When the University of Brighton staff and students returned to campus in September in a limited capacity, it was evident that some changes were needed to ensure the safety of everyone physically at campus. One of the initiatives was to place so-called Campus Champions on all campuses to ensure social distance guidelines were adhered to and that everyone could feel safe returning to campus.
Southcoast Conferences hired and trained over 20 new members of staff from the student cohort to fill the new role, which quickly became a central aspect of the University’s plan to ensure the safety on campus. In the training, we went through how to handle PPE, crowd-management, and the general Covid-19 guidelines the Campus Champions needed to help students and staff adhere to. The students were also trained extensively in how to keep themselves safe while working this role.
For Southcoast Conferences, it was really important to offer this opportunity of work to students who might be struggling financially as the pandemic has impacted several jobs often held by students, including retail, restaurant, and bar work.
“Southcoast gave so many of us students who were struggling to find part-time jobs work hours,” explained Elle Babe, who was hired by Southcoast to fill the role of Campus Champion, “The café I worked in closed due to lack of customers and I was struggling to balance out my student loan without the extra income. But being told about this job and then being offered the role of Campus Champion made a massive difference in a time when everything else was so unstable.”
Fellow Campus Champion Alex Hood agreed, adding that “being a Campus Champion has helped students that have to come into university feel a sense of security and safety, as they can see we are on station to uphold the social distancing and safety guidelines.”
The Campus Champion project has run since early October and will continue until Christmas break. With students having Covid-tests done before heading back home for break, our Campus Champions will also help keep an eye on the pop-up test-centres.
We are so happy to have been a part of keeping the University campuses safe this semester and proud of our amazing Campus Champions for their great work.