Brock University has announced that the upcoming Fall semester will be primarily delivered online. Brock's decision to move classes online offers a stark contrast to Premier Doug Ford's announcement regarding the reopening of Ontario.
Brock University Communications notified Badgers via email about the decision to move towards online learning stating, "As Ontario and Canada slowly begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Brock University is working on plans for a Fall Term that balance[s] student health and well-being with their pursuit of academic success. We are planning for a term that is primarily delivered online, supported by some limited in-person, on-campus opportunities for students."
Brock assured students that despite moving towards an online delivery model, academic standards will not be jeopardized. The university will continue to strive for high academic achievement and will encourage Badgers to do the same.
Unfortunately, this means extracurriculars on campus involving large group gatherings will be affected. Any large group event will occur online to protect the student's and faculty's health. However, the university will explore options involving small gatherings on campus.
Brock predicts that by the end of May they will have a clearer idea of what the Fall term will look like for students. Brock has followed suit with other Canadian universities facing the impact of COVID-19. McGill University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Ottawa have all taken online approaches to ensure the safety of students.
This announcement appeared in Brock student's inboxes only hours after Ford announced that Ontario will slowly reopen the economy.
In a news release, the Office of the Premier confirmed that "retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m." Additionally, seasonal services will be able to start up as of May 16 at 12:01 a.m.
The Premier is expected to announce the province's plans for reopening educational institutions early next week. This announcement should provide more clarity as to what post-secondary students can expect from their upcoming school year.
University students face a precarious and unprecedented situation amid the pandemic. Brock's decision to move the Fall semester primarily online along with Ford's plans to reopen Ontario will hugely impact Badgers for the upcoming school year.