Dear Members of the UBC Community:
First of all, I want you to know that I’ve been thinking about you over this past week. I know that UBC, like the whole world, has been under tremendous stress during these challenging times. I hope that you and your loved ones are well and that you are staying safe.
Last week, I promised to talk to you on a regular basis regarding UBC’s response to COVID-19.
Since my last communication, we’ve seen several developments.
First, we made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone in person Spring Graduation ceremonies. We will come together online to celebrate at that time, as I know that some students will not be able to join us back on campus when it is safe to hold an in person graduation ceremony. All graduates will receive their degrees in the mail. This is important since many of our graduates will need their diploma for employment or a next degree.
I know how important graduation is to our students, their families and for our faculty. It is also a highlight of the year for me. UBC is therefore committed to holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, when safe to do so, that has all the elements of a traditional graduation ceremony. The Class of 2020 has earned their degrees and we will celebrate their achievements as is tradition.
We also announced that final examinations and assessments will not take place in person, allowing undergraduate international and domestic students to return home at their discretion.
Students have been informed directly of their particular program’s approaches to grading, exams and academic accommodations.
We also announced that Term 1 of Summer Session will be online across both campuses including the Summer Session for Vantage One (Arts, Science and Engineering) programs.
For classes that cannot be accommodated online, we will be issuing further information through your Faculties. Planning is also underway for the possibility that Term 2 of Summer Session may need to go online.
We will update you on that as soon as possible.
For current students, Enrolment Services has established a call centre so that undergraduate students can continue to access their Enrolment Services Advisor. For prospective students, we are honoured with your interest in joining UBC and will work with you to answer any questions you might have. Please refer to you.ubc.ca for more information.
We’ve heard from our year-round and summer student residents about questions about their rent moving forward. I can assure you all – Student Housing is following all directives from the province and those student residents WILL NOT see a rent increase in May.
We will let our year-round and summer students residents know the details as soon as we can.
I am proud to say that the UBC community is more than stepping up to the COVID-19 challenge.
Our medical and nursing students are helping out in local healthcare facilities.
Our researchers are working on crucial COVID-related research.
Our faculty are adjusting their courses to online.
Our students, faculty and staff are practising physical distancing while caring for others.
We are stepping up even as we step away from each other.
I agree completely with a UBC professor who wrote me to say “It’s miraculous what UBC’s faculty, staff and students have accomplished over the past few weeks. I’m so proud to be part of UBC!”
I’m even prouder.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor