The signs of Spring are all around us here in Manitoba. The vaccine is being administered to an increasing number of people, socially distanced patios are opening, and a strong sense of optimism is in the air! No matter where you are living during this remote learning period, I hope you are finding opportunities between your academic and other commitments to take time for yourselves.
In this update, I am highlighting a few important upcoming events, reminding you of UM’s Fall 2021 plans, and sharing news of supports available to you as you complete your last month of classes.
UM Together: Reflecting on a year of COVID-19. Join us virtually on Tuesday, March 23rd as we gather together as a university community to pause and contemplate the last year of learning and working remotely. You’ll hear reflections from members of our community including President Benarroch, our Chancellor, students, faculty and staff. Together, we’ll reflect on what challenged us, what we learned, and what we are hopeful for in the weeks and months ahead. We will light candles to honour the lives lost to COVID-19 in Manitoba and around the world, and consider the promise that the future holds. I hope to see you there.
Winnipeg’s Anti-Racism Week March 21-27. Last week, we witnessed an abhorrent attack on Atlanta’s Asian community. I want to send my deepest condolences to colleagues, friends and family members in Atlanta. At the University of Manitoba, we are committed to fostering and upholding a campus environment where all students, staff and faculty feel a sense of safety, support, and belonging. We stand with our Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Colour (BIPOC) communities and reject all forms of racism. I encourage you to show your solidarity with our BIPOC communities by participating in the City of Winnipeg’s Anti-Racism Week. This virtual event will feature a range of discussions about how we move from talking about racism to actively learning, unlearning and standing against it. Stay tuned to @umstudent on Instagram for more details. I hope to “see” you there.
Academic and mental health and wellness supports are available. UM has many mental health and wellness supports to help you through the final weeks of the Winter term. The Academic Learning Centre is continuing to offer Virtual Study Halls, tutoring and a range of academic resources. Use the self-check up tool to find the support and resources you need.
I am really pleased to announce the launch of the new Virtual Advising Help Centre (VAHC). The VAHC is staffed by trained students who are available to meet with you via phone, email and instant online chat. Student Service Navigators can point you in the right direction if you need support and aren’t sure where to turn. They can help you with all things university such as declaring a major or minor, applying to specific programs, registration and more. They are your virtual connection to the campus community. The VAHC is open from 8:30am-9:00pm Monday through Friday and 10:00am-5:00pm on weekends. Check it out!
Fall Term 2021. As announced last week, in-person instruction will increase in the Fall Term 2021 and in spanned courses, in alignment with public health guidelines. When registration opens in the next few months, in-person requirements for courses will be outlined in Aurora. We are hopeful to be in a position to declare a full return to face-to-face operations in Winter Term 2022.
Share your UM Pride in Maclean’s student survey. Every year, Maclean’s magazine releases its annual university rankings. One of the ways the magazine determines the order of their lists is by surveying students at each university. Share your UM pride, and let Maclean’s know how great UM is by participating in the survey. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for a $500 Visa Gift Card courtesy of Maclean’s.
English survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MacleansStudents202102
French survey: https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/MacleansEtudiants202102
As I mentioned at the outset - in addition to focusing on your academics, please take time to connect with others, do something that brings you joy, and soak in the sunshine! Know that we are here for you and cheering you on during these final weeks of the term.
Take care and stay safe.
Laurie M. Schnarr, MA (she/her)
Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)