It has been an eventful few weeks across Memorial’s campuses.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update the community on the transition back to in-person teaching and learning.
As you can imagine, planning for a regular academic semester takes place well ahead of time in any given year.
This year, due to the impacts of the pandemic, all universities have been challenged with navigating ever-changing health and safety circumstances in planning for the academic year.
Health and safety first
In preparation for returning to campus at Memorial, it was important that we made informed decisions early, giving students plenty of time to plan for the transitional fall semester, and giving faculty and staff time to handle logistics, put necessary requirements in place and prepare class content, activities and assessment specific to the mode of delivery.
Along with most other schools across the country concerned about health and safety on campus, we decided to deliver a number of classes remotely, including classes of more than 100 enrolments or classes where instructors require accommodations.
These classes, because of their size and because of the specific format they take, are difficult to flip on a moment’s notice. If Public Health restrictions were to be lifted mid-semester, for example, we couldn’t feasibly bring remote lectures back onto campuses without major disruption.
An enthusiastic welcome (back)
And so here we are, nearly three weeks into what is arguably one of the most challenging starts to a semester ever.
September has been filled with much-needed, in-person activity as we enthusiastically (and safely) welcomed the university community to the start of another fall semester.
There are lectures happening remotely, which may not be ideal for some students, while other students have thrived in the remote and online learning environment – those for whom the return to face-to-face interaction is not straightforward.
For many students enrolled in remote courses, on-campus labs or seminars with rich, hands-on learning experiences have resumed for them, helping to foster engagement and interaction with peers.
There are many other opportunities for on-campus experiences, including various student supports and services, clubs and societies, The Works’ recreational facilities, Sea-Hawks varsity athletics games, and more.
Whatever your circumstances this academic semester, we are here to help enable your success through the transition.
In addition to the supports offered through your instructors and courses, there are a host of resources available, including academic and career advisors, help centres, health and wellness supports, online learning and technology supports, and much more.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re not sure where to direct a question.
Get through together
It has, without a doubt, been a challenging time for the entire university community, but I am confident that we will make it through this stretch together, stronger than ever.
We anticipate being able to be back fully in-person for the winter 2022 semester. There will be further updates on this later this semester.
Thank you to all students, faculty and staff for remaining open, flexible and supportive of one another through this time of transition.