On Tuesday, March 17, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency for the province. Brock University is therefore taking more steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know (more information below):
- On-campus residences are closing as of 6 p.m. Thursday
- International students who are unable to safely make their way home will be able to stay in campus residence
- Brock’s library will be closing at 5 p.m. Thursday March 19, online services will continue to be provided
- Most Brock faculty and staff are now working remotely
- Most non-essential research is suspended
- All in-person classes are cancelled for the remainder of the term. Online classes and exams will resume March 23. Spring Term will also be online-only.
- Students studying abroad are asked to return to Canada or their home countries as soon as they can
- Students, faculty and staff are to be commended for all their efforts during this extraordinary period
On-campus residences are closing as of 6 p.m. Thursday, March 19.
Please note that international students unable to return home will have a place to stay beyond this deadline. Further information will be shared tomorrow through an additional specific update.
For all other students, the University is taking elevated measures to support urgent Public Health and Government directives to avoid all situations where groups of people can congregate, as part of a national effort to slow the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
At present, access to Brock research laboratories remains unchanged, and all research services continue to function, though with staff working off-site in many cases. Research activities that can be accomplished while maintaining safe personal distance from other researchers, staff, and research participants can continue, subject to all necessary clearances.
Non-essential research activities that cannot be accomplished while maintaining safe personal distance from other researchers, staff and research participants has been suspended until further notice.
Some research may be permitted to continue even if it cannot be accomplished while maintaining safe personal distance. Specifically, research studies that are part of essential clinical care, specific projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, or those that cannot be suspended without significant risk to persons, animal welfare, or major infrastructure may continue with permission from the VPR and all necessary regulatory clearances. For more information, please visit the research-focused FAQs on the Brock coronavirus website.
Professors and course instructors have started to notify students about the transition to virtual classes for Winter Term courses. Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation has been hard at work helping with the transition to online learning for the remainder of Winter term, which resumes Monday, March 23, as well as for Spring/Summer courses, which will all run online starting May 4.
There will be no in-person classes or exams for the rest of the term, as well as Spring/Summer, so there’s no reason for students to stay on campus or return to the campus.
Library closure / Computer lab access
Following the Government of Ontario’s state of emergency declaration, the James A. Gibson Library will fully close at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19. The Computer Commons (Fish Bowl) and computer lab in Plaza 310 will remain open for use from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, but the number of computers available will be reduced to 50 in line with Public Health recommendations. The ITS Help Desk will be hosted in the Computer Commons during those hours.
Brock’s Guernsey Market and Hungry Badger are now closed. The Decew and Lowenberger dining halls remain open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Tim Hortons in Schmon Tower is open Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Please note that these times are likely to change. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Brock coronavirus website FAQs on dining.
The Hamilton campus, Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock’s Walker Sports Complex and the Campus Store are among the closures at the University.
Interoffice mail and parcel delivery are suspended and other services are running on modified schedules and with limited on-site staff. See this story for more information on Brock’s modified operational plan.
Representatives from CUPE 4207-1 have advised the University that the strike deadline which had been set for 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, is postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Collective bargaining sessions that were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday have also been postponed, at the request of the union. Brock remains committed to reaching an agreement with CUPE 4207-1, which represents contract instructors, teaching assistants, course co-ordinators, marker-graders and lab demonstrators. Further updates will be provided as new dates are scheduled. For updates about collective bargaining, including earlier progress reports, please monitor the Labour Relations at Brock website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and a full list of Frequently Asked Questions about Brock’s COVID-19 response, please visit the University’s coronavirus website.