Building Your Freshers' Experience

An update on Freshers' Fayre and what to be aware of when purchasing nighttime events for Freshers' Week.

Traditionally, starting university goes by in a whirlwind of inductions, information and more importantly fun and exciting events to jump into. Unfortunately with the addition of lockdown to this year, there’s some uncertainty around what’s going to happen in October with the start of a new term.

We want to make sure that this is an incredible start to your year at the University of Portsmouth, regardless of where you are in the world. Though we also want to reassure you that we have your best interest and safety in mind. We’re in the process of planning the best way forward to bring you the best experience, whilst keeping you safe.

Freshers ‘20 Nightlife Events

Something you may have heard about if you’re starting your degree this year (or even gone to if you’re returning to Portsmouth) is Freshers’ Week. Possibly one of the most exciting weeks of the year, Freshers’ Week is a whole host of parties and social events - giving you just a taste of what the city has to offer.

There’s still a lot of unknown when it comes to Freshers’ Week 2020. The current social distancing and government measures mean that we still don’t know when nightlife venues will be able to open again and what restrictions they will have. As The Union, we are awaiting further guidance before we can fully support these events as your safety is our absolute priority, though that doesn’t mean tickets aren’t currently available to buy from a wide range of vendors.

With the sheer amount of events that are out there, it’s tempting to want to get a head start on your Freshers’ experience and grab the tickets before they’re sold out. But if you do choose to purchase anything, like tickets, make sure that it’s from a reputable vendor that has a robust refund policy in place (such as Eskimo11) to ensure you don’t end up out of pocket if events don’t go ahead.

Whilst we currently aren’t supporting any Freshers’ Week nighttime events until there is further government guidance, we do have three main nightlife partners in the city - Eskimo11.com who run our official events (such as Purple Wednesday) in venues across the city, Mr Miyagi’s who are our official bar partner on Guildhall Walk and The Astoria who are our official Nightclub Partner, also on Guildhall Walk.

So how do I avoid scams?

Platforms like Facebook have a habit of being host to a whole bunch of unofficial events which offer little substance in exchange for a bunch of information (and often money) from you. It’s important to do your research into the event before you buy.

  • Shiny graphics, no substance - A clear sign of these fake groups is often flashy graphics, fake admin accounts with stolen photos and lots of exciting words. If they have no venue, start time or ticket information listed, it’s a good sign that it’s probably fake.
  • Be aware of companies asking for your data - Never ever give out your personal data, not unless you know you are purchasing from a legitimate platform. If the site is using a Google Form to collect your data, with no benefit to you, do not fill in the form - most of these are probably going to be in breach of data protection regulations and put your security at risk.
  • Let us be your guide - We only promote and advertise official events that have been tested to ensure that they are safe, student only and the best experience within the city. Keep an eye out on our official channels for the latest updates. Whilst we currently aren’t supporting any Freshers’ Week nighttime events until there is further government guidance, we do have three main nightlife partners in the city - Eskimo11.com who run our official events (such as Purple Wednesday) in venues across the city, Mr Miyagi’s who are our official bar partner on Guildhall Walk and The Astoria who are our official Nightclub Partner, also on Guildhall Walk.

If you do choose to purchase tickets, find out whether the vendor you’re using has a Covid-19 refund policy and what that exactly entails.

Freshers’ Fayre ‘20

But Freshers’ week isn’t the whole experience. Here at the Union we host a range of virtual and where possible, physical events known as Welcome Month (although we are spoiling you this year and actually providing 9 weeks of opportunities and activity) that help you find your feet at the University of Portsmouth. Under normal circumstances there would be the chance to meet new people, give student groups a go and discover a new passion, eat far too much free Domino’s pizza and more.

With the government guidelines at the moment, we’re doing everything we can to give you an unforgettable experience when you start university, all whilst doing everything we can to ensure your safety. So, while the plans for a physical Fayre are underway, we’ve got something exciting happening behind the scenes.

Virtual Freshers’ Fayre 20! We’ve been grinding away to create a brand new platform to make sure you don’t miss out on Freshers’. Discover brand new groups and hobbies based on your current interests (and some you didn’t even see coming), learn about all the support available to you to break down barriers to academic success throughout your journey and find exclusive student discounts from our partners all from the comfort of home!

For all updates about the wider Welcome Month 2020, activities and beyond remember to follow us on social media (@portsmouthsu). There’s going to be some exciting changes in the future as we explore both the virtual and physical Freshers’ world. Join us for the ride and welcome (back) to Portsmouth! 

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