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U of C COVID-19 Developments: March 27

By Kristy Koehler, March 27 2020—

The University of Calgary has made several announcements regarding its operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. News and information is changing quickly, but here’s what we know so far.

Convocation and Indigenous Graduation Pow-wow:

On Mar. 25, university chancellor Deborah Yedlin sent an email to the community announcing the postponement of convocation ceremonies.

“This is a decision that I and the leadership team at UCalgary did not take lightly,” said Yedlin in the email. “As Chancellor, celebrating the academic achievements of our students and faculty, together with their families, is a core purpose of the University, as is honouring those who have made significant contributions through their academic, business and community activities. However, given the ongoing COVID-19 situation it was a necessary decision in order to ensure the safety of our community.”

The ceremonies are now planned for Nov. 2020. Graduates will still receive their physical parchments in June as planned and Yedlin’s email indicated that the university is “exploring opportunities for virtual celebrations.”

The Indigenous Graduation Pow-wow has also been postponed until late Fall 2020.

Graduates should expect an email in May letting them know how parchments will be distributed. Information regarding the rescheduled ceremonies will also be available in May.

Spring and Summer Semester:

Spring and Summer 2020 semester courses will be delivered remotely. The university cited a desire to “provide certainty” for students and academic staff amid “projections for the progression of COVID-19 in Alberta in the upcoming weeks and months” as the determining factor in moving the intersession online.

Summer Research:

An email sent on Mar. 25 stated that the university is “aiming to avoid cancelling summer student opportunities wherever possible.” Supervisors and coordinators for research programs are being encouraged to “explore opportunities for virtual experiences for students.” New students are not being permitted to participate in work on campus as long as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. Decisions about specific programs are ongoing.

Library Services:

All branches of UCalgary’s library system are closed. Materials are not being recalled and students are asked to keep any materials they do have until operations return to normal. Students are also asked to ignore notices that recalled items are accruing fines. Fines for overdue materials are currently suspended.

There is an online chat feature available for students as well as virtual consultations with librarians. Libraries and Cultural Resources has its own COVID-19 webpage set up to assist students.

Building and business closures and reduced hours:

Building access for most campuses has switched to summer hours — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — with the exception of the Cumming School of Medicine Foothills campus which will remain open regular hours.

The Kinesiology building is closed, with the exception of The Sport Medicine Centre which will remain accessible via its external entrance.

MacHall food vendors are closed but The Landing remains open for students still living in residence. The Stör will remain open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to serve students and staff that need to be on campus. 

The Students’ Union main office is operating on reduced hours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Bound and Copied is closed.

Other student services:

The SU Campus Food Bank has been suspended. The SU is offering a list of alternate resources online or by emailing foodbank@ucalgary.ca.

The Information Centre and Lost and Found in MacHall is closed. Any lost items are being held for an extended period of time. 

Career Services continues to offer resume review reviews online using eReviews. Phone and Zoom appointments with Career Services are also available and can be booked online

The Faith and Spirituality Centre offers meditation sessions via Zoom. These take place every Friday from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Simple Supper is also being offered via Zoom on Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To receive an invitation, email zoe@yyccampusministry.com. A full listing of events and online services is available online at the Faith and Spirituality Centre’s website.

The SU Wellness Centre is offering its services remotely. More information is available on the Student Wellness Services website.

Academic support, enrolment services, the Women’s Resource Centre and Writing Symbols Lodge are all offering remote services. UCalgary has a list of these resources online.

The Gauntlet has a special COVID-19 section on our website to keep you informed about the latest developments and information, as well as a special link at the top of the site to direct visitors to UCalgary’s COVID-19 site.

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