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Riding the Waves: Reflecting on Two Years of Pandemic Living

Campus community invited to come together on March 23, from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022, marks a milestone – two years since UM closed its buildings to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While the campus was physically closed, teaching and learning didn’t stop. Students, faculty, instructors and staff adapted to a remote working and learning environment in uncertain and stressful times.

These past two years have been a wild ride. We have lost students, colleagues, friends and family. We’ve planned for partial returns that tuned into false starts when the virus proved it wasn’t done with us. At the same time, we have adapted to new ways of learning, working and finding community. Many new supports, programs, services and technological advances have helped us to uphold and advance our teaching and learning mission.

“As we reflect on how far we’ve come, and what the past two years have cost us, I am proud of our community and how we have worked together during these very trying times,” says UM President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Michael Bennaroch. “We are an institution that thrives in community. As more students, staff and faculty return to campus, I’m encouraged by the opportunities ahead.”

To mark the two-year anniversary, St. John’s College Chaplaincy and UM Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre invites the campus community to pause and reflect. Riding the Waves: Reflecting on Two Years of Pandemic Living, is a hybrid event happening on Wednesday, March 23, from 11:30am-12:30pm. We will look back on the challenges we have faced, how we have overcome them and how we find collective hope for the future. There will also be the opportunity to acknowledge the losses our community has faced during the pandemic.

“It’s important to value and acknowledge these experiences, particularly the social and community losses people have endured,” says Rev. Helen Holbrook, St. John’s College Chaplain. “At heart, it’s important to come together to remind each other we’re not alone in these feelings and experiences.”

You can participate in the event in whatever way you’re most comfortable. Up to 100 people will be able to attend in-person at the Chapel of St John the Evangelist or people can join online via the UM website. The event will feature a wide range of perspectives from members of our campus community, including members of the administration, representatives from UMSU, staff from Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, alumni, Elders, students and faculty.

“In the sharing of stories, we hear the resilience embodied in people,” Spiritual Care Coordinator Edgar French says. “It’s important to be aware of this strength for both those who share, and those who listen.”


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