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