Here’s a look at some of the updates to Brock University’s COVID-19 response for Thursday, April 2:
Brock provides students with new options for final grades
To help students navigate these uncertain times, Brock is implementing new measures to alleviate stress about final grades. The Brock University Senate approved new options to give students greater choice on how grades will be presented on transcripts for any course affected by the COVID-19 disruption. Students will have three different options to choose from regarding their final grades.
Brock further limits access to University buildings
Effective at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3, access points to Brock University buildings will be reduced as the institution moves to further discourage non-essential visits and reduce the frequency of people leaving their homes and travelling through the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new protocols apply to all Brock academic facilities at the main campus and at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines. (Brock’s Hamilton Campus remains closed and is not accessible.)
Swipe-card access through exterior entrances is being suspended. All visitors will need to check in and check out with Campus Security at designated entrances.
Quality time with family is key amid COVID-19, says Brock researcher
Dawn Trussell, Associate Professor of Sport Management, says the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to strengthen familial bonds and create a sense of unity. She suggests families set a structured schedule and rethink recreation and sport to create stability and alleviate stress.
She recommends planning low-cost, home-based leisure activities that align with all family members’ individual interests like board games, sports in the backyard or reading together.
Financial Services working to prepare for fiscal year-end
The 2019-20 fiscal year ends on Thursday, April 30. The financial close process will continue with due dates similar to prior years, noting that much of our work is accommodated remotely by cloud-operated financial and human resource systems.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to review the important fiscal year-end information and key dates found on the Financial Services OneBrock site, which includes deadlines for information to be received by the Office of Financial Services or entered into Workday in order to allow time to process all transactions for fiscal year-end cut-off.
Central Receiving and Mail Services remain open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you’re expecting any shipments of goods purchased on a Brock Visa Purchasing Card or Purchase Order, please contact Kevin Lawr at firstname.lastname@example.org to verify goods have been received so that you can create receipts or expense reports in Workday. These can be processed in the system for year-end.
The Financial Services team is working remotely and available to answer questions via email.
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 more effective solution for remote connectivity, allowing access directly to Windows-based office computers without the need for VPN. These services are for staff and faculty use.
NOTE: VPN continues to be required for users accessing Mac-based office computers. For more information, please refer to the Working Remotely page on the ITS SharePoint site.
If you’re already using Remote Desktop over VPN, you’re 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
The IT Help Desk located in the Computer Commons is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on weekends. Remote support, which had been available from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, is being expanded to include weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Remote support is available to faculty, staff, students and the rest of the Brock community.
Please note, remote support will be extended to 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 to support the Brock community during the only weekend day when online exams are being be held.
Questions can be directed to email@example.com
Online fitness classes now available to Brock community
Brock Recreation is now hosting daily online fitness classes through its Instagram account. Workouts run between 30 and 45 minutes and classes offered include flow yoga, kickboxing and hatha yoga. The Recreation team will be adding more classes throughout April to help keep the University community active. Remember that all recreational activities require respecting physical distancing practices.
For more information, read the full story on the Brock News.
COVID-19 phishing scam warning
Brock is warning students, faculty and staff about a COVID-19 phishing scam currently circulating.
Please exercise caution opening, answering or clicking on links outside of the brocku.ca domain related to the COVID-19 virus.
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
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.