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University News Update: Covid-Safe Dining, A Brand-New College and Ongoing Petitions

Photo by Sarah on Unsplash

Written by Izzie Norwood

York University’s dining areas have been closed for eat-in services for the majority of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with accommodation-based students eating take-away versions of the classic college meals. Vanbrugh College’s recent solution to this take-away travesty has arisen with the opening of their ‘supervised lunch space’, providing students with a ‘safe space’ to dine.

This week, students received an email from YUSU outlining the details for this newly-designed eating area, incorporating tables at a comfortable three-metre social distance, resulting in the overall capacity for 14 students. This outlet requires strict measures to ensure maximum safety, with students being asked to avoid touching anything they do not intend to purchase, and to continue with the expected one-way systems, face coverings and ‘track and trace’ requirements. These rules are a common staple of all student cafes and restaurants, with the university outlining their visiting measures on their website.

In other recent college news, the newest university college has been granted its name. Students were asked to send in their name ideas, nominating people and places who are believed to be worthy of a college in their honour. This follows preceding college traditions, in which The River Derwent (Derwent College), Sir John Vanbrugh (Vanbrugh College) and Emperor Constantine the Great (Constantine College) are just some of the renowned figures and landmarks the university has previously honoured. The newly announced ‘Anne Lister College’ is a homage to Anne Lister (1791-1840), the English diarist, landowner and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, often referred to as “the first modern lesbian”. Students are incredibly proud to have an LGBTQ+ icon representing their newest college, with the only complaints arising due to the slightly less catchy name, with many suggesting ‘Lister College’ would have fit the tone of the others more accurately.

As an update to our last University News segment, students are currently signing the ‘York Memes’ petition for an alternative safety net, reaching towards their target of 1000 signatures. The letter outlines the students’ desire for a ‘No Detriment Policy’, in which final year students are unable to achieve lower than the average of their previous marks, so long as they pass this year. This letter will be passed forward to the university upon receiving the required amount of signatures.