The University of the Third Age (U3A) closed down completely in March with the initial threat of Covid-19. This was an immediate and emotional decision by the Committee, but as events have shown, it was a good decision, based on the safety of the 2000 senior students, Tutors, Receptionists and Volunteers involved at U3A. Following the immediate closure, it has been a long and frustrating 9 months. Lack of personal and social contact added to the Covid 19 limitations of all U3A students.
A few Tutors and Classes have been able to gather in small groups in other outside locations and venues, with appropriate limitations.//As restrictions ease, everyone is keen to get back to U3A classrooms and venues as soon as practical. U3A will reopen for Term 1 classes in 2021, commencing February 1st.
As U3A closed in the middle of term 1 2020, it has been decided that all financial members in 2020 will have their membership automatically extended for the full year 2021, with no further payment required. Payment for individual classes in 2021 will still be required.//Term 1 CLASSES 2021 All U3A members who had paid for any class in Term 1 2020, and were on the class role at time of closure, will have their name automatically transferred to the same class role for Term 1 in 2021. Payment for Term 1 Classes in 2021 will still be required. Enrolment days are planned from Monday 11 January to Friday 15 January.
COMPLEX RESTART PROCESS
There will NOT BE the usual Enrolment Day prior to start of term 1. Covid-19 limitations and complex logistics dictate student numbers, but U3A plans to recommence Term 1 with a total of 158 classes, utilising all the Classrooms and main Hall at U3A, as well as 6 other outside venues and Tutors homes. This is a very complex logistics exercise involving Tutor availability, room size, time schedules, hygiene procedures, student numbers, space limitations, time between classes, and Covid compliance plans. The U3A Committee and specifically the hard working ladies in the program team have produced a Term 1 Timetable, which is available at the Library, the Information Centre and on the U3A website.
Term 1 CLASSES When the number of students re-enrolled for each class in Term 1 is finalised in January, available class vacancies will be notified in the email Newsletter and posted on the web site www.u3abribie. org.au Students whose names are on the wait lists for specific classes will be advised if vacancies occur. From Monday 25 January to Thursday 28 January, including Australia Day holiday, members are able to enrol in the courses that have vacancies. These will be advertised on the timetable on the U3A website and on U3A noticeboards.
New members are welcome. Wednesday, 20 January to Friday, 22 January from 9,00am to 1.00pm has been set aside specifically to welcome new members, assist with membership and discuss courses.
NEW NORMAL AT U3A
U3A looks forward to resuming business, but with restrictions including no tea, coffee or biscuits, use of fridges, controlled entry and exit, and frequent hygiene cleaning. President Greg Sibthorpe says “Our focus is on the important health and security of all our members”. All information and updates can be accessed on www. u3abribie.org.au