Dear Students,

As we approach the fall term, I am sure that you are wondering what university will look like at St. Mary’s. We have been working all summer to develop a safe plan that allows us to deliver the courses you need for your program while maintaining the safety that we all need during this pandemic. Below are details for the fall we think you need to know and contacts for services to assist you.

If you haven’t yet registered, we urge you to do so now as class spaces are limited. If your plans have changed, please adjust your schedule accordingly to help us plan for the fall.

In-Person or Remote Courses?

As you know from following the news, Alberta Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer of Canada are still urging caution in regards to indoor gatherings and continue to advise us to hold remote classes for your safety and the safety of your families and the community. The majority of Fall 2020 classes will be held on-line, using our new D2L Learning Management System. Your Faculty have been training all spring and summer and developing materials to make the fall term as engaging as possible. Faculty and Staff will continue to offer the personalised education that St. Mary’s is known for and will be readily available for you.

Instructions on installing the D2L app and how to use it are linked here: (LMS Student Access Instructions) or (Virtual Classroom Instructions). You will be able to access your course pages two weeks before the first date of the class. We will be sending further instructions about how to use D2L in the next ten days.

Technology Needs – Laptop Loan and Rental Program

Thank you for filling out the IT survey we circulated several weeks ago. Based on that information, we know that some of you do not have the technology you need to be successful with remote learning. To support your studies, St. Mary’s has acquired 50 laptops that will be available for a 4-hour loan period or for the term. There will be no charge for the 4-hour loan and a minimal $200 rental fee for the term loan. The laptops will be loaded with Office 365 and a shortcut to the D2L Learning Management System. We will be sending out details about how to register for a laptop, if you will need one, in the next two weeks.

In-Person Labs and Courses

For course content that cannot be delivered adequately on-line, we have been working closely with Alberta Health Services to develop safety protocols so we can run essential labs and courses on campus. Detailed COVID Safety Protocols have been developed and will be sent to you the week before classes begin. These include protocols for wearing masks, sanitizing hands, entering and exiting buildings, and handling materials. Facilities has been hard at work constructing Plexiglas barriers in classrooms so that students can safely attend in-person classes and remove masks once they are seated. IT has ordered additional microphone systems and headsets for faculty to ensure that students are able to hear faculty lectures clearly.

Faculty and Lab Coordinators have developed a rotation for science labs to ensure that no more than 10 students are in the lab at a time and are also compiling take-home lab supplies for some experiments to be completed at home. Instructors will be forwarding science students these details separately.

Psychology 312 Labs will be held in both computer labs simultaneously, with the instructor at the front of one class and streaming the lecture to the other room. The instructor will be able to move between rooms to assist students with questions and lab applications.

For fall 2020, the following in-person courses will be held on campus. Please note: All buildings will be locked down except for the 15 minutes before and after the scheduled start of in-person classes.

Arts & Sciences

  • BIOL 231 Labs
  • BIOL 313 Labs
  • BIOL 341 Labs
  • BIOL 375 LABS
  • BIOL 413 LAB
  • CHEM 201 Labs
  • CHEM 351 Labs
  • HIST 395
  • LATI 201
  • LATI 203
  • PSYC 312A Labs
  • PSYC 312B Labs
  • SCIE 201 Labs
  • STAT 213

Education

  • EDCM 405 – some Labs
  • EDFN 311 – primarily on campus

For fall 2020, there will be no choral program, as Alberta Health Services has deemed singing to be a particularly at-risk activity for transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

Drama will be offered on-line through an engaging activity-based model developed by our Drama Director, Joe Norman-Shaw and piloted effectively this summer through Rogues Studio.

Accommodating On-Campus and Remote Courses in Students’ Schedules

If your schedule contains one or more of the above courses that will be offered on campus, you may be wondering how you will manage remote classes that are adjacent in your schedule. We have set aside study carrels in classrooms for your use, if that is the case. These carrels are more than 2 meters apart and offer a safe and quiet place where you can join your next class remotely. The Registrar’s office has pulled a list of all students affected in this way and we will provide additional instruction for these students.

Student Support Services

All student supports remain open and accessible remotely.

Academic Advising – Our advising team is available to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding course selection or registration, program progression and planning, or navigating important academic dates, policies and procedures. You can contact an academic advisor at any time by e-mailing advising@stmu.ca.

Accessibility Services – students requiring academic accommodations to address disability related learning barriers or who suspect that a disability is impacting their learning, please contact joan.mcneil@stmu.ca or CLASS@stmu.ca

Campus Ministry – providing Catholic formation, inter-religious dialogue, spiritual wellness, and social justice engagement on campus and across the city to build a more peaceful society. To participate contact Lance Dixon, Director of Campus Ministry – lance.dixon@stmu.ca

Career Services – NEW for this year we are launching StMU Career Services! Our career advisor will be available to assist you with creating resumes and cover letters, job search strategies, interview preparation, networking tips and opportunities, and connecting you with career assessment services. You can contact the career advisor at any time by e-mailing career.services@stmu.ca.

CLASS – provides individual and group academic supports to help you to navigate your university experience. This is a free service available to all students. Please contact CLASS@stmu.ca for further information.

Counselling Services – StMU provides a confidential, supportive and inclusive environment for students to explore their mental health questions or concerns. Making an appointment for a video counselling session is the first step – You can connect with the school counsellor by texting 403-606-1939.

Enrolment Services – Sage Murphy at info@stmu.ca or 403-531-9130 Assistance with completion of forms and enrolment letters, transcripts, resetting MyStMU passwords, Student IDs, and general information

Financial Aid – Jack Nodwell at financial.aid@stmu.ca or 403-254-3738

Indigenous Students – Michelle Scott, Director Indigenous Initiatives, at michelle.scott@stmu.ca

International Students – Supporting all international students in adjusting to their new environment and making their time at StMU a fulfilling experience. Please feel free to contact us for any questions at: international@stmu.ca.

Bookstore

The Bookstore will be open for you to get your textbooks, course materials, and StMU merchandise, beginning August 24th. Please check the bookstore website for updated hours. The Bookstore will not be hosting book buyback this term due to health restrictions.

We will be having directional signage and customer limits in the store at all times. We require all customers to wear a face mask and to sanitize their hands and adhere to the 6 feet rule when possible. You will also be able to order books via our website at https://shop.stmu.ca/ where we will provide curbside pickup or ship to your house for a fee.

Check the website by the end of next week for class textbook lists.

Library

Library materials will be available for contactless pick up beginning Aug 27th. Materials from Special Collections are not available at this time. Materials from the main collection must be requested in advance through your StMU library account. Due to health restrictions, the main collection will be closed off to students and faculty and library staff will gather needed materials for you.
Access to library facilities will be permitted under the following circumstances:

  1. If you are attending a lab in the Library classrooms
  2. If you have booked a workstation or computer terminal
  3. If you have requested library materials for pick up. (An email will be sent when your request is ready for pick up. Please make sure that circulation@stmu.ca is not going to your junk email)
  4. If you are picking up a loanable laptop. Laptops are to be reserved in advance through the library catalog.

All library communications from the library will be sent to your StMU email address.

The library will not be open for day to day student use. Please check the library website for hours of operation at https://library.stmu.ca/. For any assistance locating materials or with reference questions please contact circulation@stmu.ca.

Everyone is required to wear a face mask at all items, sanitize their hands and adhere to the 6 feet rule when possible. There is no food or drink allowed in the library at this time.

Student Finance

The government has significantly enhanced student funding because of COVID. Stay tuned for an update next week about funding as well as the launch of StMU’s on-line banking.

Fitness Centre

The Fitness Centre remains closed at this time and will re-open when Alberta Health Services has deemed it is safe to do so.

Food Services

Students will be requested to bring their own drink in a closed bottle or cup and their own food. Neither food nor drink should be shared with another person. The drinking portion of water fountains will be turned off but you will be able to refill your water bottle at the refilling stations. There will be no access to microwaves, fridges, vending machines or coffee machines.

We are committed to keeping you updated and informed about your University in the South and how we are supporting you to thrive in your educational journey despite the challenge of COVID.

Stay tuned for another message next Friday!

Tara Hyland-Russell
Vice-President Academic and Acting Dean of Arts & Sciences
St. Mary’s University
14500 Bannister Road SE
Calgary, AB T2X 1Z4
Ph: 403.254.3771