Brandon University to cancel spring Convocation ceremonies

March 20, 2020

Library closes Monday; all in-person spring and summer courses will be suspended to continue coronavirus fight

Brandon University students will still be able to graduate and get their degrees this spring, but the traditional Convocation ceremonies will be postponed.

“This was an extremely tough decision but calling off Convocation should further drive home the seriousness of the pandemic that we are facing,” said BU President David Docherty. “This is the culmination of students’ academic journeys, a celebration of all they have achieved, a time to launch into what’s next, and personally my favourite date on the academic calendar. Cancelling Convocation is difficult, but it is the right thing to do.”

The BU Senate will still meet to officially confirm degree recipients, and degree parchments will be mailed out to graduating students. A new Convocation ceremony will be scheduled when safe to do so, perhaps in the fall.

“It is obvious, unfortunately, that large group celebrations — no matter how earned or well-deserved — are not in any way prudent at this time,” Docherty said. “We all hope that we can reschedule soon, and we will give every student the opportunity walk across the stage to the applause of friends and family, to shake hands and be presented with their degree.”

Students must still apply to graduate this spring, although the deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, March 27, as has the deadline for voluntary withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the BU campus continues to quieten as the university expands measures to limit the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve. Most services are now being provided online or by phone instead of requiring an in-person visit, including library services, which will physically close Monday at 5 p.m.

As well, in-person courses over the spring and summer terms are being suspended, including PENT and EAP courses. Many spring and summer courses are already offered online, and some others, including PENT and EAP will be moved to alternate delivery.

While no coronavirus or COVID-19 cases have yet been reported at BU, everyone is taking appropriate precautions to stay ahead of the virus.

These ongoing precautions include:

  • The suspension of in-person classes and exams continues. Classes will resume on Monday, March 23, with the exam period remaining unchanged. However alternate delivery will be used for all remaining coursework and for end-of-term assessments.
  • Students in BU Residences must move out by Sunday, March 22, if they are able. Allowances are being made for those with exceptional circumstances. Students are being issued individual pro-rated refunds for their unused accommodations and meal plan balances.
  • We continue to work on alternate plans to support students who need practicum hours. Second- and third-year student practicums have been suspended, and they are expected to be able to make up their practicum balances in the fall.
  • Other large events are cancelled or postponed. This includes the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition scheduled for April 17-19 and the Mental Health on the Prairies conference scheduled for April 21–May 1. No new dates have been determined.
  • All BU employees who can work from home are encouraged to work from home. This helps keep everyone safe, including those who remain on campus.

Brandon University is taking these measures to help limit the spread of coronavirus, and to keep everyone in our community safe while ensuring the ability of all students to complete their classes this term.

While classes resume, public access to the Brandon University campus remains extremely limited in order to safeguard the health of our entire community. As we continue to respond to the swiftly-evolving coronavirus pandemic, the latest details will always be posted at BrandonU.ca/Safety/Coronavirus.

For more information, please contact:

Grant Hamilton
Director, Marketing and Communications
204.571.8542
HamiltonG@BrandonU.CA

 


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