COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT: 13 September 2021
Kia ora SAE whānau,
This afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the current lockdown for Auckland will be extended for at least 1 more week until midnight Tuesday 21 September. That means, Auckland remains in Alert Level 4 and our SAE Auckland campus remains closed for the time being. A further review of Alert levels is scheduled for next Monday.
Keeping Auckland in Alert Level 4 helps keep us all safe. By reducing the interaction that people have with each other, we reduce the potential of spreading the virus. This is particularly critical with the highly transmissional Delta variant that is currently in the Auckland community.
I know, however, that as each week progresses, lockdown gets tougher. I know that being unable to come to campus right now is hard. I know that you would love to be in our studios, using our equipment, spending time with each other, creating on campus. We miss our students as much as you miss us!
But I hope that the measures SAE has put in place will help keep you on track as much as possible and ensure your study is not too disrupted. To that end, I’d like to focus on 3 points below that are part of our strategy to help keep you safe and get you through this lockdown.
Our teachers are doing a fantastic job of adjusting classes and assessments to ensure you can keep progressing whilst in lockdown. However, individual or class-wide extensions may be needed if the particular project you are working on requires access to our studios, equipment or software. If this is the case, please talk to your Course Coordinator. Extensions will be granted where needed.
We also hope that by extending access to our studios beyond your final week of classes in November through to the Christmas break, you get that ‘hands on’ experience you are after and helps make up for these weeks in lockdown.
I am very mindful of the strain that lockdown creates. It can take quite a toll on our mental health and wellbeing. Our Student Support team have therefore set up a daily ‘check-in’ session: 1-2pm every day on zoom link: https://navitas.zoom.us/j/2506570952. Drop in and chat with Alex H or Alex T, and if you need a private chat they can place you in a break-out room.
We also have Hardship Funds available – if you have been directly impacted by this latest COVID outbreak, if you’ve lost your job and unable to pay rent, if you are struggling with covering the costs of data because of all your zoom calls, then please chat with Student Support. They can talk through with you how to apply for our Student Hardship Fund.
Once SAE campus can reopen, we lessen the risk of getting COVID or passing on the virus if we are fully vaccinated. SAE strongly encourages you to get a COVID vaccine. All people aged 12 years and over can get a vaccination. Go to: https://bookmyvaccine.nz/ to book your spot. The higher the percentage of vaccinated staff and students we have on campus, the safer SAE becomes.
Finally, I’ve been continually impressed with the kindness and understanding you are showing each other. Thank you also for the care you show my team, particularly recognising how hard they are all working right now. Our SAE community has met the challenge of COVID with compassion and grace. I’m proud of how we are collectively negotiating these unusual times and implore you to continue to look after yourself and each other. Together we will get through this. He waka eke noa.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, either via Slack @s.major or email email@example.com.
Keep safe everyone.