All posts by Comms

Keen to join the Queer Straight Alliance at UC?

The QSA stands for Queer Straight Alliance is made up of 60 staff, who work together to ensure progress is made in supporting rainbow communities, here at UC. 

This positive group advises and supports the work of the Rainbow Advisor Ari Nicholson and meets bi-monthly. QSA come up with ideas on how our community can support rainbow staff and students, and members also get involved in student events, such as O week.  A steering committee ensures that the recommendations are progressed, and the group are great at supporting each other on projects across campus. 

Any staff member can join if they are rainbow or a supporter of rainbow communities. If you would like to join QSA, reach out to Ari Nicholson today!

Equity Review Update

In October 2020 Te Waka Pākākano designed and implemented a process for reviewing Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness at UC. The review investigated our shared organisational understanding of equity, the extent to which we are responsive to the needs of underserved groups in our university community and recommendations to support UC’s ongoing commitment to building an equitable and inclusive learning and working environment.

The review was conducted with support from academic experts and Human Ethics Committee approval and guidance. Mixed method qualitative data capture was used to collect student and staff narratives through in person interviews and an online questionnaire. 84 individuals were interviewed in person and we received more than 695 online questionnaire submissions.

The review is still underway, however Te Waka Pākākano has completed a first phase of analysis of the data and have commenced the second phase this month with intention to produce a report within the next 4 – 6 weeks. Although yet to be fully analysed, the findings indicate while we have made some effort, we have failed to give effect to our organisational aspirations for equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

Our tentative process moving forward will be to finalise the report, agree a communication process and confirm an implementation plan which will include co-constructing with key student and staff stakeholders a meaningful response to the aforementioned aspirations.

COVID-19: UC information on move to Alert Level 2

Following the Government’s announcement last night, the UC campus returned to COVID Alert Level 2 at 6am this morning.

At Alert Level 2, COVID-19 is contained, but there is a risk of community transmission. UC follows the Government’s guidelines for tertiary education institutions – here’s a quick reminder of our requirements at Alert Level 2:

Lectures, classes, tutorials/workshops, labs
Lectures will be offered face-to-face. Students will be strongly encouraged to watch lectures online [Echo360] around two hours post lecture, to reduce the demand for seats in lecture theatres to allow for physical distancing. Please direct students to their AKO | LEARN site for course specific requirements.

Staff and students attending in-person classes, tutorials/workshops and labs are expected to wear a face covering, observe physical distancing requirements where possible and follow good hygiene practices.

See below for further guidance on face coverings.

Field trips
Day field trips can proceed as planned and students and staff must wear a face covering when travelling or any time where physical distancing is not possible. Overnight field trips will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Postgraduate [Honours, Masters, PhD]
We’re expecting postgraduate classes and research will continue as planned, please refer students to AKO | LEARN site to check for any changes.

Under Alert Level 2 the libraries will remain open, however physical distancing of at least 1 metre will be strictly observed.

Focus on hygiene

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue
  • Put used tissues into the bin or a bag immediately after use
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Stay home if you are unwell

Location tracking
At Alert Level 2 location tracking is a priority. We strongly encourage using the NZ COVID Tracer app to scan into every building and lecture theatre on campus, and when you’re out in the community. Where possible, please activate the Bluetooth tracing functionality on your phone.

QR codes are widely available across campus, inside lecture theatres and all other appropriate spaces – people should maintain physical distancing as they enter venues, and scan the code/s once inside.

Gathering and events [that are not directly education-related, such as speaking events open to the public, cultural events, social events etc]
No more than 100 people can gather at events under Alert Level 2, which will impact events scheduled to be held this week and individual event organisers will be in touch with details [this does not include lectures].

For anyone planning to attend smaller gatherings [under 100 people] please ensure you are wearing a face covering, and you’re implementing a safe physical distance from others.

Weekend activities
Concerns have been raised following large congregations of people at events like Electric Avenue and other events around New Zealand, over the weekend. We encourage anyone who attended these events to follow Alert Level 2 requirements closely and if you begin to feel unwell, please stay home.

Any students who arrived from or visited Auckland in the past 14 days need to be aware of the latest Ministry of Health information regarding the recently confirmed COVID-19 community cases. Full details for all places of interest in Auckland, including dates and times, can be found from the Ministry of Health website here>

For further advice, visit UC’s COVID Information page>

Face coverings
All staff leading lectures and students attending lectures or other classes including labs, tutorials and workshops in personare expected to wear a face covering.

Face coverings help to protect you and others when you are unable to maintain physical distancing, by stopping droplets from spreading when you speak, laugh, cough or sneeze. Note: this message differs to previous Alert Level 2 messaging.

Please bring your own face covering.

People at higher risk
People with underlying health conditions are most at risk of COVID-19 becoming a severe illness. If you need to work from home for health reasons, please discuss this with your manager

Halls of Residence
If students have any questions on how Alert Level 2 applies to their UC accommodation, please direct them to their respective Hall of Residence website. More here>. Halls are sending regular updates to their students and whānau.

Posters and digital screens
Posters and digital screens can be downloaded from the UC website here, and put up in your area.

Business as usual operation
With the exception of the above requirements, UC is operating business as usual under Alert Level 2. For more advice and guidance, visit UC’s COVID information page>

Click here to see the communication sent to students and their whānau>

If you have any questions, please speak to your manager or email

Kia kaha. He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.

COVID-19: UC information on move to Alert Level 2

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening, the UC Campus will move to COVID Alert Level 2 from 6am Sunday 28 February – tomorrow morning.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with what Level 2 means everyone in our UC community:

Focus on hygiene:

  • Cough or sneeze into elbow or cover mouth and nose with a tissue
  • Put used tissues into the bin or a bag immediately after use
  • Wash hands with soap and water often
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Be fastidious with your use of the COVID Tracer app.

Stay home if you’re unwell. We cannot emphasise this enough – if you have cold or flu symptoms, please call your GP or Healthline  (0800 358 5453) for advice.

We are working to confirm what this means for teaching, learning and use of our communal spaces in the coming week, and will have more information to share with you tomorrow afternoon.

If you have any questions or concerns, email

Kia kaha. He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.

Supporting students in distress

Now that students are back on campus for Semester 1 of 2021, it’s a good time to familiarise yourself on how you can support students. One area that is useful to have a strong understanding of is the process of supporting students in distress. 

This flowchart is a useful resource that gives a quick and clear overview of the steps you should take if you identify a student in a state of distress: 

(Click on the image to expand) 

The more complete guide is here:

In the last Tū ki te tahi newsletter there was information on supporting students in general circumstances (not emergency circumstances). If you missed it, you can find the notice here> 

The non-urgent referral guide is here: