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A message from the principal

Update on support resources
January 19, 2021
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By Kimberley Manning

Dear SdBI Students,

I hope this message finds you well, despite the many, many challenges of the moment.

I am writing to give you an update on steps that instructors and your peers are taking at the SdBI to support you and your studies this Winter, and to offer you pathways to obtain additional help if you or someone you love becomes sick or in distress.

We know that online learning is hard. SdBI instructors have sought to provide you with a more engaged and thoughtful online learning experience by undertaking the following measures:

 

  • Enrolling in courses on online instruction at Concordia and outside the university
  • Polling students in our classes
  • Attending in-house pedagogy workshops where we have shared ideas and best practices
  • Increasing TA support, including the addition of a Departmental TA

 

While none of these steps makes up for the benefits of the in-class learning experience, we hope that they will help. We also hope that you will continue to share your thoughts and ideas about how to adjust our teaching during this time. To that end, we distributed a departmental survey on teaching and learning at the SdBI. The (anonymous) results will be made available to instructors so that we can continue to pivot and adjust during the semester.


We know that people are struggling. Sometimes this happens suddenly, as in the event of a positive COVID diagnosis, and sometimes this is more gradual, as in the case of a slower moving mental health challenge. Regardless, we ask that you communicate with us as soon as you find yourself on difficult ground. Specifically, we ask that you:

 

  • First, speak to your instructor if you are not able to meet deadlines or are struggling with a particular course requirement.
  • Second, reach out to our advisors and peer-support team. Linda Bowes (Women’s Studies Advisor) and Marlihan Lopez (Sexuality Studies), are available to answer questions about your program. Our Institute Librarian, Isabelle Lamoureux, and our peer volunteers, are also available to provide you with support on specific assignments as well are available to talk, should you feel the need. 
  • Third, reach out to me. In extreme cases, I can request additional assistance from the University.

In addition, you can learn more about the university's mental health resources. We know that some people are longing for community. If you are looking to connect with others, consider reaching out to the Women’s Studies and Sexuality Studies Student Association (WSSA) and/or consider attending an in-house event. WSSA is working hard to create new opportunities for student engagement under COVID. The first annual Subversions Conference will be held in April, with opportunities to learn how to present and comment upon papers, while building community in the process. Stay tuned for more information, including about advance preparatory workshops. The Forum Committee will also be offering more online events during the Winter semester. Come to one event – or all (!) – if you can.

Wishing you a semester in which you are able to move forward into the future that you are hoping for yourself and each other.

With best regards,

Kimberley Manning
Principal, Simone de Beauvoir Institute



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