A message from MSVU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mary Bluechardt

Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

First and foremost – THANK YOU. The shift to primarily online learning this fall has required much hard work, flexibility, and resilience from all of us, and it’s been a success. You’ve risen to the challenge so admirably, though I know it hasn’t been easy. And I know challenges remain. In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to steadfastly focus on delivering an excellent academic experience.

We also remain firmly committed to protecting the health and safety of members of the MSVU community. As we look forward, we will continue to prioritize the critical Public Health directives required to keep us all safe, while carefully expanding on-campus activities.

Following consultation with members of the university community, a motion was approved at Senate to continue with primarily online course delivery for the winter 2021 semester and explore with faculty the opportunity for multi-access delivery of a limited number of courses – meaning some winter semester courses may be delivered simultaneously online and on-campus. If a course will be offered in a multi-access format, students will be notified and it will be up to each student to decide which format suits them best. A process for making proposals for multi-access course delivery will be communicated to faculty soon. Learn more about the different online course delivery modes.

A small number of multi-access labs will run this winter. 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: know that we are committed to helping you progress through your programs no matter where you are. While some services are available on-campus through advanced booking, all our student support services are available at a distance. From Accessibility Services, Counselling Services, the Centre for Academic Advising and Student Success, Black Student Support office, Aboriginal Student Centre, online learning support, the Library, financial supports, the International Education Centre, and more, we remain here for you 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, and Fitness Centre/Gym (learn more about accessing campus). As well, the MSVU Students’ Union’s Wellness Pantry is now open for curbside pick-up. Our Residence remains open at limited capacity (with on-campus food service) and we do have additional rooms available, our on-campus Health Services office is accessible by appointment, and the bookstore continues to offer shipping and curb-side pick-up options. As well, our varsity athletes are now safely training on campus, and faculty-led research labs are operational.

We know that many are missing being on campus (myself included), and as our winter semester planning moves forward, we will seek opportunities to expand on-campus engagement.

For faculty and staff

Working remotely continues to be the best approach for most faculty and staff. That said, and given our proven ability to operate on campus while adhering to health and safety protocols, there will be increased (yet still limited) capacity to work from campus this winter, and our approach will recognize the specific needs of those members of the university community who may not be able to work as effectively from home.

Managers/supervisors will communicate with staff when they may be required to be on campus. As well, spaces have been identified in which teams can host occasional meetings (within gathering limit restrictions), and individual requests can be made to work from campus – ad hoc requests can be made online; requests for more regular campus access can be directed to Julie.McMullin@msvu.ca for faculty or to your manager/supervisor for staff. We will also continue to work with our Research Office to address the needs of our researchers.

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

To all members of the MSVU community: it may not feel like it at times, as we work and study at a distance from one another, but we are in this together and we will thrive together.

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

I wish you all a wonderful fall semester.