Home   |   HKBU   |   中文     
April 2020
Preventive and Health Control Measures Against COVID-19 at HKBU
Sharing by
Ms Jennifer Leung, Director of Personnel
Ms Winnie Lam, Director of Communication and Public Relations
Professor Gordon Tang, Director of Student Affairs
In view of the exponential spreading of COVID-19 pandemic around the world, HKBU has, with the collective efforts of various departments, stepped up preventive and control measures against the outbreak. Despite the uncertainty created by the constantly changing conditions of the pandemic in Hong Kong, the University has diligently done all it should to safeguard the health and safety of the HKBU community. In this issue, we are grateful to have invited three administrative department heads, Director of Personnel Ms Jennifer Leung, Director of Communication and Public Relations Ms Winnie Lam, and Director of Student Affairs Professor Gordon Tang, to share with us the various preventive and control measures that have been put in place in the University.
The Role of Human Resources (HR) in Challenging Times
Director of Personnel Ms Jennifer Leung

1. HR plays a role to protect the welfare of employees while at the same time ensuring that the Office will contribute to the organisation's sustainability. This is especially important in difficult times or crisis situations. HR, on the one hand, needs to ensure that core people processes are reliable no matter what might happen, and on the other, considers flexibility in handling people matters in “unusual” times.
2.   HR advises the senior management and the risk management team the possible options in a legal and compliant manner.
3.   HR also ensures that staff members are well informed about the interim measures to face the challenging times and that staff members can also play a role. We are all facing unprecedented and unconventional situations in the past 10 months, HR, in collaboration with other units, provides support for the senior management to make available a safe environment for the University community and to ensure the sustainability of the University.

Critical Factors in Devising/Reviewing HR Policies in Times of COVID-19

1. The health and well-being of our University community as well as the impact of COVID-19 on students’ learning are critical factors that the risk management team would take into consideration when reviewing the special work arrangements.
2.   During this special and difficult period, the University needs to continue to provide essential and basic services on campus to support the delivery of online teaching and research, and to ensure operation continuity. It has not been easy to maintain the balance. While there are staff members working remotely from home, such a work mode relies heavily on the collaboration of team efforts to make things happened. The enhanced communication at all levels from within teams to within the whole University community, the increased technology support, and the heightened precautionary measures are all imperative in contributing to the operation continuity and administrative efficiency.
3.   The risk management team meets regularly and frequently, both physically and virtually, to discuss and resolve matters arising from the spread of the COVID-19 disease, and to roll out timely and appropriate actions to mitigate the impact the disease has brought on the University.
Ms Jennifer Leung
Ms Jennifer Leung and Personnel colleagues
Communication during the COVID-19 Crisis
Director of Communication and Public Relations Ms Winnie Lam

1. At a time when everyone is worried about the virus, timely dissemination of information on policies and measures in response to the outbreak is essential. This includes a rapid response to the crisis and reassurances to the University community that effective health and safety measures are in place. We believe that being transparent and forthcoming about a suspected or confirmed case on campus can help to put minds at ease. Ever since the outbreak began, the only certainty is uncertainty.
2.   Many planned events, activities and publicity plans have been either cancelled, postponed or rescheduled. Tough times call for decisive actions followed by timely communication with affected stakeholders to gain their understanding.
3.   Another big challenge for branding and publicity is the public’s preoccupation with the crisis caused by the widespread of the COVID-19 virus. With everyone prioritizing their own health control measures, and often being bombarded by an overwhelming amount of information through online and other channels, it would be difficult to divert one’s attention away from anything not related to the outbreak. However, this disruption of our publicity and branding plans also opens another window of opportunity. All publicity efforts have been redirected to showcase the University’s creative and caring DNA to help the community overcome the huge challenge posed by the outbreak. CPRO has been working closely with many departments and units on the “Beat the Virus, BU & I” campaign, the objective of which are to share knowledge and tips on health and exercises, and to help the needy. The campaign also offers doses of calmness to soothe the anxiety of the community through the sharing of art pieces, music and lyrics. The list goes on and on……
Ms Winnie Lam
Ms Winnie Lam poses for a group photo with colleagues.
Measures Taken by Student Affairs (SA) to Safeguard Health of Students
Director of Student Affairs, Professor Gordon Tang

1. Relocating Resources and Services for Students to Online Platform
With the suspension of the Venues and Facilities Booking System (VFBS), and the closure of multi-function rooms and student organizations offices, video tutorials for the use of online platform such as Zoom were provided to students. In addition, assistance was provided to student organizations to conduct online voting for cabinet elections. Furthermore, student learning programmes, training workshops, CCL talks, career services and consultations, as well as recruitment talks are all held online. The Virtual Career Fair (Vfair) was organised in March and the next Vfair will be held in May. Similarly, scholarship applications and interviews are conducted through online platforms. Students with emergency need and proven financial difficulties because of the pandemic are provided with emergency grant and loan.
2.   Reaching Out to Students in Need
Formal and informal communication channels have been set up with student representatives to ensure that they would be well informed of the latest campus security measures in connection with the outbreak of COVID-19. For instance, the Counselling and Development Centre has posted the “Self-care Tips for Your Psychological Wellbeing during the Coronavirus Outbreak” online to help students maintain their mental health during this critical time. Students may also contact our counsellors via various means for support.
  The Mainland Student Services Unit of SA facilitates communication between Mainland students and the University management. Guidelines on self-quarantine have also been customized and provided for off-campus Mainland students who have indicated their intention of returning to Hong Kong during the period of travel restrictions. The health conditions of those students will be monitored for 14 days upon their arrival to Hong Kong to help secure a safe campus.
  Moreover, the Office also provides assistance to students with special educational needs (SSEN) during the pandemic. These include providing iPad and earphones devices to students on a loan basis, arranging subscription of the assistive software in the Special Needs User Room of the Library for residential use, providing subsidies for purchase of data SIM card for physical disabled/visual-impaired/chronic-illness students.
3.   Measures Taken at Student Accommodation and Catering Outlets
To keep resident students safe from the virus, an all-mask policy is being implemented at all student accommodation both on and off campus, including the NTT International House. The frequency of disinfection in all common areas has been increased, and anti-infectious items are made available to resident students in need. Mass student activities or events at student accommodation have been suspended and Accommodation Information Talks are being held online to help students who need to find suitable accommodation on or off-campus.
  On a regular basis, health messages and safety precautions are shared with residents on social media and via mass email. Regular communication is maintained with residents through different channels regarding their health status, especially for those who are unable to return to Hong Kong. As with other student organizations, advice and assistance are provided to Hall Councils on delivering essential services online.
  The operation hours of Bistro Bon and BU Fiesta are shortened and the scope of service is reduced.
4.   Mobilizing Students’ Support in Serving the Community
Students were mobilized to serve through initiatives such as “Beat the Virus, BU & I” campaign. “Exercise Everywhere” was also launched for students to stay active during this time. In addition, student volunteers are recruited to provide support for the needy in various service activities, such as “e-Devices Support for e-Learning at Home Scheme” and the delivery of hand sanitiser manufactured by the Department of Chemistry to NGOs.
Prof. Gordon Tang
Prof. Gordon Tang and his colleagues take a group photo after an event.
As the world, not just Hong Kong, is confronted with health and economic challenges ahead, it is all the more important for the University community to take timely measures to mitigate the impact brought forth, and to do our humble part in society. Jennifer, Winnie, and Gordon, as well as their staff members would like to take this opportunity to wish all alumni good health. With care, solidarity, resilience and vigilance, we will be able to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Back to The BUddy Post April 2020

Home  |  HKBU  |  Giving to HKBU  |  Update Your Info  |  Contact  |  Subscribe  |  Unsubscribe
Get connected with your alma mater, please join and like HKBU Alumni Facebook Page.
If you do not wish to receive email communications from Alumni Affairs Office, Hong Kong Baptist University, please email to alumni@hkbu.edu.hk.
Copyright 2020. Hong Kong Baptist University. All rights reserved.