Impact of Quebec Government’s February 2 announcement on Concordia’s operations
As you may be aware, the Government of Quebec announced earlier this week that it was giving Quebec post-secondary institutions the option to reopen their campuses gradually as of February 8, 2021.
Weighing the pros and cons
What the government has announced are orientations, not directives. It goes without saying that Concordia would like to see campus life return to ‘pre-pandemic normal’ as soon as public health conditions permit. At the same time, we must weigh the possibility of reopening against the following considerations:
- Our first priority is the health and safety of our community. There are Concordians who cannot return to campus, because they themselves are immunocompromised or because they do not wish to expose vulnerable members of their household to risk.
- Many of our students are not in the city or country at this time, and it would be difficult or impossible for them to return at short notice.
- Having established a remote instruction delivery model that is functioning well, we want to avoid any further disruption to teaching and learning.
- We already have a number of in-person activities taking place on campus, including research, teaching labs and studio work. Any further reopening would require an in-depth analysis of available space, layout and logistics, especially given that a majority of our facilities are multi-storey buildings that make social distancing challenging.
- Our libraries (Webster and Vanier) on both campuses have been open for study since the beginning of September. Students can book individual study spaces via the Concordia Library website. As well, the reading rooms are open seven days a week. In respect of the curfew, the hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Current teaching, learning and remote work models will remain in place
We are still working out the details of what impact this announcement will have on Concordia’s operations, and more on this will be communicated shortly. In the meantime, we would like to confirm the following:
- For faculty, the current delivery of instruction will remain unchanged
- Staff who are currently working from home will continue to do so
- For students, please know that we are working to organize social and/or extra-curricular activities, such as spaces for networking and team meetings, that would allow you to gather with peers on campus at a safe distance, should you wish. The spaces for these activities will be designated, accessible through an online registration system, and regularly monitored to ensure compliance with health and safety guidelines. Importantly, there will be no change to your academic schedule, and there is no need to return to Montreal in the coming weeks. Any decision to come to campus to study or participate in these activities is strictly voluntary.
More on our plans to reopen campus will be communicated when possible. In the meantime, feel free to visit our COVID-19 information site for updates.
Take care of one another, and keep well,
Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic
Michael Di Grappa
Vice-President, Services and Sustainability