Return to Campus Updates

Dear graduate students at the University of Calgary, 

Yesterday, you would have received emails from the Office of the President around students returning to campus this fall. As stated in the University’s plan, students should expect the majority of their classes to be in-person classes this fall. 

This decision was made by the University of Calgary, in line with the  Government of Alberta’s reopening strategy. The three-stage strategy, based on vaccination rates and hospitalizations, sets the conditions under which the University of Calgary could launch its own return to campus plan.  

For some of you, this announcement may feel hopeful as we move towards a sense of normalcy, while others may have concerns around what this transition back to in person learning will look like. At the GSA, we want you to know that the health and safety of our graduate students is our top priority. 

Behind the scenes, the GSA has been working closely with the Office of the President and Provost’s Office to understand how the transition will be over the summer and into the fall. We are aware of your concerns and we have been advocating for: 

  1. Strong international student support for return to Canada and campus 
  2. Clear expectations around social distancing and masks once returned to campus 
  3. Support for students with health conditions (e.g., immunocompromised) 
  4. Clear communication around course delivery options (online, in person, or hybrid models- in person and online) 
  5. Ensure TA safety and clearly communicate TA requirements for in person and online delivery 
  6. Student mental health support  

The GSA will continue to advocate for transparent and open communication between the university and all graduate students during this transition period. The university has prepared a FAQ for the Fall 2021 return to campus plan. Fall 2021 FAQ

For graduate students who have medically based concerns regarding this return to campus decision, please contact Student Accessibility Services at access@ucalgary.ca. International graduate students who are experiencing immigration challenges can receive support at the International Student Services office at issimmigration@ucalgary.ca.  

Additionally, we recognize that this announcement may have impacted graduate student mental health. The GSA is here to support you in what may be a difficult time for you. The GSA Mental Health and Wellness Subcommittee has compiled a comprehensive list of mental health resources available to graduate students. Some are available on campus or in Calgary and others are even accessible from across Canada and internationally. We are here for you during this challenging time. 

The GSA is also currently in the midst of planning for the return to campus for our office and services. We will announce our plan at a later date. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our advocacy in the Fall 2021 return to campus plan, please contact us at askgsa@ucalgary.ca.  

Sincerely, 

GSA Advocacy Team 

GSA Return to Campus Survey: Are you ready to head back to campus for in-person classes and labs?

The University of Calgary announced its return to campus plan two weeks ago. The GSA understands that this announcement might have different impact on each graduate student due to individual challenges and circumstances. 

Therefore, the GSA launches this survey to understand how graduate students feel about returning to campus to ensure a safe and smooth return to campus for graduate students.

Complete the survey here: https://survey.ucalgary.ca/jfe/form/SV_4TqzkyfVYLXWvoW

Thank you for participating in this survey! Your feedback is highly appreciated.