Dear Brock students, staff, faculty members and librarians,
Welcome to the Fall Term! The road getting here has not been easy. It has had its twists and turns, and more than its fair share of uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, as experts tell us it will continue to do for the foreseeable future. However, with almost 80 per cent of the population in the province fully vaccinated, with reasonable public health measures in place that align with government guidelines and with directives from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health, it is time to bring our campus back to life.
The return to campus may bring a mix of excitement and discomfort. For some, including many of our first- and second-year students, this will be the first time they have ever set foot on Brock property. Along with those new students, I look forward to getting to know our University’s facilities — including the main campus, the Hamilton site and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts — which have been open only partially since my appointment as Provost and Vice-President, Academic began in July 2020. We will all get to experience the vibrancy of student life that the pandemic has taken from us, with a return to residence, to dining halls, to gyms and to study spaces.
At the same time, most of us have spent very little time around others since the pandemic began. It’s only natural for this sudden change in interaction to produce anxiety, perhaps even fear. As we transition back to campus life, please let’s remember to be kind and understanding to each other, and to meet each other where we are. Some of us are ready to re-engage with confidence; others will need some time. And that’s OK. Let’s give each other the time we need to renew our Brock community.
The return to campus is aided by Brock’s strong vaccine mandate, which requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all students, staff, faculty members and librarians, as well as visitors and guests, who wish to enter campus during the Fall Term. The new policy aligns with guidelines from the province and with requirements outlined by public health authorities. It is among the strongest vaccine requirements in Ontario today, with very little leeway for exceptions. The mandate is a critical step to ensuring that campus will be as safe as possible this Fall Term.
As the situation continues to change in the coming months, Brock will adapt as needed. Since the pandemic began, Brock has committed to creating a safe campus by ensuring that all public health guidelines are in place. This commitment will continue through the Fall Term and beyond. Brock is equally committed to a quality educational experience for our students — one that takes place on campus wherever possible.
My gratitude goes out to the many members of the Brock community who have worked extremely hard to prepare our institution for this long-anticipated return. Creating the conditions under which we can safely work and learn in these unusual times has taken extraordinary initiative, most of it taking place behind the scenes and under punishing time constraints. It has been a remarkable team effort.
I wish all members of the Brock community happiness, luck, and success for the Fall Term — and I look forward to meeting you in the halls soon.
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor
Provost and Vice-President, Academic