This message was sent to all Memorial University students on behalf of Dr. Mark Abrahams, provost and vice-president (academic), on Sept. 29.
I am writing to inform all Memorial students that the university will continue to operate in a primarily remote teaching and learning environment for the winter 2021 semester. This decision was taken in a special meeting of the university Senate today.
Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of the entire Memorial community, therefore most in-person, on-campus courses will not resume before May 2021.
I would like to thank all of you who took the time to contact me directly with your thoughts on remote teaching and learning and planning for the winter semester.
I value your contributions and I appreciate that your circumstances are all unique. I understand some of you may be disappointed with the idea of another remote and online semester and you may have concerns about in-person experiences that you are missing, both academically and personally.
Your feedback has helped – and will continue to help – inform specific plans for the limited re-opening of necessary on-campus student activity in winter 2021.
Academic units can submit proposals for review to the appropriate vice-president at Grenfell Campus, the St. John's campus and the Marine Institute to permit students onto campus where necessary in the winter 2021 semester. The proposals will be evaluated in accordance with criteria approved by Senate at a later date; and the provost will have discretion with proposals in the meantime.
It is important to note that any on-campus activity will occur in a measured and safe manner, adhering to the provincial government's COVID-19 Alert Level System and aligning with provincial public health directives.
As decisions are finalized, units will communicate directly with students enrolled in courses with limited on-campus activities in winter 2021. I expect this will be done in plenty of time for students to make plans for winter studies.
Some in-person instruction
The Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing and School of Pharmacy, with necessary in-person clinical program components, will continue to make their own plans and communicate the details directly to enrolled students.
Programs with internships and co-operative education programs will also communicate separate plans to students as soon as possible.
Students in programs with significant practical components will have opportunities for more in-person teaching and learning experiences. More detailed information will be provided to students by academic units.
Student services still available
I recognize the unique challenges you are all facing in completing your studies during these difficult times, and I thank you for your patience and flexibility.
We are committed to supporting you no matter where you are studying, and we want to ensure that all students are able to successfully progress through their programs despite the challenges associated with the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
Our student support systems are in place remotely to help all students who may need student health and wellness services, emergency financial assistance, academic advising, accessibility services, library services and more.
As the majority of students will be learning remotely, Student Residences on the St. John's campus and Student Housing at Grenfell Campus will continue to operate at a significantly reduced capacity in winter 2021. Macpherson College and Paton College will remain closed. However Burton's Pond apartments will be open to new and returning students.
At Grenfell Campus, the Arts and Science Residence and the Residence Complex will remain closed. However the chalet apartments will be open for new and current students. Further details on residence operations will be shared on the student residences' websites as they become available.
Please continue to monitor our COVID-19 hub page for updates.