Calgary – The Students’ Union (SU) is calling on the University of Calgary to provide immediate and clear direction to students on its plans for the remainder of the winter semester in March and April.
In January, the university announced that classes would remain online until the end of February. Now, with only three weeks remaining, students have been provided no further direction or insight into the university’s plans.
While the University of Alberta committed to a return to in-person learning last week, the University of Calgary has made no announcement at all. This leaves students in the dark and unable to plan ahead.
“Students are anxious and are increasingly frustrated. They want to receive clear direction from the university in order to make appropriate living and travel arrangements. The clock is ticking down and it’s students who will be left scrambling if the university continues to dither.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt
In recent meetings with senior university officials, the SU has pushed for a decision to be made and asked when the university expects to announce its plans to students. From these meetings, it does not appear that a decision is close and that is worrisome for students.
“The university must immediately communicate a decision on how classes will be delivered. Students cannot be asked to scramble at the last minute, as they have in the past, to make travel plans and find accommodation should the university return to in person learning.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt
In a recent statement, the SU outlined what additional actions the university must take after it finally makes a decision:
Should courses return in-person the university must also: Set clear and consistent criteria for instructors to meet should they wish to keep a course online, pro-rate fees for services students could not access while learning online, provide a grant to students to assist with relocation costs, and ensure that health measures, including vaccination policies, are followed.
Should courses remain online, the university must also: Allow students in residence to cancel leases without penalty, refund students fully for fees for services they cannot use, and provide a grant to all students who had in-person courses moved online to help cover costs.
The university cannot make its decision as if it doesn’t have serious consequences for students. It must provide adequate notice to students and support them no matter the path forward.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
External Communications Specialist
University of Calgary Students’ Union