Advice for students about coronavirus - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Advice for students about coronavirus

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The wellbeing of USC students, staff and community continues to be our main priority. This page provides up-to-date information, advice and support available to USC students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest news
  • Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, has confirmed that with our COVID Safe plans, USC like other universities is exempt from ensuring the 1.5m physical distancing rule in our teaching spaces - although we will try to achieve this where it is possible. Evidence over several months now indicates there is a very low risk of transmission in classrooms. The Chief Health Officer also advised that outdoor cafes, with appropriate cleaning regimes, pose low risk because of the positive effects of air circulation, sunshine and seating, so more outdoor spaces will be made available on campus. As always, please stay up to date with the latest advice from Queensland Health.
  • COVID-19 Reporting form - Your health, safety and wellbeing is important to us. A COVID-19 reporting form is now available to assist us to manage an appropriate response to the risk of COVID-19. Please use this confidential form to let us know if you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • COVID-Safe plan for campuses - USC is following the Queensland Government guidance for universities, TAFE and other educational institutions and have applied the following measures;

    • Tutorial rooms and teaching computer labs – Normal room capacities apply to these spaces, however 1.5 metre physical distancing should be observed to the extent possible. All computers will be available in timetabled computer laboratories.
    • Lecture theatres (these are only been timetabled for tutorials and workshops) – Reduced capacities apply to comply with 1 person per 4m2 and 1.5 metre physical distancing rules. Appropriate signage has been erected in these areas.
    • Technical, clinical and other teaching or research specialised facilities have specific COVID-19 safe plans, which will remain in effect.
    • Staff and student common areas (including non-teaching computer labs) are required to adhere to one person per 4m2 and 1.5 metre physical distancing rules. Alternate computers in these spaces have been turned off to facilitate physical distancing. Check the latest open common areas on your campus.
  • Sunshine Coast Library - Level 2 of the Library will reopen from week 7 (Monday 31 August). For opening times check the latest information on library services.
Student Support
  • Student Central – Face-to-face services will be available from Week 5 (Monday 17 August) across all campuses, but staff are still available via studentcentral@usc.edu.au or +61 7 5430 2890 between 8.30am and 4.30pm for all student enquiries. Students submitting forms to Student Central should send them via email to studentcentral@usc.edu.au.
    • USC Sunshine Coast, USC Fraser Coast and USC Caboolture will re-open for face-to-face services from Monday 17 August, with modified hours - 10am–12pm and 2-4pm, Monday–Friday.
    • The USC Moreton Bay Service Centre is open for face-to-face services Monday–Thursday from 8.30am–4.30pm and Friday from 8am–4pm.
    • USC Gympie is open for face-to-face services Monday–Friday, 9am–12pm and 2–4pm​.
    • USC SouthBank is open for face-to-face services Monday–Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm.
  • Student IT HelpDesk – The Student IT Help Desk is open from 8.30am until 6pm Monday to Friday via email and phone. Contact the HelpDesk on StudentITHelp@usc.edu.au and +61 7 5459 4455. Starting from Week 5, face-to-face support will be available by appointment only at the Sunshine Coast campus. This is to help keep us all safe during Covid 19. The HelpDesk will additionally be open from 11am–2pm on Saturday and Sunday for remote support only.
  • Student WellbeingWe understand that the current situation is challenging for everyone and would like to remind you that Student Wellbeing provides free and confidential counselling services to students.
  • AccessAbility Services - Students whose studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder, mental health issue, injury or illness, or if they are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged can connect with AccessAbility Services to receive access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice. For students impacted directly by COVID-19 (either unwell themselves or caring for someone who is unwell), they should contact their course coordinators directly to seek academic supports.

Face-to-face support services may have closed but we're still here to support you to succeed. Please note below how you can access support services:

Service

Support available

Contact or book in

Student Central

In-person (modified hours), phone and email

Student Central

Student Wellbeing

Phone, email, Skype and Zoom appointments available

Student Wellbeing

SafeUSC

In-person, phone and email

SafeUSC

Indigenous Services

Phone and email; Phone appointments can be booked between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday

Indigenous Services

Library

Phone, email and online chat

Library

Student IT Help Desk

In person (Sunshine Coast only), phone and email

Student IT Help Desk

Learning Advisers

15-minute phone call consults for quick targeted advice

StudentHub

Academic skills, assessment task analysis and document review

Studiosity

Career Development

Phone call consults, job application and resume review, careers workshops, jobs

StudentHub

Contact a Student Representative

StudentHub

AccessAbility Services

Phone call consults and email; Zoom consults available on request

AccessAbility Services

Print Services

Technical support by phone or email

Print Services

USC International

Phone and email, 10am-4pm only

USC International

International Student Connect

Currently suspended

Student Central

If you require after-hours support, contact SafeUSC 

Where can I get general health and travel information about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

International students

Student visa holders should refer to the Department of Home Affairs for the latest information regarding COVID-19 and Student visas.

Campuses and facilities
  • USC Libraries are open, with student able to borrow from the physical collections on a self-service basis. Hours will differ between campuses so check online for access at your preferred campus library. We encourage students to continue use the Click and Collect service to select items for borrowing. Library staff will collect the item if available at time of requesting, then notify you when the item is ready to be collected. You will require your USC ID Card to access and borrow from library collections.

    Library Help services remain available primarily via email, phone, online via live chat, and Zoom. Further details on how to access the library are available on the COVID-19 Library Guide. Students are encouraged to engage with the Library online in the first instance where we can discuss with you the best way to provide you with the assistance you require. Visit the Library website for further updates.

  • Quiet learning spaces and computer labs are still available on campus. For a full list of available spaces on your campus visit Computers on Campus and please be mindful of the social distancing guidelines when on campus.
  • Campus food outlets - campus food outlets have amended their opening hours from 26 March 2020.
  • Sporting facilities - The University has reopened the sport facilities within the USC Sports Precinct to our university community, members, user groups and the wider community. We want to ensure our USC students and staff, members, user groups and the wider USC community are COVID Safe. We’ve made some changes to our venue operations including what we need you to do to before, during and after your sport or exercise session to help us keep everyone safe and healthy.
  • Parking ePermits - Paid parking is still in place for Semester 2. Any questions with regard to parking permits can be directed to Parking@usc.edu.au. Students that purchased an ePermit for parking during Semester 1, 2020 are now eligible to apply for a refund. This is due to the bulk of student teaching not being done on campus during the semester. Refunds must be requested via Parking@usc.edu.au and include name on credit card, type of card, and the first 6 and last 3 digits on card.

How can students practice social distancing on campus?

What will happen if someone at USC tests positive to the novel coronavirus?

What is USC doing to clean and sanitise the University?

How has USC responded to the coronavirus outbreak being declared a pandemic?

How can I help protect myself from being infected with coronavirus?

Can I use reusable cups at USC food and beverage outlets?

What are the changes to use of USC Sport facilities?

Will campus cafes and other food services remain open?

Is the USC Express Shuttle service still running?

Is Print Services open?

Student resources
Technology enabled learning

You have been hearing a lot about technology enabled learning – but what does it mean?

Most USC course content is already available via Blackboard. The technology being used to enable off-campus teaching modes is the Zoom video conferencing system.

To ensure you get to most out of your online courses, the following resources have been developed to support you:

  • To get the ins and outs of setting up Zoom, explore the How do I use Zoom? webpage.
  • The Train(ing) Station, available on Blackboard, provides guides and assistance for a range of technologies used at USC.
  • LinkedIn Learning is available to help you develop new skills or find solutions to specific problems. Find out which of the LinkedIn Learning courses could be relevant for you.
  • Don’t have access to a computer or the internet? Find out how and where you can access computers on campus.
Assessment and academic skills support
Health and wellbeing

USC is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment. Student Wellbeing has developed the following information to support you during this period of uncertainty and change:

Student Wellbeing is continuing to provide a free counseling service via phone or Skype. Contact Student Wellbeing to book an appointment.

Stay connected
  • Find out more about the resources and support available to you.
  • Stay in the loop, get connected with us via Social Media, the USC Student Senate has also created a ‘USC Kindness Pandemic’ Facebook page to keep the USC community connected and supported.
  • Contact Student Guild for all welfare and advocacy concerns.
Tips for studying from home
  • Think about your workspace at home. Identify an area where you can sit and work comfortably with your computer and notes, in an area that is well-lit with limited distractions.
  • Ensure you have the right tools to study. Find out what hardware you need to run Zoom, make sure you have the right stationery and the correct course materials to study from. Remember to check Blackboard for any course updates.
  • Keep in touch with your tutors and lecturers.
  • Stay connected with your classmates. Organise group chats via Zoom to set up study groups so you can spend time discussing ideas and swapping study tips.
  • Take regular breaks. Keep your mind fresh, step away from your computer every hour or so, try to go for a walk and give yourself things to look forward to each day. Make sure you separate study and relaxing time with a clear finish time each day.
Top 5 COVID-19 FAQs