cases on average as it was in mid-July. People are already looking to blame students, so we have a job to do not least to protect our own reputation. We must respect others, adhere to social distancing and be strict as we can about personal hygiene.”

The pledge, which is voluntary, commits individual students to follow national advice around COVID-19 and asks them to take personal responsibility for being aware, reporting on and acting upon the many university guidelines to keep everyone safe on campus.

Crucially, it reminds students to show equal respect and awareness of campus to minimise transmission of the virus show respect for the health and wellbeing of everyone living and working in the city.

Both Mayor of Liverpool and the Metropolitan Mayor of Liverpool City Region welcomed the pledge, with Joe Anderson, Liverpool Mayor saying: “Although public health measures have put a temporary stop to some things, like night club visits and mass gatherings, we are inviting you to be an important part of something far bigger - our joint effort to tackle the virus. We are depending on you to help us.”

The pledge also asks students to be respectful of others when challenged or challenging others over virus concerns, and to show empathy to those isolating, or to hall-mates or neighbours who are vulnerable or sheltering.

The Pledge:

  • I will show empathy, respect and due consideration to others – my friends and peers, my colleagues, my neighbours, and all of those who help me achieve my goals while I am a student in Liverpool. I note that this pledge sits alongside my Institution’s policies and that I have a duty to assist in establishing an environment in which harassment, bullying, and victimisation are regarded as unacceptable. I acknowledge that I may not know other people’s personal circumstances and that it’s therefore vital that I remain attentive, follow the appropriate guidance, and respond positively to the concerns of others.
  • I understand the importance of providing friendship, helping people avoid loneliness and isolation, and supporting others. I will look out for my friends and those I live, learn or work with. If I have a concern about someone, I will raise this with an appropriate person (tutor, line manager, hall staff, etc.) so that help and support can be offered.
  • I will be inclusive and supportive of those around me. If I see others behaving inappropriately and contrary to guidance, I will raise my concerns directly with those people in an open, constructive, and polite manner. Where I feel unable to safely challenge, I will use the method outlined at the bottom of this pledge to raise the concern with staff within the Institution.  I understand that not everyone is able to follow all protective behaviours e.g. wearing a face mask and I will not blame or stigmatise individuals or groups of people.
  • If I am challenged about my behaviour I will respond in an open, positive, and respectful manner – listening carefully to understand the concern, and changing my behaviour to remove it. I understand and accept that wilfully and repeatedly breaching my institution’s guidance is an act of misconduct and could lead to me being subject to disciplinary processes. If I see situations that are contrary to guidance, I will remove myself from those situations as soon as possible.
  • I know that this is a constantly changing situation – one which requires everyone’s ongoing attention and vigilance. I commit to continuing to learn about the issues arising from this global pandemic and to do all that I can to ensure that everyone in our community has the best experience they can.