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SU statement on return to in-person learning
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Return to in-person learning: President Frank Finley
UCalgary Students’ Union President Frank Finley issued the following statement on returning to in-person learning this fall.
Students at UCalgary want to return to in-person classes, there’s no doubt. Online learning has presented difficult challenges for students, instructors, and administration. Campus life isn’t the same without students physically in the space to learn and socialize. The Students’ Union supports returning to class in principle, however, this must be done safely without putting students and faculty at risk.
The mixed messaging from the province blaming the federal government for not providing enough vaccines to Alberta while simultaneously saying that all adults will be vaccinated by the end of June and planning for a return to class for September is concerning. This does not fill the SU with confidence.
In addition, the province has made significant cuts to post-secondary over the last three years, including more than $90 million to UCalgary alone. In his statement the Minister of Advanced Education makes no commitment to supporting institutions financially to cover increased costs such as deep cleaning. While students are being told to go back to class, the government is turning their back at the same time.
The Minister’s statement is broad and lacks detail. The SU calls on the Minister to put forward a solid plan on how to return to class safely without putting students at risk. Further, the Minister should provide financial support to institutions to allow them to open safely and ensure proper cleaning protocols can be done adequately.
If the Minister and the UCP government are serious about returning students to class, and doing so safely, then they must step up and provide details and support, otherwise they are putting our campus community at risk.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
External Communications Specialist
University of Calgary Students’ Union