Here’s a look at some of the updates to Brock University’s COVID-19 response for Friday, March 20:
A message from President Gervan Fearon
Brock President Gervan Fearon wrote a letter Friday thanking everyone across the University community who continue to help students and the institution manage through a unique time. He also offered his support and encouragement as we pull together and deal with each challenge as it comes up.
The University would like to express its sincere thanks to staff and volunteers from Residence and elsewhere across campus who stepped up to help students and their families leave residence this week.
The deadline for students to leave residence was Thursday at 6 p.m. and there was excellent co-operation from everyone involved. Students, parents, families and friends all banded together to make the sudden move-out seamless and safe.
Beginning Sunday, March 22, the North Service Desk in Earp Residence will be closed. The South Service Desk located in Lowenberger Residence will remain open 24/7, with minimal staffing and practising social distancing.
International students living in residence who cannot return home due to extenuating circumstances will have a place in residence on campus and have been contacted.
New on-site service hours
On Friday, March 20, Brock University updated its on-site/off-site operational model with a goal of reducing even further the number of staff and faculty performing their duties on-site, while also reducing the duration of on-site services being open. It will allow more Brock staff members to work off-site from home, following the priority set by public health officials as they combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is still encouraged to use online services as much as possible to facilitate the greatest possible adherence to social distancing.
Campus store ramping up online sales
The Brock Campus Store is now closed; however, customers are encouraged to shop online at campusstore.brocku.ca for essentials including textbooks. The Campus Store staff is working on business continuity plans with its vendors and will update the Brock community as new arrangements are confirmed.
Textbooks for the Spring/Summer Term will be available through the online store.
Free parking is available in the paid lots across campus. Daily and hourly rates have been waived in Lot D, Lot P, Lot E and meter parking along Flora Egerter Way and University Road West. Zone 2 will be closed effective Monday, March 23 to allow construction to get started early on expanded parking areas as a result of Canada Games Park. Existing Zone 2 permit holders are asked to park in Zone 1.
DeCew dining hall and the Tim Horton’s Tower closed Friday afternoon.
Starting Saturday, March 21 and until further notice, Lowenberger dining hall will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. as the only food option open on campus.
New health and well-being tool launched for Brock employees
The health, safety and well-being of employees is a top priority for Brock, especially now as COVID-19 continues to spread across local communities. To better protect the health and safety of the University community and manage the University’s response to COVID-19, an online survey has been created to collect data from Brock employees.
The aim of this tool is to track the virus and get an understanding of its impact on the University. All employees are asked to let Brock know if they have been diagnosed with, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, new cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Brock employees are also asked to indicate if they are self-isolating, whether or not they are working remotely.
All survey responses will be confidential and only Health Management staff from Human Resources will have access to the data. This reporting mechanism does not replace the need to inform your supervisor or department if you have symptoms or need to be off of work.
To report any symptoms, go to my.brocku.ca/Portal/MyWork
Public Health guidelines for self-monitoring and self-isolation
The Government of Canada has created a guideline to know the difference between self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation for COVID-19. Their website includes details on symptoms and an easy-to-use graphic helping Canadians understand at what point they should self-monitor, self-isolate or go into full isolation.
Message to Deans from the Provost
Provost and Vice-President, Academic Greg Finn sent a memo to the Deans of Brock’s seven Faculties Wednesday about the transition to virtual or online learning starting with the resumption of Winter Term on Monday, March 23.
Among the key points:
- The duration of the academic term is not being impacted. Winter Term classes will end on April 3, and the exam period remains unchanged, running in an online-only form from April 8 to 23. Spring term to begin on May 4.
- All academic activities must be carried out virtually through online or alternate delivery methods. This applies to lectures, labs, seminars, tutorials, presentations, tests, exams, etc. There will be no face-to-face contact.
- Prior to Monday, March 23, faculty are to communicate directly to students, through Sakai or via class emails, with information regarding how the course will be completed, with identified adjustments to assessment types/weightings listed on the course syllabus.
- Students are not to be penalized for missed assessments that were due between March 13 and March 23.
Library closure / Computer lab access
The James A. Gibson Library is now closed, but online services will continue to be provided.
Following the University’s guidelines to scale back on-site, on-campus staff time, Brock’s Information Technology Services will be reducing the operation hours of the on-premise Help Desk and Computer Commons access for students.
Starting Monday, March 23, the Computer Commons (Fish Bowl) and IT Help Desk located in it will be open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on weekends. Remote support will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday for faculty, staff and students.
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental health supports available for students and employees
As Brock University transitions to online learning for students and many employees work from home, mental health support resources for members of the University community remain available.
Students can access mental health support over the telephone by calling Student Health Services at 905-688-5550 x3243, Community Addictions Services of Niagara at 905-684-1183, Good 2 Talk at 866-925-5454 or Morneau Shepell at 833-276-2533.
All employees can also access immediate support for mental health and other challenges through the Employee and Family Assistance Program, which has been made available to all current Brock employees as part of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Phishing scam warning
It’s not uncommon for scammers to take advantage of the public amidst health scares by distributing phishing scams, especially to institutions with large populations.
Brock is warning students, faculty and staff about a COVID-19 phishing scam currently circulating. Please exercise caution in opening and answering any emails related to the COVID-19 virus, especially if they ask you to login somewhere or provide personal information.
If you receive an email related to COVID-19 you’re suspicious of, please phone the Help Desk at x4357 and forward the email to email@example.com