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Message from Laurie M. Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students) – Feb. 12

Message re: Quarantine, reading week activities, mental health, mask update, what's reopening on campus

A Message from Laurie M. Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students):

Welcome to February – we’ve made it! As the days grow longer, we are reminded that spring is just around the corner, and before long the dark days of winter will be behind us. And, of course, Monday marks the beginning of a much-deserved winter break. It is also the day when we honour Louis Riel, who played a vitally important role in advocating for justice for the Métis people and was recognized by parliament in 1992 as the founder of Manitoba. Riel’s vision of a province – a society – that recognizes and embraces all cultures continues to motivate and inspire us today.

Reading Week also offers you the opportunity to relax, get caught up with your studies, and refocus so you can complete the term with renewed energy. Given current travel restrictions, I encourage you to explore the many options available to you in our capital city and across the province, which are noted at the link below, along with additional information, reminders and important campus updates.

Be aware of travel quarantines. If you choose to leave Manitoba over Reading Week, remember that the provincial government requires you to quarantine for 14 days when you return.

Embrace the staycation. There are lots of interesting things to do in Manitoba during Reading Week, like snowshoeing at one of our beautiful provincial parks, cross-country skiing or skating at The Forks, learning a new craft in Student Life’s Community Centre, or joining a virtual study hall. Take a look at what’s planned here.

Take a moment for your mental health and well-being. Making time for yourself will help you become more resilient when faced with changing circumstances in life, work, and school. There are a number of valuable resources and supports available to you here.

Do a self-check. How’s the winter term going so far? Take a look at this new interactive page to find services and programs to help you finish the term strong.

Show your integrity. Plagiarism, cheating and fraud, including asking or paying someone to do your academic work is not okay. Students found guilty of academic misconduct receive harsh penalties that can have long-lasting repercussions. Invest your time and energy in strengthening your learning strategies and mastering course content. If you are struggling, reach out for help. If you have questions and want more information about how to follow university policies and expectations regarding academic work, check out the Academic Integrity site.

Be respectful. As members of the UM community, we are all expected to treat each other with respect on campus and within online spaces. Harassment and racist behaviour is completely unacceptable. View this page to understand your rights and responsibilities and find out who to contact for help or more information.

Stay safe on campus. The university is working towards a slow, safe and practical return to campus. If you do visit one of our campuses, it’s important to take necessary precautions, including following public health COVID-19 guidelines and being aware of security measures in place. I encourage you to download the UMSafe app, check out the Safe Walk Program, and take advantage of reduced casual rates to park closer to your campus destination.

3-Ply Masks are Mandatory. Please be aware that all members of the University community and those visiting our campuses are now required to wear a 3-ply reusable or disposable mask. This is particularly critical indoors, including study spacesso I would ask you to be vigilant in wearing your 3-ply mask to ensure the safety of others.

Starting Tuesday, February 16, you can pick up a 3-ply mask Monday through Friday at the following locations:

  • the Elizabeth Dafoe Library, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or
  • UMSU’s Service Centre in UMSU University Centre,10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

For more information on UM safety measures and protocols scroll down to “Protocols and need-to-knows before you arrive” at this website.  

And, looking ahead, I am excited to share the following news from the Libraries and Kinesiology and Recreation Management!

1. The Dafoe and NJM Libraries will reopen for individual study space beginning February 16th:

  • Dafoe Library – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Monday to Friday 
    • First-come, first-served basis — no pre-booking needed
  • Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library will be open to students of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences for individual study spaces -12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m. – Monday to Friday
    • Pre-booked time slots of 2-4 hours duration

The collections remain available online and Librarians can be contacted via email or AskUs to help students.  Scanning of materials continues (within acceptable copyright limits), as does contactless pickup. 

2. The Active Living Centre at Fort Garry campus and Joe Doupe Recreation Centre at Bannatyne campus will re-open at 25% capacity on Tuesday, February 16th at 12:00 p.m.. Visit the Recreation Services website for details

Enjoy your well-deserved break everyone! Be safe and take good care.

My best,



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