If you’re heading to University this year and have yet to be vaccinated against Meningitis, you might want to think about doing so.
Public Health England has reported that the number of cases of the Men W strain of Meningitis has risen from 22 to 209 between 2009 and 2015. With students from all over the world coming together it can be easy for Men W to spread, especially as some students may be carriers of the bacteria without even knowing it.
Luckily though you can easily make sure you won’t be affected by taking just a few minutes out of your day to visit your GP and getting the Men ACWY vaccine. The vaccine will protect you against Meningococcal A, C, W and Y diseases, all of which can be fatal or can cause life-changing disabilities.
Make sure you’re aware of the signs and symptoms:
- Light sensitivity
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Cold hands and/or feet
- Drowsy or sleepy
- Confused or delirious
- Pale, blotchy skin.
- Rash with red or brown spots that doesn’t disappear when pressed by a glass
Meningitis can present itself as flu, but knowing what to look out for could save your life. Make sure you get vaccinated!
If you’re a new student and already on campus you are eligible to get the vaccine at Coventry University’s Medical Centre located in The Hub. To register or book an appointment call 02476 592012.
Coventry Trading Standards are encouraging all students to be alert and vigilant to scams and fraud schemes that are targeting students. They’ve recently highlighted some scams that are particularly targeting students, so we’ve put together a guide from their most recent newsletter to help you avoid them, and what to do if you’re a victim too.
If you think you have been affected by a scam, you can speak to one of our advisors at SUAC for free confidential advice.
Student fraud emails and phishing scams
Another fraud email that has been reported is a phishing scam reporting to be a university finance department, informing students that they have won a scholarship or financial award. The email asks for a series of sensitive personal information and then bank details to ‘transfer’ the money across. This email is a scam and you should NOT provide any information. Do not click on any links within the email either, as these can redirect and compromise your personal details or bank account.
Student accommodation fraud warning
Rental fraud scams often operate with fake landlords pretending to own properties or advertising properties to rent which are not available, and in some cases are not even owned by them. These ‘landlords’ then take deposits from tenants upfront and vanish, leaving students out of pocket and without a place to live.
Coventry Trading Standards have produced a list of tips in order for prospective tenants to protect themselves:
- Never send money upfront – Make certain the person and property exists and the person has control of the property. Paying a deposit is standard in renting, but paying money upfront to secure one is not. The safest way to pay is by a credit card in person at the letting agent’s office where a formal contract should also be signed before any money has changed hands.
- Check the legitimacy of the advert – Avoid adverts that do not give the address of the property.
- Be aware of adverts with no telephone numbers or where the only email address is a free one –Look for UK based telephone numbers and be wary of numbers starting with 070 (or +4470) which are non-geographic business numbers.
- Visit the house – Meet the landlord there to confirm that the property is legitimate. Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to let you visit the property. Also ask for copies of tenancy agreements and any safety certificates.
- Ask the Landlord for ID – If you have any suspicions, ask to see their driving license to establish they are who they say they are.
- Do not proceed if asked to transfer money via money transfer agents such as Western Union, Money Gram or Paysafe –The safest way to make a payment is at the letting agent’s office by credit card and make sure you are given a formal signed contract before any money changes hands.
- Check to see if the owner is a member of rental schemes – Look for accreditation membership such as National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
- Protect your deposit – When a deposit is taken other than a “holding deposit”, the money must be paid into a Government approved deposit scheme, such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/private-renting
You can get advice from SUAC about renting and contracts, including more information about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and they will check through your rental contract for you free of charge.
Identity theft and shared accommodation
Identity theft occurs when your personal identification information is used without your knowledge or permission. If you live in shared accommodation with a communal entrance and post-box, you’re much more likely to be a target for identity theft. People can easily pick up your post and something as small as one bank statement is all it takes.
Keep yourself safe from identity theft; never throw away entire bills, receipts, credit or debit card slips, bank statements or even unwanted post in your name. Instead destroy them, preferably by shredding them before placing in the bin.
If you think that you may be a victim of identity theft contact one of the credit reference agencies listed below for a free ‘victim of fraud’ service.
- Equifax – 0800 121 4752 or: www.equifax.co.uk/ask
- Callcredit – 0870 060 1414 or: email@example.com
- Experian – 0844 481 8000 or: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can get more information from Coventry Trading Standards at http://www.coventry.gov.uk/tradingstandards, or contact the SUAC on http://www.cusu.org/support/advice/.
Coventry University Students’ Union (CUSU) and the multiplicity of communities it serves are still trying to come to terms with the results of the European Referendum. As a democratic organisation we acknowledge that people voted in large numbers to make their wishes known, however, like the rest of the population of the UK and the rest of the world we are waiting to find out exactly what that vote means for us and the people we represent.
The University have assured students that they will continue their commitment to supporting the diverse student body here at Coventry, including scholarships for study and research opportunities. Here at CUSU, we too support and encourage students to study here with us, and to become part of the fantastic student community we have here within CUSU. Whatever happens in the future regarding government policy, we will inform you as soon as possible of these decisions, and we will continue to support all of our students here no matter what. Read the university’s statement here; http://www.coventry.ac.uk/primary-news/coventry-university-statement-on-the-eu-referendum-result/
It is our responsibility as a membership organisation that we must protect the interests of our members and we will be working with our Board of Trustees, the University, NUS, local and national government to ensure that this happens both in the short and the long term. It is not anticipated that there will be any immediate effects of the vote on our University community however that does not stop us working in your interests from this day forward.
At the forefront of our minds is our objective to ensure that Coventry University and the places where our students live and work while they are studying here continue to be safe and welcoming places for them to be. As a Students’ Union, we will be campaigning to show everyone that there is more that unites the staff and students at Coventry University than divides them, and that goes for the communities they live in as well.
The President, Coventry University Students’ Union (On behalf of the Executive Team).
So it’s been a few weeks since everyone finished University and some of you may have your plans for the future set. But for those of you who are still deciding what to do now you’ve left Coventry University, don’t panic! It can be rather daunting to think about what you want to do next, but there’s loads you can do if you haven’t already found yourself a job, or applied for postgraduate studies. We’ve put together some suggestions on how to build up your CV over the summer by gaining experience.
There are a variety of international volunteering opportunities available. Not only will showing you’ve spent time volunteering abroad look great on your CV, you’ll gain loads of transferable skills and have an amazing time while you’re there. Not to mention a lot of volunteering organisations will pay for your accommodation and meals while you’re there, meaning you can explore a new part of the world by just paying for your flights!
Your experience will be unique and rewarding, providing you with a chance to make new friends and gain a sense of accomplishment – you might even pick up the local language! Whether your volunteering project is one week or one month long, it will greatly improve your CV. There’s loads of information on the various opportunities available online so go and explore!
Volunteering in the UK
There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in the UK. Whilst it may not seem as exotic as travelling abroad, it can be just as beneficial. You’ll get to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds as well as gain transferable skills such as communication and teamwork.
While you might be in a volunteering role that isn’t directly linked to your degree or future career, having a variety of skills and experiences on your CV can be a real boost in standing out from others in the job market
Internships are a great way to gain experience in your chosen field. They are also a great way of making sure you definitely want to go into your chosen career by trying it for a few weeks. The skills you’ll gain from an internship will be relevant to your career path, and internships can give you a good insight into industry and various companies, especially if you do more than one.
Internships have the potential to lead to a full time job, so you can think of them as a trial period where you’re gaining invaluable experience. If you can’t secure a long term internship, taking on several short term ones throughout the summer is just as beneficial. It will look great on your CV by showing you have professional experience and relevant skills at a range of companies and job roles.
Take a Gap Year
For many graduates the thought of going straight into employment is daunting. But why not take a year out to see the world? If you want to travel and explore the world there may not be any better time to do it other than when you’re young. While you have few responsibilities, now is the perfect time to save up some money and travel for a few months.
You’ll be able to explore different parts of the world as well as relax and reflect on what you really want to do when you get home. Post-university gap years even help benefit your career opportunities. You’ll gain valuable skills such as: problem solving, teamwork and communication, not to mention the language skills you might gain from it. Showing a potential employer that you’ve had the initiative and organisation skills to arrange a well-structured gap year, demonstrates the valuable transferable skills you hold, and that makes you a perfect candidate. Plus, you’ll even get some amazing stories out of it!
Today we were out on campus gathering ideas from our postgraduate students on what they would like to see from their Postgraduates’ Guild. We have had some great ideas and don’t forget if you have anything you would like to tell us you can email email@example.com ! Check out some pictures below:
Yesterday at CUSU Postgraduates’ Guild we held our first ever Postgraduate Networking event to discuss how SU’s can develop and better their provision for the Postgraduate student community.
Last week the CUSU Volunteering department were shortlisted for a Coventry University Excellence Award. Last night the awards took place at Coventry Cathedral and we are proud to report that our very own Volunteering department won an award!
The award was in the Community Engagement Initiative category and was for the excellent Gen2Gen project.
This weekend sees the return of Coventry Pride, which this year will take place at Fargo Village. As well as being a weekend full of entertainment it’s also a great chance to discover more about the LGBT+ community.
The Coventry University Excellence Awards take place this year on Thursday 23rd June at Coventry cathedral, and the hard work put in by the Volunteering department here at CUSU, and the students involved, is paying off!
The Volunteering department have been running the Gen2Gen project for the past three years and this year it has been shortlisted for the Coventry University Excellence Awards, in the Community Engagement Initiative category!
You could be entitled to a partial refund on your TV Licence. If you have already moved back home for the summer and no longer require your TV licence at your term time address, you can request a refund for the final 3 months of your license.