A next remote semester announced

Nearly a year has passed since U of M classes first went remote, and in-person classes still seem as far away as ever. On Jan. 13, university president Michael Benarroch announced that courses this summer will be taught primarily remotely.

Chair of the COVID-19 recovery steering committee Todd Mondor cites provincial vaccination uncertainty as the reason for the holdback on resumption of on-campus learning.

Even in the case that Manitoba restrictions loosen, “a lot will depend on how the vaccination program rolls out, and it’s very hard to predict at this point,” said Mondor.

“University students are not likely to be prioritized for the vaccination, and so it seems quite uncertain whether or not our students will be vaccinated by the time next fall rolls around.”

As with past semesters, a small number of classes will be taught in person and requests for permission for in-person instruction will be submitted to the steering committee.

To be granted permission, the course must not be able to conduct in any other way and it must be a program requirement or “one of a small set of electives,” said Mondor.

A course will also fit the criteria if not offering it would have “a significant negative effect on students being able to progress through their program.”

This January, 10 days were designated to conduct the necessary on-campus labs for the fall semester, resulting in an especially late beginning for this winter’s classes.

Registration for summer courses opens on April 5, and registration access times will be made available in Aurora on March 29.

Going into this semester, the Fort Garry bookstore is currently open for limited in-person shopping and pick-up options. Services offered by the student counselling centre are being offered remotely, and the University Centre pharmacy, postal outlet and optician have reopened as of Jan. 5 and are operating at limited capacity.