Brock COVID-19 update for Wednesday, March 18

The Federal government announced Wednesday the decision to limit travel between Canada and the U.S. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate. It also announced an $82 billion economic package aimed at helping Canadians weather the storm, and included a provision of a six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments. The Government of Ontario also announced OSAP payments will be suspended for six months.

Residence update

As with campuses all across Ontario, the student residences at Brock University will be closing this week, and students must move back to their family or permanent homes.

Brock residence students who remove their belongings and check out by 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 will receive a pro-rated credit that will be applied toward their student account.

International students in Canada

For international students studying at Brock, the University has confirmed all international students who are unable to return home will have accommodation in campus residence.

The scale and nature of dramatic events and announcements in recent days has affected all students, with unique hardships for those students from outside of Canada.

International students currently living in residence will be contacted and given further information.

Brock students abroad

Brock now has fewer than 50 students remaining abroad. We have been in touch with all of them regarding the COVID-19 situation since February, but are now urging them to follow the advice of the Government of Canada to return home. Some students, such as those in dual-degree programs, are abroad for upwards of two years, and we realize the decision to leave is complex.

Brock is supporting all of its students, no matter what their choices are. We have provided supports, including financial supports where needed, and are working one-on-one to help them.

Information for graduate students

Grad students have been sent a message from the Faculty of Graduate Studies with key information pertaining to them, such as how to reach faculty members and services available to them. See the full message here.

The Graduate Students’ Association has closed its on-campus office and move to a telephone and online service delivery model. Visit their website at brocku.ca/graduate-students-association for more information.

Mental health supports available for students and employees

As Brock University transitions to online learning for students and many employees work from home, mental health support resources for members of the Brock community remain available.

Students can access mental health support over the telephone 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.

All 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 employees currently working at Brock as part of Brock’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CPI working to help make online transition easier

The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) is working to support Brock University instructors in moving their work to alternative forms and has compiled a list of suggestions for teaching and learning. These suggestions incorporate flexibility and individual accommodation in the delivery and assessment of courses.

CPI’s top priority is to ensure students are achieving their learning outcomes for the semester and not adding extra stress to their lives in an already challenging time and is here to support faculty and teaching assistants in these efforts.

For a full story about the work CPI is doing to help make the transition to virtual learning easier for faculty and students, see this story in the Brock News.

Library closure / Computer lab access

The James A. Gibson Library will close at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19 but online services will continue to be provided.

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.

Lost and found closed

The lost and found program run through Brock Campus Security Services is closed to the public. If you find an item on campus, please put it into the drop box located in the lobby of Kenmore Centre. If you’ve lost something on campus, complete a lost claim report through the Campus Security website and we will contact you directly should your item be turned in.