Message from the Director of Student Affairs on behalf of Vice-President Academic

Hello! Dr. Hyland-Russell, VP academic, is taking a week of holidays after the intense months of preparation to get the university ready for the fall term in the midst of COVID-19. She will be back on Monday. She asked me to send the Friday message while she is away.

The first three weeks of the fall semester have proven to be challenging and rewarding at the same time. The new ways of learning and adapting to the reality under the umbrella of COVID-19 has shown us how resilient and determined to succeed our students are. Technology has not played more tricks on us than the ones we had previously anticipated as our Faculty keeps finding ways to keep students engaged and excited during classes, labs and tutorials. We are on this journey together as we learn that our new reality is conquerable by knowing that supporting and leaning on each other is the way to go.

Students have reached out to Faculty and staff with important questions on how the next months will look like, how to keep connected with other fellow students, what other activities and events are planned for the weeks to come, and inquiries regarding financials. The rest of today’s Friday message is all about providing you with information regarding upcoming events and supports tailored specifically for you.

Stay safe – we are here for you!

Tuition and Fees

In recognition of the impact the pandemic has had on the delivery of our regular activities, programs, and access to campus, the Tuition and Fees Committee, which includes student representation, met in the Spring to discuss how best to provide the essential services for students while reducing their costs wherever possible. We recognize that many students could not work for several months and want to support your learning however we can. To that end, the Tuition and Fees Committee, with the support of the Student Legislative Council, carefully considered which services students would be using and made the following changes to fees for fall 2020:

  • waive the Students’ Association Fee
  • waive all Athletics and Campus Recreation Fees
  • waive the UPass

The Board of Governors ratified the decision, which saves full time students $300 in the fall term.

The University maintained the Computer Resource Fee ($35 for part-time students and $70 for full-time students) as it covers a broad range of services and supports essential to your learning. The Computer Resource Fee supports the university IT infrastructure, including servers, wifi, email, and website; online delivery tools; library services, including enhanced electronic resources; licenses and access to statistical software and other programs specific to courses; and of course the IT helpdesk that has been essential to troubleshooting any IT challenges. These are critical resources that have become even more important now than ever before and resources that are only partly covered by the fee collected from students. In addition to the above resources, the university has heavily invested in design and development of online courses, training for faculty, web cams, and loaner laptops for students – none of which is covered by the student fees.

Online Banking

Another change implemented this semester is online banking. Online banking provides you the option of paying tuition and fees directly through your bank. We implemented this system to make it easier for you to pay directly, the way you pay most of your bills. You can still pay by credit card if you want. The 3% service charge the bank charges will be part of your fee – if you choose to pay by credit card. There is no service fee to pay by direct banking. You will have received several emails about this change from the Registrar. You can also read the details on the website (https://www.stmu.ca/tuition-and-fees/) and on the finance tab in MyStMU.

Thank you to all of you who have paid your tuition and fees and for the positive feedback on the new system.

Library Contactless Pick-up

StMU library has compiled step-by-step instructions on how to request resources for contactless book pickup. These procedures are currently posted on the Library webpage and can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

http://library.stmu.ca/?p=8419

Please remember this adds a step to accessing resources and you will want to add some time to your research process for assignments.

For more information contact Jessica.Macaulay@stmu.ca

Student Services Fair – Learn about Available Supports and Resources

Join us on September 29th and September 30th from 3:00- 3:30 PM for a student services fair to learn about the different supports you can take advantage of as we approach midterm season.

For information contact Kim.Tam@stmu.ca

Indigenous Events

Elder on Campus: Casey Eagle Speaker welcoming all students to the fall semester at StMU and sharing stories of resilience and hope (socially distanced and following COVID protocols)
When: Friday Sept 25, 2020 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Where: H100

Orange Shirt Day – Honouring the Children

Sept 30th with Virtual Coffee and Conversation with Evelyn Good Striker following (See attached poster for details)

For information on Indigenous initiatives, contact michelle.scott@stmu.ca

FAQs

Why is the university charging computer resource fees when most of us aren’t using the computer labs this term?

Great question! We do have several classes using the labs for research and statistics classes. But more importantly, the computer resource fee covers far more than the physical hardware and software in the computer labs. The fee contributes a small amount toward the whole university IT structure under normal conditions as well as all the electronic journals and e-books you use for your course assignments through the Library. Because of COVID-19 and the need to switch rapidly to remote delivery, the university has invested a huge amount over and above the normal IT costs.

Why did the university not charge for the U-Pass this term?

In recognition that none of you will be on campus full-time this term, we joined all the other post-secondary institution in Calgary in withdrawing from the U-PASS program with the City of Calgary for this term. Low-income transit passes and individual tickets are still available and are more cost effective than buying a transit pass that you will use only infrequently.

Keep sending in your questions. Enjoy these beautiful autumn days as you settle into the term.

Be well and keep wearing your masks!