This webpage contains the latest information from Sancta regarding our response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

As always, urgent updates are shared with residents directly via SMS or email.

Do you have a question? Sancta’s Reception and Student Services is moving online. Complete this form and a staff member will get back to you soon. 

PAGE LAST UPDATED: 26 MAY 2020

 


Information from Authorities

Australian Government Department of Health:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Current situation and case numbers

Health information telephone line

World Health Organisation (WHO):

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mythbusters

Protective measures

Australian Government Health Direct:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom checker

Australian Government:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) essential information 

New South Wales Government

International Student Welfare Services Hub


Q&A

Jump to a section:
Fees & Contracts
Leaving Sancta
Staying at Sancta
Returning to Sancta
Support

 

Fees & Contracts

What is the College’s position regarding the payment of fees from students who have temporarily or permanently left due to COVID-19?

The College Council has actively worked to develop solutions regarding the payment of residential fees that uphold our values and prioritise the welfare of students and their families, whilst taking into consideration the wide variety of circumstances in which students departed the College.

All residents and indemnifies have now been provided with the new fees framework via email.

Mia, Dean of Admissions, will be contacting each resident and their indemnifier to confirm their new arrangement. It is at this time, that residents and indemnifiers are invited to ask any questions regarding their arrangement. 

UPDATED: 2 APRIL 2020

 

I have not packed up my belongings and I have already suspended my contract. Should I come and collect them?  

The College currently has a NO VISITORS policy in place. This means that any person who is not currently residing at the College, nor any of their family or friends, may enter College grounds without recorded approval from a member of Sancta’s Executive Staff team.

We are currently reviewing whether or not we can safely allow any departed residents to return to Sancta to clear their rooms and take their belongings. 

Whilst we acknowledge the frustration some of you may be feeling with regard to the clearing of your room, we ask for your understanding and patience as this is not a light-hearted matter and rushed decisions have the potential to severely impact our College operations moving forward. 

UPDATED: 2 APRIL 2020

 

If I have temporarily left and suspended my contract, do I still have access to the same support as students that physically remain at the College?

Yes. Students who have temporarily suspended their contracts will continue to receive:  

  • Access to Sancta’s Academic Program which includes online tutorials, study advice and virtual academic events and opportunities
  • Access to Sancta’s official private Facebook Groups pertaining to College life and academic programs 
  • Access to Sancta’s Professional Mentoring Program, including alumni mentorship opportunities and virtual events
  • General support, advice and service connections from Sancta staff including access to our Counsellor via phone, email and video conference
  • Participation in the social activities we are scheduling to keep our community connected across distance
UPDATED: 2 APRIL 2020

 

Am I breaking my contract if I leave permanently?

Yes. If you decide to leave permanently, you are breaking your residential contract with the College. Due to current circumstances, we have decided to waive the break-of-contract fee (normally a 4-week penalty + $750) for all students. If you leave permanently, you must inform us in writing by emailing Mia, Dean of Admissions.

Should you wish to return to Sancta when we are able to commence normal operations, the College will prioritise you above new students through a streamlined re-application process.

UPDATED: 2 APRIL 2020

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LEAVING SANCTA

When is the latest I am able to leave the College (temporarily or permanently)?

You can leave at any time. However, that window of opportunity to leave is diminishing as governments move to close borders in coming days. If you have decided that you wish to be at home during the peak of the pandemic, we suggest you leave as soon as possible. Please remember to let us know in writing by contacting Mia, Dean of Admissions.

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

If I leave, do I have to take everything out of my room? 

It will help us greatly if you are able to take everything out of your room before you leave, as this will maximise our flexibility and assist us to keep the students who remain as safe as possible. We appreciate your assistance by not leaving any belongings outside of your room, or in any corridor. Please dispose of any rubbish (general waste and recyclable waste only) in the skip bins. We are opening the Attic at various points during the day (times will be advised on the Sancta Noticeboard) for you to store some belongings.

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Can I lock my belongings in my wardrobe, like all students do at the end of the year?

No – you must pack up all your belongings and take them with you, or have them placed in the Undergraduate main building attic for storage. The attic will be opened for students to store one square metre of their belongings while they have temporarily left. If you need to leave immediately, please leave the belongings you would like stored in the attic in a bin bag labelled with your name, or in a neat and tidy pile in your room. (Contact an RA for more information). 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Where do I return my access key or fob if I move out (temporarily or permanently)?  

Please return your access key or fob to the slot in the Reception door. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

I’m thinking about whether to stay or go. What do you think?

We are equipped to support anyone who wishes to stay, and we are committed to staying open as things unfold.

We understand however that your decisions need to be based on more than just what is happening at Sancta, but that Uni, work and what is happening at home all play a part in your decision making. Our job is to assist you where we can.

If you have decided to leave Sancta for the ‘peak period’ of the pandemic: Given we don’t know when the peak will be, or how travel restrictions will continue to evolve, we do suggest that now might be the time to leave. 

UPDATED: 20 MARCH 2020

 

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STAYING AT SANCTA

Why did the College decide to clear the Main Building of all residents and clear all rooms of belongings?

We have already moved all remaining residents into Graduate House to increase isolation effectiveness and to clear the Main Building of residents entirely. We particularly need Main Building rooms to be clear of property due to a range of possibilities we have had to consider, including:

  • Any request from government or health authorities to avail the Main Building for re-purposing for the benefit of the COVID-19 response in NSW.
  • The serious health and maintenance risks posed by rooms having unknown property remaining inside for a presumably lengthy and unknown period of time.
UPDATED: 2 APRIL 2020

 

I have mail coming to Sancta. Will Sancta still be receiving mail and packages?

Mail and packages will continue to be delivered to the College by Australia Post and other couriers (this is the only exception to the current ‘No Visitors Policy’). You may experience some delays in receiving your delivery. We have also made some temporary changes to the way you collect your packages. You will now collect your packages from the shelving unit in the foyer, and you will no longer receive a message from a Sancta team member that your package is ready for collection. The new collection area is under 24/7 CCTV surveillance.  

UPDATED: 2 APRIL 2020

 

Will the College fully close at any time?

We do not anticipate Sancta fully closing. We have students living with us for whom Sancta is their best and safest option. Every measure we are taking now is to try to provide the safest living environment for them. 

Should an unforeseen circumstance arise that requires Sancta to temporarily close, we will not abandon our students. We will ensure that every single remaining student has a safe alternative before any closure could be contemplated.

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Will my movements in and out of the College be restricted if I stay at Sancta?

We will not be imposing our own movement restrictions in or out of Sancta for students who remain at the College. However, please anticipate that there may be periods of time throughout the pandemic where the Government will enforce greater restrictions of non-essential movement around the city. In this instance, Sancta will support that decision as far as we are able to, to ensure the safety of our community, and the community at large. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Will there be any job opportunities at Sancta for students who stay?

There may be potential opportunities for students to be engaged in employment at the College. We will inform students if any opportunities arise. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Are there plans to do anything differently with respect to food at Sancta? 

In addition to the (already implemented) extended and staggered meal times in the Dining Hall, our staff are working with our onsite catering team to consider further measures we can take to reduce risk with respect to food and the Dining Hall. Possibilities include the removal of self-serve practices in the servery. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Is it possible that the government will order our rooms to be vacated even if we choose to stay? 

We do not have any information that suggests this will happen. The students who now remain at Sancta are so because they need to be. Authorities will be looking to facilities such as this to ensure we are taking this seriously and that we are taking measures above and beyond the baseline recommendations. In saying this, as we have said before, if you can return home, the time to do this is now and this is the preference of both Sancta and the Government. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Is there a chance that the vacated rooms will be used by any overflow from the hospital with patients who have tested positive, given the proximity of the hospital to Sancta?

The Health Department has not contacted us with regard to any idea or plan of this nature. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

I have noticed that there are more parking spots now available at the College. Can I park my car on College grounds?

To park your car on College grounds, you still require a parking permit. Brigid, Vice Principal, manages parking permit requests – simply send her an email and she will let you know if a permit is now available for you. 

UPDATED: 20 MARCH 2020

 

Am I allowed to bring visitors into the College?

No – as with other residential colleges, we are asking for a cessation of all guests into the College. This is for the mutual safety of our residents, and to have us collectively do our part for the broader community. If you have unique circumstances, please contact Fiona, Principal, or Brigid, Vice Principal, before allowing guests into the College.

UPDATED: 19 MARCH 2020

 

Will housekeeping be performing the regular cleaning of my room?

No – we are asking our housekeeping staff to cease all cleaning of bedrooms. This is for two reasons. The first reason is to maximise focus and attention on the repeated sanitising of common spaces and touchpoints. The second reason is to protect our housekeeping staff as much as possible.

UPDATED: 19 MARCH 2020

 

You’ve removed regular room cleaning. How can we ensure our rooms remain clean and sanitary?

We are ensuring that access to the products and appliances you want is readily available for you to keep your room in a clean and tidy state are available. We are in the process of placing cleaning kits on every floor of the College that will contain products to help keep your room clean.

Please assist our housekeepers by taking your own rubbish from your room directly to the large skip bins outside. These are located in the back car park near MRD, and to the left of the Grad House entrance near Figtree Terrace. 

Two rolls of toilet paper (if you have an ensuite room) and a fresh rubbish bag will be placed outside your door on your room’s scheduled cleaning day.

UPDATED: 19 MARCH 2020

 

I don’t feel comfortable eating in the Dining Hall. Can I eat in my room?

All students are welcome to take food out of the Dining Hall and eat elsewhere in the College, however as per the College’s normal standards, if you are taking away food from the Dining Hall, please use your own containers and eat with your own cutlery.

If you have Sancta’s cutlery, plates or bowls in your room, please return them to the cleaning station in the servery for cleaning and sanitising.

UPDATED: 19 MARCH 2020

 

If I get infected here, is there someone who can take care of me?

Most young people who contract the virus only get very mild symptoms and our response is based on that confidence. We are not able to provide nursing care but will do absolutely everything in our power to ensure you get the level of care you require if your needs are different from the norm. Our processes around supporting people in isolation are focused on more than just physical care – we are accounting for emotional and practical support needs too.

UPDATED: 17 MARCH 2020

 

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RETURNING TO SANCTA

Can I visit Sancta?

There is currently a ‘no visitor’ policy in place at Sancta. Staff and current in-room students are permitted to access the College grounds. Exceptions have been made for Australia Post and couriers. If you need to access the College, please contact Vice Principal, Brigid.

UPDATED: 26 MAY 2020

 

I moved out of Sancta temporarily and went home. Things are not working out at home. Can I come back to live at Sancta?

If you are interested in returning to Sancta now or in the coming days, please get in contact with Brigid directly. Decisions will be made on an individual basis. We will want to make sure you are aware of any risks within the College at your point of return, and to assess what risks you could possibly be bringing into the College. The easiest thing to do is get in touch with Brigid to talk it through.

UPDATED: 25 MARCH 2020

 

Will I be able to move back to Sancta this semester if I have left temporarily?

Our speculation is that students will physically not be able to return to College until Semester 2 or later. This is, however, fully dependent on how things unfold. 

If you are an international student who is returning to Sancta from overseas, we will do our best to accommodate you as long as Government rules allow you to return to Australia, and it is safe for you to do so. Please let us know in advance of your intentions to return, and we will advise you if we can accommodate you at that time. 

We will keep all students informed as to when it will be suitable for you to move back in.

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

Will I be able to have my same room back when I move back to Sancta? 

It is our preference to be able to re-offer students their same rooms from 2020, however, we simply cannot guarantee that we will be in a position to do this. 

UPDATED: 24 MARCH 2020

 

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SUPPORT

Will the College Counsellor be available to support students during this time?  

Students can access an array of support, including contacting the College Counsellor, via the Student Portal.

UPDATED: 26 May 2020

 

Is the College still running tutorials? Can I attend them virtually?

Yes – we intend to continue running tutorials. They will be run online if face-to-face is not an option. The same rules apply will apply – 1 hour a week and a minimum of 3 students in attendance – but they will just be run either online or face-to-face or a combination.

They will likely run on Zoom but the method of delivery is ultimately up to the tutor. This is going to take some time to coordinate but CJ, the senior tutor, is working on it and we hope to have tutorials up and running soon. The other colleges are also working on moving their tutorials online, so when their online tutorials are up, Sancta students should be able to virtually attend those too.

UPDATED: 20 March 2020

 

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