Whether you can join us on one of our campuses or not, Welcome Week is a big part of getting started at Essex.
This year our Welcome Portal will be a central point where you will get to know the Students' Union, how to get started in your studies as well as finding out more about all of the wider student services available. You will also be introduced to your department/school and receive a full induction from them. Alongside the academic information, we are designing online Welcome activities for you to get stuck into, including useful videos for settling in and ways to help you get to know those on your course with you. Keep your eyes on your inbox as we'll email you a link to get started on the Welcome portal as soon as it opens.
There have been lots of changes this year to make sure all our students can have the best possible experience, whether they join us on campus or not.
Our annual Fresher's Fair has been redesigned so social distancing measures can take place, whilst also still giving you the chance to meet and join our clubs and societies. If you are starting your degree online, you won't miss out, there will be an online platform so that you can sign up virtually. There will also be a second Fresher's Fair at our Colchester and Southend Campuses held in January 2021 if you have missed the first fair.
There will be a range of online department induction events too to get you settled into your new academic home, plus a range of virtual and in-person activities to help you find new interests, meet and connect with other students. Our Student Union also have a mix of online and in-person events planned to their offering as well. All community mixers will be online and in person, alongside events and challenges through which you can embrace your SU community and meet new people regardless of the campus you are studying at or where you are in the world.
We know keeping fit and taking part in sport will be really important to you, so we want to ensure you still have the opportunity to get involved. We are exploring a number of options for reorganising sport, recreation and green exercise programmes which comply with social distancing. We’re finalising these activities at the moment and will let you know when we have a confirmed programme, keep an eye on our sports pages for the latest plans.
We will also open indoor sports facilities, with appropriate social distancing measures, as soon as it is safe to do so, and in the meantime we have a range of online clubs and virtual classes for you take part in.
We'll be shortly announcing our plans for the reopening of our Essex venues, including the SU bar and Top Bar (Colchester Campus), SU Lounge (Southend) and Sub Zero (Colchester's on-campus nightclub) too. Also being lined up for reopening in the spring, safety allowing, is our Cine10 on-campus cinema in Colchester, our retail outlets and restaurants.
We have a variety of one-off online programmes and activities delivered throughout the year, such as virtual photography workshops, book clubs, art workshops, origami workshops, card games, karaoke, virtual celebrations of cultural events - if you can't be on campus, there'll still be plenty of things to do!
You will still be able to volunteer and make a positive impact on the local community with our VTeam (Volunteering Team), and we are developing a programme of activities which maximise the space on our campuses. We'll keep you updated with our plans.
We'll be making the most of our 200 acres of beautiful parkland available for socially distanced events around the lakes, from BBQ's and picnics to outdoor faith workshops, and green exercise groups - we have the space to have fun in the fresh air.
All of our events and activities will be published on our website or on the SU's website.