Hello students,

Dr. Tara is away on holidays and has asked me to send out Friday messages to you while she is away.

There are only a few days left until the end of the Fall 2020 semester. The last exams are on Wednesday Dec. 23, then you all have some well-deserved time off before the first day of class for the Winter 2021 term on January 11. What a semester it has been! We will be telling stories for years to come about the ways we banded together and the new things we tried.

New Start Date for Winter 2021

The Start of classes will be delayed for one week for all programs. As such, the university will re-open as planned on January 4, 2021, but classes for all Arts & Sciences and Education programs will be delayed one week and will now begin on January 11, 2021. The last day to register for courses has now also been adjusted, with the deadline moving from January 13 to January 18, 2021.

This change in starting date will provide our students with a little time to recharge and for those who went home for their Christmas break it will provide the chance to isolate for an additional week.

Student Town Hall January 6th, 5pm

You have received an email invitation to attend a virtual town-hall on January 6 at 5:00pm. Please put this on your calendar and plan to attend. With all the ongoing changes due to COVID 19, it is impossible for St. Mary’s to know yet if we will be able to offer some classes in-person next term or if we will need to start the semester completely online. Our safety team will meet early in January to look at the COVID numbers and to talk with Alberta Health Services to determine our best way forward. Our leadership plans to have information to share at the Town Hall about what the coming semester will look like. This will be your opportunity to learn what the plans are and to ask any questions you have.

Winter 2021 Course Registration

Please be sure to login to your my.StMU account and double check your winter registration. You can find your current winter class schedule under the ‘Classes’ tab, by clicking on ‘Schedule’. Your fully registered courses will appear in your schedule. To view the courses that you may be waitlisted for in winter, you can check off the ‘Waitlist Courses’ box on your student schedule page and it will show you the courses you are currently on the waitlist for.

Please be aware that your waitlisted courses will show in your D2L at the beginning of winter term. This will allow you to attend the class(es) so that you don’t miss any course content IF you are to get off the waitlist for the course by January 18 (the add/drop deadline). You are only officially registered in the course if you receive the automated waitlist notification e-mail advising you to add yourself to the available seat and you proceed to do so through your my.StMU self-service account.

There will be no Academic Advisors available from December 19, 2020 – January 4, 2021. If you need assistance with your winter schedule, please e-mail advising@stmu.ca and we will respond to you when we re-open on January 4, 2021.

Please Reach Out

If you are struggling and in need of support, but don’t know where to start, please get in touch with Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Director of Student Affairs, at pablo.ortiz@stmu.ca Dr. Ortiz will do his best to help you or will connect with the right on-campus services.

COVID Measures

Remember to plan your semester break and holiday celebrations with the increased COVID measures in mind. Stay safe and do your part to reduce the spread of COVID 19. If you have ever found yourself wishing you could skip the holiday chaos, this is your chance! Find ways to have a cozy holiday at home. Connect with loved ones online, or for socially distanced outdoor exercise in groups of less than ten. Maybe try writing and mailing a letter as a fun way to connect.
Counselling Support

At some point in our lives, we all have stressful times and can be impacted by things we can’t control. As a student at St. Mary’s, Counselling support is available to you, and it is Free. Counselling can help you come up with a plan to see new options, ways of thinking and to feel better. Your STMU Counsellors can also help you discover resources to help a family member or someone you care about who is going through tough times. Counsellors are available until December 23rd, and then again starting on January 4th.

Talking to a STMU Counsellor is easy – send a confidential text to 403-333-4292 and ask to make an appointment to talk to a counsellor*.

*Counsellors do their best to see you within 48 hours. If you need immediate assistance, contact the Distress Centre at 403-266-HELP, or 911
Alberta Health Services Supports

Alberta Health Services also has resources and services available to help you or someone you know. Remember, if you are struggling you are not alone. There are supports in place to help you:

www.hellomentalhealth.ca – Fully covered telephone-based psychotherapy and mental health services provided by physicians for all Albertans with a valid Alberta Health Care card. Referral from your family doctor is required.

Text4Hope – Free daily text messaging services, evidence-based tool that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours a pandemic might be expected to provoke

To subscribe text COVID19HOPE to 393939.

Healthy Together – A guide to family and home life during COVID-19

Mental Wellness Moment with Dr. Nicholas Mitchell – Videos on topics including how to deal with stress and talking to kids about COVID-19

Virtual Mental Health Supports – Learn more about virtual mental health support, including Togetherall a free, online network that offers anonymous, peer-to-peer mental health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Get Help Now

Emergency – 911

Addiction Helpline – 1-866-332-2322
Mental Health Helpline – 1-877-303-2642

Important Phone/Text Numbers

Community Resources – 211 Alberta
Crisis Text Line – Text CONNECT to 741741
Family Violence – Find Supports – 310-1818
Health Link – 811
Income Supports – 1-866-644-5135
Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
MyHealth.Alberta.ca: List of Important Numbers
Physician & Family Support Program – 1-877-767-4637
Toll Free Crisis Line / Distress Centres

Link to all Alberta Health Services for help during tough times:

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/Page16759.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=Covid19&utm_term=MentalHealth&utm_content=v3&gclid=Cj0KCQiA2uH-BRCCARIsAEeef3lzbdrmdWkQIomkVTnhqa0qqfazi30GHoSOgkzis3b4ZST8CXUZbKEaAjreEALw_wcB

Library Services

The St. Mary’s University Library is closed until January 8th, 2021. Electronic resources will continue to be available for students during this time. On January 8, the library plans to re-open for curbside pick-up only. For the most current information, visit the Library webpage: http://library.stmu.ca/

Bookstore

The St. Mary’s University Bookstore is closed for the holidays. You can continue to purchase textbooks and other goodies on the bookstore website. Your orders will be filled in the new year. The bookstore will reopen for curbside pick-up on Jan. 4 2021. For details, visit the StMU Bookstore webpage: https://www.stmu.ca/bookstore/

I wish you all a very happy holiday and a relaxing winter break. You have worked very hard this term. In few days it is time to relax! Enjoy the break and see you in the new year.