Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

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University of Calgary announces return to in-person learning for Fall 2021

By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, June 3 2021—

After months of uncertainty, the University of Calgary has officially announced the resuming of in-person classes for the upcoming fall term. 

In an email to students, Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor at the University of Calgary made news public days after the end of May when the decision on the fall term delivery mode was expected. 

“I am pleased to share that the University of Calgary will be returning to campus this fall. More classes will be held in-person, more labs will be open for research activities and more student and public services will operate on campus than we have seen since the start of COVID-19,” McCauley said. “It’s time for us to finally be together again.”

In a separate press release shared with the Gauntlet, McCauley mentioned that “safety remains UCalgary’s top priority as we return to our campus.” 

The press release also mentioned that the decision “is grounded in the latest health guidelines and scientific research,” and points out that “vaccination rates are critical to enabling a return to in-person operations on campus.”

As of June 3, slightly over 65 per cent of eligible Albertans had received at least one COVID-19 dose, according to the CTV News Vaccine Tracker. Nation-wide, Alberta has the highest rate of fully vaccinated people. 

The number is expected to grow in the following weeks as the Alberta government recently announced that Albertans who received their first shot in March or earlier could begin booking their second dose appointments as early as June 1. 

Those that got it in April can start booking on June 14 and Albertans that received their first dose in May can go ahead in booking second doses two weeks after — on June 28.

In addition, newly appointed Provost and Vice-President Academic, Dr. Teri Balser, sent out an email to students noting that it will take time for things to go fully back to normal. 

“This won’t all happen overnight. We still need to abide by current health guidelines. And our employees won’t be returning all at once. This will be a graduated return as we prepare to welcome you,” said Balser. 

In particular, she mentioned that by mid-June students will be able to know the delivery mode of all their classes. Balser also shared useful resources that students can now access to prepare for a full return to campus and added important information.

Students that have concerns of returning to campus due to medical conditions can contact the Student Accessibility Services. International students that need assistance and advice regarding immigration can reach out to the International Student Services’ office. 

“To all of you, thank you for your patience throughout these intense 16 months as we switched to remote learning. You’ve been through a lot. There have been countless changes. We’ve all learned so much from this experience. It has been hard. We can’t wait to see you on campus this fall!” Balser concluded. 

For more information about Fall 2021, click here


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