Archived Covid-19 updates

May 14, 2021 - New Travel Application Process

Dear King’s students,

As of today, the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In process has changed for entry into the province. Travellers (including students) now need to wait for their Safe Check-In application to be reviewed and approved before being allowed to enter Nova Scotia.

  • Anyone planning to enter Nova Scotia from another province or country must first apply to travel through the Safe Check-In website.
  • Your request will be reviewed, and you will be contacted for more details before you can enter Nova Scotia. This process may take up to three business days.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation letter that needs to be shown at the border to enter the province.

This process applies to all travellers allowed to enter Nova Scotia under current restrictions, including students entering the province to attend a post-secondary institution and Nova Scotia residents returning to the province.

Required documentation at the border

  • Anyone entering Nova Scotia between May 14 and May 20 can either show proof of the current NS Safe Check-In confirmation or the new approval letter, whichever you have completed.
  • Anyone entering the province on or after May 20, 2021 will be required to show your approval letter and a valid form of ID at the border.

If you are unable to produce the required documentation, you will be turned away at the border or will have to isolate at an approved accommodation, at your own expense, until you can make arrangements to return to your home province or point of entry into Canada.

For more information on travelling into the province, visit the Government of Nova Scotia website. We will share more information with you as we receive it.

Thank you,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

May 8, 2021 - Message from Public Health - Positive Covid Exposure at King's

Dear King’s faculty and staff and students,

Please read this letter just received from Public Health [PDF].

Although the salutation reads ‘students and staff’, this letter concerns everyone, and in particular anyone on campus April 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, May 1st and/or May 2nd.

Public Health is following up directly with those who had close contact. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have confirmed with Public Health that they request anyone who was on campus on these days be tested for COVID-19, whether or not you have symptoms.

Please visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test or call 811 and identify yourself as someone Public Health asked to be tested from University of King’s College.

As this is a precautionary measure, you are not required to self-isolate while waiting for your test result, unless you have any symptoms. Again, please read the attached.
And, as always, please remain vigilant with your personal health and safety protocols.

Thank you,

Bonnie Sands
Bursar

May 7, 2021 - Tighter border controls – no travel into Nova Scotia

Dear students,

Following the message we sent to you on May 5, the Nova Scotia government announced new COVID-19 restrictions today, including tighter border controls that effect student drop off and pick up.

As part of the new restrictions, parents from outside Nova Scotia are no longer allowed to pick up or drop off students.

New border measures will take effect on Monday, May 10 at 8 a.m. and will be in place until at least the end of May. Please note:

  • Nova Scotia’s border will close to people intending to move here until further notice
  • the border will close to people coming from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia does allow post-secondary students returning home or enrolled to study (for summer courses) to enter the province during this time, following all self-isolation protocols required.

For those of you in Halifax, please stay close to home, order groceries and essentials online and limit shopping in retail stores to emergency supplies only.

We know these restrictions are disruptive, but they are needed to help lower the number of daily cases in Nova Scotia, especially within HRM.

Please stay safe and take care,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

May 5, 2021 - Important COVID-19 Spring Travel Information

Dear King’s students,

There have been many COVID-19 updates since cases began to rise in Nova Scotia last week. I know this is a lot to absorb. To help you keep up to date, please read the points below and be sure to follow the guidelines if you’re planning to travel.

The Province has informed us that students cannot travel to Nova Scotia in the spring if not attending classes until the fall semester. If you are not a permanent resident of Nova Scotia or you are not enrolled in summer classes, you can be refused entry at the border.

Please note, this information below relates to current semester pick-up or drop offs:

  • Students coming to attend a NS post-secondary institution (e.g. for summer courses) or returning to their permanent family residence in Nova Scotia can enter the province. They must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Those who are dropping off/picking up a student from within Nova Scotia, must travel directly to the place of residence, make minimal stops, and follow public health directives (wear a mask, social distance, wash hands), and then return home as soon as possible.
  • People can enter the province to pick up or drop off post-secondary students. Other than during the brief drop off/pick up, they must self-isolate while in Nova Scotia – it is ok to enter and leave the province the same day.
  • People bringing post-secondary students home can enter the province. They must self-isolate for 14 days. If they’re coming from New Brunswick, they can follow the NS NB travel protocol instead.
  • Students must isolate in a separate space, although they can have a shared bathroom with others in the household as long as it is cleaned between uses. If this cannot be done, the entire household must isolate from each other. The same is true for people who bring students home (unless they are coming from NB in which case they can follow the NS NB travel protocol).
  • People from outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not allowed to enter Nova Scotia unless their travel is considered essential, or they are permanent residents of NS.

You can follow @nsgov and @novascotiahealthauthority on Instagram for frequent COVID-19 updates. As we know, these restrictions are subject to change.

More information will be shared over the summer in anticipation of welcoming you back to campus in the fall. If you have questions about COVID restrictions, visit the NS COVID website, including the page for post-secondary students, or email postsecondary@novascotia.ca.

There is community spread in the Halifax area. It’s important to get tested and diligently follow the current Public Health restrictions.

This is a challenging time. Please take care of yourselves—there are supports and services available year-round—and be kind to those around you.

Thank you,

Katie

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students
University of King’s College

May 3, 2021 - Confirmed Case of COVID-19 on King's Campus

Dear King’s community,

I write to inform you that we have received notification of a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving a person who had been on campus in recent days. All of the person’s contacts have been informed and are now self-isolating for 14 days. If you have not been contacted, you do not have to self isolate or be tested, however, we are asking you to continue to follow all applicable public health orders and university policies as overviewed in recent emails, which you can read on the COVID-19 resource centre pages of the website.

We are thinking of the person who has tested positive, that person’s family and close contacts and all those in isolation. We wish for everyone’s health and well-being.

Please remain vigilant with your personal health and safety protocols.

Thank you,

Bonnie Sands

April 28, 2021 - Health and safety update for faculty and staff

Dear colleagues,

King’s is committed to helping in the fight against COVID-19 and to supporting members of the College as they make their contributions and manage the issues the current surge in cases creates for them. I would like to reiterate Dolly’s message from yesterday that time off with pay will be accommodated for anyone:

  • Going to be tested
  • Going to volunteer at a testing site or in another way
  • Going to be vaccinated

Please reach out to your supervisor or program director to discuss a date and time that is best for you and your department or program.

As stated in my Friday message, we recognize that with the temporary closure of schools, the parents among us will be giving priority to ensuring their children are taken care of. The necessary flexibility in work hours will be provided. Please contact your supervisor or program director to discuss options.

I would also like to reiterate that we would like everyone who can work from home to do so in accordance with our own safety plans and the guidance that has been provided by Dr. Strang for all of us to stay home as much as possible during this state of emergency.

We thought it would be useful to share again the following information, with some modifications to reflect the current situation, on how we will respond if we have positive cases in our community, which we previously shared with you on September 25, 2020:

  1. COVID-19 Symptoms

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call 811 and follow all instructions from Public Health exactly, including self-isolation if so directed.

If you are on campus when you are directed to self-isolate or have been on campus in the days before you have been directed to self-isolate, we encourage you to inform HR (Dolly McIntyre) that you have been directed to self-isolate. This will allow us to ensure any areas where you were present on campus are properly cleaned and placed off-limits until they can be cleaned. It will also allow us to ensure we have gathered all contact tracing information so that it is ready to be provided to Public Health if it is required.

  1. Self-Isolation

When self-isolating:

  • Follow Public Health’s guidelines for self-isolation. If you need accommodation or other assistance, please speak with your supervisor or program director or HR.
  • If you are able to work from home, do so in coordination with your supervisor or program director.
  • If you are unable to work from home, you should inform your supervisor that you are ill and cannot work, as per any other illness that keeps you away from work. Standard HR practices for medical documentation will not apply.
  1. Positive Diagnosis and Contact Tracing

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, we encourage you to inform HR (Dolly McIntyre), although you are under no obligation to do so. As stated above, this will help the university to ensure any areas where you were present on campus are properly cleaned and put off-limits until they can be cleaned. We will also use this information to assist Public Health if requested. Under some circumstances, Public Health may inform the university of a COVID-19 diagnosis without the permission of the employee.

As with any employee who has been directed to self-isolate for testing, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should follow the direction they receive from Public Health, which will include self-isolation. If your job and your condition allow you to work from home, do so in coordination with your supervisor or program director. If you cannot perform your job from home or your condition means you cannot work, you should inform your supervisor that you are ill and cannot work, as per any other illness that keeps you away from work. Standard HR practices for medical documentation will not apply.

The university will fully cooperate with Public Health when we have a case of COVID-19, including by providing all contact tracing information in its possession, whether collected through the routine operation of our COVID-19 safety plans or gathered from after the fact information gathering. Departments and programs will be asked to provide the contract tracing information in their possession. You may be individually asked to assist by providing any other contract tracing information you may have. Please cooperate and follow all instructions, including to self-isolate if directed to do so.

  1. Risk of Exposure

In following up on a case of COVID-19, Public Health will:

  • Consult with the individual to understand contact points and direct the individual to self- isolate for 14 days.
  • Contact those who were in close proximity with the individual to inform them of the potential connection and that they should also self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Recommend that those contacted continue to monitor their health for symptoms and take appropriate action if concerns arise by calling 811 for assessment.

If you are not contacted by Public Health, you are NOT considered to have been exposed.

In some situations, Public Health may make a general announcement where the potential exposure is of a wider scope, or by directing the university to do so. This is discussed further below.

  1. Addressing Concerns About Workplace Safety

If you feel that your workplace is unsafe due to a COVID-19 related concern, or for any reason, please inform your supervisor and cooperate with them to resolve the matter. Depending on the circumstances, assistance in resolving the situation should be sought from whoever is in a position to help, including from whoever has responsibility for any part of the situation that goes beyond the supervisor’s responsibility. This may include the Director of Facilities, the Human Resources and Compensation Officer, or the Dean of Students for issues involving students, among others. In addition, please note:

  • Support for resolving safety issues is available from the OH&S Committee. All groups on campus have an OH&S representative who can help, plus the others already mentioned above.
  • Safety matters that cannot be resolved at the supervisory level can be taken to the OH&S committee, either by the employee or supervisor.  If not resolved by the OH&S, the issue can be escalated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to the Department of Labour.
  1. Communications

In all instances, the university will follow the directive of Public Health in its COVID-19 related communications.

In its communications with the university, Public Health has privacy protocols to protect those concerned. Most importantly, Public Health does not identify the person or persons who have tested positive unless it has to in order to ensure the safety of others.

Our default approach is that we will not be making general announcements when employees (or students) have symptoms, test positive or are told by Public Health to stay home or to self-isolate. This may differ from the approach in other organizations, particularly larger organizations such as Dalhousie, where there is less risk of disclosing a person’s identity by announcing someone has, for example, tested positive.  In a smaller university such as King’s, it can be easier to connect a general announcement that there is a positive case – or other event – to specific circumstances and to particular people.

In place of general announcements, we will typically rely on direct conversations with the people who are possibly affected and who have a right to be informed. I reiterate: If you are not contacted by Public Health, you are NOT considered to have been exposed.

The exception to direct person-to-person communications will be where a general announcement, or other kind of wider communication, is required to ensure the health and safety and/or the peace of mind of members of our community, or of the wider community. An example could be a situation of a larger outbreak of COVID-19. If there is a need to communicate in this way, our communications will follow Public Health directives and guidance and will guard the privacy of all involved to the maximum extent possible.

Because of our association with Dalhousie University, in most cases we will continue to share Dalhousie University’s communications about COVID-19, including its communications on specific cases. These communications are otherwise seen by some but not all of our community.

  1. Core Public Health Messages

If you are on campus for any reason, please remember these important safety measures:

  • Wear masks indoors and outdoors in situations now covered by our safety plan and public health orders, and be advised to double them.
  • Indoors, follow directional floor markings
  • Practice physical distancing – even outdoors and wear a mask outside when distance is not possible
  • Do not gather or congregate
  • Wash your hands regularly and carefully

When you are off campus, follow all public health guidance and requirements, for your health and those around you and to reduce the risk of bringing the virus onto campus.

If you have questions, please follow up with your direct supervisor or program director or, in the case of matters within her responsibilities, with Dolly McIntyre.

Once again, thank you for your continued cooperation as we all work to keep each other and our families and students safe while we pursue our mission of being a community of care and concern for each other and our wider community.

Bill
William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 27, 2021 - Gathering limits and staying safe

Dear King’s students,

Throughout this pandemic, we have seen how responsible you are, following public health directives on campus and within our community. We are very proud of you and what you have contributed to helping keep Halifax, a place many of you call home, safe.

You may have seen the unsafe behaviour by some in our city, including young people identified as Dalhousie students, in the news and on social media over the weekend, who chose to gather in a large group for a party. Last week, the government imposed a four-week lockdown across HRM after COVID-19 cases grew to double digit daily increases. Active cases are now higher than at the beginning of the pandemic in Nova Scotia and indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people. Gathering in large numbers not only increases your risk – it also increases the risk of those you care about.

I know you understand how serious this behavior is, especially when there is confirmed community spread and increasing numbers of variant strains in Halifax. But I must nevertheless emphasize that disrespecting gathering limits or any of the important public health measures is unsafe and irresponsible, as well as illegal under the current orders of the Nova Scotia Health Protection Act. Violations of such laws, or any federal, provincial, or municipal statutes, are also contraventions of the University’s Code of Conduct and can result in further disciplinary action.

If you have been to an exposure site, follow Public Health direction to self-isolate until you test negative. If you have many contacts through work or socializing, recently gathered in a group larger than five, or just want peace of mind knowing your health status, get tested. Nova Scotians came out in droves over the weekend to get tested. You can join this movement by getting tested to help turn the tide of Nova Scotia’s third wave, or to help wherever else you may be calling home right now.

Sincerely,

Bill
William Lahey,
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 23, 2021 - New COVID restrictions and King’s

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Following the notice by Dr. Strang yesterday about today’s new COVID restrictions I have a few updates and reminders I wish to share.

In terms of our facilities, the gym is now closed.  You have already heard from the library. Residence students will be hearing from the residence staff soon if they have not already.

There are not many other changes called for, given that we have for the whole year been operating under safety policies and practices that have consistently given priority to protecting health and contributing as Haligonians to Nova Scotia’s beautiful response to the pandemic.

Our revised policies, in compliance with the new public health orders and deliberations of our Occupational Health and Safety Committee, limit gatherings in or outdoors, to five physically distanced people. Masks will now be worn outside wherever 2 metres of social distance cannot be maintained. Doubling your masks when on campus—and maybe whenever you are out and about—is encouraged.

I remind all faculty and staff that we again request that all who can work from home, do so. Our strategy of limiting the number of people on campus at one time is as important as ever, as the virulence of the virus grows and as we continue to have students and others living on campus and some staff working on campus.

We recognize that with the temporary closure of schools, the parents among us will be giving priority to ensuring their children are taken care of. The necessary flexibility in work hours will be provided. Please contact your direct supervisor to discuss options.

Today’s changes are, like others, falling heavily on our students, who have finished their difficult years only to find themselves in lockdown here or elsewhere. I am particularly sad for our Halifax-based graduating students who have lost the planned opportunity to have pictures taken in the Quad and to gather once again, 30 at a time, in the ‘Wardy.’ Inadequate as it may be, I say to you on behalf of all the rest of us that we are broken hearted for you.

I am sure we all took note yesterday when Dr. Strang said he was “scared” because of the new variants and the speed with which they are now spreading in Halifax. He has never used this kind of language before. More than the growing number of cases per day, this shows how serious the COVID 19 situation in our city has suddenly become.

Hard as it will be when we are all tired after a long and difficult year of endless “compliance” at the cost of so much in our lives, I hope we can all take encouragement and inspiration for what we now have to do from all that we, and the whole of Halifax, have achieved over the year with our compliance and care and concern for each other.  With population immunity through vaccination on the near horizon, I am very confident the people of Halifax and of Nova Scotia, including all of us in the King’s community, can once more do what is needed and what Dr. Strang has asked from us when it is both so badly needed and so likely to get us to a beautiful summer of relative normalcy.

Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do to contribute to the solution to a challenge that can only be met by our collective action for each other. Stay safe and well, and in good spirits as we look forward to once again being a community of physical togetherness in the fall.

Thank you,

Bill
William Lahey,
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 13, 2021 - King’s plan for returning to campus in fall

Dear King’s community—and especially current and future students,

It is pure joy to write this note about the coming academic year. The good news is that teaching and learning, and our communal life in general, will once again be largely in person this fall.

Today, President Deep Saini announced Dalhousie University’s intentions for the fall. Because of our close association, we have necessarily waited for Dalhousie’s announcement of its plans to finalize our own. Dr. Saini’s announcement gives us clarity: Dalhousie’s goal is to safely open their campuses to students, faculty and staff this fall.

That is also the goal of King’s. There are still many conversations and consultations, including between King’s and Dalhousie, that have to happen before we can provide details on all the measures we will need to take to ensure in-person operations happen safely. But we will ensure they do.

These conversations and discussions, and the detailed plans they produce, will all unfold under the umbrella of the common safety framework that has been developed through the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents. This framework is being reviewed by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and will then be put before Dr. Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, for his review and approval. It envisages in-person operation by all universities, subject to adoption and implementation of safety measures to manage the reduced risk of COVID infections that will remain after population-level immunity has been reached and maintained through vaccination.

The bedrock of this framework is Nova Scotia’s continuing success in keeping the virus under control, combined with its plan to make first vaccinations available to everyone in the province 16 years or older by June 30. We can all do our part in creating the conditions needed for safe return to in-person teaching and learning and campus life by being vaccinated when the opportunity is made available to us and by continuing to adhere to all public health requirements. The province’s vaccination plan includes all students in Nova Scotia, including international students, and we are expecting arrangements to be made to make vaccination available to students arriving in Nova Scotia for the new academic year in circumstances that will be determined by Public Health. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

In tandem with Dalhousie’s message this is what we can announce today, while more detailed planning continues:

King’s will be safely open and, with a few exceptions, courses will be in person this fall. Revised safety plans will allow us to hold our classes in person, even for larger classes (100+). Each of our programs is in the planning process to make this happen. The Foundation Year Program intends to be teaching and learning in person, for both lectures and tutorials, while making available the option of a program of online tutorials and lectures for those who want to complete the program online. The School of Journalism’s undergraduate programs will also primarily return to normal, face-to-face instruction in the fall. The same is true for our upper year humanities programs.

The academic timetable will have to be reconfigured to ensure safety is built into our transition back to in-person teaching and learning. It will look different from what we are all familiar with.  The full academic timetable will be available to students in late May ahead of course registration in June. Advisers in the Registrar’s Office will be available to help students navigate their way through the revised timetable.

Our decision to return to in-person classes will reduce the barriers international students have faced in coming to King’s. We will work with Dalhousie, other universities and governments to help international students make their way through the immigration process, appreciating the unique challenges many are facing at this time.

Residences and Prince Hall will be open at a greater capacity than they were this year. We hope to provide more details to students and prospective students who have applied to residence for the upcoming year in the near future.

Student services and student life will return to on-campus activity to the greatest extent safely possible, including in the Offices of the Registrar and Bursar, the Library, Gym, Chapel and President’s Lodge. Decisions on Athletics will be made at the conference level but we are confident the Blue Devils will be once again competing against other universities.

The Wardroom, Galley and Co-op Bookstore will be able to operate in person with safety plans.

Faculty and staff will be returning to campus, with a phased return starting this summer.  One of the questions we will have to address is the balance we strike on a continuing basis between the work that can be done at home, where that is feasible and preferred, and the work that should or must be completed on campus.

Our return to college life will be safely accomplished by following all Public Health requirements and King’s own to-be-developed safety protocols. This is likely to include, among other measures: physical distancing of less than six feet in classrooms and other spaces; wearing of masks in some settings (including classrooms) and encouragement of mask wearing elsewhere; continuing self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms by everyone; maintaining contact tracing measures and processes; ongoing improvement of ventilation systems and procedures; and perpetuation of efforts to encourage frequent hand washing and the following of other personal safety measures by everyone. Enhanced cleaning of campus spaces, particularly surfaces, will continue. The continuation of some level of working from home, where that is feasible and desired, will itself provide a measure of protection. Under discussion are other options, such as keeping all or most meetings online.

All of this, including our plans for the return of faculty and staff to campus, will involve detailed planning, many of it in programs and departments and some at the college level, sometimes in collaboration with Dalhousie. As with the approach we took last year in preparing for a mostly online year, we will work to ensure alignment between these two levels of planning. This will happen primarily through our OH&S Committee, which will review both sets of plans, and which has done such outstanding work over the past thirteen months.

As general as it is, I hope this comes as welcome and happy news. I am thrilled to be able to share it with you. Please monitor your email or visit the King’s website for future updates. I look forward to working with everyone on all we have to now do to ensure we transition back to in-person teaching and learning and campus life while continuing to make the health and safety of everyone our overriding priority.

Sincerely,

Bill

William Lahey,

President and Vice-Chancellor

April 8, 2021 - Well wishes for the end of term

Dear King’s students,

On behalf of everyone at King’s and on this last day of classes, I wish you good luck on your final exams and in finishing your papers and assignments. You have all had to work incredibly hard this term and over this year under many constraints and in the face of many difficulties. I hope this gives you confidence as you approach the remainder of your academic work.

We are all incredibly proud of you for all you have overcome, accomplished, and contributed to each other and all those around you. Each of us measures success in our own way. I believe it includes the obstacles we overcome in trying to succeed at whatever we apply ourselves to. By that measure, you have all distinguished yourselves throughout this challenging year.

Our admiration for you will always be at the top of our shared memories of this singular year in the history of our College.

Kindest regards,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 1, 2021 - Encaenia Information for King’s Graduands

Dear potential members of the Graduating Class of 2021,

As I shared with you in a message on February 16, we had to make the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Encaenia ceremony until we can have it safely. When that time comes, we will fully celebrate your achievements, your time together at King’s, and all of your contributions to our community, with all the pomp and circumstance that you expect to experience at a proper Encaenia ceremony.

While we understand that it is disappointing not to have an in-person ceremony immediately follow the completion of your degree, we are planning ways to help you celebrate safely on and around the graduation date of May 27, and we invite your participation in this process. And I reiterate our commitment to you to hold Encaenia in person when such events become possible again.

For now, here are a few of the things that you as graduands can expect:

  • Celebratory video for 2021 graduands, as well as a formal video of the reading of names of all graduates of the class of 2021
    • Graduands will have the chance to be part of the celebratory video, and more information about this will be shared soon
  • Facebook Watch Party for the chance to see the video together, wherever you are
  • A special package for all graduates, including your parchment, will be sent by the end of June
    • We will confirm further details (like your mailing address) with you later in April to ensure you receive your package and parchment as quickly as possible
  • For those in Halifax, or who can travel to Halifax safely, we will soon share information about a photography opportunity on campus with gown and hood

I recognize that these activities won’t fully replicate Encaenia, but I hope they will give you an opportunity to celebrate now, in a different way until the in-person ceremony is possible again.

I’m very proud of you and how you’ve stayed together and persevered through this year, despite its many challenges, as well as the final difficult months of 2019-2020. If anyone deserves a celebration, it is you!

Yours in solidarity,
Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 23, 2021 - Academic supports for the winter term

Below is a message from Dalhousie that is a reminder about the academic supports and grading options available to students as we near the end of this term. We sent this information to you before but wanted to share the key points once again so they are top of mind:

  • The PASS/ILL option allows a standard letter grade to be converted to either “PASS” or “ILL” and is available for Winter 2021 courses. The deadline to apply for a PASS/ILL grade for winter 2020-21 courses is June 1, 2021. The application will open in DalOnline on April 5, 2021.
  • Please refer to our End of Term Grading Options page for more details about the course grading options available to you and please seek academic advice if you have questions or concerns (registrar@ukings.ca).
  • You have the option to withdraw from a winter term course with a grade of W until April 8, 2021.
  • If you have questions about how PASS/ILL affects your scholarship standing, please contact Cathy at awards@ukings.ca.
  • If you have any concerns about exams, be sure to reach out to your professor in advance.

I know it is a stressful time of term and that this year has brought many unique challenges. Information on the many wellness supports available to you can be found here.

Please take care and reach out with any questions or concerns you may have (registrar@ukings.ca).

Sincerely,

Julie Green
Registrar
University of King’s College


MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students

From: Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

Date: Monday, March 22, 2021

Re: Academic supports for the winter term

This is a brief reminder of the academic supports we have been put in place to support you during this 2021 Winter term:

Pass/ILL

Similar to the Fall term, a PASS/ILL grading option allows most students to voluntarily have their grades converted from standard letter grades to a grade of either “PASS” or “ILL.” This option is available to students in certain faculties and programs. If you have questions on how this option applies to your specific program and faculty, please visit the Pass/ILL website.

Withdrawal

You have the opportunity to withdraw from courses with a W (Withdraw) until the last day of classes: April 8, 2021.

Exams

If you have concerns regarding any of your exams (including scheduling issues, conflicts, etc.) please first consult your instructor. If the issue remains unresolved, please consult with the Dean’s Office of your specific program or faculty. The regulations for requesting an alternative time to write final examinations have been updated to recognize the issues related to technology and time zones in a virtual environment. The updated regulations can be found here.

Financial support

Financial support is also available to address some of the additional financial burdens that many of you are still facing, including those related to technology issues. If you require financial assistance and would like to discuss your options, please contact awards@dal.ca.

Note: These adaptations are applicable to the current winter term only. Information about the 2021 summer and fall terms will be sent in the coming weeks and months.

Sincerely,

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Verity Turpin
Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

March 4, 2021 - Fall course registration for returning students

Dear King’s students,

You will find below some important information regarding the change to the registration period for the 2021/22 academic year. Registration will now occur in June. Here are the key points you should know:

  • The upcoming 2021/22 academic timetable will be available in May 2021.
  • Registration will open for King’s Graduate level students on Saturday, June 5 (10 a.m. AST) and for returning King’s Undergraduate students on Sunday, June 6 (beginning at 10 a.m. AST) – (registration will open in two-hour intervals).
  • Your registration time will be available in Dal Online.
    The timing of registration has shifted in response to the uncertainty posed by COVID-19.
  • Following the posting of the timetable in May, students are encouraged to seek academic advising about course selection, registration and their degree plan. The advising team can be reached at registrar@ukings.ca.

As always, we look forward to supporting you as you plan your academic future and adapt to the challenges of being a student during this difficult time.

Thanks,

Julie

Julie Green
Registrar
University of King’s College


MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students

From: Adam Robertson, Assistant Vice Provost (Student Affairs) and University Registrar

Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Re: Fall course registration for returning students

Due to the uncertainty and continuously changing restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, course registration for the 2021–22 academic year will open in June 2021. This timing change will allow Dalhousie to be as accurate as possible with the upcoming academic timetable, which will be available to students in May 2021.

Registration open dates/times for returning students:

Saturday, June 5 (10 a.m. AST) – Graduate Students, Health, Engineering, Agriculture

Sunday, June 6 (beginning at 10 a.m. AST) – All other undergraduate programs (registration will open in two-hour intervals)

Monday, June 7 (9 a.m. AST) – Medicine, Dentistry

Tuesday, June 8 (9 a.m. AST) – Visiting students

Various dates in June/July – Law

We recognize this is a challenging time for everyone. We will continue to provide up-to-date information about the fall semester, including information on the return-to-campus plan and in-person classes, as soon as it becomes available. As communicated in January, our hope is that many tutorials, labs, and small-to-medium-sized classes (of less than 100 students) will be able to be offered safely in person.

If you have any questions about course registration or important dates, please email registrar@dal.ca or visit dal.ca/registrar for more information.

Sincerely,

Adam Robertson
Assistant Vice Provost (Student Affairs) and University Registrar

February 16, 2021 - Encaenia Message to Potential Graduates

Dear potential King’s Graduands of 2021,

You have worked so hard throughout your time at King’s, and especially this year through extraordinary circumstances. And now, you are close to completing your degree. I write to let you to know that everyone at King’s is looking forwarding to celebrating this milestone with you – this year – and we will. However, due to the uncertainty that remains with public health restrictions for the Spring, and as we had to last year, we have made the decision to postpone this year’s formal Encaenia ceremony until we are able to hold it both safely and in the grand style that always makes it such a special and beautiful celebration for graduands and their families, as well as for faculty, staff and alumni.

Each year, our potential graduands—along with the whole King’s Community—look to Encaenia as a symbolic transition point from years of living and learning in community to the next stage in their life journeys. Encaenia is also a time to make fond farewells to friends and teachers, and to celebrate with loved ones. Please know that the decision to postpone your Encaenia, while consistent with our responsibilities to ensure health and safety inside our community and beyond, was not made lightly. We look forward to welcoming you back to King’s to more formally celebrate at Encaenia when the public health situation permits us to do so.

Meanwhile, those graduating will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials this spring. More information will be shared with you in the near future about how you can expect to receive your parchments. And otherwise, be assured that we are still committed to finding a creative and meaningful way to mark your graduation with you this spring. You will also soon receive more details about our planned upcoming celebrations with you. But for now, I want you to know that, pandemic conditions allowing, we will make arrangements to provide those who are local with an opportunity to have pictures taken in your gowns and hoods before the term ends so that these can be part of your celebration of your graduation once your degree is conferred later.

The holding of your Encaenia at a later date is a promise, from the College and from me, that will be kept. I look forward to it as one of the many ways we will once again joyously gather in community when we have the end of the pandemic as well as your graduation to celebrate.

For the present, I wish you all the best in completing your studies and earning your degrees in these difficult times. Please take care of yourselves and, as I know you always do, of each other.

Yours in solidarity,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

January 11, 2021 - COVID-19 case identified in off-campus student community

Dear King’s students,

Please see the below memo from Dalhousie University noting that there has been a COVID-19 case identified in Dalhousie’s off-campus student community. As you’ll read below, going forward, information on all identified COVID-19 cases related to Dalhousie will be made available atdal.ca/coronavirus. Email notices from Dalhousie will only be issued when there are cases with direct campus impacts (ie. in-person courses, on-campus employees or campus services).

Thank you for your collective efforts to help keep the King’s community safe. You can see King’s latest COVID-19 updates here: https://ukings.ca/coronavirus/latest-covid-19-updates/

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students, faculty and staff

From: Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

Date: Monday, January 11, 2021

Re: COVID-19 case identified in off-campus student community

Nova Scotia Public Health has informed Dalhousie University of a confirmed COVID-19 case among our student community living off-campus in Halifax. The student is self-isolating as required. We thank the student for seeking testing and wish them a speedy recovery.

When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, Nova Scotia Public Health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. If you have not been contacted by Public Health you are not deemed to have been at risk. Where there is potential community exposure, Public Health also issues exposure notifications. Public Health has not identified any campus locations for an exposure notification at this time.

Respecting both privacy and public health matters, this is as much information as we can share.

Staff from our Student Health and Wellness teams in both Halifax and Truro are always available to support our students, at 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro), should they have any health concerns. Employees looking for any support are encouraged to speak with their manager/supervisor or connect with supports available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Employees can also contact Accessible Employment in Human Resources (Accessible.Employment@dal.ca) with any questions or concerns.

Going forward, information on all identified COVID-19 cases related to Dalhousie will be made available at dal.ca/coronavirus. Email notices will only be issued when there are cases with direct campus impacts (ie. in-person courses, on-campus employees or campus services).

A reminder to all to continue following all COVID-19 protocols. Furthermore, students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and, starting Jan. 4, should get one COVID-19 test on either day 6, 7 or 8 of their self-isolation. Please note that a testing site is located nearby at the Homburg Centre on Saint Mary’s campus located at 920 Tower Road in Halifax. To schedule your appointment please complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Additional information can be found here.

For COVID-19 updates and information for the Dalhousie community, visit dal.ca/coronavirus. For more information on COVID-19 protocols in Nova Scotia, visit novascotia.ca/coronavirus.

Thank you to all for your continued efforts to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,

Verity Turpin
Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

January 8, 2021 - Self-isolation requirements for people travelling from New Brunswick

Dear King’s Students,

The Government of Nova Scotia announced new public health requirements today. There are new self-isolation requirements for anyone travelling from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia. Please read below carefully.

The Nova Scotia provincial government has just announced a change in public health directives relating to self-isolation requirements. Effective January 9th at 8 a.m., any traveller from New Brunswick must now complete a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival in Nova Scotia.

Students who started their travel in Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador and who are travelling through New Brunswick with minimal or no stops will not be subject to the 14-day self-isolation period. Try not to make any stops in New Brunswick. If a brief stop is necessary, please ensure you practice public health protocols such as keeping a physical distance of 2 metres away from other people, wear a non-medical mask, and wash or sanitize your hands often.

As a summary of the current requirements, students arriving in Nova Scotia from anywhere except Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador need to:

1) Complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form before arriving: https://travel-declaration.novascotia.ca/

2) Self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the province

3) Complete a digital check-in daily during self-isolation

Students are also encouraged to get a COVID-19 test on day 6, 7, or 8 of self-isolation. Schedule your test using the COVID-19 self-assessment tool: https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/

While the border restriction with New Brunswick is not retroactive, students who arrived from New Brunswick or had visitors from that province in the past 14 days are encouraged to get tested immediately and consider a second test five to seven days later. They are encouraged to self-isolate while waiting for the first test result.

International students must also use the federal government’s ArriveCAN app to provide their information to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Students can download the ArriveCAN app or call 1-833-641-0343 for assistance. International students have particular self-isolation requirements. Learn more.

Questions? Visit the Coronavirus website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/education/#post-secondary or email PostSecondary@novascotia.ca.

Anyone in Nova Scotia who thinks they have symptoms of COVID-19 should do the COVID-19 self-assessment. You can call 811 if you cannot complete the self-assessment online.

We know there have been many updates and memos over the last few weeks, but we share these with to you to help you stay informed and to stay safe.

Residence students who travelled from New Brunswick can contact Tim Lade, Assistant Dean of Residence, at tim.lade@ukings.ca for additional support and clarification.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our communities safe.

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

January 8, 2021 - COVID-19 testing during self-isolation

Dear King’s Students,

The Nova Scotia provincial government is strongly recommending that all post-secondary students who arrive in Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada on or after Jan. 4 get one COVID-19 test on either day 6, 7 or 8 of their 14-day self-isolation period.

You must book an appointment in advance. Please do not visit any pop-up rapid-testing sites during your self-isolation. Instructions on how to get tested are outlined below.

Off-campus students

  • Students are strongly recommended to get one COVID-19 test on either day 6, 7 or 8 of your self-isolation even if you don’t have symptoms. Please book your appointment up to 3 days in advance by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment or calling 811.
  • The closest testing site to King’s is on Tower Road at the Homburg Centre, Saint Mary’s University, open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. A full list of testing sites in Nova Scotia can be found here.
  • If you need help with transportation to/from your testing appointment, please call 1-844-996-0694.
  • A negative COVID-19 test does NOT mean you may end your self-isolation early. You must complete the full 14-day self-isolation period.
  • Although testing is voluntary, we expect students to help protect their households and communities by getting tested.

International students

  • International students who have recently arrived in Nova Scotia, and are quarantining at The Westin Hotel, will receive a separate email with information about booking a COVID-19 test.
  • All information regarding quarantine requirements will be communicated to you directly by our international advising team. If you have questions, please contact the International Centre at international.centre@dal.ca or 902-494-1566.
  • International studentshave particular self-isolation requirements and must register with the International Centre before making travel plans. International students must also use the federal government’s ArriveCAN app to provide your information to the Public Health Agency of Canada. You must also complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Visit the Immigration and COVID-19 Updates page for more information about travelling and quarantine.

All students

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or discover you have been in a potential exposure site such as your airplane to Halifax, please book an appointment by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment or calling 811. An updated list of potential exposures can be found at health.ca/covid-exposures.

New requirements for all travellers entering Canada by air

  • As of 11:59 p.m., January 6, 2021, anyone flying into Canada from another country is required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada. You can find updated information about entry requirements on the federal government website.
  • Even if you have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to arriving in Canada by air, you must still self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in Nova Scotia, and you are strongly encouraged to get a test on day 6, 7, or 8 of your self-isolation.

Important reminder

  • All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. This includes students coming from all other Canadian provinces/territories and from other countries.

More information

Please review the following fact sheets for post-secondary students:

Supports

If you have questions, please contact registrar@ukings.ca.

There are many other mandatory public health measures in place in Nova Scotia. Please familiarize yourself with the rules in Nova Scotia, and remember they are subject to change. We also encourage you to follow @nsgov on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/nsgov/ for the latest information.

Thank you all for your continued cooperation and commitment to following the public health rules and advice. You are playing an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Sincerely,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

January 7, 2021 - Quarantine plan for Dalhousie international students

Dear King’s Students,

Below is a memo from Dalhousie University regarding international students’ self-isolation.

As you know, King’s has a relationship with Dalhousie and as such, our colleagues in the Dalhousie International Centre are ready and able to support King’s students, as are the staff at other student services like Student Health and Wellness. You can click here to learn more about International students self-isolation requirements.

In addition to speaking with an International Centre advisor, you can reach out to me at katie.merwin@ukings.ca to talk about any additional support you may need. We know that self-isolation is hard and we are here to support you in any way we are able.

Katie Merwin

Dean of Students

__________________________________________

MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie International Students

From: Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)
Cynthia Murphy, Director, Student Experience

Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021

Re: Quarantine plan for Dalhousie international students

Dear students,

As you may be aware, there are concerns regarding our institutional plan to welcome international students to Canada. We recognize that many students feel that the government’s and Dalhousie’s approach is unfair. We have heard your concerns and frustration and want to better share information about our approach and the reasons behind it, and to ensure you are aware of the supports that are available to you.

In addition, we are continuing to work with the provincial government and our postsecondary partners to address your concerns. We met this morning with government partners and will continue to meet in coming days.

We also want to clarify why some university plans look different, even though we are all working to meet the same requirements outlined by our provincial and federal governments.

Our advisors in the International Centre would welcome the opportunity to review the information below with you. If you would like to talk to someone, please contact international.centre@dal.ca or call 902-494-1566 to book an appointment.

A plan for international students

Although Canada’s borders remain closed due to the ongoing pandemic, in October 2020 Canadian border restrictions were adjusted to allow international students with valid study permits to enter the country to study at approved Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). In order for Dalhousie to be an approved DLI, we had to develop a plan which met specific government requirements while ensuring health and safety.

If Dalhousie does not meet the government’s requirements, we risk losing the ability to welcome international students to Dalhousie in the future. This is a huge concern for us, and we know it would be a concern for you. Our compliance to the government’s requirements is being monitored. Due to our approach, we have been able to address concerns brought forward by the community to our federal government and have been able to demonstrate that our Dal community is doing our part in keeping each other and our community safe.

The safety of students, the Dal community and the broader community is critical in all our decision making during the pandemic. If you would like to see the list of government requirements, please contact the International Centre and we will email you a copy as it is not available online.

Universities can use different approaches, but the requirements and expectation to meet them are the same

While every university must meet the same criteria, we do have some flexibility in how we meet the requirements. When addressing the requirement for university-approved accommodations and oversight, most universities are using on-campus housing or hotels, and, in very few cases, private residences. But the requirements for monitoring compliance with quarantine protocols apply to private residence as well.

Dalhousie’s plan, due to the number of students, our location and need to provide the required supervision, had no option other than to use hotels because on-campus housing was unfortunately not an option. Providing the necessary supervision to hundreds of international students throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality and the province was not possible. A university with very few international students living off campus in a rural community in one or two locations may be in a position to offer the appropriate supervision being requested by the government. But this would depend on the university’s unique situation.

Our other supports include free airport transportation, daily check-ins by International Centre staff, virtual programming and 24/7 access to international student advisors.

We understand the impact to your budget

We know the special government requirements, and the need to stay in a hotel to meet those requirements, create a financial burden for you. Dalhousie is supporting students through various ways. We have committed up to $400,000 to pay 50% of the quarantine costs for our new international students and those returning for the first time since the start of the pandemic. For students who need support for paying for quarantine, we have set aside an additional $100,000 in financial aid available to you.

There are also other forms of financial aid open to all students who require support.

You’re welcome to reach out to book an appointment with an international student advisor at international.centre@dal.ca or 902-494-1566 for advice on quarantine financial aid or refer to the Dalhousie Programs section of Covid-19 Money Matters for information about other bursaries.

Dalhousie is committed to supporting you. We will assess our plan and approach to supporting students as governments requirements may change over time, with student and community safety being our priority. Although this support looks very different than in other years, we are unwavering in our commitment and will do all that we can to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

Sincerely,

Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)
Cynthia Murphy, Director, Student Experience

January 5, 2021 - COVID-19 case identified in Dalhousie residence community

Dear King’s Community,

As you will read below, there is one confirmed COVID-19 case in the Dalhousie residence community. The student is self-isolating and following all public health directives. We wish them a healthy recovery. There are no current cases at King’s. However, because this case is close to our community, we must continue to be vigilant in our collective efforts to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. Please remember it is vitally important to wear a mask, maintain social distance and wash your hands. Show kindness and compassion to those around you, and reach out if you or someone you know needs support. We are here for you and in this together.

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

 

MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students, faculty and staff

From: Frank Harvey, Provost & Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Gitta Kulczycki, Vice-President, Finance & Administration

Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Re: COVID-19 case identified in our residence community

Yesterday, Dalhousie learned of a positive COVID-19 case in our residence community in Halifax. At the onset of symptoms, the student sought testing and informed the university upon a positive result. They are now in self-isolation as per our approved COVID-19 residence support plan. We thank the individual for taking immediate action and are supporting our student fully in what we hope will be a speedy recovery.

When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, Nova Scotia Public Health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. If you have not been contacted by Public Health you are not deemed to have been at risk. Public Health has informed Dalhousie that the potential exposure risk in this case is low. Any residence spaces accessed by this individual have undergone additional cleaning and sanitization, and Public Health has not identified any campus locations for an exposure notification at this time.

Respecting both privacy and public health matters, this is as much information as we can share.

Staff from our Student Health and Wellness teams in both Halifax and Truro are always available to support our students, at 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro), should they have any health concerns. Employees looking for any support are encouraged to speak with their manager/supervisor or connect with supports available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Employees can also contact Accessible Employment in Human Resources (Accessible.Employment@dal.ca) with any questions or concerns.

This case is an important reminder to all in our community of the importance of following all COVID-19 protocols. Furthermore, students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and, starting Jan. 4, should get one COVID-19 test on either day 6, 7 or 8 of their self-isolation. Please note that a testing site is located nearby at the Homburg Centre on Saint Mary’s campus located at 920 Tower Road in Halifax. To schedule your appointment please complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Additional information can be found here.

For COVID-19 updates and information for the Dalhousie community, visit dal.ca/coronavirus. For more information on COVID-19 protocols in Nova Scotia, visit novascotia.ca/coronavirus.

Thank you to all for your continued efforts to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,

Frank Harvey
Provost & Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Gitta Kulczycki
Vice-President Finance & Administration

December 21, 2020 - Important Information Regarding your Return to Halifax after the Holidays

Dear King’s Students,

I want to thank all of you for working hard this term to help keep our communities safe. For those who are travelling outside Atlantic Canada this winter break and returning to Nova Scotia after the holidays, the following message from the Nova Scotia government includes important information you’ll need to follow to plan your return.

As you know, the Nova Scotia provincial government has established rules for post-secondary students arriving in the province from outside Atlantic Canada to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules are the law in Nova Scotia as part of the public health order under the Health Protection Act.

As students return to Nova Scotia after the holidays, all students arriving from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. We also are asking students to get 1 test for COVID-19 on day 6, 7 or 8 of your self-isolation. We expect you to help protect your household and your community by getting tested.

Please read the following carefully.

REQUIRED TRAVEL FORM

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in. This includes students coming from all other Canadian provinces/territories and from other countries.

International students must also use the federal government’s ArriveCAN app to provide their information to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Students can download the ArriveCAN app or call 1-833-641-0343.

REQUIRED SELF-ISOLATION

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. You must complete a daily digital check-in.

International students have particular self-isolation requirements. Learn more.

TESTING

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada in January 2021 should get tested.

Students should get 1 COVID-19 test on day 6, 7 or 8 of your self-isolation. Please book your appointment up to 3 days in advance by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment.

If you need help with transportation to/from you testing appointment, please call 1-844-996-0694.

While testing is voluntary, we expect students to help protect their households and communities by getting tested.

Anyone in Nova Scotia who thinks they have symptoms of COVID-19 should do the COVID-19 self-assessment. You can call 811 if you cannot complete the self-assessment online.

MORE INFORMATION

Please see the fact sheets for post-secondary students:

Attending university or college during COVID-19

International post-secondary students during COVID-19

If you have questions, please contact PostSecondary@novascotia.ca.

There are many other mandatory public health measures in place in Nova Scotia. Please familiarize yourself with the rules in Nova Scotia. We also encourage you to follow @nsgov and https://www.facebook.com/nsgov/ for the latest information.

We want to thank the post-secondary students who have arrived in Nova Scotia to date and have been complying with these rules. Your continued cooperation and commitment to following the public health rules and advice plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

These self-isolation rules may change before your arrival. Keep up to date on current protocols at novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel.

Once again, the Day Students’ Society Executive and volunteers from the King’s community are prepared to support students with anything they may need during their 14-day self-isolation: delivering groceries and other essential items, checking in via text/email/DM/etc., having a video chat, and other support needed. Email daystudentssociety@gmail.com or contact the DSS on any of their social media accounts.

Other supports to highlight for the holidays that may also help while self-isolating:

– Jordan Roberts’ tips for self-care;
Health and fitness tips from members of King’s Athletics community;
Mental health supports and services (available over the holidays and into the new year).

I wish each of you a safe and restful holiday season.

Katie

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

December 18, 2020 - Update on PASS and ILL grades for 2020–21

Dear King’s Students,

Now that the exam period is nearing its end, we wish to remind you of the PASS and ILL grade options. You will see details from Dalhousie below and we also encourage you to refer to the information we had previously circulated here (See December 7 – End of Term Grading Update), which summarizes important considerations and details about PASS/ILL grades, and may help to provide answers to initial questions that you may have. Please email registrar@ukings.ca with any further questions and we will respond before the end of the day on December 23 or upon our return on January 4, 2021.

We wish you all the best for a well-deserved break between terms.

Take care.

Peter

Vice President

Julie

Registrar


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MEMORANDUM

To Dalhousie Students

From: Registrar’s Office

Date: Monday, December 17, 2020

Re: Update on PASS and ILL grades for 2020–21

For courses taken in the fall and winter terms of the 2020–21 academic year, Dalhousie has approved the option of converting your letter grades to a PASS or an ILL once all final grades have been submitted for the term. Note: this option is not available for all students (more information below).

Deadline for the fall 2020 term:

You can apply for a grade change through DalOnline up to February 1, 2021.

“PASS” grade:

If you pass your course, but do not feel your final grade is reflective of your overall performance on account of the suspension of in-person teaching or other factors related to COVID-19, you can request to have your grade changed to PASS. This grade is GPA-neutral.

“ILL” grade:

If you receive a failing grade, you can request to have your grade changed to ILL. This GPA-neutral grade won’t give you credit for the course, but it will remove the impact of an F from your GPA.

How to apply:

Watch this video for a step-by-step process on how to request a PASS/ILL grade. If you have any questions about whether a PASS/ILL grade change is the right option for you, or how it might affect your degree requirements, we encourage you to connect with your faculty advisor before submitting your request.

The PASS/ILL grade format is not available for students in some Faculties or programs. The following exceptions apply:

  • Students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Law and Medicine are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for any courses.
  • Students in the Faculty of Engineering are eligible for ILL grades only. Requests for PASS grades will not be considered.
  • Students in the Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Management programs who are considering a PASS/ILL grade change should contact the Undergraduate Advising Office.
  • Students in the Faculty of Graduate Studies are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for thesis, comprehensive/qualifying exams, and internship/clinical placement/residency format courses. All other graduate level courses are eligible for consideration for PASS/ILL.

Questions:

  • Find answers to frequently asked questions on the Academic Support website.
  • If you have questions about the PASS/ILL grade options, please reach out to your Faculty advisor, or to the Records and Academic Support Team at ro.records@dal.ca.

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.

We acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.

December 9, 2020 - Asymptomatic testing

Dear King’s students,

The Department of Health and Wellness recently announced that Nova Scotians who do not have COVID-19 symptoms can now get tested across the province.

Please read below for information about how and where you can get an asymptomatic test in Nova Scotia.

Thank you,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

______________________________

Asymptomatic testing can help Public Health detect positive cases in people who don’t have symptoms and help prevent the spread. It is an opportunity for Nova Scotians to help keep each other safe, especially as we approach the holiday season.

Just about anyone can get tested, and we especially encourage testing for people who have a lot of close contact through social activities. Asymptomatic testing is available for people who:

  • do not have symptoms
  • have not travelled outside the Atlantic provinces within the past 14 days
  • have not visited a potential exposure location
  • have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive

Here is how to get tested:

  • In Central Zone, people can go to the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth for an asymptomatic test without an appointment.
  • Pop-up sites will continue in different locations around the province. Because they use rapid tests, the age limit is 16 and over at these sites.
  • People getting tested through this process are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their test or results. People getting tested for other reasons should review their self-isolation requirements. There is also more information about testing on the Nova Scotia Health Authority website.

A negative test result is a good indication that a person is not able to spread the COVID-19 virus at the time of testing but it does not mean that they could not become infectious in the next few days. People who receive a negative test result must continue to follow public health measures and if they develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and complete the COVID-19 self-assessment.

Everyone is reminded to keep their social circles small and follow public health measures including wearing masks, physical distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying home if they feel sick.

December 7, 2020 - End of Term Grading

Here is a handy index to help your navigation:

  1. Withdrawal Date Extended
  2. PASS/ILL Grade Options
  3. PASS/ILL & Withdraw (W) at a glance (CHART)
  4. Conclusion

 

1. WITHDRAWAL DATE IS EXTENDED

For the 2020-2021 fall and winter terms, students have the option of withdrawing from a course with a grade of W until the last day of classes (December 8, 2020 for fall term and April 8, 2021 for the winter term).

What this means:

  • You have until the last day of class to withdraw.
  • If you withdraw you will have a W on your transcript. This means that the course will not be included in any GPA calculations.
  • A W grade MAY affect your eligibility for several things, including student loans, scholarships and other external funding, international student status, or your varsity status.

How to withdraw from a course (excluding FYP):

  • Login to Dal Online -> Web for Students -> Registration -> Add/Drop Classes

Students considering a late withdrawal are encouraged to consult with an academic advisor to determine if this is the best option. More information about a grade of W can be found here.

FYP students: Please refer to the FYP communications you have already received for detailed information. The “W” option is available to you until February 1st, 2021.

What this means:

  • You have until February 1 to withdraw from FYP.
  • You will not receive any credit for either term of the course.
  • If you withdraw you will have a W on your transcript. This means that the course will not be included in any GPA calculations.
  • A W grade MAY affect your eligibility for several things, including student loans, scholarships and other external funding, international student status, or your varsity status.

You must contact the FYP Office at FYPOffice@ukings.ca to discuss this option for FYP and determine if this is the best option for your circumstance.

 

2. PASS/ILL GRADE OPTIONS

What are PASS/ILL Grades

  • A grade of PASS simply indicates an achievement of passing the course. It is a neutral grade which is not included in GPA calculations. Credit is obtained in the course.
  • A grade of ILL is a neutral grade which is granted for compassionate reasons or illness. It is a neutral grade which is not included in GPA calculations. Credit is NOT obtained in the course.
  • In recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on student’s academic performance and well-being, both grade options have been made available for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms.

What Grade Options Are Available

  • If you receive a passing grade in your course, you may:
    • Keep your final letter grade and earn the credit for your course
    • Choose to have your grade changed to PASS and earn the credit for your course. This is an option that you may consider if you feel that your academic performance was significantly negatively impacted by circumstances resulting from the shift to online learning or changed personal circumstances due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
    • You (and university advisors) will have access to the original mark through your Degree Audit (DARS), but it will not be reflected on your transcript.
  • If you do not receive a passing grade in your course, you may:
    • Choose to have the grade changed to an ILL grade. Although you still do not receive credit for the course, the ILL grade will not negatively impact your GPA.

More information about PASS/grades, including FAQ and a tutorial video on how to submit a grade change request, can be found here.

What is the process for requesting a PASS/ILL grade?

It is important to note that your request cannot be considered until you have received final grades in all courses that you are registered for in the term. Once you have received final grades in all your courses for the term, you can submit a request for a grade change to PASS or ILL (see above) through your Dal Online.

To do so:

  1. Login to your DalOnline account.
  2. Click on Student Records > Academic Record
  3. Select “Apply for PASS/ILL grades for fall 2020-21 courses”
  4. Complete the waiver form and all required fields. Please note that you will need to select and enter your request for each course you would like considered. There will also be questions to allow for you to indicate if you are a potential graduate for Spring 2021 or an Honours student if these apply to you.

For the Fall 2020 term, this process will be available starting Friday, December 4, 2020. Please note: As FYP is a multi-term course with a final grade only being assigned at the end of the Winter term, the PASS/ILL option is not available for FYP in the Fall term. FYP students can make still make this request for any electives/additional courses.

The deadline to apply for this waiver for Fall 2020 is February 1, 2021.

The dates and deadlines for Winter 2021 will be determined in the Winter semester.

Upon submission, your waiver request will be sent through to the Dalhousie Registrar’s Office who will verify all required information and then forward your request along to the designated Advisor for your program and level of study. Your Advisor will reach out to you to discuss your options if and as needed and/or be in touch to notify you of the outcome of your waiver request. For FYP, this Advisor is Dr. Susan Dodd (susan.dodd@ukings.ca). Dr. Dodd will reach out to you to discuss your options if and as needed and/or be in touch to notify you of the outcome of your waiver request.

Important Points to Consider as You Think Through the PASS/ILL Grade Option

Pre-requisites: A grade of PASS will count as having achieved the basic pre-requisite requirement of passing a given course at King’s/Dal. However, a PASS will not automatically be accepted as a pre-requisite for courses where a minimum grade is required (e.g. a C or above in the pre-requisite course). Prerequisites with minimum grade requirements will be assessed using the original final grade you received in your course. Your advisor can inform you about the process for requesting instructor permission if your final grade is below the minimum requirement for a course. A grade of ILL will not count as having achieved any pre-requisite requirements as the credit was not successfully earned.

Honours requirements: A grade of PASS will not automatically count as having fulfilled the Honours program grade requirement of minimum grade of ‘C’ in courses in your Honours subject(s). Fulfillment of minimum grade requirements will be assessed using the original final grade you received in your course. Honours students should meet with their Honours advisor before changing a letter grade to a PASS. Requests to include courses with original final grades below ‘C’ may be considered by your Faculty and department. Your Advisor can provide direction on how to direct your request.

Bachelor of Journalism (Honours): A single grade of PASS will be accepted in a full-year course such as FYP, or in each of Fall and Winter terms as meeting the normal requirement of having to attain a C in a Journalism course. A request to meet this requirement by claiming multiple PASS grades in a term will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please consult Tim Currie (tim.currie@ukings.ca), Director, School of Journalism, with any further questions or to make a request.

Repeated courses: The repeat policy allows students to retake courses to earn a higher grade. Our practice is to always include the higher grade on your academic record. For the purposes of applying the repeat policy, we’ll use your previous letter grade to calculate which grade should be applied.

  • If the Fall 2020 grade is HIGHER than the previous grade earned in the course, the neutral PASS/ILL will be INCLUDED in the GPA calculation.
  • If the Fall 2020 grade is LOWER than the previous grade earned in the course, the neutral PASS/ILL will be EXCLUDED from the GPA calculation.

Taking a PASS/ILL grade option for a repeated course may have GPA implications, so it’s important that you discuss this with your Advisor if you are considering this for a repeated course.

Academic standing: Academic standing is assessed at the end of each academic term (i.e. to assess dismissals, probation, Dean’s List, etc.) based on academic performance. As is normally the case, students who have completed at least 24 credit hours and receive a standing of “academic probation” or “academic dismissal” will be informed as such in letter from the Registrar’s Office. If you have requested any change of grades to ILL and/or PASS, your standing will be reassessed once these changes are processed. The same process and standard timelines will be in place for the Winter 2021 term.

Scholarships:

  • For upper-year undergraduate students (i.e. second year and beyond), renewable/consideration criteria will remain the same: a 3.7 GPA for full time students. A PASS grade is a credit and will count towards required credit hours, but it will not be used in the calculation of your GPA.
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours in a full academic year must have letter grades to be considered in scholarship standing, i.e. no more than 12 credit hours with PASS grades.
  • For students in the Foundation Year Program, scholarship criteria remain the same. While you may take a PASS if you wish, you must receive a letter grade (B+ and above) in the Foundation Year Program to be considered for a scholarship. Concerns and questions about this should be directed to Catherine Read at awards@ukings.ca and our Registrar, Julie Green (Green@ukings.ca).
  • There is an appeal process in place for students who may not meet conditions for retaining renewable scholarships. Appeals should be sent to Catherine Read at awards@ukings.ca for consideration by the Scholarships Committee. 

Graduate School/Professional Programs/Interpretation of PASS/ILL Grades by External Institutions & Organizations: Regretfully, it’s not possible to know all of the possible implications of a grade of PASS at this time, as we recognize that this grade may be assessed and interpreted by different bodies/organizations/institutions/employers in the future. In recognition that COVID-19 is an international pandemic, and this grade is being offered out of recognition that academic performance may have been affected under these extreme circumstances, there is sincere hope and expectation that grades of PASS will be viewed neutrally, however, there are no guarantees as we cannot govern how other institutions and competitive programs interpret and assess these results. Knowing that your original letter grade is most easily interpreted, keeping your original letter grade is an option to consider carefully based on the grade that you have received.

FYP students have received specific information about academic supports and options available in FYP. To reiterate:

  • You must contact the FYP Office at FYPOffice@ukings.ca to discuss this option for FYP and determine if this is the best option for your circumstance. More information about a grade of W can be found here.

 

3. PASS/ILL & WITHDRAW AT A GLANCE:

PASSILLW
CANNOT be requested before
ALL your final grades are posted in Dal Online
CANNOT be requested before
ALL your final grades are posted in Dal Online
MUST BE requested by December 8
WILL NOT be included in the calculation of your GPAWILL NOT be included in the calculation of your GPAWILL NOT be included in the calculation of your GPA
Available if you PASS your course but you do not feel your final grade is reflective of your overall performance.Reflects “compassionate reasons or illness” and is available to you if you do not pass your course.Reflects a decision to withdraw from a course without completing course requirements
WILL count as credit toward your degreeWILL NOT count as credit toward your degreeWILL NOT count as credit toward your degree
WILL NOT fulfill pre-requisite or degree requirements if your assigned grade is less than the pre-requisite grade for a course/degree program.WILL NOT fulfill pre-requisite or degree requirements, and course will need to be repeated if required as part of degree completion.WILL NOT fulfill pre-requisite or degree requirements, and course will need to be repeated if required as part of degree completion.


4. IN CONCLUSION

Your health and wellbeing are important, and these options are offered in acknowledgement of the challenges that many of you have been facing with the shift to online learning during the pandemic. We hope this equips you with the information you need to move forward with your decision-making as we near the end of term and we hope this grading option will alleviate some of the stress and anxiety we know many of you have encountered this term. Please never hesitate to reach out to registrar@ukings.ca, your departmental advisor or your course instructor with any questions or concerns. We are here to support you. Please continue to closely monitor your email for further information that may be relevant to you.

December 7, 2020 - Update on COVID-19 safety measures at King's

Dear King’s Community,

 

On Friday, the Premier and Dr. Strang announced that measures put in place on Tuesday, November 24, to address the emergence of a second wave in Halifax, are extended at least until December 16, with the possibility of further extensions. These measure include:

 

  • Avoid non-essential travel;
  • Limit gatherings to 5 people;
  • Restaurants and licensed establishments closed for in-person dining (take-out/delivery only);
  • Organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities, faith-based activities are paused;
  • Stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings, including ticketing of all attendees (fines of $1,000 per attendee).

 

At King’s, this means the measures communicated on November 25 Memo “Service Changes and Closures” , will also remain in place until at least December 16, subject to any changes that may be recommended by our Occupational Health and Safety Committee. These measures were as follows:

 

  • The King’s Gym is closed.
  • The King’s Library is open to students only (the general public is not allowed access) to use bookable space, provided all the Library’s applicable safety measures are taken. Curb-side service and electronic services are still available.
  • The activities of the Choir and King’s Chapel are paused, however, the bell for service will continue to ring, and the Chaplain will continue prayers in solitude.
  • Prince Hall is maintaining its scheduled hours for take out service only, and only for residence students.
  • The Wardroom remains closed. The Galley will continue take out.

 

The Occupational Health and Safety Committee is meeting this week to consider whether there should be any adjustment in these measures at this time.

 

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

December 2, 2020 - ACAA cancels remainder of the 2020-21 season

After consultations with athletics directors and deliberation among the presidents of its member institutions, the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) has canceled the regular season and championships for the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the ACAA will allow member driven competition for the upcoming winter semester subject to public health directives.

The decision not to proceed with conference play and championships was made in response to the changing situation and restrictions in the individual provinces and across the region. In a conference call yesterday, the presidents of the ACAA institutions agreed that a prudent response to the current situation was to cancel conference competition for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball and badminton.

“From the outset, with our first priority being the safety of our students, we knew that current public health conditions and directives would be the primary determinant in our decision and that any competitions could be cancelled in the event of a new or worsening outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in our region. Unfortunately, that has proven to be the case,” said William Lahey, President and Vice Chancellor, University of King’s College who chaired the meeting.

Michael Eagles, Athletic Director at St. Thomas University and President of the ACAA, said that similar to Atlantic University Sport, the ACAA has left the door open for member driven play as determined by individual institutions and subject to public health directives and approved return to play plans for each sport.

Even though the ACAA fall season was cancelled, teams have been training through the fall semester and playing exhibition games, in compliance with public health directives. If member driven competition is feasible, it would be in the window of late January to mid-March.

Over the past weeks, the ACAA had developed a return to play plan modelled on the Atlantic University Sport approach and it thanked the AUS for sharing their work. The presidents also acknowledged the work of the ACAA Committee: chair Pierre Arsenault, Mount Allison University; June Lumsden, Mount Saint Vincent University; Albert Roche, Holland College; and Ron O’Flaherty, ACAA Executive Director.

The Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association is made up of ten member schools from across the Maritimes provinces, with five schools coming from New Brunswick – Crandall, Mount Allison, St. Thomas, UNB Saint John and UNB Fredericton; four schools from Nova Scotia – Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, Mount Saint Vincent, Universite Saint Anne and University of King’s College; and one from Prince Edward Island – Holland College.

November 26, 2020 - Travel over December break

Dear King’s Students,

Please see important information below from Dalhousie on safety pre-cautions if you choose to travel over the winter break.

Circumstances continue to change, as we saw this week with the return of self-isolation requirements when traveling between all Atlantic provinces. Note that, if you choose to travel, an increase of COVID-19 cases could impose sudden travel restrictions, potentially impacting your re-entry to Canada/Nova Scotia.

Thank you for following Public Health directives to help turn the tide of the second wave of COVID-19. Remember, there can be severe consequences for not doing your part in keeping our community safe. As the memo states, this includes being accountable for your choices both on and off campus. In addition to significant fines issued by our local police authority, King’s Code of Conduct will be used to the fullest extent possible to address deliberate disregard of Public Health directives.

Stay safe and best wishes for the end of term.

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students

From: Verity Turpin, Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Date: Thursday, November 26, 2020

Re: Important precautions for travel over the December break

Dear students,

This week, the Atlantic Provinces (and Nova Scotia) announced new important Public Health restrictions. Of note, residents of the four provinces are no longer free to travel within the Atlantic region, without having to self-isolate. If you choose to travel, an increase of COVID-19 cases could impose sudden travel restrictions, potentially impacting your re-entry to Canada/Nova Scotia.

As many of you make plans to travel home for the December break, we wanted to provide you with important reminders—whether you are travelling locally or internationally—to help keep you safe.

Before departing:

  • International students are also reminded that they must submit travel dates, contact information, mandatory quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to the Canada Border Services Agency via the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.
  • During the weeks leading up to your departure, take extra precautions when socializing, follow public health rules about gathering limits, and avoid known areas of potential COVID-19 exposure to minimize your risk of infection.
  • Continue to be diligent regarding wearing a non-medical mask and follow the social distancing directives from Public Health.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after entering a public place. 

Day of travel:

  • Reduce the number of stops on the trip, whether it’s during the drive from your place of residence to the airport, or public places along the route during a trip by car.
  • Delay your travel if you are sick, have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has been recently diagnosed.
  • Take safety precautions during travel: wear face masks, stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others as much as possible, sit as far away from other passengers as possible, carry and use hand sanitizer, wipe any touchable surfaces with sanitizing wipes.
  • Confirm any requirements or restrictions at your travel destination.
  • The least risky option is private transportation by yourself or with your family members.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after entering a public place.

Arrival at home:

  • The most cautious approach upon arriving home is to self-isolate/quarantine for the first 14 days after arrival. COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to cause symptoms and some people who get it only have minor symptom or don’t have any symptoms at all but could still be infectious to others.
  • If self-isolation is not possible, stay physically distant from family household members, wear a face covering when around others, and avoid close contact (including hugging and shaking hands) for the first 14 days home.
  • Please be considerate. There are more vulnerable populations who are at risk of more severe outcomes.

 Self-isolation/quarantine upon return to Nova Scotia

  • A 14-day quarantine/self-isolation period is required for anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic provinces. (Please monitor the NS COVID website for any changes.)
  • You must quarantine/self-isolate either by yourself, or with others who are also quarantining/self-isolating for the same time period.
  • Students must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In form prior to travel and show their confirmation email upon entry to the province.
  • After arriving in NS, students must also complete a daily Nova Scotia Safe Check-In via email.
  • International students are required to confirm within 48 hours through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343 that they have arrived at their Dalhousie-approved mandatory quarantine hotel.
  • Please review the updated requirements for arriving/returning to Nova Scotia.
  • International students are advised to contact the International Centre before making any travel arrangements to/from Nova Scotia.

Travel within Nova Scotia

  • Nova Scotians are currently being asked to avoid non-essential travel in and out of western and central HRM and to other Atlantic provinces.
  • If you live in Nova Scotia, but outside of HRM, please avoid non-essential travel to Halifax. For shopping, please consider supporting local businesses.
  • If you are living in HRM please follow standard COVID-19 safety measures while shopping in public spaces and wherever possible, shop online or use curbside pickup to reduce your risk of exposure.

While we recognize the vast majority of our students are following Public Health directives, we wanted to remind students that there can be severe consequences for not doing your part in keeping our community safe. This includes being accountable for your choices both on and off campus. In addition to significant fines issued by our local police authority, our Code of Student Conduct will be used to the fullest extent possible to address deliberate disregard of Public Health directives.

Thank you for continuing to do your part in keeping our community safe.

 

Sincerely,

Verity Turpin
Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)


Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.

We acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.

NOVEMBER 25 – NEW END-OF-TERM SUPPORTS

Dear King’s Students,

Below is a memo to Dalhousie students on new end-of-term supports, including some grading provisions approved by Dalhousie Senate this week. These will be in effect for any courses at Dalhousie in which you may be enrolled. They are also in effect for classes in CSP, HOST, and EMSP. Decisions are being made now in Journalism and FYP as to how they may be reflected in those King’s programs. More information will be forthcoming to you as soon as it is available.

Student advising from the King’s Registrar’s Office is, as always, available to you by contacting registrar@ukings.ca.

Bursaries continue to be available to King’s students to address financial burdens. Please see here for more information awards@ukings.ca.

Finally, the supports for health and wellness mentioned in the last paragraph below, including mental health and well-being, are equally available to King’s students. Information about additional King’s-specific supports and resources are available here.

We hope that these important academic decisions and the outlined supports will be of assistance as you come to the end of your fall term and prepare for the winter.

 

Sincerely,

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

Julie Green
Registrar

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

November 25, 2020 - New end-of-term supports

Dear King’s Students,

Below is a memo to Dalhousie students on new end-of-term supports, including some grading provisions approved by Dalhousie Senate this week. These will be in effect for any courses at Dalhousie in which you may be enrolled. They are also in effect for classes in CSP, HOST, and EMSP. Decisions are being made now in Journalism and FYP as to how they may be reflected in those King’s programs. More information will be forthcoming to you as soon as it is available.

Student advising from the King’s Registrar’s Office is, as always, available to you by contacting registrar@ukings.ca.

Bursaries continue to be available to King’s students to address financial burdens. Please see here for more information awards@ukings.ca.

Finally, the supports for health and wellness mentioned in the last paragraph below, including mental health and well-being, are equally available to King’s students. Information about additional King’s-specific supports and resources are available here.

We hope that these important academic decisions and the outlined supports will be of assistance as you come to the end of your fall term and prepare for the winter.

Sincerely,

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

Julie Green
Registrar

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

—–
MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students

From: Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Verity Turpin, Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Re: New end-of-term supports for students

Dear Students,

As you prepare for the final weeks of the term, we wanted to acknowledge the challenges many of you have been facing. Over the past number of weeks, you have provided feedback through various surveys, town halls and open discussion forums. We appreciate the frank and candid responses and, as a result of your feedback, we have implemented a number of supports that have been approved by the Dalhousie Senate:

  1. For the 2020–2021 academic year, students have the opportunity to withdraw from courses with a W (Withdraw) until the last day of classes: December 8, 2020 for fall term and April 8, 2021 for the winter term.
  2. For the fall 2020 term, faculty are allowed to review their assessments and course guidelines to mitigate factors outside of students’ control, and implement changes as needed in their syllabi for this academic term.
    • Note: This means instructors may consider a variety of adjustments that would benefit students. Any changes will be communicated to all students in the course.
  3. A PASS/ILL grading option will allow students to voluntarily have their grades converted from standard letter grades to a grade of either “PASS” or “ILL.” This option will be offered in the fall and winter terms of the 2020/21 academic year. Full details on how this applies to specific programs and Faculties will be communicated to students through their Faculty Deans or Associate Deans Academic.

Financial bursaries are also available to address some of the additional financial burdens that many of you are still facing. If you require financial assistance, please contact awards@dal.ca.

We know that shifting to online learning has not been easy. Your mental health and wellbeing is important and we hope these supports will alleviate some of the stress and anxiety we know many of you have encountered this term. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your instructor or connect with our mental health supports. Good2Talk is a telephone and texting counselling service available for students 24/7/365. You can also reach out to Student Health & Wellness for access to same-day counselling (via telephone), Dal’s social worker, or our other online resources. If you are studying outside of Canada, you can access confidential counselling through the Remote Study Health Program. Learn more about resources available to you at www.dal.ca/mentalhealth.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Frank Harvey
Provost & Vice President (Acting)

Verity Turpin
Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people. We also acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.

November 25, 2020 - Immediate changes to residence

Dear Residence Community,

Following President Bill’s message regarding updates to campus services and activities due to the new COVID-19 public health protocols, below are residence-specific changes impacting residence life.

These changes are effective immediately for at least two weeks, pending further government updates. Please read carefully.

New gathering size restrictions and fines

The new limit for gatherings is no more than 5 people. This applies to all people living in Halifax. Violators of gathering limits face fines up to $1,000 per person from Halifax Police. For detailed information, refer to COVID-19 restriction updates and Halifax restriction alerts.

What this means for residence:

  • Stick to a consistent, exclusive social group of no more than 5. Submit your list of 5 close contacts to your don by Friday, Nov. 27 for contact tracing purposes if needed by Public Health.
  • Common Room occupancy will be reduced to 5 for ALL common rooms. Windows must stay open to promote air circulation, which reduces risk of indoor transmission. Heaters are being installed to keep you warm and prevent pipes from freezing.
    • You must always wear a mask—this means no food or drink can be consumed in common rooms at this time.
  • Guests: You can have one fellow resident guest in your room at anytime. Students can continue to travel between residence buildings.
  • Prince Hall: As you’ll have figured out, is now take-out only.
  • Conduct: If you choose to disrespect our community by violating Residence Guidelines, you will meet with Tim Lade to determine consequences for your actions. Repeat violations will have more serious consequences, including eviction from residence.

Asymptomatic Testing

From the NS Health notice regarding asymptomatic testing: People who work in or have been to a bar or restaurant in Halifax after 10:00 pm in the last two weeks should book a COVID-19 test, even if they don’t have symptoms. People who are tested through this process do not need to self-isolate while they wait for test results if they don’t have symptoms. You can contact Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness (902-494-2171) regarding testing and book a test on the COVID self-assessment website.

Also, you can also visit a pop-up rapid testing site, one is located at 5257 Morris Street (Dal Sexton Campus) until 8:00 pm today (Wednesday, November 25th). 

COVID-19 exposure at TOO MANY locations across Halifax

Nova Scotia Health Authority notice regarding possible COVID exposure: the Nova Scotia Health Authority is asking that anyone who visited or worked at the locations listed on this site on the specified date and time to immediately self-isolate and contact 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. Contact Tim Lade for support if you’ve been to an exposure site.

How well you abide by government restrictions for the next two weeks will directly impact how we are able to celebrate the holidays. You can help turn the tide and keep COVID out of King’s.

Now is the time to stay safe by staying home. Limit going out to essential trips only. Wear your mask and respect gathering limits. And we know you know, but… please wash your hands!

Want to avoid reading long email memos?

Follow @ukcresidence for important COVID-19 and residence programming updates. Download the COVID alert app, and Dal Mobile (you can choose to subscribe to the King’s channel) to stay in the loop for ongoing updates on exposures and campus information.

Thank you,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

November 25, 2020 - Service changes and closures

Dear students, faculty and staff,

The memo below from Dalhousie was sent last evening. It sets out changes made to services at Dalhousie, now in effect, in light of yesterday’s changes in public health orders relating to the serious COVID-19 situation in Halifax.

Following my message from yesterday, I write to inform that these changes are now in effect at King’s:

  • The King’s Gym is closed.
  • The King’s Library is open to students only (the general public is not allowed access) to use bookable space, provided all the Library’s applicable safety measures are taken. Curb-side service and electronic services are still available.
  • The activities of the Choir and King’s Chapel are paused, however, the bell for service will continue to ring and the Chaplain will continue prayers in solitude.
  • Prince Hall is maintaining its scheduled hours for take out service only, and only for residence students.
  • The Wardroom remains closed. The Galley will continue take out.

Residence students, a separate memo will be coming to you later today from Dean Katie.

These measures largely come directly from the now in force public health orders and by recommendations provided to me from the University’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

Information received after today’s meeting of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, through Labour and Advanced Education, allowed us to return to bookable library space for students, which now supersedes the memo sent to you earlier today by Patricia Chalmers.

These measures are in effect for two weeks or until information on further changes in services at King’s are communicated.

Bill

William Lahey

President and Vice Chancellor

——-

MEMORANDUM 

To: Dalhousie students, faculty and staff

From: Frank Harvey, Provost & Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Gitta Kulczycki, Vice-President, Finance & Administration

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Re: Service changes due to new COVID-19 restrictions 

This week the Province of Nova Scotia has announced new restrictions to help slow the spread of the second wave of COVID-19, most of them in the Halifax area. It is vital that we all renew our efforts to follow Public Health and university protocols designed to keep one another and our community safe.

These measures have the following impacts on Dalhousie at this time. As some of these restrictions are newly announced today, we ask that our community be patient as we work through the details. The individual services affected will be providing more information in the coming days on their websites and communications channels.

Dalplex and fitness facilities 

 Dalplex, Studley Gym, Wickwire Field and the Studley Campus tennis courts will be closed beginning Thursday, November 26 and will remain closed through Wednesday, December 9 at the earliest, in line with Public Health directives. The Dalhousie Physiotherapy Clinic within Dalplex remains open. The status of the Langille Athletic Centre in Truro is being evaluated and will be communicated shortly.

Dalhousie Libraries 

Dalhousie Libraries locations in Halifax (Killam, Dunn, Kellogg and Sexton Libraries), the Wallace McCain and Kellogg Library Learning Commons in Halifax, and the MacRae Library in Truro) will remain closed to general public access as they have been since March. Limited bookable study space will continue to be available for Dalhousie students, faculty and staff by appointment, with continued safety protocols in place including contact tracing abilityCurbside Pickup service and laptop loans are also available.

Dining halls for residence students 

 Dining halls will continue to operate for students in residence under strict safety measures. We will be looking into any potential service changes that may be required and will be communicating these directly to residents.

 Travel in and out of Halifax 

 Nova Scotians are being asked to avoid non-essential travel in and out of Halifax, as well as travel to other Atlantic Provinces, through until Wednesday, December 9.

Students who are planning to travel home during this time are still able to do so — but are encouraged to consider their travel decisions carefully in light of the current state of COVID-19 and, if you do travel, ensure that all precautions for self-isolation/quarantine are followed.

Only approved essential travel between the Halifax and Truro campuses by staff, faculty and students should be taking place at this time.

Faculty and unit messaging 

 Any new impacts specific to individual Faculties and units will be communicated by deans/unit heads in the coming days.

Events and gatherings 

Last week, the Province of Nova Scotia announced additional restrictions to gathering limits in most of HRM (except the areas of Porters Lake to Ecum Secum) as well as the Enfield and Mount Uniacke areas of Hants County. In these areas, the gathering limit has been reduced from 10 to 5. There will also now be stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings, including ticketing of all attendees (up to $1,000 fine).

There is no impact at this time to research labs/spaces and others who are approved to be on campus through Return to Campus (RTC) and/or Return to Research (R2R) plans and strict safety protocols. Faculty/staff are still to work remotely wherever possible. Employees who are not approved to work on campus should not be on campus.

The changes do impact some in-person university events (ie. meetings, events and gatherings not part of an approved activity in a Return to Campus plan) that are reviewed on a regular basis through the RTC committee. Any changes to previously approved events will be communicated by RTC directly to the event organizers and future event approvals will be adjusted to consider the updated gathering restrictions. Events should continue to take place virtually wherever possible.

Stay safe — follow health and safety protocols  

The careful approach we have taken at Dalhousie towards the Fall Term and our Return to Campus/Return to Research processes means we are well-positioned to continue mission-critical teaching, research and campus operations at this time — provided health and safety protocols continue to be followed.

All of us must do our part to keep our one another safe. Now is the time to be even more diligent in our adherence to Dal’s health and safety protocols, to approved Return to Campus plans and to overall Public Health guidelines.

We know this is a difficult time for our community. If you have concerns or need support please reach out, whether it’s to an instructor, supervisor, or the appropriate campus service. We’re here to help. Staff from our Student Health and Wellness teams in both Halifax and Truro are always available to support our students, at 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro), should they have any health concerns, including mental health. Employees looking for any support are encouraged to speak with their manager/supervisor or connect with supports available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or through the enhanced mental health benefit from Blue Cross.

We are asking everyone to continue to be aware, be safe and be considerate of one another. We are in this together — and working together is the only way we will prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Frank Harvey

Provost & Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Gitta Kulczycki

Vice-President, Finance & Administration

November 24, 2020 - President's memo: New restrictions

Today the province announced 37 new cases in Halifax, the fifth highest single day increase since the start of the pandemic. Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health, confirmed that the second wave has arrived in our city.

In addition to the measures announced last Friday, including limiting all gatherings to five, today Dr. Strang announced, effective Thursday 12:01a.m., the closure, for at least the next two weeks, of all restaurants and bars and all recreational centres, fitness centres, libraries, and museums. Capacity limits in retail spaces are being implemented. The five person limit on gatherings, previously limited to indoor gathering, now applies to all public gatherings. Fines for participating in prohibited gatherings have been increased from $750 to $1,000.  The fine for hosting such gatherings continues to be $1,000. All organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities, and faith-based activities are paused.

More broadly, Dr. Strang once again called on all Nova Scotians, and particularly those in the Halifax region, to continue to abide by all the basic health requirements and public health protocols  – masks, handwashing, and distancing – that we have been living with for months. He is urging us all to stay in our homes as much as possible and to limit our trips out of our homes to those that are essential. Travel within and beyond Nova Scotia should be limited to essential travel.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that everyone in a Halifax restaurant or bar after 10:00 pm in the past two weeks should go online and arrange to be tested for COVID 19.

The situation is fluid and it is highly likely that further public health orders will be issued in the coming days if the growth in the number of cases is not reversed.

Social events and gatherings are the main catalyst for the transmission and the new community spread – the same conclusion being reached by public health officials across the continent. Halifax is in a critical moment. Extra vigilance and a renewed commitment is needed from everyone – and from King’s – who lives in Halifax for the benefit of all residents of our city.

Here, as elsewhere, the behavior of people between 18 and 35 is said to be a main source of the spread of the virus in the community. In that context, I am unequivocal in my pride in how King’s students have conducted themselves with responsibility and care and concern for others since the pandemic started in March. In doing so, you have faced and overcome many pandemic-related disappointments, challenges and hardships that are either particular or accentuated for you and your peers. I urge you to stay the course, with the promise of vaccines and a return to some version of normalcy on the horizon. I am confident you will do so.

I wish to thank all of our employees–and also those of Chartwell’s, GDI, AUS Security and our bookstore–for the outstanding support you have provided to our students, each other and the wider King’s community. I wish to thank you also, with the many contributions from the KSU and our students more generally, for the awe-inspiring work you have done to ready us for weathering the new and additional challenges we now face.  I am very confident we will face those challenges based on our care and concern for each other, our families and our city.

We will be adjusting our safety plans at King’s in accordance with these new public health orders and those to come – as well as with our own responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, faculty, and our wider community.

For now, Dean of Students Katie Merwin has corresponded with students in residence on changes to residence rules to reflect the new five-person limit on gathering. Residence staff will be increasing their regular communications to the residence community about the situation as it changes. Changes had also been made in the activities of the Chapel and the Athletic Department – these are now overtaken by today’s announcements. 
We will be announcing the details of changes now called for in all parts of the university’s operations, as they are made and implemented
.

These changes and those to come are for the good of our community and our neighbours but we know they create stress, unhappiness, and a range of practical difficulties, particularly for students coming to the end of what has been a uniquely difficult term for everyone.   As we have throughout, we must continue to find ways to reach out to and to support and encourage each other, including in all the little ways that can have more importance now than perhaps ever before.

Visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing:

  • fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening)

Or: Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

  • sore throat
  • runny nose/ nasal congestion
  • headache
  • shortness of breath

Call 811 if you cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about your symptoms.

Let us continue to look out for each other and those we love and to support each other as we complete the term.

Thank you. Please stay safe and healthy and give priority to the safety and health of others.

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

November 23, 2020 - COVID-19 residence update

Dear Residence Community,

There are now 51 cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, the highest increase in the province since May. This includes 30 new infections identified over the weekend. As a result, effective today, the Central Halifax region is now under stricter public health rules that will be in place until further review on December 21 or, because this is a fluid situation, until Public Health makes further changes should new COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

Here’s what this means for residence, effective today (Nov. 23, 2020):

  • Stick to a social group of no more than 5 and keep it consistent. This is required by government for all people living in the Central Halifax region. Stay committed to this group of five and encourage your friends to do the same.
    • Submit your list of 5 close contacts to your don by Friday, Nov. 27 for contact tracing purposes if needed by Public Health.
  • Common Room occupancy will be reduced to 5 for the Roost and Alex Hall 2nd &3rd Floors, and 10 for Tri-Bay Common Room and the Manning Room. Windows must stay open to promote air circulation, which reduces risk of indoor transmission.
    • Masks and physical distancing in these spaces are still mandatory at all times.
  • In-person residence programming will continue with a maximum of 5 participants.

These restrictions may seem hard, but they will get tighter if we don’t follow them now.

We’re taking action to keep residence safe: enhanced cleaning, physical barriers in key high-traffic areas, updates to infrastructure to improve air circulation, protocols for self-isolation supports, to name a few.

We need your help to keep COVID out of King’s:

  • Wear a mask indoors whenever outside your room.
  • Practice physical distancing indoors and outdoors on campus (and anywhere else you may be with people outside your circle of 5).
  • You can visit any other residence building if you’re following these guidelines. You can have one guest from the residence community in your room. Crack your window open for air flow if you have someone over.
  • Limit your outings to essential errands (e.g. groceries, personal care needs, medical appointments)

See something that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable? Say something! To the person directly, if you can. Or call the Alex Hall Front Desk (902 422 1271 x132), your don/junior don or Tim Lade to report any concerns.

Two Final Requests:

  • Stay informed. Follow @ukcresidence on Instagram and official government/news accounts on social media. The list of possible exposures at restaurants, bars and stores in Halifax is growing. A list is available at the Alex Hall Front Desk.
    • Contact Tim Lade (lade@ukings.ca or 902 499 0071) for support if you need to self-isolate and get tested. You won’t get into trouble if you need to self-isolate. There is no shame if you think you might be sick. Do the right thing and let us know so we can help.
  • Keep us updated if your plans change. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland announced they are leaving the Atlantic Bubble, for at least two weeks. Anyone traveling to those provinces must self-isolate for 14-days. If your winter break travel plans have changed or you are thinking about moving out of residence, email residence@ukings.ca

Your decisions impact the entire King’s community and beyond. We must now behave with extra caution and care for each other, and for the staff at King’s who are here working with us and among us, such as our cleaners, dining staff, and the dons/junior dons who live in residence, too. This situation is serious, and we must act together to prevent each other from getting COVID-19, to stop it from coming into residence, our neighbourhood, and into the homes of loved over the holidays.

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your junior don, don or Tim Lade. They are there to help and support you through this.

Thank you for your efforts to keep COVID out of King’s. I see how hard most of you are trying. It will take all of us. Together, we can do this!

Thank you,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

November 18, 2020 - Updated self-isolation/quarantine requirements

Due to changes in government requirements, all King’s international students travelling to Canada—whether a new or returning international student—are required to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a pre-arranged local hotel. This includes King’s international students who choose to leave Canada for the December and February breaks. King’s international students will be supported by advisors at the International Student Centre at Dalhousie. Students can call 902-494-1566 or email international.centre@dal.ca for an appointment. King’s will cover 50% of the costs associated with the mandatory self-isolation period at the pre-arranged local hotel as detailed by the Dalhousie International Student Centre. This funding is only available to King’s international students who are not currently residing in Canada and are coming to King’s for the first time in this academic year.

Any King’s student with financial need can contact awards@ukings.ca for information on bursaries.

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

 

MEMORANDUM

 

To: Dalhousie students

From: Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)
Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Re: Updated self-isolation/quarantine requirements

Dear students,

With the December break approaching, we want to ensure all students are aware of the updated self-isolation/quarantine requirements recently announced by the Government of Canada. These updates impact all students who are arriving in Canada from another country. Other recent changes announced to provincial self-isolation requirements impact students who are arriving in Nova Scotia from Canadian provinces outside the Atlantic Provinces.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARRIVING IN CANADA

All international students travelling to Canada—whether a new or returning international student—are required to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a local hotel approved by Dalhousie. This includes international students who choose to leave Canada for the December and February breaks.

The cost of quarantine, including 14 days accommodations and three meals per day, is $1,528. Dalhousie will cover 50% of this expense for international students who are new to Dalhousie or returning to study.

Funding will not be provided to international students currently in Nova Scotia who choose to leave the country for any period of time, including the December and February breaks.

Additional support may be available through financial aid.

Before travelling to Canada

All travel and mandatory quarantine arrangements must be completed in consultation with a Dalhousie international advisor. Students can reach the International Centre at 902-494-1566 or email international.centre@dal.ca
for an appointment.

Students must submit travel dates, contact information, mandatory quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to the Canada Border Services Agency via the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.

Students must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In form and show their confirmation email when entering the province.

Upon arrival in Canada

Students are required to confirm within 48 hours through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343 that they have arrived at their Dalhousie-approved mandatory quarantine hotel.

While in quarantine, international students must complete:

A daily Nova Scotia Safe Check-In via email. The Nova Scotia government email will be sent to the email address you provide on your Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Please check your junk mail for this email if you do not see it daily.

A daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343.

For more information, please visit the Immigration and COVID-19 Updates page on the International Centre website.

CANADIAN STUDENTS RETURNING FROM INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

All Canadian students returning to Canada from another country are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Students must self-isolate alone, or with others who are self-isolating for the same period of time. If there are other people in the home, they must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have your own separate living space like a self-contained apartment or basement (no shared living spaces including bathroom).

Canadian students do not need to contact the International Centre when making travel plans; however, please connect with an international advisor with any inquiries: call 902-494-1566 or email international.centre@dal.ca.

Before arriving in Canada

Students must submit travel dates, contact information, self-isolation plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to the Canada Border Services Agency via the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.

Self-isolation plans must include:

– dates of self-isolation
– self-isolation address
– form of transportation to self-isolation location
– plan for receiving food and supplies during self-isolation

Students must complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form prior to travel and show their confirmation email upon entry to the province.

Upon arrival in Canada

Students are required to confirm within 48 hours through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343 that they have arrived at their self-isolation location in Nova Scotia.

While in self-isolation, students must complete:

A daily Nova Scotia Safe Check-In via email. The Nova Scotia government email will be sent to the email address you provide on your Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Please check your junk mail for this email if you do not see it daily.

A daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343.

ALL STUDENTS ARRIVING FROM WITHIN CANADA, BUT OUTSIDE THE ATLANTIC PROVINCES

All students arriving in the Atlantic Provinces from elsewhere in Canada – whether an international or domestic student—do not need to contact the International Centre; however, students must ensure they have a plan to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Nova Scotia. For international students, this refers to an extended stay in Canada outside the Atlantic Provinces—if you enter Canada and your final destination is Nova Scotia, you must quarantine as described earlier in this document.

Students must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In form prior to travel and show their confirmation email upon entry to the province.

Students must complete a daily Nova Scotia Safe Check-In via email. The Nova Scotia government email will be sent to the email address you provide on you Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Please check your junk mail for this email if you do not see it daily.

Students must self-isolate alone, or with others who are self-isolating for the same period of time. If there are other people in the home, they must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have your own separate living space like a self-contained apartment or basement (no shared living spaces including bathroom).

The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel. We know many of you want to spend the December break with family so if you choose to travel, please be mindful that an increase in cases of COVID-19 could impose sudden travel restrictions, potentially impacting your re-entry to Canada. We encourage you to visit COVID-19: your safety and security outside of Canada.

Every Dalhousie student must have health insurance coverage. “Coverage” refers to everything that your health plan includes/covers (for example, health services, treatments, and appointments, including anything related to COVID-19). For information, visit Student Health Plans.

Please note that government restrictions (both Canada and Nova Scotia) are subject to change at any time. Refer to the following websites for the latest international and domestic travel information:

Government of Canada

Government of Nova Scotia

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,

Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people. We also acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years

November 12, 2020 - COVID-19 reminders, updates, and encouragement

Dear King’s students,

This week, the Premier and Dr. Strang asked everyone to stay vigilant and continue to follow public health orders and directives—for our own health and the health of friends, family, and the broader communities in which we live. Below is important information for our continued collective responsibility to care for ourselves and others, as we tackle COVID-19 and the mental health challenges it creates.

Halifax is in a precarious place with COVID-19. Earlier this week, Nova Scotia tightened isolation rules in the wake of a COVID-19 cluster in Halifax’s Clayton Park area. Currently, there are 20 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. We remain in a state of emergency. Across Canada, the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise. We need to do our part to prevent further spread and to avoid additional campus and community-wide restrictions.

We urge you to stay informed:

  • Regularly check for possible exposure locations. Recent exposures include restaurants, bars (including downtown at The Bitter End and Gahan House), stores, and flights. Review the full list of possible COVID-19 exposures are available here.
    • If you were present at any of these locations during the dates and times named, you must monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and complete an online self assessment if any symptoms become apparent.
    • There is no shame or judgement if you were at these locations. Be honest with public health—they are here to help—and be kind to anyone you know who is sick or self-isolating.
  • Stay informed about COVID-19 updates in your area. Follow @nsgov on Instagram, regularly check the Nova Scotia Coronavirus website and watch local news.

All of us need to strictly adhere to public health orders and directives:

Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Limit your close contacts. Avoid non-essential travel. Stay six feet apart—yes, even on King’s library steps. If you leave the Atlantic provinces at any point—for the study break or for the holidays—you are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return.

  • NEW Federal Self-Isolation Requirements for International Students: There are new additional requirements from government regarding your mandatory 14-day quarantine to be allowed entry to Canada. International King’s students looking to travel to Canada need to contact an advisor at centre@dal.ca for support through the process. More information will be shared directly with you from the Dalhousie International Student Centre, who we are working closely with to ensure King’s students have the support they need.
  • Download the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app, now live in Nova Scotia to receive COVID-19 exposure alerts directly to your smartphone.
  • Get your flu shotPre-book your appointment online for the Mobile Flu Clinics provided by Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness and the School of Nursing. All students who attend a flu shot clinic can enter for a chance to win 1 of 10 $50 Amazon gift cards!

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. As this list above makes clear, there is a lot going on right now in addition to navigating stressors of student life. Take some time to rest and relax during Reading Week. You deserve it.

Below are some resources for you or anyone you know who might benefit from them. One resource won’t fix everything or work for everyone, but they are important to keep in mind and to share with a friend who might need it:

  • If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, reach out to someone. Talking to others can really help. King’s people like Jordan Roberts are available via text, call, or email for a listening ear.
  • Connect with the King’s Peer Support workers through their programs and resource sharing on Instagram @ukcpeersupport
  • Text GOOD2TALKNS to 686868 for text services or call 1-833-292-3698 to talk to a professional counsellor through Good2Talk: a free, confidential helpline for post-secondary students, available 24/7/365 to provide support for a range of topics (e.g. school stress and anxiety, relationships, financial challenges, substance use, panic, thoughts of suicide). Additional e-mental health resources are available here.
  • Same day counselling appointments at Dalhousie Health and Wellness Centre are available Monday through Saturday over the phone. Book an appointment online or by calling 902 494 2171. Click/call early in the day – there are spots available, promise! Consider group therapy. If you’re an international student still in your home country studying remotely, you can connect with a certified counsellor in your home country ANYTIME through the Remote Student Health Program. Want more options? This article goes over more services and supports available to King’s students through Dalhousie.
  • You or a friend in crisis? Call the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team 24/7 at 1 888 429 8167. Crisis support is given over the phone or in person in the HRM. The crisis team includes mental health professionals and police officers.

I’m proud of the way the King’s community continues to model public health safety protocols both on and off campus, and how many of you have stepped up to support one another. A special shout out to the Day Students Society for their continued support of student self-isolating in the HRM. If you or a fellow King’s student needs help with groceries, errands, or a social check-in while self-isolating—or would like to volunteer to help other students—email daystudentssociety@gmail.com or DM @daystudentssociety on Instagram.

You aren’t in this alone. We believe in you. Keep up the extraordinary work.

Take care,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

October 6, 2020 - Thanksgiving and Reading Week Travel

Dear King’s Students,

Below you will find important information from Dalhousie about travel and self-isolation as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and Fall Reading Week (November 9-13). You may also find these additional Thanksgiving COVID-19 safety tips useful for the weekend.

As a reminder, if you live in residence and need to travel outside the Atlantic bubble at any point, you must contact residence@ukings.ca as soon as possible before traveling outside Atlantic Canada.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can now complete a COVID-19 Online Self-assessment to be screened for testing, which is even faster than calling 811 in Nova Scotia.

Don’t forget there are health and wellness supports if you or a friend are ever in need. Reach out. You are not alone.

During this time of thanks and rest, I want to wish you and your loved ones a healthy, happy long weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Katie

 

Katie Merwin

Dean of Students

 

MEMORANDUM

To: Dalhousie students
From: Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)
Date: October 5, 2020
Re: Self-isolation for students leaving and returning to the Atlantic region

With the Thanksgiving holiday happening this weekend, and the Fall Study Break taking place November 9–13, it’s understandable that many of you currently in Nova Scotia may be considering travelling to your homes outside of the Atlantic region to visit with family and friends. However, due to the rise in cases of COVID-19 in other areas of the country, please consider spending Thanksgiving and Study Break here with friends.

Leaving the region may raise your risk of infection and the risk of infecting others. If you travel outside Atlantic Canada, you will be required to complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In Form and self-isolate for 14 days upon your return.

We are so fortunate to be in a province that currently lists only three active COVID cases, and it’s up to all of us to do what we can to help keep the numbers low. You have done an amazing job so far—including already self-isolating, being tested for COVID-19 in some cases, wearing masks in public places, and remaining in small groups—and I’d like to thank you for these contributions to keeping our community safe.

As we head into the long weekend, take some time to relax and celebrate your achievements from the first month of this unusual and challenging term. And let’s keep up the good work! When joining friends and/or family in small groups this weekend, please follow current public health guidelines.

If you have any questions about travel and self-isolation related to COVID-19, please send them to covid19@dal.ca.

Sincerely,

Verity

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people. We also acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.

October 1, 2020 — Winter term courses update

Dear King’s Students,

We are taking this opportunity to forward you a message from the Dalhousie Provost to Dalhousie students regarding the status of winter courses and international learning experiences. Please read this memo carefully. The information in it will apply to you so far as any of your courses at Dalhousie are concerned. At King’s, all courses, including the Foundation Year Program, those in the School of Journalism, and in the joint-honours programs (Contemporary Studies, Early Modern Studies, and the History of Science and Technology) will continue to be offered online in the Winter term, 2021.  King’s students will note that King’s course delivery options have also been updated on Dal Online. Further information will be available from individual instructors and programs.

As they did in preparing for the fall, King’s instructors will work to provide students with excellent courses supported by resources and expertise from colleagues at Dalhousie and here at King’s. As always, please reach out with any questions about course selection and registration to registrar@ukings.ca .

Sincerely,

Peter O’Brien, Vice-President
Julie Green, Registrar

 

MEMORANDUM

 

To:                         Dalhousie students

 

From:                    Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

 

Date:                     October 1, 2020

 

Re: Update on winter term courses and international learning experiences 

Winter term courses update

The Academic Timetable is being updated regularly with information about winter term course delivery. As was shared back in August, the majority of courses this winter will be online, with a limited number of courses with accreditation requirements, experiential learning components, or tutorial or lab components being delivered safely in-person.

Most course listings in the Academic Timetable now indicate whether the course will be offered online or in-person. There are a small number of course decisions outstanding, and we expect those decisions to be made and reflected on the Academic Timetable in the next few weeks.

Please continue to check the timetable for the most up-to-date information and thank you for your understanding as we work through these final course decisions. Please contact the Associate Dean Academic in your Faculty for more specific information about your courses or programs.

 

Cancellation of international learning experiences for winter 2021

International Learning Experiences (ILE) such as student exchanges, study abroad, international field courses, co-ops, and international research continue to be impacted by COVID-19.

As the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff continues to be our highest priority, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all incoming and outgoing ILE for the winter term (January through April 2021), with some very specific exceptions. This decision was informed by Dalhousie’s International Travel Policy which restricts undergraduate student travel to international locations with a Global Affairs Canada travel advisory of level 3 or 4. Currently, there is a worldwide level 3 travel advisory.

While our decision is consistent with many other post-secondary institutions, we know that this will be a disappointment to our students who were looking forward to studying with our outstanding partners, and to the many students who had planned to join us in Halifax. Internationalization continues to be a high priority for Dal and we hope these students (and many more!) will be able to participate in international learning experiences in the future. Students may be able to defer their winter ILE to the summer or fall term – we encourage students to discuss their options with their department and the International Centre.

Students travelling to their home countries to complete a work-term or co-op will be granted an exception. International medical residents will also be granted an exception.

The Faculty Dean and Provost must approve all other exceptions to this decision.

Sincerely,

 

Frank P. Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)
Eric Dennis, Memorial Chair of Government and Politics

Dalhousie sits on the Traditional Territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty People.

 

September 22, 2020 — Update on COVID-19 testing for arriving students

Dear King’s Students,

Please read the memo below for important updates regarding COVID-19 testing for students arriving in Nova Scotia. Stay posted to our COVID-19 Resource Centre in the coming weeks for updates and pertinent information to help you stay informed.


Memorandum

To: Dalhousie students

From: Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

Date: September 22, 2020

Re: Update on COVID-19 testing for arriving students

As you know, the Nova Scotia provincial government has established rules for post-secondary students arriving in the province from outside Atlantic Canada to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules are the law in Nova Scotia as part of the public health order under the Health Protection Act.

As the fall term gets underway at the province’s universities and NSCC, the requirement for COVID-19 testing is winding down. Please read the following update carefully.

Required Travel Form

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in. This includes students coming from all other Canadian provinces/territories and from other countries. There is no change in this requirement.

Required Self-Isolation

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. You must complete a daily digital check-in.
All students should note that if you leave Atlantic Canada (for Thanksgiving, for example) and return to Nova Scotia, you must self-isolate for 14 days upon your return and complete the daily digital check-in.

There is no change in this requirement.

Required Testing

Students who arrived up to and including September 21, 2020:

  • Must complete three COVID-19 tests during your self-isolation period and receive negative results before you can attend in-person classes.
  • After you complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in, Nova Scotia Health will email you three COVID-19 test appointments and tell you the location for them.
  • Your appointments will either be on campus or nearby. On-campus testing sites will remain open until October 5 to accommodate testing for these students.

Students arriving on or after September 22, 2020:

  • Are not required to get COVID-19 testing during your 14-day self-isolation period if you do not have symptoms.
  • If you already completed the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in with an arrival date of September 22 or later, you may receive communication that says you must get tested. If so, you can disregard this direction because testing will not be required in your case.

Anyone in Nova Scotia who thinks they have symptoms of COVID-19 should do the 811 online self-assessment and call 811 if necessary.

There are many other mandatory public health measures in place in Nova Scotia. Please familiarize yourself with the rules in Nova Scotia. We also encourage you to follow @nsgov and https://www.facebook.com/nsgov/ for the latest information.
We want to thank the post-secondary students who have arrived in Nova Scotia to date and have been complying with these rules. Your continued cooperation and commitment to following the public health rules and advice plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. As a reminder, our Student Health and Wellness teams on both our Halifax and Truro campuses are available to support students with any health concerns by calling 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro).

Sincerely,

Verity Turpin, CPA
Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

September 21, 2020 — Probable COVID-19 case identified

Dear Members of the King’s Community,

Earlier this afternoon, Dalhousie’s Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting) released the memo below to the Dalhousie community. The essence of the message is as follows:

Nova Scotia Public Health has informed Dalhousie University of a probable COVID-19 case among our student community living off-campus in Halifax. The probable case is not linked with our residence community.

We are forwarding this message to the broader King’s community because of the close connection between the Dalhousie and King’s communities. All of the explanatory information in Dalhousie’s message about Public Health regulation and advice, as well as safety protocols, are relevant to the King’s community, and should receive your close attention. Rest assured that we will continue to inform the King’s community of incidents involving members of either the Dalhousie or King’s community when necessary and in adherence to Public Health regulations and directives. Please visit the King’s Covid-19 Resource Centre for further information on King’s-specific information. King’s students are reminded of the health and wellness services available, including the Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness team: 902-494-2171.

Sincerely,

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students


 Memorandum

To:            The Dalhousie University community

From:       Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

Date:        Monday, September 21, 2020

Re:           Probable COVID-19 case identified 

Nova Scotia Public Health has informed Dalhousie University of a probable COVID-19 case among our student community living off-campus in Halifax. The probable case is not linked with our residence community.

The student has received indeterminate test results through COVID-19 testing. Based on public health assessment it is being treated as though it is a lab-confirmed positive case to ensure all precautions are taken. The student recently returned from travel outside the Atlantic Bubble, lives off-campus and has been self-isolating, as required.

Public Health has already been in contact with individuals that may be affected through contact tracing and have provided instructions to self-isolate. If you have not been contacted by Public Health, you are NOT considered to have been exposed. 

Respecting both privacy and public health matters, this is as much information as we can share broadly. We wish this student good health during this time and thank them for taking appropriate precautions. As a reminder, our Student Health and Wellness teams on both our Halifax and Truro campuses are available to support our students. We encourage students to connect with us so we can support them through their recovery at 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro).

It is vital that everyone follows health and safety protocols designed to keep our community safe. This is a shared responsibility that requires all of us to follow rules including self-isolating when required, practising social distancing, wearing a mask in indoor shared spaces, practising good hygiene and other measures that help limit the spread of COVID-19.

In following up on a case of COVID-19, Nova Scotia Public Health will:

  • Consult with the individual to understand contact points and directs the individual to self- isolate for 14 days.
  • Contact those who were in close proximity with the individual to inform them of the potential connection and that they should also self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Recommend that those contacted continue to monitor their health for symptoms and take appropriate action if concerns arise by calling 811 for assessment.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this situation. We recognize the anxiety and uncertainty this news may create for members of our community, but the identification of this probable case through scheduled testing reinforces the vital importance of following the Province’s testing and self-isolation directives and our shared efforts to keep our community safe.

For more information on COVID-19, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/. For more information on the Dalhousie’s response to COVID-19 visit: https://www.dal.ca/covid-19-information-and-updates.html

Sincerely,

Verity Turpin, CPA
Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

September 10, 2020 — Athletics Program Updates for all Students

Dear 2020 Students:

On behalf of the Department of Athletics, myself, Trish Miles, and James Wise would like to welcome all new students and returning students.  We realize that it has been a turbulent year for all of you, but we are here to help and reassure you that we can get through this together.  Through both online and in-person programs, we can work toward getting back to normal and provide vital physical and mental exercise to supplement your academic learning,  The gym will be opened in phases with safety, caution and respecting social distancing.  Regardless of whether you are in residence, off campus or a student-athlete, we hope you will find several aspects of our programming that appeal to you.

Please see below our programming options:

Online programming

We are thrilled to offer three excellent online options and these include Guided Meditation, Strength and Conditioning, and Trivia. You can find detailed information about each of this on our Blue Devils Facebook page.

Varsity Practices

Now that training protocols for the gym and outdoors are approved we will be running varsity practices in small group sessions (10 people and under).  Some first year and returning student-athletes have already been contacted, but if you were not contacted or wanted to be a part of it, please reach out to us in athletics or e-mail the coaches directly.  Because of health and safety protocols, you cannot walk on to tryouts without notice in advance.

Cardio and Weight Room Use

Although we cannot give you the exact date, our plan is to open our weight and cardio rooms on an appointment only basis.  You will need to book your time 48 hours in advance and cancel within 24 hours of your booking, with limited spots and numbers being offered (3 in weight room and 5 in cardio).  Our intention is to wait until quarantining is complete and everyone is safely settled.  All equipment will be cleaned and sanitized after use as per health regulations.

Future Programming

As we move through the fall our plan is to add activities such as free yoga classes, hikes, and outings.  These programs will follow strict social distancing guidelines and all health regulations.  More information on these exciting activities to come!

We very much look forward to seeing all of you and encourage you to stay physically active.  Whether it is to participate in one of these programs or walking, running and local hiking on your own, please remember the benefits of “healthy mind and healthy body.”

Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or e-mail.  Here are your contacts:

Director of Athletics- Neil Hooper- neil.hooper@ukings.ca   902-422-1270 (ext.133)

Athletics Coordinator- Trish Miles- trish.miles@ukings.ca  902-422-1270 (ext.219)

Varsity Administrator- James Wise-  athletics@ukings.ca  902-422-1270 (ext.135)

Yours in Sport, and physical activity,

Neil Hooper
Director of Athletics

August 26, 2020 — Update from President Lahey to faculty and staff

Dear faculty and staff,

As we approach the new academic year, I write to thank all of you and each of you.  I am full of admiration and gratitude for all everyone has done over this beautiful but unusual summer to ensure our readiness for the unusual academic year to come.  Looking at everything from my make-shift office in the living room of the Lodge and through my computer screen, I could not be more pleased and more grateful for how everyone has pitched in to making the coming year as good as it can be for our students and each other under pandemic conditions.

To all members of faculty, faculty fellows and senior fellows, and part-time teachers—and the team working with you, including student interns—your continuous and creative work on preparations for the fall term is a source of inspiration and pride to all of us who work in other parts of the College. Thank you to the program directors, outgoing and incoming, for guiding and supporting all of this work–and to our program assistants and technical and support staff who have enabled it, while adding their own essential creativity.

Impressive plans are also being laid throughout the College–including in Athletics, the Chapel, our residence program, and by the KSU and student societies–to ensure our students’ online experience extends beyond the classroom. Meanwhile, all our programs and departments are preparing, often in collaboration with Dalhousie counterparts, to ensure our all our students, near and far, are supported with online access to the services they need, supplemented by in-person support where this can be done safely. To all of you involved directly and indirectly with this work, thank you.

The contributions by all our student employees, including those working in the library, Facilities, Athletics and every administrative department, have truly been remarkable–and vitally essential. This includes the students and young professionals who have just started their roles as dons and junior dons–with all the responsibility that will come with this exceptional year.

From Friday March 13, the day the sudden transition to online was announced, the King’s Students’ Union has been with the College step-by-step, advocating for and supporting our students, anticipating and proposing solutions to issues and making contributions to the coming year only they could make. The presentation on anti-Black racism and King’s that student Board members and KSU executive members made to the Board at its June meeting will, I am sure, be remembered as a turning point in our collective efforts on equity, diversity and inclusion.

I want to express my personal appreciation for the colleagues I have worked most closely and continuously with over these past five months: Pam Hazel, Peter O’Brien, Bonnie Sands, Julie Green, Adriane Abbott, Katie Merwin and Ian Wagschal.  There are times when it feels like we have been in a meeting that started on March 13 and shows no sign of ending.  The College has needed this small team to do some very big things and it has done them, as a team, thinking only of what needed to be done rather than of who was responsible for doing it.  I know each of them, my senior administrative colleagues, would say exactly the same thing of everyone on their respective teams.

Everyone on the senior administrative team, like everyone in the College, is exceedingly glad–and deeply relieved–that the extension of the Vice-President’s term for an additional year was approved by the Board at its June meeting. We are exceedingly fortunate to have Dr. O’Brien as Vice-President when calmness joined to competency, dedication and empathy is needed in the eye of our storm.

As we approach the coming term, I want to update you all on the following matters.

Enrolment (Recruitment and Retention) and Occupancy

Our current undergraduate enrolment is 818 students overall, including  46 international students–one more than the 45 we had  as last year.  This is down only 10 students from the overall undergraduate enrolment we had at the same time last year. This is a very encouraging situation, much better than we feared when the budget was approved by the Board in June.  Our graduate enrolment in the MFA and MJ has also held–it is roughly the same as in 2019-2020.

We have 170 students in FYP–significantly more than we assumed in the budget. However, this is a drop of roughly 20 to 30 students from recent years with potentially serious implications for enrolment and thus our financial situation in the next three years. Overall, because the number of first year undeclared students has gone up, our first- year undergraduate population is only down 18.

To be down in FYP and the first year more broadly, yet stable in overall enrolment, means our upper year retention was very strong.  In fact, retention from FYP to second year, in the low 70’s historically, is now at 83% a remarkable increase that puts us at, or close to, the highest possible retention levels. Overwhelmingly, this speaks to the educational experience students are obtaining in FYP and in first year courses and to the quality and range of options available to students here and at Dalhousie in the upper years. It reflects the contributions of residence life, athletics, the chapel, the library, Prince Hall and of academic advising, student services, campus jobs and improving scholarships and bursaries. Fundamentally, it flows from the community King’s students make for themselves, including through their advocacy and in the Wardroom, the KTS and so many other student organizations. It speaks more broadly to what we all do to make King’s a place of belonging–and perhaps particularly of the importance of that in the pandemic.

Retention levels in the coming year, here and everywhere, are uncertain. We have to remember that although our overall enrolment has not dropped significantly, it has not gone up. These points may have implications for our financial future and our ability to continue to improve King’s for students and those who work at King’s.

We are expecting to have about 100 students living in residence, well less than 50% of our capacity. Under our COVID-19 plans, we limited occupancy consistent with our overall strategy to limit the concentration of people on campus, to support physical distancing, to reduce the number of students sharing washroom facilities and to ensure we have rooms available for self-isolation that may be needed if students test positive or become ill.

Our Budgetary Situation

In June, the Board approved a budget with a projected $1.7 million deficit.  Due to our enrolment and occupancy, both better than assumed in the budget, our projected deficit is down to slightly less than $800,000. This is tremendous progress but we are still facing a significant deficit. Both as President of King’s and as Chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, I continue, with all other universities, to advocate for additional government funding to address the impact of the pandemic on our stability in the year ahead and beyond.

Soon, we will be providing all members of faculty and staff with King’s branded face masks.

Return of Students to Campus and Halifax

The first group of residence students who are required to self-isolate for 14 days arrived this past weekend–the second group arrives next Friday and Saturday. Largely isolated to their rooms, these students will need extensive support. This is a herculean undertaking and responsibility. I want to acknowledge Katie Merwin and her team, with support of many–particularly the teams in the Bursar’s Office, Registrar’s Office, Facilities Management, custodial services, dining services, security and the KSU–for shouldering that responsibility on behalf of us all. Katie and her team will, with important contributions from the Day Students’ Society, also be supporting our day students who are required to self-isolate.

On August 7, I wrote to our incoming and returning students about our collective responsibility for the health of each other and of our neighbours beyond the Quad. Dean Merwin or Assistant Dean of Residence Tim Lade have also written both to our residence students and to all our students on the same topic on several occasions.  You can read these communications, which are ongoing under ‘university updates’, here. Our tone has been supportive, of course, but also direct and emphatic – a response to the role our students can play, with those of other universities, in ensuring that the arrival of university students in the city does not threaten but contributes to the continued success of Halifax and Nova Scotia in controlling the virus.

On August 20, an order was made under the Public Health Act requiring all students who arrive from outside the Atlantic bubble on or after August 20 to be tested on arrival and on two subsequent dates during their mandatory self-isolation.  Like all other universities, King’s is obligated under this order to assist Nova Scotia Health in the administration of this program, which will identify and address asymptomatic cases before they lead to spread of infection in the wider student population. This program, still evolving, could play a significant role in ensuring that the arrival of students in Nova Scotia does not trigger the kind of outbreaks the arrival of students has had in other places–it is also a significant additional responsibility for Katie and her team. I am grateful for those from other departments, including the Registrar’s Office, Athletics and the Vice-President’s Office, who have rallied to assist.

Campus Improvements

Thanks to Ian Wagschal and his team, our interior restoration of Chapel, Middle and Radical Bays is virtually complete, on time and under budget. It was accomplished under a code of safety that successfully protected all workers from COVID-19. By proceeding with the project, the College made an important economic contribution to our community at a time of need. We have work to do in completing the financing of this project. Meanwhile, I am glad we have taken another major step towards our goals of revitalizing our residences, caring for our historic buildings, and reducing our maintenance deficit.

The replacement of the library steps–necessary due to the safety issue created by the unevenness of the pavements at the top of the stairs–will be ongoing until the end of September, at the latest. The delay in completion is caused by our inability to reuse, as we had hoped we could, the original pavers, many of which cracked during their removal. All of the granite pavers are now being replaced to ensure retention of the original aesthetic.  Until the project can be completed, physical access to the library will continue to be by the door at the north end of the building.

Throughout the summer, Facilities has continued to improve the accessibility of campus within its current largely non-accessible configuration. Installing accessible door handles and making washrooms accessible, are examples of the work being done. The biggest single project is the installation of an accessibility lift in the Pit, a project that KTS stalwart Katie Lawrence brought forward last October. The project will be completed in September, with provincial funding for deferred maintenance projects.

More Recognition Where Recognition is Due

I am very grateful for the stabilizing, supportive and guiding oversight our Board, including its Executive Committee, has provided to me and our senior administrative team during this difficult and uncertain time.  The confidence they have demonstrated in our collective ability to work together to address the challenges the College has faced is the best kind of encouragement to have from a Board of Governors in such times. Thank you to Board Chair Doug Ruck Q.C., Vice-Chair Dr. Gwen Davies, and to the chairs of all the Board’s committees, for their availability when needed for advice, second opinions and warnings. Their wisdom is in much of what we have done and how we have done it.

In all kinds of ways, our relationship with Dalhousie has blossomed since the two universities together announced their joint plans for responding to the pandemic in the spring. In all the challenges both universities face, our Dalhousie colleagues have been exceedingly open to ensuring King’s is supported and included in Dalhousie’s work, sometimes by factoring us in before we have asked to be included. Our collaboration with Dalhousie includes: a new capacity to communicate digitally with our students; improved student access to and awareness of the services available to them through Dalhousie; further development of joint recruitment efforts; supporting student health and wellness, on and off campus; and the transition to online teaching and learning. There is reason to hope that these improvements, as a well as those in the relationship itself, may outlive the pandemic and address longer-term problems, challenges and opportunities.

Closing Thoughts

I wish you all the best of the final days of summer. I am confident we will meet the challenges before us and that we will continue to earn the trust our students and their families have placed in us by coming to or returning to King’s–in a year in which all are especially in need of support, perspective and togetherness.

Best regards,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor

University of King’s College

August 21, 2020 — Fall Term Announcement to King's Students

Good Morning King’s Students,

While this year is sure to be unique, we are nonetheless excited for the new academic year to start! We anticipate that we will have a lot to tell you about over the next little while as we adapt to the new realities of university life during a pandemic.

We also want to let you know that you can expect improved communications as a result of our commitment to making your experience as a King’s student the best it can be in the coming year. This will include:

  • More communications from our service supporters at Dalhousie: As a King’s student, you have full access to most Student Services at Dalhousie. We have worked with Dal to ensure that you will all receive more regular communications about these services. When you receive these communications — even when they don’t explicitly reference King’s — rest assured that you have access to the services mentioned (except for Dal Varsity Athletic team supports, Dal residence and Dal financial awards). We will also provide you separate information about the additional services available to you as a King’s student.
  • King’s channel in the new Dal Mobile app: Next week, an app called “Dal Mobile” will be launching with a unique channel with information on all things King’s, in addition to relevant information on Dal. You will be able to connect with your friends, classmates, and societies; manage your schedule; access resources and services; and more. This is new for us so we look forward to learning with you on how we can use this app in the best ways possible to meet students’ needs.

See below for other useful information as you prepare for the new academic year. Despite the fact that we may be in different places as the Fall Term begins, we hope that we can all come together to learn and support each other. We wish you a happy, healthy start to the Fall Term wherever you will be.

All the best,

Julie Green
Registrar

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice President

It is now mandatory for everyone to wear a mask inside public buildings, including grocery stores, offices, restaurants, and shops. This rule also applies to Dalhousie’s buildings, including residences and fitness facilities.

You can find detailed information about mask-wearing and self-isolating (including options of places to self-isolate and how/where to get groceries) on Dalhousie’s the Arriving in Nova Scotia web page.

Nova Scotia has done very well at keeping the number of COVID-19 cases down, so let’s all do our part to ensure they don’t rise!

Guide to Online Learning

The new Online Learning website is a great resource to support your online learning experience. Based on feedback from students, it provides information on the various technologies used for online learning, supports and resources available through Dalhousie, research, grades and assessment, tips to succeed, and what to expect with your online courses this year. You can find it at dal.ca/onlinelearning.

Information Technology Services (ITS) can help you with your online learning technology needs. If you’re a new student and haven’t done it yet, set up your Dalhousie account and then log in to the ITS myDal site to check out additional Dal tools and services. Send any questions to support@dal.ca.

Dal Mobile Coming Soon!

Put the campus in the palm of your hand with Dal Mobile, soon available for iOS and Android! Connect with your friends, classmates, and societies; manage your schedule; access resources and services; and more.

Ordering your textbooks

Books for King’s courses

All required coursebooks for University of King’s College courses are being supplied by the King’s Co-op Bookstore. Please head to the King’s Coop Bookstore to see what books are required and to place your order. The bookstore is offering free delivery within peninsular Halifax and arrangements can be made to pick up your orders on campus. Anyone outside of these areas can still place orders and a below cost shipping fee of only $5 will be applied to your order. Any questions about book ordering can be addressed to Paul MacKay at manager@kingsbookstore.ca.

Books for Dalhousie courses

Information about textbooks (whether they’re physical books or digital versions) and how to access them will be included on the syllabus for each of your courses. The Dalhousie Bookstore has details on what books are required for many courses, but the syllabus is the official source. You can search for them by course and order them online from the Dal Bookstore.

Curbside pickup is available if you’re in Halifax or Truro. If not, books can be shipped to you (shipping charges apply), or you can purchase them through another vendor (but check the title, authors, year, and edition carefully).

UPASS updates (Halifax only)

As is the case each year, the UPass program automatically applies the Halifax Transit pass fee to the student accounts for all full-time Dal students on the Halifax campuses. But since most courses are being delivered online this fall, you can opt out of the program if you don’t require the transit pass.

Just fill out the UPass Waiver Request Form by Sept. 18. Once your request is processed, the fee will be removed from your student account for the entire 2020–21 academic year.

If you opt out of the program for the fall but will be returning to Halifax in January, 2021 as a full-time student and want a UPass, you will need to notify the UPass office to obtain your Winter UPass. More information on how to obtain your UPass for the winter semester will come soon.

August 21, 2020 — Clarification on COVID-19 testing for students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada 

There has been some confusion caused by the new COVID-19 safety measures announced yesterday by the Government of Nova Scotia, particularly among students already in Nova Scotia and currently self-isolating. We have worked with the government to answer some of your questions to provide more clarity.  

The procedures below apply only to students travelling to Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada.

If you are already in Nova Scotia and began your self-isolation off-campus prior to August 20: 

  • You do NOT need to fill out the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In or complete three COVID tests. The province has clarified that it is focusing on following up with students already self-isolating in residence only. Complete your 14-day self-isolation period as you originally planned.

If you are planning to arrive in Nova Scotia on or after August 20 from outside Atlantic Canada: 

  • All students who fit this criteria (including those under 18), regardless of whether you are living off-campus or in residence, are required to complete the steps outlined in yesterday’s update:
    1. Complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In 
    2. Self-isolate for 14 days
    3. Complete three COVID-19 tests during your self-isolation period. Based on your submission through the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form, Nova Scotia Health will contact you with details on your testing dates at a location which is close to where you are self-isolating. They will also help you work through any transportation issues. If you have any issues with your scheduling due to an academic conflict, we can help — contact us at registrar@ukings.ca

If you were planning to self-isolate in a Nova Scotia community other than Halifax: 

  • When completing theNova Scotia Safe Check-In, provide the address at which you will be self-isolating. Nova Scotia Health will set up your three appointments at the closest available testing site. If you have issues accessing the testing site, let Nova Scotia Health know and they can provide transportation assistance.

If you are self-isolating in another Atlantic Canadian province (New Brunswick, PEI or Newfoundland and Labrador):  

  • Complete your self-isolation period as normal. When arriving at the Nova Scotia border, you will be asked to confirm you have self-isolated in Atlantic Canada for the previous 14 days and will be allowed to enter Nova Scotia. You will not need to complete additional COVID testing.

We encourage all students to review the Government of Nova Scotia’s Post-Secondary Fact Sheet [PDF], which contains answers to many other questions, including about cost (the tests are free), traveling to your appointments, and more.

For more on what you need to know about arriving in Nova Scotia, visit Dalhousie’s Arriving in Nova Scotia page.

We know these new procedures have come as a surprise to everyone, and we appreciate your patience as we work through them together. They are an important part of making sure our King’s community, and the communities we live and study in, stay safe and healthy.  Please reach out at registrar@ukings.ca if you can’t find the answers to your questions — we’re here to help.

Sincerely,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

August 20, 2020 — COVID-19 requirements for students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada

Dear students,

Today, the Nova Scotia government announced an important decision on mandatory testing for university and college students entering Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic Region, on or after August 21. This decision will help to ensure that the arrival in Nova Scotia of a large number of students is safe for them and all Nova Scotians. We are reaching out to you to ensure you remain informed and up to date with the most current information that pertains to your health, safety and responsibilities.

Like all other Nova Scotia universities, King’s is, at government’s request, sharing the following message with you.  It explains the new testing requirement while also reiterating the importance of the required travel form, self-isolation and other public health measures.

Please read it carefully.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working closely with public health officials to help ensure our King’s community is safe for our students, staff, and residents of the surrounding community. We all have a role to play to ensure Nova Scotia continues to be safe.

To prevent the spread of this virus in our communities, the Nova Scotia provincial government has established rules for post-secondary students arriving in the province from outside Atlantic Canada. These rules are the law in Nova Scotia as part of the public health order under the Health Protection Act.

REQUIRED TRAVEL FORM

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in. This includes students coming from all other Canadian provinces/territories and from other countries.

Once you submit the form, you will be given directions about steps you need to take as required under the public health order.

REQUIRED SELF-ISOLATION

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

REQUIRED COVID-19 TESTING

All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must get three COVID-19 tests during their self-isolation period. This includes students who arrive in Nova Scotia on or after August 20, 2020. Students who are already in the province and self-isolating must also be tested.

After you complete the travel form, Nova Scotia Health will email you three COVID-19 test appointments and tell you the location for them. It will either be on campus or nearby. Nova Scotia Health may also call you to give additional instructions.

Canadian students are reminded to bring their provincial health card when they come to Nova Scotia.

OTHER PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES

There are many other mandatory public health measures in place in Nova Scotia, such as staying 2 metres/6 feet apart from others and wearing a non-medical mask in indoor public places. Please familiarize yourself with the rules in Nova Scotia. For more information specifically for students and their parents, please read the post-secondary fact sheet. We encourage you to also follow @nsgov and https://www.facebook.com/nsgov/.

Everyone has to play their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students have a responsibility to protect each other, the staff at their institutions, and the communities where they live. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with the self-isolation and testing requirements, and all the public health measures in place to help keep us safe.

Information on the location and other logistics of testing will be provided Nova Scotia Health.

At King’s and Dalhousie, we have been working diligently to ensure you have the support you will need during your self-isolation and as you begin the school year. Dean Katie Merwin shared a message about available supports on August 14, which you can read under “University Updates” on our COVID-19 Resource Centre. Our support to you will include supporting you in meeting the new testing requirement. If you have questions pertaining to testing please email registrar@ukings.ca. You’ll find answers to most of your questions here.

Throughout this pandemic, King’s students have responded with a solidary of purpose that is rooted in care, which is characteristic of the King’s community. As you enter this new chapter in the pandemic, we thank you for continuing to show your care for each other and the wider community to which we belong.

Sincerely,

Katie
Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

Bill
William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

August 17, 2020 — Update on online learning

Dear King’s Students,

A few moments ago, the Dalhousie Provost sent a message to all Dalhousie students. Because Contemporary Studies Program (CSP), Early Modern Studies Program (EMSP), and History of Science and Technology (HOST) fall under Dalhousie Senate regulations, decisions at Dalhousie regarding the mode of delivery of classes in these programs will be followed by King’s. For the Foundation Year Program (FYP) and Journalism classes, which do not fall under the authority of Dalhousie Senate, we will need to come to our own determination, but will endeavour to do so also by early fall. Rest assured that King’s decisions will be consistent with Public Health directives and will serve the best interests of everyone in our community in the ongoing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 7, President Lahey sent you a message about ways in which the King’s community is coming together to provide a safe environment for teaching and learning together –whether remotely or in Halifax—during the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m writing now to assure you that your instructors and administrators at King’s and Dalhousie have been working through the summer to provide you the best online learning experience possible in the fall. Their work has been informed by pedagogical advice on online course design and training on teaching tools made available through our partnership with Dalhousie and supplemented by a team of student interns. To date, incoming Bachelor of Journalism Honours (BJH), One-Year Bachelor of Journalism (BJ) and Two-Year Master of Journalism (MJ) students have been sent information on how their curricula will be delivered, and FYP students will hear from the Program Director shortly. Students in our Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program completed their summer residency fully online in June, and students in our MJ program have already started their online program.

Students enrolled in CSP, EMSP, and HOST classes can expect their Brightspace pages to go live in the next couple of weeks, with further information on class structure and procedure available in the Brightspace pages, which will include class syllabi. Many instructors will email syllabi to students enrolled in their classes.

Finally, a brand-new, dedicated “Online Learning” website for King’s and Dalhousie students has just gone live. This website contains information on how to succeed at learning online, technical recommendations and resources for further assistance. Once Brightspace and syllabi are released in the next couple of weeks, feel free to contact course instructors with questions. There will also be a new student life app (Dal mobile) that will be launched next week that will help students connect with each other, view events/activities, and access university (King’s and Dalhousie) resources.

If you have questions about registration or course selection please contact registrar@ukings.ca. We are also aware that COVID has introduced or amplified financial stress for many. If you have financial need, please email awards@ukings.ca.

In closing, I’d like to restate President Lahey’s wishes to you and your loved ones for a safe conclusion to the summer, as well as to agree emphatically with his appeal to the power of mutual support in moving us through the challenging time ahead. Learning at King’s has always been a communal effort that requires empathy and collaboration from students as well as professors, and I think we can all look forward to reaping the benefits of that tradition even in changed circumstances.

Sincerely,

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

August 14, 2020 — Supports available to students self-isolating off-campus

Dear King’s Students,

I write to you as promised in President Bill’s letter to you on August 7 with information on supports available to students self-isolating off-campus.

Self-isolation is the critical front-line defence against the introduction of the virus into Nova Scotia from other jurisdictions. It remains that anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days directly after arriving in Nova Scotia under the authority of the Health Protection Act, even if they don’t have symptoms. Keep up to date on current protocols at novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel as they are subject to change. Current requirements mean that King’s students must do the following:

  • Become fully informed on self-isolation requirements and plan your arrival carefully. As outlined on the NS COVID-19 Travel website, self-isolation means you go directly to your destination and stay there for 14 days. Don’t take a bus and avoid taking a taxi, if possible. Don’t have visitors. Make plans to have groceries and other supplies delivered (Day Students in Halifax, please see below for supports on this).
  • Understand how provincial directives may apply to your living situation. Limit contact with people you live with and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if you can. Keep shared spaces (like kitchens and bathrooms) clean and well ventilated. Clean door handles, light switches, railings, remotes and other high-touch areas daily.
  • Stay home. Use your deck, balcony or yard, but avoid contact with other people.
  • Call 811 or your local health authority for assessment if you have any one of the COVID symptoms.
  • Review the full list of self-isolation requirements in Nova Scotia.
  • Consider downloading the COVID Alert app developed by the Government of Canada, which lets people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear.

There is no doubt that self-isolating can be challenging. Student have to figure out basic needs like food and grocery delivery, as well as, how to care for their wellbeing in response to boredom, loneliness, stress and anxiety.

Supports for King’s Students Self-Isolating Anywhere:

Self-Isolation Programming:

The King’s Students’ Union and the O-Week Coordinators have been hard at work creating virtual care packages and a schedule of programming, self-guided activities, and workshops with campus leaders:

“Our goal was to create small but mindful activities and engaging discussions to support students who will be self-isolating. We wanted to find a balance between doing too little and having students feel alone and doing too much and over working students with the events we planned.  We want students to have time to themselves to work, read or do whatever fills their time in a positive way.”

More information will be provided directly by the KSU and O-Week folks on these supports.

Mental Health Supports and Services:

  • Health Minds NS
    • Good2Talk is a free, confidential post-secondary student helpline that provides professional counselling, information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to students in Nova Scotia, 24/7/365. To talk to someone, call 1-833-292-3698.
    • TAO Self-Help is an online mental health library with interactive modules
      to help you understand and manage how you feel, think and act. You choose the modules you believe will help you feel well and live the life you choose. Students are able to create a personalized account for TAO using their student email address.
  • Student Health and Wellness Centre: King’s students can book online appointments with members of the Student Health & Wellness Centre healthcare team online, including same-day counsellors, doctors, nurses and our social worker. Information on booking appointments can be found on their website.
  • This is a a full list of services and supports for King’s students through King’s and Dalhousie.
  • Additional community services, including mental health and addictions, are available on the Nova Scotia health website.

In case of mental health crisis:

  • Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line: If you’re experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or are concerned about someone who is, the Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call toll-free: 1-888-429-8167
  • Crisis Text Line is available for adults who are going through a difficult time and need someone to text with. This service is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Special support is available for frontline workers. Text NSSTRONG to 741741

Training and Resources:

King’s will be hosting a four-part virtual series The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary Virtual program, an evidence-based program designed to address and promote mental health and resilience:

  • Module 1: Introduction & Mental Health and Stigma (60 minutes)
  • Module 2: Mental Health Continuum Tool (60 minutes)
  • Module 3: Self-Care and Building Resilience (60 minutes)
  • Module 4: Creating a Supportive Campus and Closing (60 minutes)

Stay tuned for more information on registration. Students are also encouraged to make use of the COVID-19 Self Care and Resilience Guide, developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Additional Supports for Day Students (Off-Campus Students) Isolating in Halifax:

In partnership with the Day Students’ Society Executive, we are enlisting a team of King’s students and community members to help support King’s students self-isolating in Halifax with:

  • Delivery of groceries and other essential items. Note: All costs associated with groceries and other items are the responsibility of the student.
  • Check-in on students and offer support during the self-isolation period, including referral to other supports and services listed above.

The Day Students’ Society Executive writes:

“We know that—while some of you day students have already arrived—others may be coming back to Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic Bubble and will have to self-isolate. The Day Students’ Society executive team is prepared to support you with anything that you may need during your two weeks of solitude: delivering groceries and other things you may need to your door, checking in with you via text/email/DM/etc., having a chat with you over video, as well as anything else you need to be supported during these strange times. In addition, we have created interactive activity booklets and Zoom events to keep you sane while socially distanced! If you are in need of any of these supports, send us an email at daystudentssociety@gmail.com or contact us on any of our social media accounts!”

If you are already in Halifax (not self-isolating) and want to volunteer to be part of the King’s team supporting Day Students in self-isolation, please contact daystudentssociety@gmail.com. We would greatly appreciate your support and will be compensated with a “thank you” gift card.

As President Bill stated last week:

“Our ability to have a successful fall semester depends on all of us committing to the health and well-being of ourselves, each other, our campus, and our wider community… By working together, we can do much more to help keep COVID under control in and beyond our King’s community. We need to encourage everyone around us to practice safe, supportive behavior, comply with university policies and public health directives and be responsible citizens.”

Safe travels to those who will be returning to Nova Scotia, and our very best wishes to those embarking—or about to embark—on their self-isolation period. Please check King’s COVID-19 Resource Centre regularly. Thank you to the KSU and DSS for their support on these initiatives and thank you for doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to care for our extended King’s community.

Sincerely,

Katie

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

August 7, 2020 — President Lahey’s message to all students

Dear King’s students,

First of all, let me say how much I am looking forward to seeing you again or, in the case of our incoming students, to meeting you, and to welcoming you to, or back to, our community, whether our meeting is in person or virtually. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying summer in ways that are keeping you and your friends and family safe.

Above all else, King’s is a community and perhaps never since the fire of 1920 has its strength as a community mattered more. It is always the case that we come together to learn and to support each other in learning but also to protect and care for each other. In the pandemic, these intentions have greater relevance and more intense and specific meaning. We can only live together in community in the coming year if we are all committed to complying with the COVID-19 directives of Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang; those of other health and governmental authorities; and the policies King’s has adopted to reduce the risk of introduction or transmission of the virus into our community or from our community into the Halifax and Nova Scotia communities.

Nova Scotia has been successful in flattening the curve and keeping it flat for several months. For weeks, the number of new cases reported has been very small – on many days, and for long stretches, it has been zero. Similarly, the number of active cases has been in the single digits for some time. King’s students, faculty and staff contributed to this success in how they responded to the orders issued by Dr. Strang under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act, including the way in which they supported each other as they left residence early, completed the last academic year online and followed Dr. Strang’s guidance on physical distancing, avoidance of gatherings and hand washing hygiene.

It is now time for our community – and for each one of us – to do our part in the ongoing effort of all Nova Scotians to keep COVID-19 under control as we benefit from the relative security and safety from the virus that we enjoy by living in Nova Scotia. We owe it to each other but also to the people of Nova Scotia and of Halifax in particular. We can never forget the sixty-four Nova Scotians who have died in this pandemic, most of them elderly residents of Northwood, or the suffering of their families and of those who have been very ill or suffered significant economic and personal hardship. Nor can we ignore that the risk of an outbreak or of a second wave will be ever present during the coming academic year.

Our ability to have a successful fall semester depends on all of us committing to the health and well-being of ourselves, each other, our campus, and our wider community. Collectively we are doing this by committing ourselves exclusively to online learning in the fall term until further decisions can be made. By working together, we can do much more to help keep COVID under control in and beyond our King’s community. We need to encourage everyone around us to practice safe, supportive behavior, comply with university policies and public health directives and be responsible citizens.

I will outline these behaviors and university and public health measures in this message, primarily directed to those of you who will be living in Halifax, including those relocating to the city in the coming weeks. But first, I want to assure those of you who have decided to study with us from your homes across the country and beyond Canada that we are thinking of you as well. We respect the decision you have made to protect your own health and the health of others by studying with us through distance learning. Our faculty and staff – with the input of the KSU and the valuable work done by student employees – are preparing to do everything we can to welcome you and enable your participation in our lively academic community in the coming term, no matter how far away we may be from each other. We encourage you to participate as fully as you can through the many online opportunities that will be made available to you through our academic programs, the King’s Student Union, student societies, the Dean of Students and her team, the Registrar’s Office, the College Chapel and our athletics programs, to name but a few of the many parts of the King’s community that will be including you and supporting you online in the coming year. We also encourage you to follow the public health requirements and guidance in force in your community so that we can together be part of the fight against the virus not only in Halifax but in all of the communities that will be King’s communities in the coming year.

For those of you in, or soon coming to, Halifax, I ask for your careful attention to the following important obligations and requirements that are mandatory.

Self-Isolation Requirements:

As of today, anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days directly after arriving in Nova Scotia. A self-declaration form is also required. If you have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province, you can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again. Self-isolation rules may change. Keep up to date on current protocols at novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel. Do not assume that what you hear in the news or by word of mouth is accurate or complete and be sure to look specifically for information that is specifically for university students. Please check our website’s COVID-19 Resource Centre regularly.

Self-isolation is the critical front-line defence against the introduction of the virus into Nova Scotia from other jurisdictions. The contribution of university students to this defence is crucial given the number of students who come to Nova Scotia relative to the size of Nova Scotia’s population. Our collective commitment at King’s and Nova Scotia’s other universities to following self-isolation requirements is therefore vital to reassuring the permanent residents of Nova Scotia that students coming to the province for university will join them in keeping the virus under control in Nova Scotia.

You can expect to be contacted by health officials to confirm you are self-isolating as required. If you subsequently travel beyond the jurisdictions from which travellers to Nova Scotia are exempted from self-isolation requirements, you will be required to self-isolate again.

If you will be living in residence, you will have received an email on July 31 from Assistant Dean Tim Lade (see community updates) on how the obligation to self-isolate will be accommodated and supported in our residences. I urge you to read that email carefully if you have not already, noting that those living in residence who are required to self-isolate (and who have not self-isolated before coming to campus) are to make arrangements to arrive on August 21 or 22. I also urge you to join Dean Katie Merwin and Tim for the webinar they are holding on Wednesday August 12 at 1:30 PM AST to answer any questions you and your fellow resident students may have.

If you will be living off-campus, I urge you to become fully informed on self-isolation requirements and how they may apply to your living situation. We encourage you to plan your arrival carefully. If you are living with roommates, you and your roommates must arrange things to ensure either that each of you have no contact with each other and do not share washroom facilities during isolation or that everyone self-isolates until everyone has self-isolated for 14 days from the date of the last roommate’s arrival.

We are aware that self-isolating can be hard and difficult. The challenges can be as basic as running out of food or other basic necessities or as complex as what to do if you become ill. Self-isolating can also be lonely and cause stress or anxiety. We can provide more support in these regards to students self-isolating in residence – and we recognize this is our responsibility. We are also developing a self-isolation support and wellness plan for those self-isolating off campus. We will share more details with you as soon as we can. In the meantime, you may find the following now available resources helpful: Health Minds NS; Student Health and Wellness Centre; The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary Virtual program; and COVID-19 Self Care and Resilience Guide.

Continuing Public Health Measures Applicable to Everyone:

Under the orders that have been issued by Dr. Strang under the Health Protection Act, students living in Nova Scotia, like everyone in Nova Scotia, are required to:

  • Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you are sick and contact 811 for screening and further instruction.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Wear non-medical masks or face coverings when using public transportation or in taxis and in most indoor public spaces, including many of the indoor spaces in universities.
  • Stay up to date with Nova Scotia public health requirements.
  • Only attend or host social gatherings that comply with Nova Scotia guidelines (i.e. guests within the maximum number, physical distancing, wear face coverings, etc.).
  • Self-isolate if traveling from outside the Atlantic bubble.
  • Quarantine in the event you test positive for COVID-19, as directed by health authorities, and cooperate with contact tracing and quarantine efforts.

These universal requirements have been incorporated into our COVID-19 safety plans, including the university’s overall COVID-19 Central Coordination Plan, that applies to everyone on the King’s campus. They have also been incorporated into revised Residence Guidelines that will apply to everyone living in residence.

In some respects, our COVID-19 safety plans and the new Residence Guidelines go further than the public health requirements and guidance. For example, Dr. Strang’s measure on masks does not apply to residences and some other university spaces. King’s and all other Nova Scotia universities have adopted polices that extend the requirement to wear masks to residences and essentially to the whole of campus with only very limited exceptions, such as to persons working alone in their own office, to students alone in their own rooms and to diners in Prince Hall when they are eating.

We can take responsibility for our health and the health of others in our community by adhering to these measures and encouraging our friends and others to do the same. These requirements are universal in their application. They apply to those living or working on campus but they apply also to those living off campus. They apply not only when we are outside of our homes but when we are in our homes, since we are a risk when in public unless we have followed the measures in our private lives.

There is no doubt that following these measures will unavoidably restrict vitally important social parts of student life. I recognize that your friendships and your enjoyment of all aspects of a student’s life in Halifax, including its night life, are important and meaningful parts of your education, not ancillary benefits of it. Your holistic well-being depends upon them. But I know you can find the ways to combine these joyful parts of your life with your responsibilities as citizens of Halifax. Have fun and enjoy but do it wearing a mask, washing your hands, maintaining physical distance, choosing outside venues and activities, avoiding crowded spaces, and monitoring your health and acting accordingly.

Campus COVID-19 Safety Planning and Plans:

Since July 13, we have had a comprehensive set of COVID-19 safety plans in effect. These will govern everything that physically happens on campus in the coming academic year. They also govern our lives off campus in all the ways that may be relevant to keeping the campus safe for those who live and work there.

These plans were developed under Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires them. They consist of a detailed plan for each program, office or facility (unit plans) and an overarching plan for the university, called the University Central Coordination Plan. The unit plans were developed by each responsible area and reviewed by the university’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee, which included a representative of the KSU, Mason Carter, VP of Student Life. The Central Coordination Plan was prepared by the university and reviewed and approved by the Committee. I have approved these plans. They have been reviewed by the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and by Dr. Robert Strang. They are, in short, the law, enforceable under the university’s Code of Conduct. They will be changed from time to time as circumstances change and our experience with them develops – so, when you have need to consult any of the plans, check to see you are consulting its current version.

Our plans are detailed, lengthy and important – too much so to be comprehensively summarized here. A core principle woven among all of them is that everyone – on and off campus – is required to be following all the safety measures prescribed or recommended by Dr. Strang. This is essential if being in Halifax and on campus is to be as safe for everyone as we want it to be.

The objective of our plans is to allow the university to continue to operate while protecting the health and safety of students, staff, faculty, service providers and guests, as well as the health of our families and all who we interact with in the community. In broad strokes, they do this by: limiting and controlling the number of people on campus and access by members of the public; preventing gatherings, meeting and events that create unacceptable risk of virus transmission; and ensuring that those on campus behave in accordance with applicable safety measures, including the wearing of masks, practising hand washing, and following posted instructions on designated entrances, exits and circulation paths, to maintain physical distancing.

This is some of what it means for access to buildings, people and services on campus and for how we are all expected to conduct ourselves on campus:

  • The buildings at King’s will remain closed to the general public. Access will only be provided by employees who have keycard access, or by Security.
  • Faculty and staff are being provided keycard access to the A&A front door and NAB front door upon confirmation of the completion of their COVID-19 safety training.
  • Residence students will be provided keycard access to their own residence building, and to the Prince Hall dining room via the A&A front door and the NAB front door. They will thereby have access to the public areas of A&A, NAB and Link complex, abiding by all requirements for social distancing in these spaces, including wearing masks, maintaining six feet of distance, and refraining from gatherings outside of Prince Hall or in other shared spaces, such as hallways. The same goes for other students when they are on campus.
  • Residence students will also be expected to follow all of the COVID-19 provisions of the Residence Guidelines.
  • Offcampus students will not be provided keycard access to buildings. Like residence students and students studying from a distance, they will be encouraged to engage faculty and staff online as much as possible. Arrangements have been made to ensure most student services, including those received from the Registrar’s or Bursar’s Office, are fully available online. Where in-person interaction is required, off-campus students will need to previously schedule access through the relevant faculty or staff person and will need to comply with all relevant COVID-19 safety protocols, i.e. those of the university and the office unit.
  • Access to the gym will be limited to those engaged in previously scheduled individual skills practice. All access to the gym will be determined by Athletics staff and directly supervised.
  • Limited and controlled physical access to the library will be provided by the library staff during limited operating hours, while the library continues to offer services and support online in partnership with the Killam Library.
  • The chapel is developing its plans for how it will, in ways that comply with the university’s COVID-19 safety planning and applicable public health directions, support students, conduct services and be a place for quiet reflection and mutual support through a combination of in-person and online activities,.

Again, this is just a summary of our policies and procedures on COVID-19. I have not even touched upon the parallel policies of Dalhousie that will also be relevant to your experience in the coming year. I urge you to stay current by being on the outlook for emails and social media posts from both universities and by regularly checking the COVID-19 space on each university’s website. I assure you that King’s will continue to provide you with the information you need to make your year successful and safe. The KSU too, continues to do an excellent job in communicating the pertinent information, as it will do so at the beginning of the year with its first virtual O-Week.

Concluding Thoughts:

I started by saying that the strength of King’s is the strength – and I would say resiliency – of its community. The coming year will test that in new and continuing ways as we do our part to support each other and contribute to our society’s response to COVID-19. We will be denied much of the physical togetherness that has nurtured and strengthened our distinctive and defining sense of community – of belonging – for generations. Personally, I will miss hosting student events in the Lodge and participating in all of the in-person events, gatherings, meals, performances, lectures, services, celebrations and Blue Devils’ games that in normal times embody our communal life.

But I am confident we will show that our care and concern for each other and our ability to learn with and from each other is not dependent on the circumstances of physical proximity. My confidence partly comes from all the preparations that are happening to creatively and frequently bring us together in virtual spaces. This work is happening in every department and program of the university, in the ongoing collaborative response to the pandemic of King’s and Dalhousie, in the King’s Student Union and in student clubs and societies. More information about these preparations will be shared in the near future.

But my confidence has deeper sources. It is the reason for all the preparations, more than the preparations themselves, that will matter. That reason is our common shared desire to belong to a community where we are known and cared for as unique human beings and have the opportunity in turn to care for others and to make common cause in serving the good beyond King’s. It is this embracing motivation that will unite us in the coming year, including in doing our part in the fight against COVID-19.

Yours in solidarity,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

August 5, 2020 — King's Residence Self-Isolation Guidelines

Good evening,

We hope this email finds you well.

We are hard at work planning for your arrival and wanted to share some additional information with the King’s residence community in response to recent government feedback to King’s and also to answer the questions coming in from residents and their families.

Thank you for those who have already completed the requested documents from my previous email.  We have heard your feedback on the deadline for submitting the required forms. Given the fluid nature of the COVID situation and the need to adjust plans, we recognize that many residents may not have completed these documents.  We are extending the deadline to complete both the arrival form as well as the COVID-19 residence guidelines form to Monday, August 10, 2020, at 8 AM Atlantic time.  The arrival form can be found by clicking here, and the residence guidelines form can be found at https://bit.ly/UKCPhases.  Please submit both documents as soon as possible.  If you have already submitted your form, you may do so again, but please send an email to residence@ukings.ca with the subject line NEW ARRIVAL FORM and include your first and last name as well as your B00# so that we can delete your original form.

For those arriving early to self-isolate on campus, we are putting together several resources, including a support plan, a self-directed programming schedule, and other tools that will help you navigate your self-isolation period.  Please find below a summary of King’s early arrival self-isolation protocols:

  1. Students may be assigned to either their permanent residence room or to a temporary self-isolation room in order to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms.
  2. Government of Nova Scotia directives require that students who are self-isolating on-campus must remain in their room at all times, except for when travelling to and from your assigned washroom.  Masks, except for those with medical exemptions, must be worn at all times while travelling to and residence rooms and washrooms.
  3. Students in self-isolation will not be permitted outside of their room for any reason other than an emergency evacuation to designated self-isolation muster points.  Students may not run errands, grocery shop, visit with friends in the quad, etc. while self-isolating.
  4. Students will not be permitted access to shared spaces such as common rooms, laundry facilities, kitchens, etc. to comply with government self-isolation directives.
  5. Students’ family members travelling from outside the government bubble are not be permitted in residence, pending public health advice.  Students will be required to move their belongings on their own, with the assistance of residence staff wearing PPE as staff availability allows.
  6. Students will receive meal service from the King’s Dining Hall twice a day for brunch and dinner.  Trays will be left outside of a student’s room and will be collected by the dining hall staff.  Dietary restrictions should be listed in the arrival form, and we will share that information with our food service team.  As a reminder, hot plates are against fire regulations and, therefore are not permitted.  There will be a small flat fee to cover the cost of meals.
  7. It is recommended that you bring a reliable thermometer and take your temperature regularly.
  8. If a student becomes ill or registers a temperature of 38°C or higher, you will need to contact the Residence Office at a designated number to be provided on arrival.
  9. Students will be required to clean their own room and are advised to bring a supply of cleaning supplies (hand wipes, sanitizers, disinfectant cleaner) for that purpose.
  10. Since students cannot leave their room to accept or retrieve deliveries, food delivery and other courier services such as groceries or services like Skip The Dishes will be limited to specific dates and times when staff are available to facilitate safe delivery to students’ rooms. Delivery will not be accepted outside of this window.
  11. We cannot accept large-sized packages to the University in advance of a student’s arrival.  Please bring what you need during your designed move-in period, mindful that there will be minimal move-in assistance.  We encourage you to bring snacks, cleaning supplies, and anything else you will need for your self-isolation period with you or plan to purchase additional items once you are out of self-isolation.

The inherent nature of self-isolation can be challenging for many people.  As someone who has self-isolated on campus recently, I know it can be a daunting experience. It is important you are fully aware of what will be expected of you if you arrive early to self-isolate. If it is possible for you to make arrangements to self-isolate safely off campus, within the Atlantic bubble in compliance with government directives, you may choose to do so. Proof of location (e.g. hotel receipt, AirBnb confirmation, letter from host) and a copy of the government self-declaration form must be uploaded to the arrival form or otherwise be provided to the Residence Office before you move into residence.

Additional information will continue to be shared with you. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the Residence Office via email at residence@ukings.ca or by phone at 902.422.1271.

We encourage you to stay up to date with the COVID-19 directives from the Government of Nova Scotia found here.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Warmest regards,

Tim Lade
Assistant Dean, Residence

University of King’s College

July 31, 2020 — Message from the Assistant Dean to incoming residence students

Hello Future Blue Devils,

Thank you for choosing residence at the University of King’s College as your “home away from home” for 2020-21. We know this year will be unlike any other. Thank you for your patience as we work to make your residence experience the best possible, given ongoing changes in response to COVID-19.

This message contains important information. Please read through carefully and share it with anyone helping you with your move (Hi parents!):

Moving into King’s Residence

Students will arrive on campus in two stages. In order to make the necessary preparations for your arrival, please complete the King’s Arrival Registration Form by AUGUST 5, 2020 (requires Dal login credentials). Questions about the form can be directed to Tim Lade, Assistant Dean of Residence, at tim.lade@ukings.ca.

IMPORTANT: As of July 30, anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must fill out a self-declaration form before travelling to the province, and must self-isolate for 14 days directly after arriving in Nova Scotia, or for the duration of the stay if less than 14 days. If you have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province, you can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again. Self-isolation rules may change before you move in. Keep up to date on current protocols at novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel.

Early Arrival for Self-Isolation in Residence – AUGUST 21-22, 2020

Students travelling from outside the government bubble must self-isolate for 14 days. Students living in residence will be able to self-isolate for 14 days on campus. Efforts will be made for students to self-isolate in their permanent room;however, students may need to self-isolate in a different residence building during these 14 days and relocate to their permanent room on September 5-7. This is inconvenient to be sure, but it is the only way to ensure the most effective residence room and bathroom de-densification. Access will be restricted to your assigned room and washroom during these 14 days.

Non-medical masks and physical distancing will be required at all times during the move-in process. Family members travelling with you who also need to self-isolate will not be permitted on campus if they have not completed their self-isolation. This means that families from outside the bubble who want to be present when you move should arrange to self-isolate before arriving on campus. This government-issued directive may change at any time, so please visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel/ for the most current information.

Meals will be delivered to students twice a day (brunch and dinner). Students will be charged a small flat fee to help cover the cost of meals over these 14 days (estimated cost $8/meal). Any dietary needs will be accommodated. This fee will be added to your Student Account and will be due September 18. King’s will not be charging additional residence fees to students who arrive early for self-isolation. Students with financial need should contact the Registrar’s Office for information on bursaries.

There will be no in-person residence activities during the early arrival self-isolation period. However, your Don and Junior Don will connect with you virtually. More information on Orientation Week and Residence programming will be shared soon. Students will also receive resources on how to plan for self-isolation.

Please note that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be limited move-in assistance (don’t worry, there will still be a few of us from the Residence team around, but not the usual moving crew of upper-year students). We recommend that you pack light and limit the number of items you bring to residence as you will be responsible for moving your items into residence, and several areas of residence include stairs.

A COVID-19 Care Kit will be provided with information, resources, non-medical mask and other items. Students are encouraged to bring cleaning supplies for their personal use (hand wipes, sanitizers, disinfectant cleaner) while in self-isolation—also, snacks and a fan (August in Nova Scotia can get muggy!).

Self-Isolating Off-Campus:

Students and families who choose to self-isolate off-campus will need to provide documentation to confirm where they self-isolated (e.g. hotel invoice, AirBnB booking, a letter from a host) and a copy of the Nova Scotia self-declaration form. Both documents can be uploaded via the King’s Arrival Registration Form. Please help us by naming your files

  1. SELF-ISOLATION RECEIPT – STUDENT B00# – LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, and
  2. TRAVELLERS DOC – STUDENT B00# – LAST NAME, FIRST NAME.

Those that do not provide proof of self-isolation may be required to self-isolate on campus if space is available or off-campus at your own expense.

More information about early-arrival can be found on the Early-Arrival FAQ page.

Only students who need to self-isolate can move in on August 21-22. Students who do not need to self-isolate or have completed their self-isolation elsewhere cannot move-in before September 5.

Students Within the Bubble or Who Have Completed Self-Isolation Elsewhere – SEPTEMBER 5-7, 2020

Students travelling from within the government bubble can move into residence by appointment on SEPTEMBER 5 and 6for first-year students and SEPTEMBER 7 for returning students. Please complete the King’s Arrival Form to pick your preferred time.

Students will be assigned one-hour move-in time slots. Students are welcome to bring one helper to assist them with moving belongings. Helpers will only be allowed in the student’s residence room for the designated hour and will only be permitted access to washrooms in the A&A Building. Everyone will be screened on arrival and be required to wear non-medical masks for the duration of their time on campus. The move-in schedule will allow for only one student per entrance/building to move in at a time. Masks and physical distancing will be required at all times during the move-in process while in any King’s buildings.

More information on King’s campus-wide COVID-19 response can be found at https://ukings.ca/coronavirus

Additional Residence Guidelines during COVID-19

All students living in residence have already signed a Residence Agreement committing to uphold our Residence Guidelines. These are our community expectations for one another that helps create a safe and comfortable living and learning environment for all who live on campus. As we learn to live with COVID-19, we need your help, and the help of your peers, to look out for each other and hold each other accountable for Residence Guidelines and ongoing public health requirements. Additional COVID-specific guidelines have been created, outlining specific COVID-19 safety requirements while living in residence. Students will not be permitted to move into residence without agreeing to these additional guidelines.

As circumstances evolve, changes to Residence Guidelines are expected. All residence students will be informed of applicable changes via their Dalhousie email address. Notices will also be posted throughout residence and on the King’s website. Students are expected to remain up-to-date regarding all enhanced restrictions and the consequences of non-compliance. The Residence Office will be available to answer any questions or clarify required changes.

Please submit your agreement to these additional COVID-19 Residence Guidelines by AUGUST 5, 2020: https://bit.ly/UKCPhases (requires Dal login credentials). Questions can be directed to Tim Lade, Assistant Dean of Residence, at tim.lade@ukings.ca.

King’s Phased Approach and Consequences for Disrespecting Residence Guidelines:

King’s residence is taking a phased approach to reopening beginning with stricter requirements in the initial weeks while we get settled into our life in community. With your help, we expect to ease these restrictions as the Fall Term progresses. Even in this initial phase in September you can expect access to common rooms, dine-in options in Prince Hall, and opportunities to meet other students while wearing non-medical masks and respecting physical distance (if you are not self-isolating).

Infractions against these COVID-19 safety guidelines will result in the closure of these privileges. Please note: no non-residence guests will be allowed in residence at any time and there will be restrictions on the number of students allowed per room. Disrespecting these guidelines will be considered a serious infraction and may result in enhanced restrictions for the broader residence community and/or the termination of the student’s residence agreement (in which case the student will need to vacate residence). This is to support the safety, health, and wellbeing of students and staff in the residence community. Students living in a Bay or Floor may collectively decide they want rules from earlier phases to be upheld in their residence space even in later phases. The most up-to-date residence rules in effect will be posted on the main door of each Bay and Floor. We are counting on all students to see these measures as our way of caring for our community.

Updates to King’s Code of Conduct to include COVID-19 requirements, such as students’ obligation to self-isolate if traveling from outside the government bubble, are also forthcoming.

KING’S RESIDENCE 101 WEBINAR – Save the date!

Join the Assistant Dean of Residence and the Dean of Students on AUGUST 12, 2020, at 1:30 PM AST to talk about residence life during COVID-19, what to expect, and how to stay safe. They will be joined by colleagues from across campus – Residence Dons, Dining Services, Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts and more – to answer your residence-related questions. Stay tuned for a link to the event closer to the date.

How to cancel or defer your application

We know your plans may have changed and we understand. Please contact the Residence Office at residence@ukings.ca by AUGUST 13, 2020 if you want to cancel or defer your application to next year.

Note: Student may request to defer their residence arrival to Winter 2021, but we will not know whether rooms will be available until December 2020. Students who want to live in residence this year are encouraged to arrive for the Fall Term.

Room assignments

They say patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait. Room assignments have been completed with the same “sorting hat” care King’s is known for; however, we expect some changes in response to the arrival registration information students will be providing to ensure the most effective room and bathroom de-densification. Residence is collaborating with the FYP Office to try to put at least a few students living together in a Bay or Floor in the same tutorial. Additional confirmation of your room assignments will be coming in August.

We cannot wait to welcome you to campus in a few weeks. We won’t let non-medical masks keep us from welcoming you warmly to the Quad, even while maintaining our 6 feet distance!

Until then, stay safe and reach out to Monica or me in the Residence Office at residence@ukings.ca.

My very best,

Tim Lade
Assistant Dean, Residence

July 31, 2020 — Update regarding the wearing of non-medical masks

In our continuing effort to keep each other safe, the University of King’s College now requires the wearing of a non-medical mask or face covering on campus. This addition to our University Central Coordination Plan and to our Residence Safety Plans has been endorsed by our Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

This additional measure, effective today, July 31, has been taken by all of Nova Scotia’s universities to reinforce the decision of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to require mask-wearing in public indoor spaces, which applies to universities. It extends the mask-wearing requirement into spaces not covered by that requirement, such as to the hallways of residences, classrooms and meeting rooms. You can find the provincial order on mask-wearing here.

We ask individuals to bring their masks when arriving at the campus and to wear them when inside any university building. The spaces covered by the combined effect of the provincial requirement and the university’s policy include hallways, elevators, washrooms, classrooms, dining hall, gym, chapel, meeting rooms and other common areas with the following exceptions:

  1. Individuals with valid medical reasons for being unable to wear a mask.
  2. Masks will be mandatory inside the gymnasium but may be removed during workout activity if you are at a safe physical distance from others.
  3. Individuals may remove their masks when they are alone in a private office (no guests permitted without masks).
  4. Masks may be removed briefly while eating and drinking, provided you are stationary and observing a safe physical distance from others.
  5. Masks will not need to be worn by individuals who are alone in their residence rooms.  All other areas or residence will require wearing a mask.

Masks should be changed immediately if they become damp or soiled; be sure you are washing your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off, and that you avoid touching your face while wearing one. Frequent laundering is required to prevent cross contamination and microbial build up on reusable non-medical facial coverings.

Resources for guidance on the selection, usage and care/washing of non-medical masks and face coverings can be found here.

King’s is in the process of procuring a bulk order of reusable masks for Students, Faculty and Staff.  Single-use disposable masks are available by request from the Reception in the A&A.  Only one mask per person will be provided at a time, and the University cannot guarantee a continuous supply of disposable masks. Individuals are therefore encouraged to secure their own masks whenever possible.

Physical distancing (2 metres) must still be observed while wearing non-medical masks. Please note that all modes of public transportation also now require masks to be worn.

The COVID-19 University Central Coordination Plan has been updated with these new requirements and can be found here.

Sincerely,

Ian Wagschal
Director of Facilities

July 2, 2020 — Next Steps in our COVID-19 response

Dear King’s community,

I write to provide an update on the ongoing work to gradually lift the restrictions we have been working under since Friday, March 13.

On May 6, I advised that measures taken on March 13, supplemented by those taken on March 19, would remain in place until at least July 1. These measures included locking of all buildings (with the exception of the Chapel during the daytime), working from home, cancelling of all non-essential in-person meetings and gatherings and all non-essential university-related travel, and on campus compliance with all public health requirements on physical distancing and limiting gatherings to fewer than five people.

Today, all departments and programs, and the University as a whole, are in the final stages of developing COVID-19 safety plans that will, when implemented, allow more of us to work safely on campus. I want to thank all programs and departments for the work they have put into the development of these plans, Ian Wagschal for his coordination and leadership of the process and our Occupational Health and Safety Committee for its diligence in reviewing and fine tuning these plans.

These plans will take effect on Monday, July 13. Until then, the measures implemented on March 13 and 19 will remain in effect.

For most employees, little will change on July 13. Under the combined effect of the COVID-19 safety plans, all employees who can continue to effectively do their work from home will be asked to do so. This is in accordance with the core strategy imbedded in all of the plans that have been developed, which is to limit the overall number of people working on campus. However, there will be greater latitude for those working from home to do some of their work on campus when there are important reasons for doing so, provided it can be and is done in compliance with the COVID-19 safety plan of the relevant department or program and that of the University.

The situation will be different for employees who have not been able to do their jobs, or their full jobs, working remotely. The combined effect of the safety plans will allow these employees to safely resume working on campus, and to once again resume their full duties or alternative duties. Employees in this situation who have questions should discuss them with their supervisors.

There may also be some employees who want to sometimes work on campus, even though being on campus is not necessary for their work. When COVID-19 safety plans are implemented, these situations will be accommodated, to the extent they can be safely accommodated for everyone under the COVID-19 safety plan of the unit or department and of the University, including the overriding priority of limiting the total number of people on campus.

The University’s Campus Safety Plan will be shared and posted to the website next week. Additionally, Ian Wagschal will lead a community webinar to provide an overview of the plan and respond to questions. This will be scheduled soon.

For the time being and until further notice, our buildings will remain locked, but from now on as they are normally locked on the weekends. Campus swipe cards will be re-activated to allow access and, importantly, to permit contact tracing, should it be necessary.

Similarly, limitations on non-essential meetings and gatherings will continue. In general, meetings and gatherings should continue to be conducted virtually. Essential meetings of ten or fewer people can occur in-person where there is an important reason for an in-person meeting and provided they are conducted in compliance with still mandatory physical distancing requirements and when Ian Wagschal has been given notice in advance. This is to ensure necessary safety arrangements are made, including the giving of appropriate notification to others and limiting the total number of people on campus. Larger meetings of an essential nature may be permitted in special circumstances when I have approved them in advance.

The non-essential university-funded travel ban will continue for travel beyond the Atlantic bubble now in place. This may be extended to other jurisdictions if public health mandated restrictions on travel are relaxed further. However, to ensure safety and prudent control of expenditures, all university-funded travel will require advance approval from the Bursar.

I would also like to share information about specific campus services and facilities.

The Library, like the libraries at Dalhousie, is currently providing access to library materials for Dalhousie and King’s library users who send an email request to library@ukings.ca. The Library will remain exclusively online through July. In August, under its COVID-19 safety plan, it plans to allow physical entry by limited numbers of users. It plans to increase its hours and the number of people it can allow in the library at one time in September, as safety conditions allow.

The goal for the Gym is to open for individual skills training by small numbers of people practising ample physical distancing. While there is no set date for this controlled reopening, in early July staff will periodically return to campus under all necessary health restrictions to prepare for this eventuality.

The Chapel continues to work on its new COVID-19 safety plan. The Chapel will operate under its existing plan until the new plan is approved, which we are confident will be in place by Monday, July 13.

The Bursar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office will continue to provide service online for the time being. This may change as we approach the beginning of the new academic year, provided provision of in-person services can be done safely.

We will have students living on campus this year, with some coming in August to accommodate their requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. On June 26, the Dean of Students advised incoming and returning students of the reopening of residences for September, and of the measures under which this will be done to ensure health and safety of students and everyone at the College. These measures will include:

 

  • Single occupancy only, reducing the number of residence students by 50%.
  • Designated bathroom facilities to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms.
  • The enforcement of physical distancing, aided in some cases by temporary modifications to the buildings.
  • Enhanced cleaning by custodial staff and making available disinfectant supplies to students.
  • Modifications to Prince Hall to allow for in-person dining.
  • Designated quarantine space in case of illness and robust protocols for response to illness
  • Adapted move-in process with arrangements for 14-day self-isolation, as necessary
  • Additional student code of conduct expectations to comply with applicable public health rules

There is risk involved in reopening our residences. The measures being taken, which are in accordance with guidance provided by Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, will reduce this risk. It will also be reduced by the resumption of classes solely with online teaching, which will reduce gatherings and crowding of hallways and other spaces by students coming to and from classes.

Once implemented on Monday, July 13, all of our COVID-19 safety plans will be continually reviewed and refined as circumstances unfold and as we learn more about how we can keep each other safe in a world that is not locked down but is not fully open either. You can keep up to date by following the latest postings on COVID-19 matters on our website.

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

June 26, 2020 — Letter regarding residence re-opening

Dear incoming King’s Students & Parents,

I am happy to inform you that our residences at King’s will be open for Fall 2020.

All students living on campus will have their own room. This will reduce the overall residence occupancy by 50% pending further updates from public health. King’s students who have already applied to residence and paid the necessary fees are guaranteed a single room.

Students are reminded that classes at Dalhousie (with limited exceptions) and at King’s will be conducted online this fall. Any students who have not yet completed the residence application process are encouraged to do so right away. New applicants or applicants who have not yet paid all the necessary fees are asked to self-identify on their residence application if they will experience barriers to online education (e.g. limited access to reliable internet, need academic accommodations better met by living on campus, etc.), so their application can be prioritized. Students with questions are encouraged to contact residence@ukings.ca.

As President Bill has stated previously, we are working on plans and measures to allow a gradual and responsible physical reopening of campus when this becomes possible under prevailing public health conditions and directives. In doing so, our first priority will be the safety of those who would then, for compelling reasons, be working on campus on a limited basis with protective measures in place for their safety and that of their families and the broader community. This will be the first stage of a larger plan to welcome all students back to campus under conditions that will similarly protect their health and safety, when that becomes possible.

Additional safety measures will be in place for those living in residence, including:

  • Designated bathroom facilities to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms
  • The enforcement of physical distancing, including renovations to existing campus spaces
  • Enhanced cleaning by custodial staff and making available disinfectant supplies to students
  • Modifications to Prince Hall to allow for in-person dining
  • Separate designated quarantine space in case of illness and robust protocols for response to illness
  • Adapted move-in process with arrangements for 14-day self-isolation as necessary for students
  • Additional student conduct expectations to comply with applicable public health rules

More details about safety measures and expectations for students living in residence will be forthcoming in updated residence guidelines. These guidelines will be strictly enforced when students move into residence in order to protect the health and safety of the residence community. These guidelines are also subject to change. If public health or government officials issue directives that further impact residence operations, we will communicate this as soon as it is known.

There is no doubt these measures will impact students’ experiences in residence. What sustains our hope for the coming year is our student community. We know it won’t be the same, but the strength of students’ contributions to our community are what make King’s special—and that will be no different in the year to come.

I recognize that not all incoming students will be living in residence. More students will be living off-campus in Halifax or beyond. I know some of you plan to continue living in your family home. We are working to include all incoming students, wherever you may be living, in the programming and supports normally available only to students living in residence.  Those of you not living in residence are King’s newest “Day Students”. You play an important role in the student life of our campus.

To say that “we are all in this together” has no truer meaning given that your Dean of Students and your President live on campus with their families. That said, I am the Dean of all students—no matter your postal code—and I cannot wait to welcome you all to our community in a few short months.

In the meantime, please take good care and reach out if there is anything me or my team can to do to support you.

Sincerely yours,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students
University of King’s College

June 9, 2020 — Letter regarding athletics in fall 2020

Dear King’s Blue Devils:

COVID-19 has made a profound impact on our lives. As administrators and university professionals, the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community has been our utmost concern.

As you all know, the university has announced that education will be delivered online for the fall term, and longer if necessary. I know that this has raised serious questions about competitive athletics and conventional team gatherings in larger groups. The following is the official decision that the ACAA has cancelled the sport seasons for the fall (below).

Based on the risks to safety, our regular way of delivering the sports you love is going to change. However, make no mistake, you are all still part of your team and the Blue Devil family and we value every opportunity to connect with you as we work together to remain active in the absence of regular competition. We encourage you to make your academic plans as you prepare for your education in the fall. We are already planning exciting virtual programs that will be beneficial to all of you during these strange times. These and other activities are taking shape. We recognize that it can be difficult to find the motivation to do workouts on your own but remember that you will always have your teammates and coaches for both ideas and support. It is extremely important for both your physical and mental health that you stay connected and active.

The support you will receive from your Athletics Department will be a combination of virtual yoga and strength and conditioning training delivered as separate programs. The programs will be coordinated through your coaches and tailored to the needs of your sport. Qualified, experienced instructors have been secured and coaches will be consulted on all aspects of these programs. Coaches will be in touch with you on skill development and will be working toward actual in-person, sport-specific workouts as per public health guidelines involving physical distancing and smaller groups.  The details of our programming will come as we learn more about what we are able to do within public health restrictions and with university guidance. Through online platforms, teams will be able to stay in regular contact with each other and their coaches. Even though we are all in the middle of this pandemic our goal is to provide the best possible experience in the absence of what you would normally do in practices and games. We will be providing regular updates to you in the near future as more programming is organized.  To this end, we will soon host an online Q&A session for student-athletes where you can all find out more and ask questions about any of the concerns you might have.

On the academic side, we are very happy to report that free tutoring is available for any student-athlete who needs it. More details will be available soon as to how to book this and an e-mail will be sent with all the necessary information you need. We are also pleased to inform you that any athletic scholarships you were to receive will still be in place for you even though we are not playing in the fall. Whether there are games or not, you are still members of the team! We are very proud of all of your academic and athletic achievements and are honoured to provide this support!

To all Blue Devils, both new and current, know that your coaches are incredibly supportive and share your concerns about the upcoming season. They await guidance from the Athletics Department and will be in touch very soon to take you through their plans for this COVID-19 period and beyond. Trish Miles, Athletics Coordinator, and myself, Neil Hooper, Director of Athletics, will be working closely with our coaches to provide you with the best possible opportunities to stay active and help you focus on skill development with your teammates. King’s is very much a family and we will all work together with excellent support from Athletics staff, coaches, faculty, university departments and administrators, to make this year enjoyable for everyone!

In closing, we have missed all of you who are returning and cannot wait to meet our newest members of King’s family, our first-year players. Although this is not how you were all planning to start your athletic seasons, we will be working every day to provide you the next best experience. We want to keep you connected to your teammates and build new relationships with first-year student-athletes. King’s is a school that values sport and the experience it adds to a great education, while making fond memories that will be cherished for the rest of your lives.

For more information please use our website www.ukings.ca. Please reach out to Neil Hooper (Director of Athletics) neil.hooper@ukings.ca or Trish Miles (Athletics Coordinator) trish.miles@ukings.ca if there are any concerns or questions about varsity athletics or any services offered by our department. Follow us on social media for new information.

We are thinking about all of you and know that we are in your corner! Please stay safe and healthy. We will be working toward a better day and getting back to what we all love to do.

Neil Hooper
Director of Athletics

June 9, 2020 — ACAA announcement regarding first-semester sports

Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association cancels 2020-21 season first-semester sports

After deliberation among its 10-member institutions, the Atlantic Collegiate Athletics Association has cancelled its first-semester sports schedule in light of health and safety considerations for its student athletes, coaches and athletics staff.

“We understand this is a very disappointing situation for our student athletes and fans across the region,” said William Lahey, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of King’s College who spoke on behalf of fellow presidents of the ACAA member institutions. “At the same time, I am confident that everyone understands the requirements for physical distancing and protection measures are not compatible with competitive sport at our level of play and the risk of transmission among athletes is too great. In a nutshell, the health and safety of student athletes, coaches and athletics staff comes first.”

The decision to cancel first-semester sports affects men’s and women’s soccer and cross country and women’s rugby, as well as exhibition and early season competitions for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and badminton.  A further decision on basketball, volleyball and badminton will be made at a later date as these sports could potentially see a January 2021 start to a condensed season. Under that scenario, exhibition and season play until January would be cancelled and schedules after January 1 reduced.

The decision follows meetings between ACAA university and college presidents on the impact of COVID-19 on sports programming said Ron O’Flaherty, ACAA Chair and Executive Director.

Member institutions are also in the midst of announcing decisions related to their fall semester and preparing to deliver classes with a combination of delivery options, depending on the institution.  All institutions have been clear that adherence to public health directives will be applied to all learning, living and campus activities.

“We are dealing with an issue that has impacted every aspect of society including colleges and universities and now it has impacted ACAA sports. Before this announcement, athletics directors and coaches have been reaching out to their student athletes to relay the news,” said Michael Eagles, Athletics Director at St. Thomas University.

“It is hugely disappointing as athletics is an important part of campus life. But there are also serious education and campus issues being addressed by universities, all with safety and health as the main goal. I know ADs and coaches will do their part to support their players and help them succeed as students.”

The ACAA is hopeful that student athletes in first semester sports may be able to participate in forms of athletic programming at their respective institutions consistent with requirements mandated by public health authorities. This could include options for individual or small group training and conditioning. As well, student athletes are leaders in their communities and many of their community activities could continue.

Over the past few weeks, the presidents of the ACAA member institutions reviewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on athletics. Provinces in the region are presently in different stages of recovery with public health authorities guiding gradual, staged re-openings while remaining cautious to avoid a major resurgence of COVID-19.  Physical distancing, screening and controlled facility access are among mandated measures and border control measures remain in place.

May 29, 2020 — Letter to residence applicants

The University of King’s College is known for its strong and vibrant community. King’s is continuing this tradition within the new context of COVID-19. I know first-hand the importance of the residence experience, as Dean of Students living in Alex Hall and as a former FYP student.

Residence will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Residence space will be limited to comply with public health requirements. We will make rooms available for as many students as is safe to have with us, especially for students who experience barriers to accessing online learning.

Here is what you need to do next:

  • Apply to residence as soon as possible, if you have not done so already and are interested in living on campus.
  • Email residence@ukings.ca by June 15 if you no longer want to live in residence. If you still plan on attending King’s in the Fall, your $400 residence deposit will be credited to your student account. Room assignments will proceed in July.
  • Check out this resource—Transitions—about preparing for university, developed by a Dalhousie professor. I encourage you to share this with your family.
  • Monitor your @dal.ca email for updates.

We are working hard to ensure supports, services, and programming are available to all students, regardless of where they are. You play a critical role in building community.  In true King’s tradition, there are already student-led initiatives for incoming students to connect such as the University of King’s College 2024 Facebook group. Join the group and introduce yourself!

There are also plans to connect you to other students in the King’s community who have been through what you’re going through and can help you along the way. Stay tuned for more details.

The summer before university is an exciting—and sometimes challenging—time for you and your family. Enjoy your summer as best you can. Reach out with any questions. We are grateful to have you as part of the King’s community!

Sincerely yours,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students
University of King’s College

May 29, 2020 — Letter regarding athletics in fall 2020

Dear King’s Blue Devils:

COVID-19 has made a profound impact on all of our lives.  As administrators and university professionals, the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community has been our utmost concern.

Recently the university has announced that education will be primarily delivered online for the fall term and longer if necessary.  I know that this has raised serious questions about athletics and any means of team gatherings.  Based on the risks to safety it is looking more and more like our regular way of delivering the sports you love is going to change.   It is almost certain that we will not be playing and practicing in our usual way during first term.  No formal announcement has been made, but it is important that we follow upcoming news from the ACAA and the university about sports in the fall.  Make no mistake about it, you are all still part of the Blue Devil family, and we value every opportunity to work with you as we look to remain active in the absence of regular competition.  We encourage you to make your academic plans as you prepare for your education in the fall.  We are already planning exciting virtual programs that will be beneficial to all of you during these strange times.  We recognize that it can be difficult to find the motivation to do workouts on your own, so you will always have your teammates for both ideas and support, which is extremely important for both your physical and mental health.  Rest assured that help is on the way!  

To new students, please reach out to our very helpful staff in the Registrar’s office (admissions@ukings.ca), Bursar’s Office accounts@ukings.ca), and Dean of Student’s Office (residence@ukings.ca) with any questions you might have. If you are a Foundation Year Program student, register for a FYP 101 webinar this week to get a feel FYP and learn more about the online delivery of that program.  Many of our returning students have relied on these valuable services and continue to lean on their expertise.  To those who have earned Athletic Scholarships, these will be in place for you.  Also, to those of you who need tutors, the Athletic Department will continue assist you.  More details will follow in terms of contact and how to set this up in the fall.

To all Blue Devils, both new and current, know that your coaches are incredibly supportive and share your concerns about the upcoming season.  They await guidance from the Athletics Department and will be in touch very soon to take you through their plans for this Covid 19 period and beyond.  Trish Miles, Athletics Coordinator, and myself, Neil Hooper, Director of Athletics, will be working closely with our coaches to provide you with the best possible opportunities to stay active and help you focus on skill development with your teammates.  King’s is very much a family and we will all work together with excellent support from Athletics staff, coaches, faculty, university departments and administrators, to make this year enjoyable for everyone!

For more information please use our website www.ukings.ca.  Please reach out to Neil Hooper (Director of Athletics) neil.hooper@ukings.ca or Trish Miles (Athletics Coordinator) trish.miles@ukings.ca if there are any concerns or questions about varsity athletics or any services offered by our department.  Follow us on social media for new information.

We are thinking about all of you and know that we are in your corner!  Please stay safe and healthy. We will be working toward a better day and getting back to what we all love to do.

May 20, 2020 — Letter to returning students about the fall 2020 term

Dear King’s Students,

We are writing to provide you with the most information we can at this time about our plans for teaching and learning in the coming fall term.

We know from the emails we have received from a number of you, as well as from the continuing advocacy on your behalf by the KSU, that our plans, along with those of Dalhousie, are a major matter of concern and worry for you, which adds to the many other kinds of worry and uncertainty we all face as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Faculty, our academic programs, and the University, in collaboration with colleagues at Dalhousie, have been working continuously for weeks to make the decisions that would allow us to give you meaningful information on how our academic mission will be conducted in 2020/2021.

In addition to the necessity of this ongoing work, the continuing uncertainty about the public health conditions and directives that will apply in September and beyond has constrained our ability to make decisions about the coming academic year. That uncertainty, while abating in positive directions, remains. As a result, we are still not able to provide all the information we would like to provide or answer all the questions you may have. In this memo, you will find the information we can currently and confidently share. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

As has been the case since the beginning of this pandemic, our fundamental and overarching concerns are your health and safety, and that of our faculty and staff, and of the broader community of Halifax. Within that context, we are equally motivated by our determination to ensure your learning at King’s continues to be of the high and inspiring quality to which you have been accustomed and which you rightly expect. A further consideration of high importance is alignment of our plans with those of Dalhousie, especially in the faculties of arts and social science, and of science, so that you and your families have as much clarity as possible to make decisions (such as where you will live) in the coming year.

With these key considerations in mind, our academic programs have all agreed that they will be offering their courses online in September. This is–with some exceptions that will most likely not apply to King’s students–the same decision that has been made by Dalhousie. Based on evolving public health conditions, some in-person teaching may be delivered in the winter term in ways that comply with public health directives on physical distancing and the size of gatherings. But if this happens, it will happen in ways that will allow you to continue to take any course at King’s you want to take through distance (online) learning. In other words, if your preference is to continue your studies online throughout both semesters in the coming year, you will be able to do that at King’s.

We are also working on a plan to reopen our campus to first allow staff and faculty and then students to be once again physically on campus, if you so choose. This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with the public health requirements on physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada. It is our objective to have the plan in effect before September 1 so that we can better ensure the quality of our online teaching through the access to facilities, resources and supports that faculty will have if the campus were open.

The reopening of the campus will also allow you to work and see each other on campus and receive support on campus through face-to-face interaction with faculty, staff and each other. This may include a limited number of rooms in residence for returning students. We believe reopening the campus in this way, under public health protocols, may be a good option for some of you who believe your technology and other academic needs can be better met by living on or in proximity to campus with the support we can then provide to you. We hope the availability of this option will help to address some of the equity issues that we recognize are inherent in online teaching and learning. Again, however, we wish to stress that you will be fully and equally supported by our faculty, staff and programs if you are completing courses from a distance.

We assure you the courses we will offer in the fall are being developed for learning in an online context. They will be different from in-person courses but that does not mean they will be lesser versions of those courses. As a university community, we long to be back together, just as we were before March 13, 2020. But just as you know that in-person courses are not great simply because they are offered in person, you can imagine or perhaps know by experience that online teaching and learning varies in quality from course to course and from teacher to teacher. At King’s, our online courses will be of high quality for the same reason as our in-person courses are– they will be taught by your wonderful professors who will be totally committed to your learning needs. Technology will enable that, and at the same time, we’ll do all we can to ensure it does not get in the way of it.

An additional consideration in our decision to begin the year with online teaching and learning and to commit to allowing you to continue with online learning for the entirety of the year to come is that we know that these are very challenging economic times. The year ahead may be financially difficult for you and possibly for your family. We want you to know that in addition to the bursaries King’s always offers to students with financial need, we are also offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health measures governments have taken to address the pandemic. These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans. We urge you to complete the bursary form [PDF] and talk to our Registrar’s Office by emailing Catherine Read in the Registrar’s Office at catherine.read@ukings.ca to talk about your situation if you think you may need one of these bursaries.

If you have any questions about any of what we have covered in this letter, please reach out to Bill at william.lahey@ukings.ca or Peter at peter.obrien@ukings.ca, or our Registrar’s Office by contacting Julie Green at julie.green@ukings.ca.

We end by leaving you with two thoughts. The first is to urge you to continue your university career if doing so is feasible for you in the coming year. We are confident that in this time of physical distancing and limited gatherings, you will be healthier and happier if you carry on with preparing yourself for the future. Our society needs you preparing yourself for that future more than ever before.

Our second thought is to simply send our best wishes for safety, health and well-being to you and your loved ones as we all continue to do our part to get through our current situation together, with concern and love for each other, all vulnerable people, and those who work to protect and serve us at this time.

William LaheyPeter O’Brien
President and Vice ChancellorVice President

 

May 15, 2020 — Letter to incoming FYP students about the fall 2020 term

I am delighted to know you are considering the King’s Foundation Year Program (FYP) as your first step in acquiring an exceptional university education at King’s and Dalhousie. Your interest in FYP will naturally reflect your own understanding of what makes FYP remarkable and distinctive. It is our experience that FYP does what a first-year of university should do, which is to prepare you for success in the rest of your degree and in life beyond your degree. As summed up by FYP Acting Director Dr. Susan Dodd and her colleagues, “You really can’t get a better start to an undergraduate degree and you only have to ask anyone who has been through FYP to know why”.

I recently received a note from Michele Sanders, a King’s parent, who wrote about her daughter Bethany’s FYP experience:

“Our family welcomed our daughter back from her FYP experience a month ago. She is hale and hearty, and perhaps even more importantly, she is full to the brim with a new confidence and fresh insights into literature, history, and current events. Despite a fall hurricane, a winter blizzard, and a spring plague, she has had an excellent year. We sincerely hope she will be joining her FYP friends again in September.”

In the meantime, a sincere thank you to all the excellent professors and staff at Kings. Your devotion and care of your students is clear, and deeply appreciated.”

On a similar theme, we recently conducted a survey of our alumni to find out what they are doing in life and how they reflect on their time at King’s. Ninety-five percent say they would come to King’s again if they had the chance. The survey also showed that our graduates are doing remarkably well in a wide range of careers and in making a difference in the world. Overwhelmingly, they attribute that success to their education at King’s and in FYP more particularly. We invite you to read more about our alumni and their perspective on the difference that FYP and King’s have made in their lives in an article in an article written by Assistant Registrar Dr. Yolana Wassersug.

Ultimately, however, FYP is about self-knowledge, knowledge of our world, and of each student’s place in that world through the careful and attentive reading and discussion of books that shape our world and our understanding of it. It is a communal intellectual journey. As Dr. Neil Robertson, (FYP Director currently on leave) is fond of saying, the purpose of that journey is not to make you a liberal or a conservative or any other kind of person, other than your true self. As T.S. Eliot puts it, it is instead to “not cease from exploration”, knowing “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”.

The truth of this wisdom is only accentuated in the global pandemic that has caused so much disruption, disappointment and uncertainty in your life. I know this raises questions for you about whether FYP will be online or in-person this year and whether it will be as good online as it would be in-person. Although the situation is a fluid one, changing with the pandemic and public health directives, I want to answer those questions as fully as I can with the information we now have. We anticipate making our formal announcement very soon. Meanwhile, we want to give as much information as we can today.

While final formal decisions remain under review, faculty are preparing to make FYP available in the coming academic year as a holistic online experience that incorporates the intense community building that is always at the centre of the FYP experience. This will be to ensure your safety and health and that of our faculty and staff and fellow students. But equally, it will be to ensure that FYP– in all its richness– is available to you and others who are searching to understand where we are. It is particularly important that we come together now to explore timeless questions such as what it is to be human, what it means to live in community, and how to make sense of a world in time of uncertainty.

The truth of this need to seek together will be accentuated, and not reduced, in the coming year. At a time when most university education will be online, FYP will uniquely unite you with other FYP students through the common experience of giving care and attention to the same important books, and on the same schedule. As it always does, FYP will give structure and rhythm to your transition from high school to university. Unlike other first year offerings, which could see you taking as many as 10 different courses over two terms, you will take one or two electives (depending on your degree choice) and then FYP. In this way, FYP will immerse you in a single, curated, cohesive and interdisciplinary curriculum. You will also be challenged and supported as you explore the readings with a small number of academic tutors. These tutors will meet with you and about eight other students either four times a week (for FYP Arts and Journalism) or three times a week (for FYP Science).

FYP tutorials, which if offered online would be reduced from their normal size of about 15, will ensure that the FYP experience continues to be defined by our tutors’ care and attention to the complex and personalized needs you may have as you follow the ambitious FYP curriculum. Just as they do when FYP is fully on campus, these tutorials will pull you into a stable community of learned discussion, mutual support and friendship. You will indeed be supported by our Associate Director of Student Support (Dr. Susan Dodd), several tutors (one of whom will stay with you through the year as your “main tutor”) , our writing coach, Dean of Students (Katie Merwin), and the full range of formal and informal supports we always provide to our students on King’s campus and in collaboration with Dalhousie.

In all of these and in other ways, I promise that this year’s FYP, however it is delivered, will give you and your fellow FYP students what it gave to Bethany: “a new confidence and fresh insights into literature, history, and current events,” when that is perhaps more important than ever.

I want to also share the following further general information with you:

1. For those of you considering FYP Journalism, I want you to know that our faculty in the School of Journalism are also preparing to offer Fundamentals of Journalism online. This means that the entirety of your first-year program would be available to you.

2. For those of you contemplating FYP Arts or FYP Science, we anticipate announcements will be coming from Dalhousie very soon, and well before you are required to register. Meanwhile, we are confident that through our partnership we will continue to provide you the opportunities you need to take the other courses you may want to combine with FYP. For those of you in FYP Arts who may be interested in taking History of Science and Technology first year courses at King’s, which also will be offered online.

3. We are currently working on a plan to reopen our campus. This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with public health requirements on the physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada. When it is safe to do so, we will welcome students into residences, for those who want a residential experience to complement their online learning. These requirements will likely mean that we will have to limit the number of students in residence to ensure the safety of everyone. We believe that living in residence, even though teaching and learning is happening online, may be a good option for some students who believe their technology and other academic needs can be better met by living on campus with the support we can provide to them.

4. If conditions change and it looks possible for some elements of FYP to be offered in-person, or to allow a larger number of students to be accommodated in residence, we will make those adjustments. But I want to assure you that this would only be done in such a way as to allow you to continue to fully experience FYP online, if that were your preference.

5. In addition to the bursaries King’s always offers to students based on financial need, we are also offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health measures governments have taken to address the pandemic. These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans. I urge you to complete the bursary form [PDF] and talk to our Registrar’s Office by emailing Catherine Reid in the Registrar’s Office at catherine.read@ukings.ca to talk about your situation if you think you may need one of these bursaries.

If you have any questions about any of what I have covered in this letter, please reach out to me at william.lahey@ukings.ca or directly to our Registrar’s Office by contacting Julie Green at julie.green@ukings.ca or Yolana Wassersug at yolana.wassersug@ukings.ca.

I end by leaving you with two thoughts. The first is to urge you not to delay the start of your university career if going to university this year is an option for you, whether you decide to register at King’s or another university. I am confident that in this time of physical distancing and limited gatherings, you will be healthier and happier if you carry on with preparing yourself for the future.

My second thought is to simply send my best wishes for safety, health and well-being to you and your loved ones as we all continue to do our part to get through our current situation together, with concern and love for each other, all vulnerable people, and those who work to protect and serve us at this time.

Yours truly,

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of King’s College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2A1
P:
902.422.1271 ext. 121
C: 902.456-4764
F: 902.423-3357
E: william.lahey@ukings.ca

April 9, 2020 — Updated process on changing Winter 2020 grades to PASS/ILL

Dear King’s students,

We hope you are all coping as well as possible in these difficult times. We continue to be here to support you as you navigate the end of term.

Below you will find updated information related to end-of-term grade options and procedures, the details of which we have been working with our colleagues at Dalhousie to confirm and finalize over the past couple of weeks. If you have not already done so, please be sure to go back and read the March 26 – New Grade Options for Winter Term (below) for more background around grading options.

Once your grades are posted, if you accept them you do not have to do anything. Do not fill out a waiver form.

What to know about PASS/ILL:

  • A PASS option is available to you if pass your course but do not feel your final grade is reflective of your overall performance. The ILL option (which reflects “compassionate reasons or illness”) is available to you if you do not pass your course.
  • PASS will not be included in GPA calculations (“GPA neutral”); credit will still be earned for the course.
  • ILL will not be included in GPA calculations; credit will not be earned for the course.
  • Your original letter grade will not appear on your official transcript. There will always be a record of your original letter grade earned if you ever need it (i.e. application for graduate schools) via DARS (degree audit system).
  • A PASS grade may not automatically fulfil prerequisite requirements (see below)
  • Minimum grade required for a PASS is dependent upon your Program. If you are unsure what minimum grade is required, please contact your program directly (e.g. Journalism, Contemporary Studies, Early Modern Studies).

Process to change your grade to PASS/ILL:

  • Submit the waiver form to change your grade(s) to PASS/ILL after ALL your final grades have been posted. Requests will not be considered until all your grades have been posted in Dal Online.
  • The process to do this will be available in Dal Online starting April 15, 2020.
  • To access the waiver form, log in to your Dal Online account and choose Student Records>Academic Record. Click on the link at the top of the page and complete the required information in the waiver application.
  • Once you submit your waiver, an academic advisor will reach out to you via your dal.ca email to discuss your options.
  • For potential graduates, waivers should be submitted by May 8, 2020.
  • For all other students, waivers should be submitted by June 1, 2020.

Prerequisites:

  • PASS will count as having achieved basic prerequisite requirements. However, a PASS will not automatically be accepted as a prerequisite for courses where a minimum grade is required (e.g. a C or above in the prerequisite course). Prerequisites with minimum grade requirements will be assessed using the final grade you received in your course. Your advisor can inform you about the process for requesting instructor permission if your final grade is below the minimum requirement for a course.
  • ILL will not count as having achieved any prerequisite requirements, as the credit was not successfully earned.

Repeat policy:

  • The repeat policy will be applied to the letter grades earned, as usual.
  • PASS: if you have repeated a class and want the neutral grade included in the GPA calculation, indicate this on the waiver form when you make your request to have your grade changed to a PASS.
  • ILL: ILL grades are not included in the GPA calculation and cannot replace the grade of the course you took previously.

Scholarships:

  • For upper-year undergraduate students (i.e. second year and beyond), renewable/consideration criteria will remain the same: a 3.7 GPA for full time students. A PASS grade is a credit and will count towards required credit hours, but it will not be used in the calculation of your GPA. For students in the Foundation Year Program,​scholarship criteria remain the same. While you may take a PASS if you wish, you must receive a letter grade (B+ and above) in the Foundation Year Program to be considered for a scholarship. ​ Please note, in response to COVID-19 additional bursary funding will be available for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • There is an appeal process in place for students who may not meet conditions for retaining renewable scholarships. Appeals should be sent to Catherine Read at catherine.read@ukings.ca by September 1st for consideration by the Scholarships Committee.

Academic standing:

  • Academic standing will be assessed starting in May (i.e. dismissals, probation, Dean’s List, etc.).
  • As is normally the case, students who have completed at least 24 credit hours and receive a standing of “academic probation” or “academic dismissal” will be informed by communications from the Registrar’s Office.
  • If you have requested any change of grades to ILL and/or PASS, your standing will be reassessed once these changes are processed.

You may have other questions regarding this process. This is why, if you submit a waiver form, your advisor will reach out via your Dal email. We are requiring students to meet with an advisor prior to finalizing any academic decisions.

Registrar’s Office
University of King’s College

March 27, 2020 — President Lahey’s message to students

Dear King’s students,

I have many messages I want share with you. At the top of the list is my desire to tell you how immensely proud I am of all of you. Much has been asked of you and your families in the last two weeks. You have shouldered massive changes and disappointments and yet you have transitioned with us quickly, offering your support to our collective effort of fighting the spread of this virus. You have done this in the best King’s tradition, by also offering support and friendship to one another at this difficult time.

As ever, the health and safety of King’s community remain our highest priority, and it is vital that we continue to show our willingness to do our part as citizens and a community to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

As you know, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on Sunday. The province’s new measures mean Nova Scotia’s borders have been tightened to travellers at all entry points and anyone entering the province needs to self-isolate for 14 days. 

I want to emphasize an important exception to this rule, which is that entrance to Nova Scotia is allowed for the pick-up of a post-secondary student provided the travel is direct to the post-secondary institution or off-campus residence. Travellers should self-isolate if they stay in Nova Scotia overnight and again for 14 days when they go home.​

At King’s, we achieved social distancing compliance because of you and your efforts. I am grateful to you and your families for working with our Dean of Students and the dons to cooperatively leave our residences so quickly. Our residences are now nearly empty, and it is because of this that we are better able to offer a higher level of safety to the six remaining students who, for a variety of reasons, are simply unable to leave.

And to those of you living off-campus, we appreciate the support you are giving to this collective effort by deciding where best to ride this out and to also doing all that is necessary to keep yourself and others safe.

While pride and gratitude overwhelm my feelings, I acknowledge what is at the heart of this difficult transition. I know this is a tremendously disruptive time and that many of you are filled with profound sadness.

No matter what year you are in or how long you have been a member of this community, this abrupt and unexpected change to the close of our year together has been exceedingly hard for all of us. The rights of passage of each year that do so much to cement our life-long attachment to each other have been taken away from us, and especially from all of you. We understand this and share your sadness and disappointment. We are working on ways of lightening our hearts and bringing us together in new ways.

For example, in addition to starting on-line delivery of FYP this week, FYP faculty began to share “FYP Letters” for FYP students and the wider community, to help us all come together. If you have not yet taken a look, you can find it on the King’s website at ukings.ca/fyp-letters.

For my part, I address myself particularly to the graduating class of 2020. While I cannot pretend to know exactly what you are feeling, I can say unequivocally that I too am heartbroken about our inability to celebrate Encaenia as planned on May 29. Of all our College celebrations, Encaenia is the most special – the day on which I am most grateful to be part of the King’s community and its traditions. This year was to be special for me in a particular way. Many of you started at King’s when I did; your move-in day was my first move-in day. I cannot express how much I was looking forward to once again being together with you and your families, and all our graduates and their families, to celebrate what we started together.

And so, to you, the class of 2020, whenever you started at King’s and whatever your degree, I make a personal promise. I give you my word that, whatever it takes and however long it takes, we will have Encaenia for the class of 2020 when it is safe for you and for our whole community to celebrate with you. And like all of our Encaenias, it will be a grand and glorious celebration.

As you work to finish your school year, we will continue to communicate with you regularly. You can always get the most up-to-date information at ukings.ca/coronavirus. There will be regular communications from members of the college. You will be in contact with your professors. And, at a minimum, I will be sending regular Friday updates as we go through this unprecedented period in history together.

At King’s we have a bond and we are a community, not only for our time together at King’s but for life. The fact that we are now scattered does not change that. In the fullness of time I believe we will see that it will have strengthened our community and our love for each other. Like generations of our graduates who have sustained their friendships nurtured at King’s for a lifetime, we will pull through this together, despite our premature separation. And we will be together again.

Keep your spirits high, for your sake and the sake of those around you. Stay healthy, support each other and do what you can for others as we all stand together in difficult times.

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 26, 2020 — New Grade Options for Winter Term

Good evening students,

Dalhousie has just sent a memo regarding grading (below). I would strongly encourage you, in every instance, to work closely with you instructor on developing a plan for successfully completing this term.

The option outlined below will be available to all King’s students in all King’s and Dalhousie courses for this semester. Your inquiries should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at King’s through registrar@ukings.ca.

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President


To our Dal student community, we have heard your questions and concerns. We have developed a process to ensure the protection of your academic record, given the unusual and extreme circumstances of the 2020 winter term. We have come up with a number of academic options for you to consider once you receive your final grades. Once grades have been posted to Dal Online, you will be able to choose one of the following options for each of your courses. If you receive a passing grade, you may:

  • keep final letter grade and earn the credit OR
  • request to have your grade changed to “PASS”, which is GPA neutral and does give you credit for the course. This is a good option if you feel that your final grade is not reflective of your overall performance.

If you do not receive a passing grade, you may:

  • request to have the F grade switched to an “ILL”, which is defined on your transcript as “compassionate reasons, or illness”. It does not give you credit for the course, but also does not negatively affect your GPA.

Depending on your circumstance, there may be other options available to you as well. More information will be made available in the Student Support Brightspace page in the coming days. If you recently withdrew from a course (special note, that the withdrawal deadline was previously extended to March 30, 2020), and wish to change your mind, please consult with an advisor at the Bissett Student Success Centre by emailing advising@dal.ca or calling 902-494- 3077 for next steps. We wish you all the best in the coming weeks as move forward with your classes and exams.

Sincerely,

Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic

March 19, 2020 — SPRING/SUMMER TERM

Spring/summer term also moving to remote teaching

We have made the difficult decision to move the spring/summer courses, set to begin in May, to remote (distance) teaching. This means in-person classes will not resume on-campus until the fall. Additional details on spring/summer courses will be shared in the coming weeks.

Please watch your inboxes and the Dahousie and King’s websites for forthcoming information, and please continue to take care.

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

March 19, 2020 — ENCAENIA NOTICE FOR GRADUANDS

Dear King’s Graduands of 2020,

You have all worked so hard and are now close to completing your degree. Everyone at King’s was looking forwarding to celebrating this milestone with you at Encaenia on May 29, 2020, and we know that its cancellation is hugely disappointing.

Our graduands—along with the whole King’s Community—look to Encaenia as a symbolic transition point from years of collegial study and living together to the next stage in your journeys. Encaenia is also a time to make fond farewells to friends and teachers, and to celebrate with loved ones. Please know that the decision to cancel it, announced in a joint King’s-Dalhousie communication on March 14 (“Clarifications, Questions and Answers”), while consistent with ongoing government advice concerning public health and wellness in uncertain times, was not made lightly.

Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with you in the near future about how you can expect to receive your parchments. Rest assured that we are committed to finding a meaningful way to mark Encaenia 2020. In the current circumstances, we simply don’t know when or what form that will take. As soon as we are able to turn to such considerations, we will.

For the present, I wish you all the best in these difficult times. Please take care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

March 19, 2020 — Message From the Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office has moved to working remotely as of today, Thursday, March 19. Although this move has happened more quickly than anyone could have anticipated, we are well-equipped to continue to provide support to our students (current and future) and our community.

Registration, Academic and Enrolment Support

Today marks the beginning of the registration period for the 2020/21 academic year for the majority of our students (Journalism students registered yesterday). We are available for email and phone support for registration issues. We are also working with the Advancement Office to provide answers to general registration questions on social media.

We will continue to provide students support as they think through the implications of these challenging circumstances on their academic plans.

Please refer students to registrar@ukings.ca.

Recruitment and Admissions

Tomorrow we will host our scheduled Open House online. Please contact Yolana (yolana.wassersug@ukings.ca) or Ashleigh (ashleigh.baxter@ukings.ca) with any questions.

We are transitioning our normal interactions with applicants and potential applicants to online means. We will continue to accept applications, make decisions and connect with new students throughout this time. Please direct questions to admissions@ukings.ca.

Financial Awards

The College is offering COVID-19 emergency bursaries. Please direct students to julie.green@ukings.ca and catherine.read@ukings for further detail.

We will continue to offer financial awards to current and future students.

Overall

As you are all experiencing in your own roles, this has been a huge transition during a peak time in the academic year. We have been working hard to minimize the disruption in the service we provide but, obviously, it is challenging. I appreciate your ongoing support as we figure this all out.

I would also like to acknowledge the amazing efforts of all members of the Registrar’s Office and our partners across the College who are going above and beyond in their roles during a stressful time for all.

We will be in touch with those of you we work with on various committees regarding the scheduling of online meetings.

Thanks,

Julie Green
Registrar

March 19, 2020 — WORKING FROM HOME

Dear Members of King’s Faculty and Staff,

We are reaching out today with details of how we’re working to support you and your work at King’s. Please consult with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have additional questions.

Effective Thursday, March 19, the university remains open. However, in keeping with public health recommendations around social distancing, we are encouraging all faculty and staff who are able to work from home to do so provided that arrangements and approvals are made with department heads, supervisors or their delegates.

  • Employees who are self-isolated but otherwise able to work from home are expected to do so.
  • It is expected that, to the extent possible, anyone working remotely will maintain a normal workload. We recognize this is a challenging time, and certain aspects of our broader community’s response to COVID-19, such as school and daycare closures, could impact the ability of employees to work. Supervisors should make every effort to be flexible in the circumstances.
  • Working from home may require access to appropriate technology. Visit the ITS website (login required) for information about working from home. Speak with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have questions about how best to transfer your workstation into a home environment.
  • Despite our collective best efforts, there is no way a situation such as this can ever truly be business as usual. Consider what work is most essential to continue. Take breaks, look after yourself and stay healthy.
  • Employees who are sick will not be required to provide medical documentation or sick notes. Such leaves will be with pay. This time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank.
  • Finally, this is a stressful time for many in our community. Remember that our Employee and Family Assistance Program is there for you to access at any time .Do not hesitate to reach out if you need support: 1-800-387-4765, www.workhealthlife.com.

Online Learning

As some employees may wish to use this time as an opportunity to take advantage of online professional development, we wanted to introduce you to the Percipio online learning platform.

Percipio was launched in September 2019 to all Dalhousie employees as a result of change in users expectations demanding simplicity, ease of content discovery, and an aesthetic more like Netflix, Facebook or Spotify. You can customize your learning experience by creating your own learning channels by browsing a rich library of content in multiple disciplines including Leadership Develop, Management Programs, Personal Development, Project Management, IT related certifications and more.

To access Percipio, please click on dal.percipio.com and click the Log in button to use your NetID and password. You can also access Percipio through your smartphone and tablet. Just type Percipio in your Apple Store or Play Store.

We recognize and appreciate the impact of these circumstances on you and your families. Thank you for stepping up, bringing your best under less-than-ideal circumstances, and continuing your vital contributions to our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Peter O’Brien
Vice-President

Bonnie Sands
Bursar

March 19, 2020 — BUILDING CLOSURES

Further to yesterday’s email, please be advised that buildings on the University of King’s College campus will be locked at the end-of-day Friday, March 20. The closures will begin at 4 p.m., and all buildings will be locked by 7 p.m. The only exception will be Alexandra Hall, which will remain open until Sunday night to facilitate the easy departure of student residents.

Locking the buildings will secure the campus and ensure the safety of the few remaining occupants. Limiting access is also a social distancing measure, essential to the effort of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Security will now be present on campus 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Staff and faculty can request individual access to buildings by calling Security at (902) 430-7938. Please minimize these requests to only essential visits. Your patience and consideration will help keep our University safe.

March 18, 2020 — DEAN’S LETTER TO RESIDENCE STUDENTS

Dear Residence Students,

A lot has happened since Friday, when King’s and Dalhousie issued joint directives concerning their respective plans for evacuating residences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, King’s asked all residence students who were able to move out by noon on March 22 to do so. Many of you made quick arrangements to go home and have already left. Thank you. Some of you have plans to leave in the coming days. And a very small number of you have circumstances that preclude you from moving out.

Accelerate your plans to leave

For those students still mobilizing to move out of residence, King’s urges you to accelerate your plans and leave as soon as you’re able. For example, if you can get an earlier flight, book it now. King’s has emergency bursary funds available if you require financial assistance to assist with increased travel costs. Contact catherine.read@ukings.ca and julie.green@ukings.ca in the Registrar’s Office for more details. Today, Porter Airlines announced its plans to suspend service at the end of Friday. Further restrictions on your mobility could be implemented; for example, for now there is no limit on inter-provincial travel but that may not continue to be the case.

Last Friday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. As of today, there are 12 (9 presumptive, 3 confirmed). Public health officials tell us this will continue to increase and at an accelerated speed. We also know Coronavirus spreads through close contact and the only way to stop it in its tracks is to self-isolate.

Social distancing enforced

Everyone who remains in residence, or comes to campus for any reason, must strictly adhere to public health recommendations around social distancing. This is no longer a recommendation—it is a rule. You must remain a minimum of two metres apart from one another. Do not attend social gatherings. Do not hug your roommate goodbye. For everyone’s health and safety, make social distancing your practice, along with proper hand-washing protocols and not touching your face.

Dalhousie and NSCAD students

Lastly, we are working to support Dalhousie and NSCAD students living at King’s:

  1. NSCAD students: If you can’t leave King’s residence by March 22, contact Joann Farmer at jfarmer@nscad.ca
  2. Dalhousie students: If you can’t leave King’s residence by March 22, and you are an international student, contact international.centre@dal.ca. If your financial situation precludes you from leaving, contact financialemergency@dal.ca.

International students who cannot return home and students unable to leave for extraordinary reasons

Our intention is to help everyone who is unable to leave find a place to live. We will work with you to make that happen.

We understand these are highly unusual and stressful times. Thank you for understanding and working with us to help protect everyone’s health and wellness.

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor
University of King’s College

March 18, 2020 — Message from the Bursar’s Office

Dear Members of the King’s Community,

Please be advised that the Bursar’s Office will be working remotely as of Thursday, March 19. The purpose of this message is to inform you of how we plan to continue our operations during this time.

Payroll

  • Permanent and contract faculty and staff – monthly payroll deposits will continue as well as all employee benefits.
  • Casual employees – department heads and program directors should continue to email timesheets to Dolly as usual at payroll@ukings.ca.
  • A communication will be going out in the near future to department heads and program directors regarding student employees whose anticipated hours of work will have come to an end or are anticipated to do so in the near future because of COVID 19.
  • For all payroll inquiries please email Dolly McIntyre at dolly.mcintyre@ukings.ca or at payroll@ukings.ca.
  • This is a stressful time for many in our community. We would like to remind faculty and staff that King’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is there for you to access at any time. Please reach out if you need support at 1-800-387-4765 or www.workhealthlife.com.

Student Accounts

  • All inquiries regarding student accounts should be directed to Sharlene Salter at accounts@ukings.ca.
  • Students requesting a refund as a result of residence withdrawals should contact accounts@ukings.ca to obtain a banking information form for direct deposit. We are unable to process cheques at this time.
  • Registration holds on outstanding accounts related to winter term fees have been temporarily lifted to allow for registration. These outstanding fees will need to be paid by April 15. If outstanding fees are not paid by April 15, holds will be reinstated and registration in the summer and fall/winter terms may be removed. Please contact accounts@ukings.ca if you have any overdue amount that you are not able to pay before April 15.
  • Payments on student accounts should be paid via online banking. Please refer to the payment guide for more information.

Accounts Payable

  • Purchase orders (POs), Visa transactions, vendor invoices and payments will continue during this time.
  • All vendor payments will be made through electronic funds transfer (EFT). To obtain a vendor EFT form for direct deposit, please contact accountspayable@ukings.ca. We are unable to process cheques at this time. Vendors who wish to continue being paid by cheque should expect a delay in payment.
  • All vendor invoices should be emailed to King’s at accountspayable@ukings.ca since access to physical mail will be limited during this time.
  • All inquiries pertaining to accounts payable should be directed to Peggy MacIsaac at accountspayable@ukings.ca.

Accounts Receivable (i.e., invoicing by King’s to outside parties)

  • Invoicing will continue to be done by Tami Kendell in the Bursar’s Office. Please email the pertinent information to her for the creation of the invoice.
  • For payments, we are recommending that our customers pay King’s via online banking. Tami will communicate this directly to all customers who receive an invoice from King’s.
  • Please forward inquiries to Tami Kendell at tami.kendell@ukings.ca.

Other

  • Year-end will proceed as planned. The year-end deadlines as stated in Jackie Digout’s email of March 3, 2020 (addressed to department heads, program directors and support staff) still apply. The manual cheque deadline of April 6 will still apply but will apply to EFT payments.
  • Please forward all year-end inquiries to Jackie Digout at jackie.digout@ukings.ca. If you are unable to locate the March 3 year-end email, please reach out to Jackie.
  • For all other inquiries please contact Bonnie Sands, Bursar at bonnie.sands@ukings.ca or bursar@ukings.ca.

All email accounts will be actively monitored while voicemail will be checked daily.

These are unprecedented times and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience as we make every effort to operate our office in a “business as usual” manner albeit in a modified fashion.

Stay safe everyone,

Bonnie Sands
Bursar

March 16, 2020 - Update from the University of King’s College Library

Starting Wednesday, March 18, the University of King’s College Library will be closed for three weeks. This decision is consistent with that of Dalhousie with regard to Dalhousie libraries. The Dalhousie announcement is available here.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, the King’s Library will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health and wellness of the King’s Library users and staff is our top priority. The difficult decision to close is based on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, who has said that our opportunity to “flatten the curve” is now.

We recognize that not every student has a computer or internet access. Dalhousie’s Kellogg Library Learning Commons in the Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) will be open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday from Wednesday, March 18 onward, to provide access to computers and internet-based scholarly resources for students.

Online services will continue to be available during the closure, including research and reference assistance through LiveHelp.

Over the coming weeks, the Library will be assessing the situation and communicate plans for going forward after that.

Thank you for your patience as we do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please send questions or comments to library@ukings.ca and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

Peter O’Brien, Vice-President

Janet Hathaway, Interim University Librarian and Archivist

March 14, 2020 - Updated Registration Dates & Times

As noted in the latest university-wide update #5 regarding COVID-19, registration for returning students has been adjusted to better support our campus community as we transition to temporary remote (distance) delivery of courses.

Registration will now open on Wednesday March 18, 2020.  The registration dates and times for your specific faculty are listed below. Please refer to Dal Online for your specific assigned registration time under “Check Your Registration Status.”

Updated Registration Dates & Times

March 18 at 7:30am: Returning and transfer students in the Faculties of Agriculture, Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Health, Graduate Studies and Journalism

March 19 at 6:00am, 8:00am and 10:00am: Returning and transfer students in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Computer Science, Management and Science

The Registrar’s Offices at both Dalhousie and King’s are here to support you with all matters related to registration (e.g. requiring an instructor’s approval, online overrides, systems errors, and general inquiries). We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.

March 14, 2020 - Clarification, questions and answers

PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE IN FULL.

Also, please check your university email regularly in the days and weeks ahead. While we will continue to update our websites (dal.ca/coronavirus, ukings.ca/coronavirus), the latest news will be shared with you via email.

We’ve received many questions since our universities’ communication yesterday afternoon. We don’t have answers to all of them yet, but there are others we can address or clarify with what we know at this point. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation to ensure that, despite these disruptions, our students will be able to complete their academic term. We will be reassessing and evaluating the situation continuously and issuing regular communication updates.

Students

Courses

  • To be absolutely clear, in-person classes, in-person labs and in-person exams will not resume this term. Any course delivery will occur through temporary remote (distance) teaching – in most cases, this will mean online delivery through tools such as Brightspace.
  • Instruction will be paused next week (March 16-20). This is to allow instructors time to develop their plan for distance teaching through to the end of the semester. Note that instruction in existing online courses will also be paused next week to allow students and instructors time to focus on transitioning to the new circumstances.
  • Instructors will be confirming plans for distance course continuation and exams with students by Wednesday, March 18. As noted, in most cases, this will be online, but there will likely be some variation. After receiving these instructions, students requiring accommodation should contact their instructor.
  • Students should expect instruction to resume (via distance) on Monday, March 23.
  • Clinical placements, research activities, co-op work placements and King’s journalism workshops (online only) are continuing.

Fall Registration

  • Registration for returning Dalhousie students will go ahead next week as planned, but will open on Wednesday, March 18 instead of Monday, March 16. This is being moved to better support our campus community at this time. More detailed information will be shared with you from the Registrar’s Office.

Residence and campus buildings/services

  • Residence remains open for those who are unable to leave (for reasons such as international travel or personal circumstances). Dining halls also remain open.
  • Those students who are able to move out should do as soon as possible — by no later than March 22. Those who do will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please contact the Residence Office if you have further questions.
  • Campus buildings remain open and operating. This includes recreation facilities such as Dalplex, university libraries and learning commons spaces, Student Health and Wellness, Registrar’s offices and Student Accounts, etc. Please note that hours of operation may vary from normal hours in order to accommodate changing circumstances. Check online hours if you have any questions.

Student inquiries

  • We know students have many questions about this situation. We are in the process of setting up dedicated phone and email support lines to help answer your inquiries and will share these contacts with you early next week.
  • Details (including FAQs) will be updated regularly at dal.ca/coronavirus and ukings.ca/coronavirus

All university community members

Events

  • As stated yesterday, all non-essential university events are cancelled or postponed. At this point, this is in effect until June 1 at a minimum. Do not book university events until further notice as we continue to monitor the situation.
  • This cancellation, regrettably, includes Dalhousie Convocation and King’s Encaenia ceremonies scheduled for May 2020. Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with prospective graduates in the near future about how they can expect to receive their parchments.

Travel and self-isolation

  • As stated yesterday, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. We are consulting with external partners (including Public Health) on these parameters. If they change, we will let you know. Please note these parameters are effective as of time of notification (5 p.m., Friday, March 13)
  • As a reminder, all non-essential university travel is suspended. Do not book university travel. This suspension will be until June 1 at a minimum.

At this time, additional questions can be sent to COVID19@dal.ca and we will get back to you as best we can. We will continue to update information, including FAQs, at dal.ca/coronavirus and ukings.ca/coronavirus.

Please continue to take care of yourselves. Look out for your own health, and also the health of others. We will have more updates for you next week.

Sincerely,

Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic
Dalhousie University

Ian Nason
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Dalhousie University

Peter O’Brien
Vice-President
University of King’s College

March 13, 2020 - Message from President Lahey

Dear students,

You just received an email jointly sent by Dalhousie University’s President Deep Saini and myself. Please read it through to the end.

In addition,

  • Details of remote course delivery will be arranged by your professors
  • FYP students will hear directly from FYP interim director Dr. Susan Dodd
  • If you live in residence, you will soon receive a detailed procedural email from the Dean of Students, Katie Merwin
  • If you have academic advising questions, contact the Registrar’s Office by emailing registrar@ukings.ca
  • Existing student employment will continue
  • Students requiring an emergency bursary can find out more by emailing catherine.read@ukings.ca or julie.green@ukings.ca

The university remains open including the library, computer labs, gym, chapel and Prince Hall (subject, possibly, to reduced hours). The Registrar’s Office will be open this weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Updates will be posted to ukings.ca/coronavirus.

Your health and safety continue to be our top priority. Whatever questions or concerns you may have, please bring them forward.

Bill

William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor

P: (902) 422-1271
C: (902) 456-4764
E: william.lahey@ukings.ca

March 13, 2020 - Coordinated response to COVID-19 from King’s and Dalhousie’s Presidents

In the interest of ensuring alignment between our affiliated institutions, we are sending this update jointly to our respective Dalhousie and King’s communities in Halifax, Truro and elsewhere. Please review this entire message carefully as there are several new developments.

Over the past several weeks, we have been preparing diligently for the impacts of COVID-19. We know our community is large and complex, with significant mobility of our people. Given the current public health situation, and in consultation with both Nova Scotia Public Health and government officials as well as our other postsecondary partners, it is time for our institutions to take concrete measures to encourage social distancing and limit the spread of the virus. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is highest priority, and it is vital we do our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These measures reflect our unique circumstances for Dalhousie and King’s. We recognize the situation for other institutions may be different and those institutions may need to respond differently.

We have taken many measures to date and are announcing additional measures today in response to the latest information from Public Health. We ask your patience as we work through additional details and decisions and will share more next week.

In-person classes suspended next week

In-person classes and labs for Dalhousie and King’s students will be suspended next week (March 16-20) as a preventative measure to increase social distancing and allow instructors time to shift to alternative means of teaching.

We are working to ensure that, despite these disruptions, students will be able to complete their academic year. Our intention is to begin transitioning classes into a temporary remote teaching environment (such as online, etc.) for the remainder of the term. We expect classes will be suspended at least a week before they recommence. Instructors will receive further instructions through their Deans or Program Directors in the coming days. In-person exams will not take place on campus. More details to come next week. We will be consulting with CONSUP (Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents) and NS Public Health on next steps.

Clinical placements, research activities and co-op work placements are continuing.

Residences — those who can move out are encouraged do so

Residences remain open. We request those students who are able to move out to do so by Sunday, March 22. Please be assured that anyone who cannot return home for reasons such as international travel restrictions, serious personal reasons, or university obligations will continue to be provided accommodation. Those who move out by March 22 will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please note, for students’ continued safety we reserve the right to move students to another residence. Students in residence can expect to receive additional information by email shortly.

University remains open

University offices and buildings remain open. Our decision to suspend classes represents a measure to reduce large gatherings of people in line with public health advice. Research operations will continue.

Further information on HR procedures for employees are being provided to leaders across the university shortly. Please consult with your director, department chair or supervisor for more information.

Cancellation of events and activities

In line with Public Health advice, non-essential university-sanctioned events must be cancelled or postponed at this time. The Dalhousie Presidential Installation (March 30) is also cancelled and may be rescheduled to a later date. The situation with campus events will be reassessed as we go forward.

All non-essential university travel suspended, self-isolation for travellers

All non-essential student, faculty and staff travel for university purposes is now suspended. Any exceptions must be approved by the Provost, or in the case of King’s, the Vice-President.

In line with Public Health advice, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. For employees, this time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank; employees are expected to work from home, where possible.

Final thoughts

A reminder that the Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Public Health remain the best source for up-to-date public information on this rapidly changing situation. More information related to Dalhousie can be found at dal.ca/coronavirus and related to King’s at ukings.ca/coronavirus. In the coming days we will continue to update our Frequently Asked Questions on those sites to address common concerns.

These are exceptional times, unprecedented in the modern history of our institutions. We know these measures represent a significant disruption to our operations. No aspect of our mission is unaffected. We are, truly, all in this together.

To our students… we are doing everything we can to limit the impact on your studies, and we are here to support you. We know this is a stressful time. Practise empathy with your peers and reach out if you need support of any kind.

To our faculty, staff and instructors… your commitment to our students and their academic experience is what makes Dalhousie and King’s such great institutions. We know that commitment remains strong. We’re here for what you need in making this difficult situation work for our students.

To everyone in our shared community… Ours is a strong community — and that strength is grounded in our compassion for one another. Now is the time to draw on that strength as we come together and prepare to come through this situation even stronger and more compassionate. Be kind to each other.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor
Dalhousie University

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of King’s College