The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Brock University students. As they struggle during these stressful times, they remain the top priority.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation.
Aside from the emotional and mental strain the pandemic has caused, some students are struggling to pay basic living expenses, some have incurred extra expenses related to co-op employment, and a number of international students are unable to return to their home countries.
In recognition of the significant impact the current situation may have on students’ financial situation, the University has created the COVID-19 Undergraduate Student Emergency Bursary and the COVID-19 Graduate Student Emergency Bursary.
“Brock is a caring community and the health and well-being of our students is of utmost importance,” said Brock President Gervan Fearon. “It is too early to know how long our students, faculty and staff will be impacted by the COVID-19 response so we are taking these steps now to further support our students.
“We are a student-centred university and, together, the university community is working collaboratively to provide assistance to students in financial need.”
The COVID-19 Student Emergency Bursaries have initially been established with funding from the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice-President, Research, the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), and with donations from alumni, donors, faculty members and staff.
The bursaries will be used to provide short-term emergency financial aid for both graduate and undergraduate students who have experienced a demonstrated financial loss due to the pandemic.
GSA President Christopher Yendt said the integration of grad students in University activities compounds the impact the situation is having on them.
“Graduate student contribution to the University is an integral part of its identity through research, teaching, interactions and support of other students, as well our activism within the University and broader community,” Yendt said. “The GSA recognizes the complexity of the challenges that graduate students are now facing, and we want to do everything we can to make sure resources are put in place to help them navigate this crisis and see their studies through to completion.”
BUSU President Bilal Khan said the COVID-19 Emergency Fund will go a long way in supporting students.
“The disruption due to COVID-19 has forced students to adjust to unusual ways of learning and assessment. For many, this is a difficult transition, among many other adjustments they are required to make in their daily lives,” he said. “At Brock, extending a helping hand to our fellow students and colleagues is something we do every day on campus. It is just that we have been challenged to do that a little bit differently.”
He encouraged everyone to get involved in the fund.
“If you are a student in need, apply for the funding. If you are in a position to support, make a donation, and others are urged to spread the word,” Khan said.
With this initial funding, applications can now be made and the University will do its best to review and process those demonstrating financial loss and need as quickly as possible.
There will be an opportunity for the community to continue to support these funds and get involved.
“If you are in a position to do so, please consider supporting this fund,” said Fearon. “We thank you for thinking of our students during these challenging times.”
To make a one-time gift online please visit brocku.ca/donate, and to contribute through payroll deduction visit my.brocku.ca/BrockDB/pay_EmpDeductionCampaign.aspx