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Students on campus in Winter

Information for UM students on updated COVID-19 protocols, Winter Term plans

Message from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students)

February 18, 2022 — 

Dear students,

I hope you are all taking time to recharge, enjoy the outdoors, and connect with friends.

On February 28th we will begin the transition back to in-person learning. I want to assure you that your health, well-being and academic success remain our priority. As noted in today’s health and safety message from the Provost and the Vice-President (Administration), COVID-19 protocols on campus have been updated and will take effect on February 22nd. You can read more about those updates on the COVID health and safety page.

A reminder that KN95 masks will be available in the following buildings, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. until March 11:

Beginning Feb. 22:Fletcher Argue close to IT Service CentreUMSU University Centre

Beginning Feb. 28:Machray Hall LobbyEngineering and Information Technology Complex (EITC) AtriumExtended Education

Libraries (varying hours – refer to the update):

  • Elizabeth Dafoe Library
  • Science & Technology Library
  • E. K. Williams Law Library
  • Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library
  • Architecture/Fine Arts Library
  • Archives & Special Collections
  • Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library
  • Father Harold Drake (St. Paul’s College) Library

Brief and Temporary Absences

Based on recent questions from students, I would like to remind you that if you become ill during the term and are unable to attend class and/or meet a course requirement, it is important to inform your instructor by email and to make arrangements for extensions, deferrals or make-up assignments. Follow the guidelines outlined on the COVID Students page and fill out the missed academic work form to help in your communications with your instructor.

Returning to Campus

Students returning to in-person learning are encouraged to visit the new “Return to Campus” website regularly to take advantage of the programs and resources being developed to support you. Some highlights:

Get oriented to campus:

Whether it’s your first time on campus, or you just need a bit of a refresher, the Student Life team is here to help you find your way. Register for an in-person tour of the Fort Garry campus during the Winter Term break (all tours will run 1:30-3:00 p.m.):

Study Spaces

Throughout Winter Term Break, study spaces will continue to be available in various buildings across the Fort Garry campus and at the Bannatyne campus. Complete details regarding study spaces for the remainder of Winter Term, including extended hours and spaces earmarked for students attending remote classes while on campus, will be available on the website prior to February 28.

If you are navigating between in-person and remote classes, the UM BookStore is offering a selection of earbuds with a built-in microphone ($12.99-$14.99) and will be open during Reading Week, Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Libraries

I am excited to announce that effective February 28 the Libraries will be reopening as follows:

  • Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Science and Technology Library, E.K. Williams Law Library and Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library
      • Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
      • Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Architecture/Fine Arts Library, Archives and Special Collections, Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library and Father Harold Drake Library (St. Paul’s College):
      • Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

The Albert D. Cohen Management Library, Donald W. Craik Engineering Library, St. John’s College Library and William R. Newman Agricultural Library will remain closed for the remainder of Winter Term.

Attention Graduate Students

The UMGSA in partnership with Student Counselling Services is offering the following virtual workshop and has asked that you hold this date, with registration details to be communicated soon by the UMGSA and Faculty of Graduate Studies:

Resiliency and Hope: Moving Forward with Post-pandemic relationships, communication and life in graduate studies

Date:     March 8

Time:     9:00 a.m. -10:30 am

We are here for you!

If you are feeling stress or anxiety, whether you are returning to campus or are continuing with remote learning, there are many student supports in place to help you find ways to cope or add self-care tips to your toolkit. There is support available, regardless of your level of need.

Get involved

There are plenty of opportunities to connect or reconnect with peers and the community as we progress through the shift to in-person activities. Here are a few examples:

Where’s Billy? In the pre-dawn hours of February 28th, images of Billy the Bison will be posted across the Fort Garry campus. When you’re not in class, have some fun with this scavenger hunt, and you’ll be eligible to win some prizes!

  • The first clue to get you started on February 28: Billy will be hiding out at the entrance to the place you’ll need to go when you’re writing your first arts/humanities essay! HINT: EDL are important initials here.

Trivia time! Connect with your peers, test your knowledge of campus and familiarize yourself with important resources on campus and how to access them at the Campus Resources Trivia  event, February 22 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Stay active. Be sure to take care of your physical and mental health during this time. Recreation Services offers in-person and virtual options to help you stay active and relieve stress.

We are all Bisons!

The Bisons women’s hockey team will host the Canada West quarter-finals at the Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 27 at 3 p.m. (if necessary). Students get in free, game day protocols are in effect.

Later in March, Bisons will also host:

#weareallbisons

I am feeling hopeful and excited as we make our way back to in-person activity. As always, I am inspired by your resilience and unwavering commitment as members of our UM community of learners. 

I will continue to provide you with updates regarding the safe return to campus and ask that you monitor your official UM inbox and follow @umstudent on Instagram.

Until then – I wish you a restful and restorative Reading Week!

My best,

Laurie

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