Update for students on Summer Term, resources and COVID-19 protocols
Message from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students)
With the return of the Canada geese and warmer weather on the way, that means a new academic term is on the horizon. I know that many of you have been asking about the status of in-person learning and COVID protocols for the Summer Term. I am writing to reinforce key information conveyed in the President’s message yesterday and to provide important updates.
Changes to UM COVID-19 protocols
President Benarroch has announced that as of May 4, UM will no longer require students, staff, faculty and visitors to show proof of vaccination when attending campus, and Summer Term will be in-person. UM will also continue to offer a wide variety of Distance Education courses.
We have heard from many of you that masking is still welcome, and based on advice from our health experts, masks will continue to be required in all indoor spaces.
If you are sick, please stay home. If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for a minimum of five days. Immediately contact your instructor to make arrangements for extensions, deferrals or make-up assignments without academic penalty. The missed academic work form can be used to help communicate with your instructor.
Your health and safety, and that of our UM community, are priorities. As President Benarroch said, we will remain nimble and will reassess our plans if the public health situation changes significantly before Summer Term.
Until May 4, please remember that current UM COVID protocols remain in place.
Resources and supports
While our return to in-person learning is welcome news, I know that some of you may feel anxious – especially if you haven’t attended the campus in-person for two years – or ever! I want you to know that UM continues to offer a variety of student supports to help you with this transition. Whether it’s academics, health and wellness or support for everyday life, there are resources available, regardless of your circumstance.
If you are looking for tips to manage anxiety, this new article on UM Today includes some grounding techniques from a Healthy U volunteer.
There is also a highly trained team of Peer Helpers who are available for one-on-one appointments to discuss anything from your experiences during the pandemic to challenges that you are having in your classes to strategies for navigating the campus in person. They can also help you find ways to get involved in university life and meet new people. On March 28 and 31, they are facilitating two “Taking Time for Self-Care” events – check them out!
The latest resources, programs and supports for Indigenous students can be found on the COVID-19 Indigenous supports page. Follow @umindigenous on Instagram for the latest information on Indigenous news and events at UM.
New international students are encouraged to attend the International Centre’s Lessons Learned and Future Goals session on April 7 to meet experienced international students, hear their tips and strategies for success, and ask questions. Join us!
As we get closer to Summer Term, I will communicate additional information about programming that the Student Affairs team is planning to help you with your transition back to campus life – stay tuned!
Manitoba student loan payments affected by the war in Ukraine
If you have been affected financially by the war in Ukraine and need help making existing student loan payments, contact the Manitoba Student Aid office at 204-945-6321 or toll-free at 1-800-204-1685 to fast-track your application for the Repayment Assistance Plan. Otherwise, impacted students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the war in Ukraine are encouraged to contact Jane Lastra, Associate Registrar and Director, Financial Aid and Awards.
Two years ago, on March 23, UM closed its buildings to help stop the spread of COVID-19. You are invited to join the campus community as we reflect on the past two years – how we worked together to overcome the many challenges that we faced, and will draw on collective hope as we look toward the future, at Riding the Waves: Reflecting on Two Years of Pandemic Living, Wednesday, March 23, at 11:30 am. This event is hosted by St. John’s College Chaplaincy and UM Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre, in person at the Chapel of St John the Evangelist, or you can attend virtually by viewing from this site.
Also on Wednesday, March 23, the University of Manitoba is inviting all students to Building the Student Experience, an informal come-and-go community conversation on the future of student housing developments on campus. Drop by 204 University Centre between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to provide your input and identify housing priorities for the University of Manitoba. Refreshments will be served.
On April 7, attend Three Minute Thesis (3MT) and watch graduate students go head-to-head (virtually), summing up their theses in three minutes flat! If you’re interested in research, future grad studies, or want to cheer on other students, check it out!
We are all Bisons!
It has been great to see so many of you back on campus this term. A walk through the Price Engineering complex, for example, serves as a reminder of the vibrant campus community we dearly miss and look forward to experiencing again very soon.
Wishing you all my best in the latter weeks of the Winter Term. Until next time…
Take good care.