As unique Fall Term arrives, here’s what you need to know

The start of Fall Term represents a unique moment in the history of Brock University.

As classes get underway primarily online on Wednesday, Sept. 9, the University experience may look different from past years as we take steps in support of the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Brock is committed to delivering to students a high-quality education and providing the outstanding experience while taking steps to address COVID-19.

Most importantly, the University will provide a teaching and learning environment that puts the health, safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff as the top priority. You can also support the effort by following public health and Brock health protocols.

Below, you’ll find more information about what to expect as classes get underway. Links included throughout will provide more detailed information on each area.

While the provincial government is allowing varying degrees of activities and openness for different parts of Ontario based on each region’s COVID-19 caseload, Brock has its own five-stage pandemic recovery plan that outlines levels of campus operations based on current public health guidelines.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the University will move from Brock Stage 2 to Brock Stage 3, which will loosen some of the restrictions on campus activity and access. It is expected that the University will remain at Brock Stage 3 until at least January 2021.

Academic Plan

Under Brock Stage 3, almost all teaching and learning in the Fall Term will be conducted online, with only a small number of classes requiring specialized spaces or equipment to be held in person.

Of Brock’s nearly 19,000 students, approximately five per cent will attend in-person classes, with never more than 200 on campus at any one time. Where those classes are required, the University has made modifications to classrooms and public spaces to follow public health guidelines regarding physical distancing and hygiene.

For those with in-person classes:

  • Face coverings are required in all public spaces on Brock’s campuses. Students who are on campus for classes must wear a face covering while in the classroom.
  • Seating will also be spaced apart to follow physical distancing regulations.
  • In-person classes have been scheduled to allow for cleaning and disinfecting between each session.
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed at classroom podiums. Instructors will be required to wear face coverings while teaching if they move away from behind the barriers.
  • Brock continues to support experiential education and student work experience in person, as long as the experience follows public health guidelines. See the Co-op, Career and Experiential Education website for more information.

For those with online classes:

  • With the vast majority of courses taking place online, students should watch their Brock email and the Sakai teaching and learning platform for course updates from instructors in the coming days.
  • For Fall Term courses held online, mid-term and final exams will also be held in an online format. Students will not be required to come to campus to complete any exams.

Academic Advising:

  • Central Academic Advising and departmental academic advising services are available remotely for student appointments and inquiries.
  • Visit brocku.ca/academic-advising for service options.
  • To connect with an academic advisor from a specific department, visit the Find Your Advisor page.

Fall Convocation:

  • Similar to Spring Convocation, Brock’s Fall Convocation will be held online as the University continues to follow public health guidelines around large gatherings.
  • A virtual celebration is set to go live on a special website on Friday, Oct. 16, with approximately 800 graduands experiencing a personalized online Convocation.
  • In addition to the online portal, graduands will be invited to a future in-person event when it is safe to host large gatherings.
  • Students must submit an intent-to-graduate form to be included in the Fall Convocation graduating class. To do so, log into the student self-serve portal, click on the Student Access tab and then on GraduationApp.

Accessing Brock Library:

  • Library services will mainly be provided online, with some limited access to collections and materials permitted.
  • Earlier this summer, Brock launched the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which provides electronic access to roughly one-third of the print books housed in Schmon Tower.
  • For more information on services and resources, please visit the Brock Library website or email libhelp@brocku.ca

What about Winter Term?

  • Discussions about plans for the Winter Term are ongoing. All decisions will be made in consultation with public health officials and will prioritize the health and well-being of the Brock community. Brock will communicate the plans as soon as they become available.

What’s open and closed on campus?

Dining on campus

  • Guernsey Market will be open for the limited number of students living in residence and those attending in-person classes, as well as for staff and faculty on campus.
  • Hours are Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Credit, debit, tap, dining dollars and flex payments are available.

Brock Card Office

  • Students living in residence or attending in-person classes will require a Brock Card for the Fall Term. Students are asked to check their Brock email for instructions on how to get their card for move in day.
  • The on-campus Brock Card office will be open with very limited hours. Visit the Brock Card website for more information.
  • Students attending only online classes for the Fall Term do not need a Brock card. To request a Brock Card, please visit the Brock Card website for more information. Students living off-campus in Niagara who would like a Brock Card are asked to visit the Brock Card website for more information on how to request a card.
  • All students are encouraged to visit the Brock Card website for more information.
  • The U-Pass Program is active for St. Catharines Transit and Niagara Transit. Students registered in 1.5+ credits can access transit with their Brock Card, without requiring a bus pass sticker for the Fall Term.

Brock Central

  • Brock Central is working remotely to serve students this fall. The office remains closed to on-campus appointments.
  • Contact Brock Central for help with tuition payments, transcript requests, student account inquiries and more.
  • For quick assistance, visit the website for answers to Brock Central’s frequently asked questions.

Campus Store

Parking Services

  • Parking passes or daily paid parking will be required for all on-campus lots beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1.
  • To speak to a member of the Parking Services team, please email parking@brocku.ca
  • All parking services, including permit sales, are available online at brocku.ca/parking

Athletic and Recreation Facilities

  • The Walker Sports Complex will begin a phased re-opening for Brock students only on Tuesday, Sept. 8. However, pre-registration is mandatory for all access and activity.
  • Facilities initially opening will include the pool for lane swimming only, outdoor tennis courts, Alumni Field, a temporary fitness centre in Ian Beddis Gymnasium and courts in Beddis for limited badminton and basketball activities.
  • Change rooms and showers are only available for those using the pool as required by public health. No lockers will be available.
  • Students must visit brocku.ca/recreation for information about pre-registration and safety protocols.
  • Virtual fitness activities and virtual intramural events are available to all students. Follow @BrockRecreation on social media for details.
  • Access to Walker Sports Complex facilities and programs for the wider Brock community will take place in a slow, gradual manner and may not resume until the University progresses to Brock Stage 4 of its pandemic recovery plan.
  • The Fall Term varsity and club athletic season has been cancelled and a decision about a Winter Term season has not yet been announced.
  • Brock Sports decisions about resuming varsity and club training are being made on a sport-by-sport basis following public health regulations. All training sessions are booked in advance and student-athletes will be contacted by their coaches with more information.

Computer labs and IT Help Desk

  • The Virtual IT Help Desk is available from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. It can be accessed by submitting a help ticket or by phoning 905-688-5550 x4357.
  • An in-person IT Help Desk will be available in the Computer Commons from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, but clients are asked to first submit a help ticket to determine if the issue can be resolved remotely.
  • Under Stage 3 of Brock’s recovery plan, computer labs across campus will remain closed to students except those attending classes in specific labs during scheduled times.
  • Two virtual computer labs — one for Mac and one for Windows — will temporarily replace on-campus computer labs starting Tuesday, Sept. 1. Students will be able to log in from anywhere to access software typically found in the computer labs on campus, such as SPSS, SAS and Minitab. Faculty and instructors teaching in virtual labs have already been granted access.

Being cyber-safe with Multi-Factor Authentication

  • In a move to protect Brock and its community from cyber-attacks, the University is adopting Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for faculty, staff and students.
  • Everyone must be enrolled by Oct. 7, and students wanting to use the virtual computer labs must be enrolled before use.
  • Current applications requiring MFA are Sakai, my.brocku.ca, Workday and Office 365.
  • Students who enroll before Sept. 11 will be entered to win prizes including an Xbox and one of two iPads.
  • Anyone without access to a smartphone or who has additional questions about the MFA process can email ithelp@brocku.ca
  • For more information about MFA, visit Brock’s Information Technology Services website.

Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre

Career Education and employer events

  • The on-campus CareerZone offices remain closed, but all services continue virtually.
  • All career advising appointments and employer-related events are available online through the CareerZone website.

Students returning to Niagara

         On-campus residences

  • Following public health guidelines and recommendations, capacity of Brock’s on-campus residences has been greatly reduced. Fewer than 400 students are expected to be living on campus this fall.
  • Students will have to follow public health protocols when accessing campus buildings for dining and to attend any on-campus classes.
  • For all Residence Service Desk requests, email northdesk@brocku.ca, southdesk@brocku.ca, or phone x3706 or x4311.

Students living off-campus

International students

  • With the vast majority of Fall Term classes taking place online, only a small number of international students are expected to return to Niagara.
  • Brock has provided assurances to the Government of Canada that the University will follow its protocols for those students coming to campus from outside Canada. This includes a 14-day quarantine, a COVID-19 test on day four or five, and a COVID nurse being available to students to help them manage this protocol in order to ensure health, safety and well-being.
  • All students arriving to Brock from outside Canada must have a 14-day quarantine plan in place prior to arrival.
  • Some international students will be staying in on-campus residences, which have been modified to follow public health guidelines and recommendations.
  • For more information or to register as an international student planning to live in Niagara, visit the Brock International Services website.

How to access campus

         Campus access

  • Under Brock Stage 3, access to campus remains strictly limited to persons whose functions are required to provide critical support to students, faculty, staff or campus operations.
  • Access to the main Brock campus in St. Catharines remains through specific entrances: the Rankin Family Pavilion, the Roy and Lois Cairns Health and Bioscience Research Complex and, as of Tuesday, Sept. 1, a third entrance in South Block at the Art and Val Fleming Commons.
  • With 95 per cent of all Fall Term classes being held online, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the Hamilton campus are only accessible by special request. Rodman Hall is closed for the Fall Term.
  • Anyone entering campus will need to go through a pre-screening process. Non-medical face coverings are mandatory.
  • Faculty members wishing to obtain access to their individual offices should fill out the Campus Access Request Form and apply through their Senior Administrative Council (SAC) leader.
  • Any member of the Brock University community wishing to request access to campus for any other type of activity should fill out the Resumption of University Activity Request Form and apply through their SAC leader.

Brock Safety app

  • Anyone who is approved to come to campus is asked to use the Self-Assessment Screening Survey on the Brock Safety app in order streamline the entry process.
  • The app does not collect personal information and was created with assistance from Niagara Regional Public Health.

Contact tracing

  • As it continues to safeguard students, faculty and staff, Brock has a plan in place to assist Niagara Region Public Health with contract tracing in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the University.
  • If a positive case is found, Brock will work with Public Health to provide contact information in a safe and secure method regarding those who may have been exposed.
  • Public Health will then contact the individual as per the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, which provides a public health unit with the authority to investigate infectious disease.
  • Brock will follow guidance from public health officials when it comes to communicating with students, faculty and staff about any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus.
  • For more details about contact tracing and what information will be collected or shared with public health units, please visit brocku.ca/coronavirus

Faculty and research

         Expanded research plan

Information for instructors

  • Faculty or staff members wishing to obtain access to their individual offices should fill out the Campus Access Request Form and apply through their Senior Administrative Council (SAC) leader.
  • For faculty teaching in-class lectures, protective barriers have been installed around podiums and students are being asked to wear protective face coverings in classrooms. Faculty are asked to wear face coverings if they move from behind the protective barriers at the front of the classrooms.

Brock staff update

         Return to work

  • Some staff will return to campus, but only those who are required to be on-site to fulfill their duties. For those areas where limited staff will return, modifications are being made to workspaces and scheduling to ensure physical distancing and health and safety.
  • Face coverings are required for all common areas and shared offices on campus. Staff approved to be on campus will be contacted for information about obtaining Brock-branded face coverings.
  • Parking permits are required in on-campus lots starting Tuesday, Sept. 1.
  • Access to all parts of campus must be made through one of the three entrance points listed above (Rankin Family Pavilion; Cairns Complex; South Block).