January Advocacy Update

January Advocacy Update

January Advocacy Update 150 150 Michael Brown

The SU advocacy team was working hard over the holiday break and throughout January to ensure that students received clear direction from the university. In December, the SU called on the university to make a decision about the winter semester prior to Christmas. The university had originally committed to a January 4th deadline which would be far too late to allow students to adequately plan.

Since then, the SU has renewed its call for the university to provide clear direction on the remaining weeks of the winter semester from March forward. While students certainly have their preference between online and in person learning, students have told us that they are looking for certainty most of all.

That’s why in January, the SU put out a statement with what the university must do in each situation. It’s not as simple as saying that classes return in person or remain online, there are student impacts no matter which path the university chooses.

You can read the full statement here, but here are some highlights:

If learning remains online, the university must:

  1. Cancel the UPass and refund students. Provide discounted transit tickets to students.
  2. Refund or not charge campus recreation or athletics fees.
  3. Allow students in residence to terminate leases without penalty.
  4. Provide an expanded relocation grant for any students who had in person courses moved online that covers actual costs incurred

If learning shifts to in person for the remainder of the semester, the university must:

  1. Pro-rate the campus recreation and athletics fees, not charging for the online portion of the semester.
  2. Provide an expanded relocation grant for students who must return to campus midway through the semester.
  3. Implement short-term lease agreements for students who want to live in residence.
  4. Honour the original course delivery method and set consistent, campus wide, and public criteria should instructors wish to keep courses online.

The university must make its decision immediately and inform students. Students should not be rushed into making plans to return to Calgary, if that’s the path the university takes.