While this year’s Fall Term at Brock will be unlike any other in the University’s history, the annual Good Neighbour campaign is rolling out online to encourage both incoming and returning students to have a positive impact on the local community, including preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The campaign, which features a Good Neighbour Guide housed on Brock’s Neighbourhood Relations website, provides information about neighbourhood relations, student life and community resources for students, as well as for landlords and long-term residents.
“Although the University has adapted its operations to support online learning and virtual student experiences, we expect that some off-campus students will still return to their rental accommodations in Niagara for a variety of reasons,” says Brad Clarke, Director, Student Life and Success.
Some of these reasons, he notes, include a better study environment, socialization, employment and safety.
“While there are many elements of the Good Neighbour campaign that are relevant regardless of where students are living, we want our students who do relocate to Niagara to embrace the Niagara community as their own, to be good neighbours and to make safe choices in these challenging times of COVID-19,” he says.
Niagara Region Public Health provides some important guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Maintain physical distancing and keep a distance of two metres from others outside of your household.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wear a mask and wear it properly. Make sure it fits with no gaps between the face covering and your face and ensure it covers your mouth and nose from below the eyes to around the chin.
- Stay home if you’re sick. If you have mild symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has had COVID-19, call Public Health at 905-688-8248, press 7 and then press 2.
- If you’re travelling from outside of Canada, there is a 14-day mandatory quarantine. That means staying home with no exceptions, including going grocery shopping, running errands, going to another person’s home and going to public places such as parks, restaurants or bars.
The Niagara region is one of many across the province that has a by-law making it mandatory to wear a face covering or non-medical mask in enclosed public spaces. To learn more about the rules and regulations, visit the Niagara Region website.
While the region is currently in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan, the community is asked to visit www.niagararegion.ca/covid19 for the most current information.
Stage 3 also limits the size of gatherings to a maximum of 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors, and only with enough space to physically distance. The only people anyone should be physically close to are the same 10 people who have committed to being in their same social circle.
Walter Sendzik, Mayor of St. Catharines, hopes that “while the world has changed and experiences look a bit different,” newcomers will safely discover what the City has to offer.
“From a world-class culinary scene, to arts and cultural experiences, to a vibrant and growing downtown, we have something for everyone,” says Sendzik. “While the pandemic has limited opportunities to enjoy world-class sports and entertainment facilities such as the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Meridian Centre, staff at those facilities have been innovative as we continue with our recovery, including online programming, outdoor entertainment and more.”
Sendzik says he hopes to empower those in his community to be part of a more positive future.
“As we continue down the challenging path of recovery, consider what you can do to support our community and be a good neighbour,” he says. “The future holds many opportunities. Don’t let our current challenges hold you back. Pursue your dreams and unleash your potential.”
Terry Ugulini, Mayor for the City of Thorold, is also looking forward to welcoming the new and returning residents.
“Whether you are a returning student or new to the area, we look forward to the contributions Brock University students make to our City,” says Ugulini. “You will experience a friendly and inviting community, positioned to offer you and your classmates a fulfilling lifestyle during your stay.”
He added that the City of Thorold continues to prioritize the health and safety of the local community while supporting Brock students, and that working together is necessary to move forward.
“I ask all of you to practice sound judgement and patience during a time when we are all facing various obstacles and restrictions,” says Ugulini. “Remember — we are all in this together.”