Covid-19: NUI Galway students must sign pledge to ‘behave responsibly’
Staff also expected to sign ‘community promise’, breaches of which could trigger disciplinary processes
Professor Michelle Millar and president of NUI Galway’s students’ union Pádraic Toomey display the university’s new “community promise”. Photograph: Aengus McMahon.
All students at NUI Galway (pictured) are to be required to sign a new pledge to adhere to public health advice and to ‘behave responsibly’.
All students at NUI Galway are to be required to sign a new pledge to adhere to public health advice and to “behave responsibly”.
Any breach of the guidelines may be considered an act of misconduct and could trigger disciplinary processes.
Signing the community promise will be a requirement for students registering for the forthcoming academic year. Staff are also to be asked to sign-up.
The text of the community promise - formally known as “cúram dá chéíle” - requires that signatories take personal responsibility for ensuring they are up to date with the latest public health information.
Students are also required to report any Covid-19 symptoms and follow guidance to self-isolate and get a test. The pledge also asks that signatories show “empathy, respect and due consideration to others” at university and that they “look out for my friends and those I live, learn or work with”.
Signatories will be asked to “respond in an open, positive, and respectful manner - listening carefully to understand the concern, and changing my behaviour to remove it”.
It adds: “I understand and accept that wilfully and repeatedly breaching university guidance is an act of misconduct and could lead to me being subject to disciplinary processes as outlined in the student code of conduct. If I see situations that are contrary to guidance, I will remove myself from those situations as soon as possible.”
NUI Galway president Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said the university was asking students and staff to buy-in to the need for a deepened sense of maturity and responsibility for the collective good for the new academic year.
“We are asking each student to sign up to be part of our university community, to behave appropriately, to consider others, to follow our advice and public health guidelines, to act responsibly and to respect everyone in the university and the wider community,” he said.
“This commitment asks students to respond in an open, positive, and respectful way if their actions are challenged and to avoid scenarios and environments that run counter to these principles.”
He said the community promise was a “ big ask” and making it a success was a bigger challenge.
“But it is the basis for a collective good. It has the power to be a guiding light - for the university, as more than an academic institution, to show solidarity with the wider community and reduce the spread of Covid-19. What keeps us apart can be the very thing that brings us together.”