Could hand sanitisers be installed?

QUESTION:

I’ve just been teaching a group of second year students.

They are really engaged and attendance is good within the group…however fresher’s flu mixed with seasonal colds is upon us. I don’t know how much this impacts upon attendance – both staff and students – but I guess it’s somewhat significant.

Therefore…could the University consider installing hand sanitisers across the campuses (inc. large lecture theatres) to help prevent the spread of the germs alike other public buildings where large groups of people gather?

ANSWER:

We did consider this a few years ago when swine flu was an issue, but after careful consideration decided against it because of the size and scale of the estate, the predicted effectiveness and the cost implications. We will however be happy to look into this again.

Are electronic cigarettes allowed in class?

QUESTION:
I had a student today ask if he was allowed to smoke an electronic cigarette in class. I’m not aware of where we stand with requests like this. Can you advise?

 

ANSWER:

Electronic cigarettes are used by some people as an alternative to a conventional cigarette and also to aid smoking cessation. Whilst there are no reported passive smoking effects or smoke/odour associated with the use of these devices, they do look very much like a conventional cigarette with a glowing tip.

For this reason, the use of these devices in buildings or within 5 metres of entrances and open windows is prohibited. The concern is that use of these devices may lead other staff and students to think that smoking is generally permitted, and will hamper staff trying to enforce the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006.

What can be done about improving gritting around campus during the winter months?

QUESTION:
As an employee who regularly walks 1.5 miles to work at the Stafford campus, I am acutely aware of just how truly lethal the pavements and cycle-ways on the approach roads to the campus are during the increasingly freezing winter months. Currently Stafford council deems it fit to salt the roads but not the pedestrian and cycle routes in Stafford.

The new scheme will force many students and a fair number of staff, who live under a mile from the campus, to have to walk or cycle to the site during this period.
I fear that we will see a considerable increase in injured persons who are forced to use these untreated surfaces to get to the site… something I am only too painfully aware of having slipped on the way into work during November last year on what was more like an ice-rink than a pavement (and I was wearing ice-grippers on my shoes at the time).

Will the University consider approaching the council to ask them to salt both the pavements and cycle-ways of the major approach routes to the campus i.e. Beaconside, Western Road etc during these icy periods to help protect the many individuals who will need to start walking or cycling to campus in light of the new parking scheme?

 

ANSWER:
We are continually reviewing our gritting arrangements to make sure that our campuses are as prepared as possible for the winter weather. This does include liaison with the Councils and we can certainly relay this request to them however, priority is usually given by local authorities to highways.

Can we stop Weston Road High School pupils using our gate?

QUESTION:

Dear Executive,

I am extremely concerned about the safety of Weston Road High School pupils who are using the Stafford campus as a shortcut in the mornings, exiting at the bottom gate below the Nelson Library and then trying to cross the very busy A518 Weston Road at this point where there is no official pedestrian crossing.

Often they cross half way and are then in a very dangerous position in the middle of the road. I have contacted the school about this but was told that although they can advise the pupils about the danger, they cannot physically control the situation. Would it be possible for the University to lock this gate in the mornings to prevent this happening?

Regards.

ANSWER:

Whilst sharing the concern about the safety of the Weston High School students, closing the gate to the University would create access problems for our students and staff as they need to use the gate at the same times as the schoolchildren.

We encourage students and staff to walk between our Beaconside campus and Blackheath Lane facility as a healthier and more environmentally friendly approach than using their cars and this entrance substantially reduces the distance.