Freshers’ Week will be a different experience for students at Dundalk Institute of Technology this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The traditional week when first year students are welcomed on campus and the rest are celebrating returning to college is usually packed full of fun events such as parties, BBQs, meeting up with friends in the bar and joining clubs and societies and of course, topped off with the Freshers’ Ball.
But this year due to the pandemic Freshers’ Week. which is taking place this week at DkIT, will see events going online to ensure the safety of all the students and staff at the college.
DkIT Students’ Union President Taidgh Kavanagh said that despite the coronavirus restrictions they will do their best to make Freshers’ Week fun with online quizzes and welcoming packs for students.
Taidgh said: “It is a strange time for students at the moment due to Covid-19; especially first years starting college.
“The numbers allowed on campus have been minimised and lectures are online to ensure safety measures are adhered to.
“It is difficult especially for first years who are starting a new phase in their life and are trying to make new friends and settle in, but we are planning to make them feel welcome and do out best to make Freshers’ Week fun for everyone.
“We have put a lot of work into making sure everyone has a good week.
“The events we are holding this week will be online due to the Covid-19 restrictions as we want to make sure all safety measures are adhered to.
“Of course, we would love to be hosting a big party in Ridleys nightclub for the Freshers’ Ball but it is not possible this year due to restrictions.
“Instead we are holding events online, including a Digi Quiz with students in with the chance of winning some great prizes.
“We are also having a live Q&A session online and societies and clubs will be having zoom sessions so people joining can get to know each other.
“We have also put a lot of effort this year into the student journals, which has a lot of information in them such as available counselling services and society and club details.
“They will be part of a pack given to students.
“We understand there is nothing we can do about the current situation unfortunately so students are just ensuring they adhere to the safety measures and getting on with things as best as they can.
“With a bit of luck there will be less restrictions for Rag Week in March, but you just don’t know as the guidelines and situation is constantly changing.”
The orientation for first years happened last week through a blended delivery including some online and on-campus elements.
Induction was streamlined and staggered across two days to ensure there was a controlled footfall of students on campus.
All lecturers and tutorial classes are being currently delivered online with only practical tutorials that cannot take place online taking place on campus.
Students are wearing masks while on campus and sanitisation stations have been put in place throughout the college.
The student accommodation on campus - which would usually be booked up by June but still has places available due to the current Covid-19 pandemic with lectures online - has reopened with students adhering to the recommended social distancing restrictions, wearing masks and with sanitisation stations.
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