Here’s a look at some of the updates to Brock University’s COVID-19 response for Friday, March 27:
Brock gears up to contribute to COVID-19 response
The University’s research community is stepping up to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Brock is contributing supplies of gloves, masks and chemicals to Niagara Public Health. Additionally, the Canadian government has already approved Brock’s CL3 laboratory for COVID-19 research.
“We’re taking a range of steps to prepare for requests that might emerge for research and testing,” said Vice-President Research, Tim Kenyon. “We have a wide variety of expertise and facilities here that can be deployed in the greater fight against the virus.”
The Office of Research Services is looking for researchers to submit research proposals in response to the provincial government’s COVID-19 portal.
Indigenous Studies instructor helps elders in need
Indigenous Studies Instructor April Powless is helping to deliver food and necessary supplies to elders and other people in need around the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve.
As co-owner of Mohawk Towing / Porter Trucking and Construction in Ohsweken, Ont., Powless and her team have delivered nearly 300 care packages and are now partnering with the Six Nations Food Bank to ensure the community remains safe during a difficult time.
International students receive enhanced support from Brock
A number of new initiatives are underway to ease international students’ transition to online learning.
Brock International mobilized its entire staff to host an online question-and-answer session this week and created a Microsoft Teams group to create direct lines of communication between staff and students. The team has also ensured existing services such as advice on immigration, study permits, international mobility, and academic and language support, have been moved online.
Brock International has been working with international students who have been displaced as a result of COVID-19, providing accommodation options and space in campus residences where needed.
International students in need of further support are encouraged to email Brock International Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brock ITS offers employees improved option for remote connectivity
Due to increased usage from employees working from home, Brock has encountered capacity problems with Brock’s virtual private network (VPN) service, causing slow performance or an inability to connect.
To alleviate these issues, Brock ITS has deployed a new, more effective solution for remote connectivity, allowing access directly to office computers without the need for VPN. These services are for staff and faculty use.
If you’re already using Remote Desktop over VPN, you are configured to use this new service and can enable it by following the instructions in the Using Remote Desktop job aid found on the ITS SharePoint site. If not, you will need to request access. Please visit the ITS SharePoint site and review the job aids Requesting Access For Remote Desktop and Using Remote Desktop.
Anyone still using VPN for other services, such as accessing shared drives and other uses, should contact the IT Help Desk at x4357, or submit a ticket online so they can assist you with the right solution. VPN is to be used for critical access.
If you are able to migrate documents to OneDrive and/or SharePoint, it may eliminate the need for either of these solutions. Please see the job aid Working with OneDrive on the ITS SharePoint site.
IT Help Desk access
The Computer Commons (Fish Bowl) and IT Help Desk located in it are 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, students and the rest of the Brock community.
Questions can be directed to email@example.com
Starting Tuesday, March 31, Lowenberger dining hall will be open daily from noon to 4 p.m. as the only food option at Brock. It is open to anyone on campus.
Brock Central updates
Brock Central is committed to serving the student community during this time of transition. Brock Central can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The team is available to provide prompt responses through email and can arrange for phone service through Microsoft Teams. In order for Brock Central to respond to inquiries regarding financial or academic status, emails must be sent from a Brock student email account.
Student Health Services changes
In-person appointments are no longer available for Student Health Services (SHS) at Brock. However, students can access health services over the phone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For questions or to make a phone appointment for health services, students can phone SHS at 905-688-5550 x3243 or reach out via email to email@example.com
For medical emergencies, students should dial 911.
Wi-Fi drive-in available to students with no home internet access
Brock students who don’t have internet access at home can participate in a ‘Wi-Fi drive-in’ in the University’s parking lots. Students can park their cars for free in select parking lots to use the University’s internet access through its wireless network.
To ensure physical distancing, students are asked to space out their cars when choosing a parking spot and to not gather in groups in their cars.
For more information on which parking lots are available for use, read the story in The Brock News.
Mental health supports available for students and employees
With students transitioning to online learning and many employees working from home, mental health support resources for members of the University community remain available.
Students can access mental health support over the phone 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.
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.