Latest University messages

COVID-19 Update: Academic calendar changes (January 5, 2022)

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

Happy New Year! I hope this update finds you well and having enjoyed some down time over the holiday break.

Academic calendar changes
Further to my message of December 21 noting a delay of the first day of all classes for the winter semester to January 10, I am writing to advise of some consequent changes to the academic calendar. The table below summarizes the changes as approved by Senate Executive.

Last day to add/drop a course 
Original Date: Wednesday, January 12
New Date: Monday, January 17

Last day to drop without transcript notation (W) 
Original Date: Wednesday, February 2
New Date: Monday, February 7

Last day to drop without academic penalty (WF) 
Original Date: Wednesday, March 9
New Date: Monday, March 14

Last Day of Classes 
Original Date: Wednesday, April 6
New Date: Monday*, April 11 (designated as a Wednesday)

Reading Day  
Original Date: Thursday, April 7
New Date: Tuesday, April 12

Exams Begin
Original Date: Friday, April 8
New Date: Wednesday, April 13

Exams End
Original Date: Friday, April 22
New Date: Monday, April 25

*Of particular note, the last day of classes will be designated a Wednesday even though it falls on a Monday. This is to ensure that we meet the minimum required number of days for each course. As well, in keeping with Senate guidelines, the winter 2022 exam period has been reduced by two days (eight days instead of ten).

Per my message of December 21, courses and labs at MSVU will be delivered online until January 31, 2022. We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in our region and will provide a further update as soon as possible.

Campus re-opened January 4
While campus has re-opened, including all facilities and services, many student services are offering multi-access supports (i.e., in-person and online or by phone). Please consult individual service pages on the MSVU website for details.

Testing and vaccination clinics on campus
Our on-campus rapid COVID-19 asymptomatic testing clinic has re-opened in EMF 207. Please refer to the website for the latest testing clinic dates and times. As well, there will be a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Friday, January 7 (in the Multi-Purpose Room, Rosaria Student Centre) for students, faculty, staff and community members aged 12 and up (including boosters for those eligible). Further vaccination clinics will be scheduled and information on dates/times will follow.

Additional COVID-19 protocols
Please be reminded that the university has a number of other COVID-19 protocols in place.

  • Masks are required in all common indoor spaces and when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
  • The university’s vaccination mandate requires that all those coming on campus provide proof of full vaccination (two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine) or apply for an exemption and continue to submit twice-weekly proof of negative COVID-19 test results. If you are new to campus for the winter semester and haven’t yet done so, please submit your vaccination requirement documents as soon as possible.
  • Finally, please stay home if you’re sick.

Mental health supports
There’s no question that these are difficult times. The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many. Supports are available.

  • For students: MSVU Counselling Servicescounselling@msvu.ca; Good2Talk NS Helpline for Postsecondary Students: 1-833-292-3698
  • For faculty and staff: Employee & Family Assistance Program (or EFAP) via Morneau Shepell (free, confidential counselling services) – visit the EFAP website or call 1-844-880-9142.
  • For all: Wellness Together Canada is a free, online, 24/7 mental health and substance use support portal provided by the Government of Canada. Visit wellnesstogether.ca or call 1-866-585-0445 (Adults, 18 or older), 1-888-668-6810 (Youth, below 18) or text WELLNESS to 741741 (Adults), 686868 (Youth) to connect with a professional for support.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this new phase of the pandemic. I wish you a good start to the winter 2022 semester.

Brook

M. Brook Taylor, PhD
Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost
Mount Saint Vincent University


Winter semester to start online, courses to start January 10 (December 21, 2021)

Dear MSVU students, faculty, and staff,

Based on a continued commitment to keeping our community safe, MSVU will shift to online course delivery for all winter courses and labs until January 31, 2022. As well, the first day of classes will move to Monday, January 10, 2022.

Here is what we anticipate for January:

Campus will open as scheduled on January 4, 2022: All campus facilities and on-campus student services will re-open January 4. Some services will offer multi access (i.e., in-person and online or by phone). Please consult individual service pages on the MSVU website for details.

  • Residence will re-open as scheduled on January 4, beginning at 10 a.m. Visitors will temporarily not be allowed in Residence. Further, all Residence students returning for the winter semester are required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or Rapid Test) received within the 24 hours before arriving on campus. More information will be provided to Residence students directly by the Residence Life team.
  • The MSVU Library & Archives will open as planned on January 4. Please consult the Library’s website for more information.
  • The Rosaria Dining Hall will open to faculty, staff and students at 5 p.m. on January 4.  We are working on an expanded offering from the kiosk.  There will be more information to follow regarding the Seton Café and McCain Café.
  • The Child Study Centre will re-open as planned on January 4.

Faculty and staff working arrangements: Given the temporary nature of this shift to online course delivery, the university will not be able to move furniture and desktops to homes.  We recognize the need to be flexible given the changing circumstances and any staff looking to make temporary alternate arrangements should consult with their manager and these requests will be reviewed by Human Resources.

COVID-19 testing on campus: Testing will be available in EMF 207 on Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Enhanced cleaning protocols will continue.

Events: All events must move online or be postponed or cancelled until January 31. As well, meetings should be held virtually (via Microsoft Teams) to the greatest extent possible. All winter semester orientation activities will take place online. More information will be provided by Student Experience directly.

Research Labs on campus remain open: In-person research activities (e.g., involving external participants) and community-based research will continue with proper protocols in place.

Non-essential international travel is not recommended by the Government of Canada currently: Further, some provinces have introduced new isolation requirements for all travelers (even those who are fully vaccinated). Anyone needing to travel for work purposes is strongly encouraged to review the latest travel advisories and requirements. While MSVU’s travel health insurance provider will cover COVID-19 related medical costs, it will not cover isolation or non-medical costs.

Mental health supports available
There’s no question that these are difficult times. The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many.

  • For students: MSVU Counselling Services: counselling@msvu.ca; Good2Talk NS Helpline for Postsecondary Students: 1-833-292-3698
  • For faculty and staff: Employee & Family Assistance Program (or EFAP)—Shepell (free, confidential counselling services) – visit the website or call 1-844-880-9142.

An update to come in January
We will provide an update as soon as possible in January.  We will continue to follow and monitor NS Public Health Protocols.

While this is not how any of us had envisioned starting the winter semester, these additional measures coupled with our other continued protocols – like our vaccine and mask requirements – will help get us through this latest phase of the pandemic. The MSVU community’s exceptional (and continued) commitment in the face of this pandemic has truly been what’s seen us through so successfully. My sincerest thanks.

Take care,

Brook

M. Brook Taylor
Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost

 


COVID-19 update: In-person exams suspended (December 15, 2021)

A message from M. Brook Taylor, PhD, Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost of Mount Saint Vincent University

Dear MSVU community,

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Nova Scotia and in other parts of the country (including cases of the omicron variant), I’m writing about the implications for the MSVU community.

In-person exams discontinued effective Thursday, December 16

Out of an abundance of caution, in-person final exams will be discontinued at MSVU for the remainder of this semester, effective 8 a.m. Thursday, December 16. As of that date and time, exams previously scheduled to take place in person will either move online or shift to an alternate format of assessment (e.g. a take home exam), at the discretion of the instructor.

Students requiring accessibility support due to a change in exam format can contact Accessibility Services at accessibilityservices@msvu.ca or 902-457-6567. As well, students can borrow laptops from MSVU if needed and can visit the Library Circulation Desk (EMF) to sign one out. There are desktop computers available in the Library as well.

In-person exams prior to 8 a.m. on December 16 will proceed, but with enhanced safety measures in place, including:

  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet. Students may be split into additional exam rooms; students should consult the exam seating plan available online and posted on the bulletin boards on the 4th floor of Seton.
  • Masks required. No food or drink can be consumed while in an exam space (so masks should not be lowered at any time).
  • Further, students are encouraged to get a rapid COVID-19 test before attending their in-person exams, if possible. MSVU’s on-campus testing clinic will be open in room EMF 207 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on December 15.

Exams originally scheduled to take place online will continue as planned.

This change requires significant planning by instructors and staff, so please be patient as you await further information.

Instructors will receive guidance via separate email and are encouraged to contact their Deans for support.

Students who were scheduled to attend in-person exams will hear from their instructor directly once an alternate plan is in place.

Additional changes

The evolving COVID-19 situation, including re-introduction of certain NS Public Health restrictions, means a few additional changes at MSVU, as follows:

  • All events, including holiday gatherings, scheduled to take place in person this month will need to be moved online, postponed or cancelled effective the morning of Wednesday, December 15.
  • All meetings should be held online. If it’s not possible to meet online, physical distancing should be maintained between attendees and masks worn.
  • Physical distancing requirements will be re-introduced in certain locations (e.g. of at least 6 feet in the Fitness Centre and Rosaria Dining Hall), with physical distancing encouraged to the greatest extent possible across all of campus.
  • Residence remains open. Residence students are encouraged to visit the on-campus rapid testing clinic for regular (asymptomatic) COVID-19 testing. A number of students are not able to travel home over the holidays due to the pandemic and, through the Residence Life Caring Community program, the university has arranged for them to stay on-campus over the holiday break. Students staying in Residence over the holidays will be provided with take home COVID-19 test kits.
  • Campus will close for the holidays on Tuesday, December 21 at 5 p.m. Anyone who is required to work on December 22 will be able to take time in lieu at a later date as agreed upon with their supervisor. The Fitness Centre will remain open on December 22.
  • The Library continues to operate with regular safety protocols in place (masks, no food/drink except in study rooms) and will be open normal hours (with Night Owls) until the end of day December 21 to support students with their upcoming exams. It is recommended that faculty and staff waiting to pick up research materials do so as soon as possible.

Testing information, other guidance

Additionally, MSVU community members are reminded of the following Public Health recommendations:

MSVU’s on-campus testing clinic will resume January 4, 2022 and take place throughout the winter semester at the same times and place as noted above.

The university’s vaccine requirement will continue throughout the winter semester. Students, faculty and staff who will be new to campus in January are reminded that the deadline to respond to the vaccine requirement is January 12, 2022.

Contacts

Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to be in touch as follows:

  • Students with course specific questions should contact their instructor.
  • Students with health-related questions can contact MSVU’s Manager of Health Services, Maxine Brewer, RN at Maxine.Brewer@msvu.ca.
  • Students with any other questions can contact the Office of Student Experience at ose@msvu.ca.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to speak to their chair, dean, supervisor, or contact human resources at human.resources@msvu.ca.

We will continue to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation and the advice of Public Health officials, and modify our approach if required. The safety of our university and broader communities remains our top priority.

Sincerely,

Brook

M. Brook Taylor, PhD
Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost
Mount Saint Vincent University

COVID-19 precaution notification from NS Public Health - December 14, 2021

Please see below for a message from Nova Scotia Public Health. Students, faculty and staff with questions can contact NS Public Health at 811 or MSVU’s Manager of Health Services Maxine Brewer, RN, at Maxine.Brewer@msvu.ca.

Re: COVID precaution notification at Mount Saint Vincent University, Seton Building

Students/faculty/staff,

Public Health is investigating a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the community. Based on our findings, you may have had an exposure to COVID-19 at Mount Saint Vincent University – Seton Academic Centre on this specific date and time:

December 8, 2021

Seton Academic Centre – Seton Cafe

1:00pm-1:45pm

Public Health will only follow-up directly with close contacts that are determined through our investigation. At this time, you are not considered a close contact. However, Public Health requires anyone who has had an exposure to COVID-19 to follow the instructions below regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status:

  • We recommend you get tested (PCR COVID-19 test not a rapid/take-home test) at least 72 hours after the last exposure whether or not you have symptoms.
  • You are NOT required to self-isolate or to be tested, unless you develop symptoms.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the last exposure until December 22, 2021. Symptoms include a new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following: fever (i.e. chills, sweats), shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, or headache.
  • Anyone who develops symptoms is required to self-isolate, book a PCR COVID-19 test, and stay isolated until you receive a negative test result.

For those who require COVID-19 testing, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en or call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.

We encourage all eligible Nova Scotians to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. To book an appointment, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/book-your-vaccination-appointment/ or call (toll-free) 1-833-797-7772.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Public Health, Nova Scotia Health

COVID-19 update for Winter 2022 semester (November 30, 2021)

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

With the holiday break in sight, we are getting set to wrap-up a historic semester at Mount Saint Vincent University. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined we would be teaching, learning and researching in the midst of a pandemic. But as is so often the case at MSVU, you have risen to the challenge in exemplary fashion and I couldn’t be more proud.

In general, the winter semester at MSVU will look much like the fall semester from a COVID-19 protocols perspective. The majority of classes will again be offered on-campus, though with more online opportunities than before the pandemic started for those who need or choose to continue to study at a distance. All student services will once again be available for in-person appointments this winter, with many also providing remote services (online and/or by telephone).

Vaccination requirement to continue for winter semester

Though a significant administrative undertaking, a team in our Human Resources office continues to manage our vaccination requirement process, including informing new students, faculty and staff of the requirement and tracking regular negative COVID-19 test results for those with an approved exemption.

MSVU’s vaccination requirement will remain in place for the winter semester, meaning all those attending campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (i.e. be two weeks past their second dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine). In rare circumstances, an exemption to MSVU’s vaccination requirement may be approved. Those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons must apply for a vaccination exemption.

Learn more about where to get vaccinated

Students, faculty and staff with an approved exemption will be required to undergo twice weekly rapid COVID-19 testing and provide proof of regular negative test results before coming on campus. Rapid COVID-19 testing clinics will continue on campus into the winter semester. Those who are partially vaccinated (with intent to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible) will also be required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test results twice a week until they are fully vaccinated.

Earlier this month, we were in touch with all students who will be joining the MSVU community in the winter semester to ensure they were informed of the vaccine requirement in enough time to get fully vaccinated.

If you will be new to campus in the winter semester, please submit your proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or exemption request as soon as possible. This includes students who were studying exclusively online in the fall semester, but who are taking one or more on-campus courses in the winter semester.
– Submit proof of vaccination (log-in required)
– Make a request for an exemption (log-in required)

The deadline for all students, faculty and staff who will be new to campus in the winter semester to submit proof of full vaccination or have an approved exemption is 5 p.m. on January 12, 2022.

If you provided proof of full COVID-19 vaccination in the fall semester you do not need to re-submit this information for the winter semester. However, those with approved exemptions in the fall semester must continue to submit proof of negative test results throughout the winter semester.

Visitors must also continue to comply with the university’s vaccine requirement, either by completing the Visitor Declaration Form before coming on campus or accessing it via the QR code posted at campus entrances.

Masks to continue to be required

Our approach to masks will be the same as the winter semester begins: masks will continue to be mandatory in common indoor spaces on the MSVU campus, including in classrooms. If you’re seated in a common area to study or meet with friends or colleagues your mask must remain on unless you are actively eating or drinking. You can read more about MSVU’s mask requirement.

Fall semester summary

Among the students, faculty and staff confirmed to be on campus for the fall 2021 semester (i.e. not including students who have been studying exclusively online), our rates of full COVID-19 vaccination are very high: 98.8% for faculty and staff and 98.2% for students. Nearly everyone submitted the required documentation; regrettably, a very small number of students did not respond and were advised in October that they could no longer access campus.

We will continue to keep you posted

Of course – and as has been said so often since the pandemic began – we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our sails as needed. There may be changes to provincial Public Health protocols that could affect our operations and we will stay apprised of those and keep you updated.

My sincere thanks for your continued commitment to the health and safety of our community. We’ve been able to have a “near normal” semester at MSVU this fall because of our collective efforts. We really are a special community of caring, thanks to you.

Ramona

Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhDInterim President and Vice-ChancellorMount Saint Vincent University

COVID-19 updates – Mask mandate extended (October 28, 2021)

Dear MSVU community,

Let me begin this update by expressing my sincere thanks for your commitment to your fellow students, faculty, and staff. With the deadline for response to the university’s vaccination/testing requirement now passed, I’m pleased to report that nearly all students, faculty and staff studying on-campus have submitted the required documentation. Moreover, from among those who we’ve been able to confirm are attending campus regularly (e.g. extracting from our database students who are studying exclusively online this semester), we can report that our rates of full vaccination (i.e. two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine) are 98.8% for faculty and staff and 98.2% for students.

A reminder that those with exemptions to the vaccination requirement will need to continue to submit proof of negative COVID-19 test results twice a week (and always within 72 hours before coming on campus); we will continue to monitor these submissions.

While the vaccine/testing requirement was a difficult measure to introduce, and continues to require significant administrative follow-up, it is essential to helping ensure a safe campus.

Mask mandate extended

Now is not the time to relax our other pandemic health and safety measures:

  • keep your mask on in common indoor areas (except if actively eating or drinking)*,
  • get tested often (regardless of your vaccination status),
  • wash or sanitize your hands frequently, and
  • stay home if you’re sick.

*Note that masks will continue to be required in all common indoor spaces on campus (including classrooms) until at least the end of the semester (i.e. until the university closes for the holidays). More information about our mask protocol for winter 2022 will follow. Details of MSVU’s mask requirement are available on the university website.

On-campus testing clinics continue

We continue to offer drop-in rapid (asymptomatic) COVID-19 testing clinics on campus for students, faculty and staff, and encourage all members of the MSVU community to get tested regularly. Even if you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Public Health is still strongly encouraging you to get tested, as asymptomatic testing has proven to be a key measure in stopping the spread of the virus. Clinics are taking place weekly on the following dates/times:

  • Mondays – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (EMF 207)
  • Tuesdays – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EMF 207)
  • Wednesdays – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (EMF 207)
  • Thursdays – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EMF 207)

Travel update

Starting October 30, the Canadian government is requiring that travellers departing from Canadian airports or travelling by VIA Rail must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are planning air or train travel departing within Canada after October 29, you are encouraged to review the details of this new requirement.

International students planning to arrive in Canada to start their studies at MSVU for the winter semester are encouraged to review details of Federal government requirements for international students travelling to Canada and get fully vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine before travelling, as this may help ensure ease of travel to and within Canada. MSVU’s current vaccine/testing mandate requires all those coming on campus to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (obtained within the 72 hours prior to attending campus). International students with travel questions or concerns can contact the Manager of the International Education Centre for support: international@msvu.ca.

Work-related travel for faculty/staff – While the Government of Canada lifted its global advisory to avoid non-essential international travel on October 22, it is still recommended that international travel be approached with caution, as community transmission of COVID-19 continues in many countries. Travellers should review destination-specific travel advisories before travelling abroad, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and stay informed of the COVID-19 situation at your destination. At this time, any MSVU faculty or staff member wishing to travel internationally (for research or other work-related reasons) must apply to the Vice-President Academic and Provost or the Vice-President Administration. No permissions are needed for travel within Canada, however, travellers are expected to adhere to provincial protocols. Notably, these could include COVID-19 testing or self-isolation. As well, travellers should be aware that MSVU will not cover COVID-19 related costs that are not covered by our insurers (for example, quarantine costs).

Student exchange travel – If you are interested in participating in a student exchange at an international partner university, you should speak with the Manager of the International Education Centre (Amy.Braye@msvu.ca) to discuss your options. While the Government of Canada lifted its global advisory to avoid non-essential international travel on October 22, it is still recommended that international travel be approached with caution, as community transmission of COVID-19 continues in many countries.

Winter 2022

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will consider what our pandemic response measures will look like for the winter semester. We will share an update with you as soon as possible.

Once again, thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our university community.

Sincerely,

Mustansar Nadeem, CPA, CGA, MBA
Vice-President Administration
Mount Saint Vincent University

COVID-19 Update (October 5, 2021)

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

Public Health has advised us that an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a non-academic service on the MSVU campus on September 28, 2021. Their contact with others was limited. Those deemed to be a close contact of the person affected have been notified directly.

The risk to the rest of campus community is extremely low; Public Health is not advising action by anyone other than those being directly contacted. If there is ever a risk to the MSVU community broadly, Public Health will issue an exposure or precautionary advisory.

A reminder that all those coming to campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in regular testing (with an approved vaccine exemption). If you haven’t already submitted your proof of vaccination / exemption request / testing forms, please do so immediately. As well, masks must be worn in all common indoor areas, including classrooms.

Regardless of your vaccination status, all members of the university are reminded of the importance of regular COVID-19 testing. Testing is available both on and off campus (on campus: in EMF 207 from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday and Wednesday and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday). Our next on-campus vaccination clinic is scheduled for October 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room within the Rosaria Student Centre (bring your health card or alternate ID if you don’t have a health card).

If you have any questions, please contact Public Health at 811 or MSVU’s Manager of Health Services, Maxine Brewer, at Maxine.Brewer@msvu.ca.

Sincerely,

Mustansar Nadeem, CPA, CGA, MBA
Vice-President Administration
Mount Saint Vincent University

COVID-19 Update (September 27, 2021)

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

Public Health has advised us of a positive case of COVID-19 involving a member of the MSVU community. Those deemed to be a close contact of the individual affected are being notified today. Public Health is not advising action by anyone other than those being directly contacted as the risk to the rest of the campus community has been deemed very low.

Broader notification is not required by Public Health in this type of circumstance, but given this is our first known incidence of COVID-19 on campus this term, we wanted you to hear about it from the University. If there is ever a risk to the MSVU community broadly, Public Health will issue an exposure advisory.

We continue to strongly encourage all members of the MSVU community to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. All those coming to campus must be fully vaccinated or participate in regular testing. If you haven’t already submitted your proof of vaccination/testing forms, please do so immediately. As well, masks must be worn in all common indoor areas, including classrooms.

Regardless of your vaccination status, all members of the university are reminded of the importance of regular COVID-19 testing. Testing is available both on and off campus (on campus: in EMF 207 from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday and Wednesday and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday).

If you have questions, please contact Public Health at 811 or MSVU’s Manager of Health Services, Maxine Brewer, at Maxine.Brewer@msvu.ca.

Sincerely,

Mustansar Nadeem, CPA, CGA, MBA
Vice-President Administration
Mount Saint Vincent University

MSVU vaccine requirement Process Update - A message from the Interim President & Vice-Chancellor (September 3, 2021)

A message from Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhD, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University

First, a sincere thank you for your support of MSVU’s vaccine requirement, as announced last week. The response has been overwhelmingly positive – I’ve heard from many individuals grateful for this additional protection as they return to learning, working and living at MSVU during the pandemic.

I am pleased to share an update on the system we’ve developed to support this protocol.

In short, there are three forms in this system – you need only complete those that apply to you. These forms will be available starting Wednesday, September 8 and you are asked to complete those relevant to you by September 15.

A reminder that all those coming on campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 13 or undergo regular testing. Those who are exempt from the vaccination requirement (for medical, religious or cultural reasons) will continue to submit regular proof of negative rapid COVID-19 test results throughout the semester.

For more information about the forms, and information for online students and visitors, check out the full news story.

New vaccine requirement at MSVU - A message from the Interim President & Vice-Chancellor (August 23, 2021)

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

As the start of the fall semester nears and the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so too do our safety measures at MSVU.

I am writing today to share that MSVU will be requiring all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible and by October 13 at the latest. Proof of vaccination will be required. Those who choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

There is much planning still being undertaken to operationalize this protocol. We want to ensure that personal information is protected. As well, we have asked Public Health for guidance on whether those who have received vaccinations abroad that are not currently approved by Health Canada can or should be vaccinated with Health Canada approved vaccines upon arrival in the country. We will provide more information on that matter – and its implications at MSVU – as soon as possible. Please watch your MSVU email account for updates.

Students are encouraged to get vaccinated in your home community before coming to campus if at all possible. That said, if you are travelling to Halifax to study and need a vaccine when you arrive, you can get one or both doses here. COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be booked through Nova Scotia Public Health. If you have a Nova Scotia Health Card, you can book online. If you don’t have an NS Health Card, you can make a vaccine appointment by calling 1-833-797-7772 (you need to be in Canada to call and the call must be made from a Canadian telephone number). If you are currently residing elsewhere in Canada, you can get more information about local vaccination clinics here.

Additionally, an on-campus vaccination clinic for students, faculty and staff will be held on Thursday, August 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (more information for students / faculty and staff – log-in required).

With a pandemic fourth wave gaining traction across the country at the same time as we seek to safely return to on-campus learning, working, and student life opportunities, a vaccine mandate is an important step. The evidence is clear: getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect yourself and others, and is our surest way out of this pandemic.

Of course, we will also continue to implement a number of other important pandemic safety measures on campus, including reduced classroom capacities, enhanced cleaning protocols, improved ventilation and mask use in common areas. We are also offering rapid COVID-19 testing on-campus for all students, faculty and staff. Regardless of your vaccination status, regular testing is still strongly recommended by Public Health (more information for students / faculty and staff – log-in required).

While aspects of this semester will look unlike anything we’ve experienced before, I have no doubt it will still be a rewarding time. Thank you to all members of our community who continue to work to keep one another safe, both by following Public Health advice and adhering to university protocols.

Students with questions about MSVU’s COVID-19 response are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Experience at ose@msvu.ca. Faculty and staff with questions are encouraged to speak to their dean, chair, director or supervisor, or contact human.resources@msvu.ca.

I look forward to seeing you soon at our cherished university home on the hill.

Onward together,

Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhD
Interim Vice-President and Chancellor

A message from the MSVU Registrar's Office (April 13, 2021)

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all students registered in Winter 2021 term courses have been given the option of requesting “P” (Pass) grades subject to the following conditions:

  • Undergraduate students will have the choice to accept their final course grade or request a grade of “Pass” (for grades of “D” or higher) for each of their courses in the Winter 2021 term.
  • Graduate students will have the choice to accept their final course grade or request a grade of “Pass” (for grades of “B-” or higher) for each of their courses in the Winter 2021 term.

For important information, deadlines and conditions regarding the Pass/Fail option, please visit the Registrar’s Office website.

The grading confirmation request form will be made available from 9:00 am ADT on Monday, May 3 until 4:30 pm ADT on Friday, May 14, 2021. A reminder and a link to the form will be sent out at the end of April.

You are asked to wait until all your grades are recorded before submitting your request to use the “Pass” grading option.

Note that it is up to you as the student to directly make the request for a “Pass” grade. This request should not be made through your instructor.

Once a request for a grade of “P” has been submitted, the decision is final. Once grades have been recorded on an official academic transcript they cannot be changed.

If you have any questions or require additional assistance, check our website and join us for our webinar To ‘P’ or not to ‘P’ on Wednesday, April 28th, at 3 pm ADT. International students will be able to join a separate webinar at 9:00 am ADT on Wednesday, April 28th. Reminders and links to the webinars will be sent out shortly.

You can also contact the Registrar’s Office at Grades@msvu.ca. For course-specific grading matters, please contact your course instructor.

Fall 2021 Update (March 4, 2021)

A message from Dr. Julie McMullin, Vice-President Academic & Provost

I am writing today to provide an update on planning for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Starting with the fall 2021 semester, we are planning to offer a significant increase in on-campus learning opportunities at MSVU. To ensure that we can provide you with the most accurate timetable possible, we will delay fall/winter registration to May 2021.

While our intent is to return to in-person classes to the greatest extent possible, we appreciate that some students will need or want to continue to learn online. We have a long history in online learning at MSVU – in fact, many of our courses and some entire programs were available online before the pandemic started. Throughout the 2021/2022 academic year (and beyond), we will continue to provide opportunities to learn online.

We are also planning to offer increased on-campus student life opportunities this fall, including Residence options and resumption of on-campus student services. Students are encouraged to apply now for Residence as spaces are expected to be fewer than usual due to pandemic protocols. Throughout this past year, we’ve learned a lot about remote delivery of student services and we will consider how we continue to provide that option in order to meet the needs of those studying at a distance.

The safety of all members of the MSVU community will remain our top priority as we plan for the upcoming academic year. Things are likely to look a bit different as we return to campus as certain Public Health protocols are likely to remain in place. We’re committed to adhering to all Public Health directives while providing a welcoming space.

And of course, we will remain responsive to any changes in the pandemic. If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that flexibility is key. If we need to change course at any point, we will be ready.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I continue to be impressed by the resilience of the MSVU student body. You’ve risen to the challenges that the pandemic has presented admirably. Remember that your MSVU community is here for you should you need us. You can find a full list of student supports here.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. You can also contact Paula Barry Mercer, MSVU’s Associate Vice-President of Student Experience, at ose@msvu.ca.

Spring 2021 Convocation - March 2, 2021

A message from Paul Cantelo, University Registrar

While we all hoped to be in a position to return to our usual way of celebrating our graduates this spring, MSVU has made the difficult decision to not hold in-person Convocation ceremonies.

We know this will be disappointing news for many. The decision was made with the health and safety of our graduates, their families, and our faculty and staff in mind. We’ve seen here in Nova Scotia, and in our sister provinces, just how quickly our public health landscape can change. Making the decision now allows us to plan and execute alternative ways of marking this important accomplishment. Below are some of the ways we will be celebrating our spring 2021 graduates:

Special tribute videos: Graduates and student/faculty award recipients will be celebrated in special video tributes – one for Arts and Science, one for Professional and Graduate Studies, and one for Education. Graduates will have the opportunity to submit photos of themselves for inclusion in their respective video.

Grad boxes: Every graduate will receive a grad box filled with their parchment and any award(s) bestowed, an alumni pin and key chain, an official alumni card that will grant them a number of perks, an ‘MSVU Class of 2021’ sign, and a letter from MSVU President Dr. Mary Bluechardt.

Parchment pick up and photo opportunity: Graduates will be able to collect their grad boxes (including their parchment and other goodies), don a gown and hood, and pose for a photo with the University President and their Dean. Graduates will also have the opportunity to borrow a gown and hood for a few days so they can take additional grad photos.

Note: graduates who are not able to attend the parchment pick up and photo opportunity will have their grad box, which includes their parchment, mailed to them.

More details about the parchment pick up and photo opportunity, and how to submit a photo for the video tribute, will be emailed later this week to those students who have applied to graduate. If you have any questions, please contact us at convocation@msvu.ca.

Summer 2021 Update - February 1, 2021

A message from Dr. Mary Bluechardt, President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

Who knew last March that we would find ourselves still learning and working primarily remotely nearly 11 months later. It’s hard to imagine that almost a full year has gone by – yet I know that in many ways it feels like an eternity.

Like many of you, I can’t wait until we can be back on campus enjoying the full MSVU experience. We remain committed to planning for our safe return to campus and will let you know more about our fall 2021/winter 2022 planning as details of influencing factors become clearer – for example, vaccine roll-out, pandemic epidemiology, etc. In the meantime, our planning will continue to prioritize the Public Health directives required to keep us all safe, while carefully expanding on-campus activities.

Summer 2021

Following consultation with members of the university community, a motion was approved at Senate to continue with primarily online course delivery for Summer 2021, Sessions I and II.  As was the case with Winter 2021, faculty members may propose in-person classes to their Deans via email. Learn more about the different online course delivery modes.

A small number of face-to-face labs will run this summer. The on-campus sections of those labs will operate as per usual, but space will be somewhat limited, as necessitated by physical distancing protocols and other COVID-specific safety precautions.

Student supports

To our students: we remain steadfastly committed to helping you progress through your programs no matter where you are. While some services are available on-campus through advanced booking, all of our student support services are available at a distance. Please reach out if you need us.

On-campus student services

Provided Public Health directives continue to permit it, it is our intent to continue to provide pre-arranged access for students to the:

  • Library
  • Aboriginal Student Centre
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Book Store (shipping and pick-up options also available)

Learn more about accessing the MSVU campus.

As well, the MSVU Students’ Union’s Wellness Pantry is open for curbside pick-up and delivery. Our on-campus Health Office is accessible by appointment.

As our planning moves forward, we will continue to seek opportunities to expand on-campus engagement.

For faculty and staff

In the coming weeks, the university leadership team will undertake return to campus planning. A reminder that the current work from home arrangement is in accordance with the framework for NS universities approved by our provincial Public Health experts. Further public health consultation will be part of our continued planning.

In the meantime, access to campus continues to be available for faculty and staff who need it. Ad hoc requests to work from campus can be made online and requests for more regular campus access can be directed to Julie.McMullin@msvu.ca for faculty or to your manager/supervisor for staff. As well, managers/supervisors may advise staff should they be required to be on campus. Further, a limited number of spaces have been identified in which teams can host occasional meetings (within gathering limit restrictions) – please contact reservations@msvu.ca for more information.

Managers/supervisors can contact Human Resources with any questions related to staff inquiries.

To all students, faculty and staff

I’ve said it before, but it merits repeating: I’m sincerely impressed by how you’ve risen to the challenges presented by this pandemic. I know it hasn’t been easy. And I want to be sure that you know that your MSVU community is here for you. To our students, we remain committed to ensuring an excellent academic experience, no matter where you are.

Please continue to visit the MSVU website for the latest information, and stay tuned to your MSVU email account.