If you have any events coming up, you can add them to the Union's calendar via the form at the top of our events page.
Over the weekend the Scottish government has been releasing up to date guidance on what restrictions will be in place over the coming month. I know you’ve been wanting to know what can and cannot happen in terms of events, and we’re now in a position to give clearer guidance on what can and cannot happen.
For the full government guidance, click here.
We are still imposing the rule of no in-person events for societies and subcommittees.
The existing guidance limits gatherings to 5 households when meeting outdoors. Members of societies come from different households, so in most cases this will effectively limit events to 5 people (or 3 indoors). This is in line with the advice we have been given by the University, that most departments (not including sport or teaching) are following.
We may allow events in the future with no/extremely limited face-to-face contact.
At this point in time we are not in a position to permit this type of activity.
Meetings should be online.
If a couple of members of a society or committee want to have a chat in person, they can under the guidance for seeing friends and family. However, any official committee meetings or meetings that would break the guidance must be held online.
If you are affiliated with the Athletic Union, you may follow their guidance on organised sport. Otherwise, like with all in-person events, you cannot hold sporting events.
No Food and Drink.
We’re not allowing in-person events to share food and drink at. In addition, government guidance states that you are not allowed to share food or utensils. When we allow in-person events, food and drink will still have strong safety measures in place.
Performances – Theatre / Music
We’re still processing the current guidance and waiting on more information about this. Live events are allowed within the government guidelines, but only in certain venues with restricted access. We currently do not have access to viable spaces, however we are working with the University to secure these, as well as looking in to what we can provide around the Union building. If you have questions about performance events you want to run, please email unionra@, dosda@, and does@.
You can do whatever you want to online.
Online events should be the default option. You can use Teams meetings, or Teams live for free. If you want any help setting these up, you can email dosda@ or does@. If this involves anything active (cooking, dancing etc.) and not covered in your general risk assessment, you must send a risk assessment to unionra@.
As an affiliate of the Students’ Association you get public liability insurance for your events. However, this does not apply unless you follow the rules we have put in place. We have a responsibility for ensuring that affiliated events are safe for our student members, and unfortunately the current environment makes this incredibly hard. As such, we are being firm in what we can and cannot allow, and insisting that the only the safest options are considered.
I’m sorry if this guidance seems harsh, and restrictions seem to be lifting slowly. We’re following guidance and advice from the government and University, and hope to lift restrictions as soon as we can. St Andrews is in a unique situation with the large number of international students, combined with the aging town population. Local lockdowns in Scotland are a reality, and we are doing everything we can to avoid a similar situation to what is going on in Aberdeen.
We want more in-person events to happen, but this can only happen when it is safe to do so. We’ll be sending out regular updates and trying to provide further guidance when we can. We are looking into how to provide safe spaces for events, and are hoping to be able to have more positive news soon.
If you have any questions please do email me at email@example.com
This page will get updated with more questions and more information once we know more. For the moment, we'd like to address some common questions.
Society events are likely to become even more central to student life. Some societies will be able to adapt relatively easily. Most in person activities will require limited attendance, movement planning, and some hand gel.
As a society manager, you will be keen to host any event possible. However, much of your target audience will only want to go to events if there is a clear emphasis on safety. Large, outdoor, seated venues are perceived as the safest event type.
You should think about 3 different scenarios when planning events, so that you can adapt to the government guidelines in place at the time:
In-person events will also be affected by limits to the number of participants. In particular, the household limit will limit things more than you might expect (5 households / 15 people could end up being 5 people). Think about how you can split events up into small groups of people doing the same thing independently, rather than as one big group.